Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:15:08
1) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)
2) Jedi Mind Tricks A History Of Violence (Babygrande)
3) T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
4) 88 Keys Death of Adam (Decon)
5) Little Brother Seperate But Equal (Traffic)
Special thanks to Scott at Amoeba Music Hollywood, where the Look Daggers (Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta & 2Mex of Visionaries and SonGodSuns) did a great free in-store performance on Thursday evening, for this week's Top Five Hip-Hop Albums. This chart, based on sales for the past week, includes some great new albums such as hip-hop trio Jedi Mind Tricks' sixth and latest full-length A History of Violence, and Little Brother's Separate But Equal (Drama Free Version) which should not be confused with the similar (including title) release by the group originally featured by DJ Drama on a hosted mixtape. The official DJ Drama-free version contains many extra previously unreleased tracks and bonus material.
And in the top slot on this week's Top Five is the great new release from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest fame called The Renaissance. Q-Tip is currently riding high on rave reviews for both this album and his current headlining spot on the Bounce Tour. The video game tour, sponsored by 2K Sports, rolled through San Francisco two nights ago in a concert at the Mezzanine. Backing Q-Tip onstage for this show (and all of the tour) was both a full live band and a special DJ, DJ Scratch of EPMD fame. Music fanatic, Amoeba Music fan and self-described "jaded raver" Porkchop attended the SF show and was kind enough to write a review for the Amoeblog.
I got there during The Cool Kids' first song and they were throwin' it down. The SF crowd was loving it with tons of peeps screamin after "who's born in the 1980s" and who knew "all the words." Their DJ had mad skills and, to the delight of everyone in the house, The Cool Kids played each and every song off their Bake Sale album plus a couple new ones -- sumtin bout a Delivery Boy-- "thats not what I ordered"-- was great. What I liked was that they are new and young and genuine and I had thought because their album is short and their style is so simple that they would keep it short and run out of material, but they did a full show-- they kept it rollin and played with the crowd so all was flowin' there.
Porkchop's Q-Tip/Cool Kids Bounce Tour @ Mezzanine SF Review:
Porkchop's Q-Tip/Cool Kids Bounce Tour @ Mezzanine SF Review:
And then Q-Tip gets on and again, this jaded raver is thinking, "'eh been there done that--it'll be great to see Q-Tip, get my nostalgia fix and then I'm outty." But then he rocked it. I love Q-Tip. Mad props there. He had his full band and DJ Scratch cut that shit up midway through the set and his keyboard/sax player got the most beautiful horse teeth on the planet. Q-Tip brought it back with tons of old Tribe mixed in with his own new tracks which are good-- just cant hit it like the old shit-- "Bonita Applebaum" etc. And then (bonus) Phife Dawg gets up and does "Check the Rhime" with him after a chick from the audience ("Serena from East Oakland") does the whole shit from the dance floor like she should've been on the original--- super bad assssss. Anyways, I'm just stoked to be sweating my ass off moving from side to side and Q-Tip has to go and invite his "old friend" from Oakland to the stage: Too Short gets up reluctantly and after a bro-down does about ten or fifteen seconds of dirty rhymes and calls it a night -- still awesome, as it was all more than I expected, especially since I won tix.i I'm on a budget and would not have paid the 30 bucks. Oh yeah-- in the middle Q-Tip got on the keys and his sax player did a solo. The whole band played their "what we're doing in the studio now-a dayz thang" and it was lovely yet booooorrrrrring--very KOIT FM-ish, soft and warm.
Special thanks to Porkchop for that review of the Q-Tip show. Speaking of Q-Tip and his new release, over at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store in the "new releases" displays (immediately to your right after entering the Telegraph Ave. store) you will find in the new hip-hop CD's the new releases from Q-Tip, 88 Keys, Illa J (J-Dilla's brother), Jedi Mind Tricks, Paris (their top seller this week), and DJ Babu.
Meanwhile in the nearby new hip-hop vinyl releases display at the East Bay Amoeba this week you will find new albums (many double vinyl sets) from People Under The Stairs (Fun DMC), Black Milk (Tronic), Illa J (12" single), and Madlib the Beat Konducta (WLIB: King of the Wigflip -- the album, as well as a 7" 45RPM single with "Go" feat. Guilty Simpson on the A side).
The East Bay is blessed with several hip-hop legends in town this weekend. Last night KRS-One was scheduled to headline a show in Berkeley at the Shattuck Down Low titled the Build and They Will Come concert series, Block #1, with a lineup that also included Mistah F.A.B. and DJ True-Justice. And tonight he is to play nearby in Berkeley at Blakes on Telegraph (close to Amoeba) along with Mavrik and Bo-Rat. Also today (Saturday Nov 15th) Chuck D is scheduled at two Oakland events: this afternoon 2-5PM at East Side Arts Alliance in association with Youth Speaks Chuck D will host a discussion in which "women and their allies are invited to share stories and strategies for surviving California's prison industrial complex." After the discussion another hip-hop legend, MC Lyte, as well as Crew Grrl Order (aka GGO -- featuring emcees Lady Payn, Cleo Jones, and Retina), will perform. And then tonight at the Uptown, Chuck D will host a second event with a lineup that includes Suga T (of The Click fame), Spice 1, and (again) the female trio CGO will perform. Tonight's show at the Uptown on Telegraph, downtown Oakland, is a 9PM show with $20 at the door. East Side Arts Alliance is located at 2277 International Blvd., Oakland and the Youth Speaks event, which runs this afternoon from 2PM til 5PM, is free and open to the public.
Finally, I leave you with the brand new video from Raashan Ahmad for his song "Peace" (produced by Stro of the Procussions) featured on the Crown City Rockers member's great new solo album The Push on OM Records. According to the SF label, the video's vintage vibe "runs smoothly together with Raashan Ahmad's thoughtful lyrics and classic beats. With the world in a current state of panic, Raashan is preaching peace on an individual and a global level. Combining the creative forces of director Eric A. Leppo and the passion behind Raashan's lyrics leads to the creation of this dope video. When describing the collaboration process Leppo has said, 'We realized we were both independently trying to get some similar messages across so it made a lot sense to combine forces through this project. To do justice to the topic of peace in our war-filled times, I could see from the start this would need to be a dense four minutes of animation visually and ideologically. After listening to the song and talking with Raashan about it, I came to see the song as an appeal for peace to the world, and at the same time as also a huge thought provoker, doing everything from prodding us to think about why someone might say "Peace!" instead of "bye," to making us consider the general concepts of peace and conflict in and among different countries, classes, religions, time periods, races, species and beliefs." There is no doubt that the song and video do the message of 'Peace' justice!"