AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD
HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.5.08)
Then What Happened? (BBE)
When Life Gives You Lemons, You
Turn That Shit Into Gold (Rhymesayers)
3) Gnarls Barkley
The Odd Couple (Atlantic)
Fight With Tools (Universal Republic)
5) Lil Wayne
Lil Weezy-Ana Vol. 1 (Noiseland)
If ever a hip-hop release deserved to do well it is the highly recommended new J-Live album, Then What Happened? on BBE, which is this week's number one release on the Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart (thanks Marques Newson). The album, the artist's fourth and featuring some guest shots including Chali 2na and Posdanous, is also doing well this week at the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba Music stores.
What is most amazing about this under-appreciated hip-hop artist is that he is not just a great emcee but he is also a gifted producer and DJ. See the clip of him above, live in Amsterdam, simultaneously rapping on the mic and cutting up on the ones and twos. Impressive stuff! J-Live's rich style is both respectful and inspired by the genre's golden-era past while still sounding new and pushing forward. Just back from some shows in Europe, he currently is in Atlanta, with East Coast shows lined up but unfortunately no Cali dates locked down in the immediate future. You can expect an Amoeblog interview with J-Live sometime over the next couple of weeks.
Lil Wayne, the hottest rapper of the moment, who seems to attract either extreme love or extreme criticism depending on whom you talk to, is -- all would agree -- one ubiquitous artist. He is everywhere it seems, including making a cameo on Bun-B's popular new (post Pimp C) solo release II Trill. The dread-locked New Orleans rapper, also fondly known as Weezy, first came to fame as part of Cash Money label rap group Hot Boys. He is scheduled to drop his widely anticipated new album Tha Carter III on Tuesday (6/10), and it will likely become one of this summer's top selling rap releases. Meanwhile this week, still selling well at Amoeba Hollywood is Lil Wayne's Lil Weezy-Ana Vol. 1.
Another popular new hip-hop release at Amoeba Hollywood this week is the album Fight With Tools by Denver hip-hop band Flobots, The Colorado sextet, whose instrumentation includes viola, guitar, bass, and drums plus two emcees, are going to be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight (June 5th) and will be playing in the Bay Area on Saturday (June 7th) at the Shoreline Amphitheater as part of radio station Live 105's BFD 2008, along with such other acts as Cypress Hill and Pennywise.