Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:07:08
1) Paris Acid Reflex (Guerrilla Funk/Fontana)
2) Mighty Underdogs Droppin' Science
Fiction (Definitive Jux)
3) Murs Murs for President (Warner)
4) T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
5) Black Milk Tronic (Fat Beats)
Thanks to Tunde at the Berkeley Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five sales-based chart, which finds the Bay Area's own Paris in the number one slot and his thought-provoking, lyrically charged, recommended new album Acid Reflex on Guerrilla Funk/Fontana. If you missed the interview with the controversial artist when it was published last week, click here to read the Amoeblog Paris interivew.
Reactions to Barack Obama's victory on Tuesday were upbeat (to put it mildly) in hip-hop circles. Longtime Fillmore, San Francisco rapper San Quinn told Amoeblog the next day, "Hopefully with him winning it will give little black kids in America a new sense of hope to know that instead of drug dealers and rappers and basketball players and football players and many other stereotypical but true things that we choose to be, including killing off each other, that now we have a chance if we keep our slate clean to be the president of the United States."
The ever-prolific rapper, who earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the amount of rap "features" (cameos) he has done (3000 +), has two releases coming over the next month. Later this month he drops his first solo record in two years, From A Boy To A Man, and in early December he and Oakalnd's Keak da Sneak's accurately titled collaboration Welcome To Skokland will be released. And just a couple of months ago San Quinn, along with his All City partners Big Rich and Boo Banga, dropped 4 1 Feva which was a big seller at the Amoeba San Francisco store.
The locally published blog Beer And Rap is popular with a lot of Bay Area folks I've talked to recently so I got in touch with the man behind it, SergDun, to ask him about how long the website has been running, what inspired him to do it in the first place, and what other kinds of things he's got going on:
"I started Beer And Rap in May 2004 mostly out of boredom from a shitty job," he responded via email. "As for other things....mostly throwing events like a warehouse party...Face Down Ass Up, a monthly party focusing on the most offensive booty raps we can find. I'm also working on a CD release party for Hard As Fuck 4 (the recently released mix presented by Beer And Rap and mixed by local DJ Matthew Afrika). It will be celebration of hardcore raps. If I ever get my shit together I'm going to start posting a Beer and Rap podcast/Internet radio show. I've definitely got future releases coming up -- Hard As Fuck 5 is in the works. I have some other ideas for releases, but at the moment the main thing I've been focusing on is the Hard As Fuck series."
Q-Tip, whose new album (pictured left), The Renaissance, on Motown/Universal, just dropped this week on Election Day, is back on the current annual Bounce Tour along with The Cool Kids. The tour, which kicked off Wednesday this week, will roll through Cali next week with a San Francisco show on Thursday (Nov. 13) at the Mezzanine and at the House of Blues in LA on Saturday, Nov. 15. To coincide with both his new album and the election, Q-Tip, in conjunction with J-Period, leaked a great freestyle online (over an "Eric B for President" instrumental) entitled "Q-Tip for President" in which he imagines himself in the position of Obama, whose speeches were sampled on the track. Of course Q-Tip also plugged his new album in the freestyle.
The annual hip-hop themed tour is in its fourth year and is put together by 2K Sports in their goal to blur the lines between music, sports and video game culture. Q-Tip was on last year's 2K8 Bounce Tour. On the current tour, the artist, best known for his membership in A Tribe Called Quest, will be supported by his live band and DJ Scratch (from EPMD) with The Cool Kids opening shows on all 20 dates across the country.
Tonight (Nov 7th) The Still High Tour featuring hip-hop's biggest stoner pair, Method Man and Redman, rolls through San Francisco with a show at the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center at 1300 Van Ness. More information here. The pair first forged their buddha bond in the 2001 movie How High, which they clearly both had fun starring in.
Rest in peace to Oakland native and Island / Def Jam executive Shakir Stewart, who committed suicide last weekend in his suburban Atlanta home, the result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The 34 year old became Jay Z's successor at Def Jam five months ago when he was named executive vice president after working at the company for several years. He initially began in his music career as a party promoter and had worked with many artists in the Atlanta area (where he attended college at Morehouse), including Too $hort. But he really made a name for himself after he later became an A&R rep. He signed Beyonce early on in her career! Stewart was instrumental in signing many acts during his Def Jam years including such hit makers as Young Jeezy and Rick Ross. In a statement released shortly after his suicide, Stewart's fiancée Michelle Rivers said, "Over the past several weeks, Shakir's behavior was inconsistent with the man we all know and love."
The brand new Music We Like books are now available at each Amoeba Music store. As you know, Music We Like is the comprehensive bi-annual Amoeba Music booklet that features hundreds of music and movie recommendations from the fine Amoeba staff, including "releases from the last 6 months up to this week and will without a doubt entertain you with a most enjoyable, stimulating and eclectic read." These books are always free. Pick one up next time you stop by the Berkeley, SF, or Hollywood Amoeba. And speaking of cool new things about Amoeba, check out the newly added Amoeba Music Mail Order page elsewhere on this website where you can mail order music and movies "from the Amoeba store straight to your door."
And finally, I leave you with the brand new Zion I video for their single "Juicy Juice" from the Oakland duo's forthcoming album The Take Over (cover art preview left) to be released on Gold Dust Media in early '09. This lead-off single matches Amp Live's distinctly contemporary Bay flavored track with emcee Zumbi's unique lyrical flow. And word has it that Zion I also have a new mix about to drop entitled The Search and The Seizure Mixtape.