Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:20:08
1) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)
2) Jurassic 5 11th Anniversary Deluxe Reissue (Decon)
3) Jedi Mind Tricks A History Of Violence (Babygrande)
4) 88 Keys The Death of Adam (Decon)
5) Black Milk Tronic (Fat Beats Records)
Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for this week's Top Five Hip-Hop chart with the number one slot occupied by Q-Tip with his great new album The Renaissance (far superior to his last solo effort), which includes one track produced by the late J-Dilla. Click here to check out Porkchop's review of the A Tribe Called Quest member's recent San Francisco performance at Mezzanine as part of the Bounce Tour last week. In the number two slot is the Jurassic 5 CD & DVD retrospective package on Decon, 11th Anniversary Deluxe Re-Issue, which includes J5's original self-titled album in its entirety plus fifteen unreleased tracks, as well as a DVD of the documentary The Jurassic Period which was directed by Jason Goldwatch.
According to the producers, the documentary captures the LA group in a unique fashion: by "utilizing analog effects and heavy layering of images and sound beds, Goldwatch has created an experimental, music driven time piece, also accompanied by a thirty minute performance with Jurassic 5 live at Brixton Academy, as well as the "Concrete Schoolyard" music video." Check the video clip below of the J5's DJ Nu-Mark doing a turntable routine on the hotel bathroom sink.
Also courtesy of the Decon label on this week's Top Five is the new guest-heavy first solo release from 88-Keys, The Death of Adam, which includes guest spots from Kanye West, Redman, Phonte (Little Brother), J*Davey, and Kid Cudi. Despite the highly conceptual The Death of Adam's high profile guests and high quality smooth production values, I personally find the album to be way too contrived & commercial-radio-wannabe leaning for my liking. It just lacks soul and real feeling for my ears. A far better new hip-hop release from the usually faultless Decon label is the wonderful new release by Evidence (of Dilated Peoples fame), The Layover EP, which packs nothing but genuine raw hip-hop feeling into its ten tracks with guests including Defari, The Alchemist, Aloe Blacc, Phonte, Blu, and will i am. The latter three collaborate on the track "For Whom The Bell Tolls" which shout outs many of those who have passed in recent years including George Carlin and DJ Dusk.
Speaking of the legendary LA DJ Dusk, who passed on two years ago while still only in his early thirties, there is a new DVD celebrating DJ Dusk dropping in January. DJ Dusk's Root Down Soundclash is the title of this forthcoming three part DJ battle (recorded at LA club Root Down) DVD produced by Mochilla founders Coleman and B+, which features in a non-stop split screen, at times raw but passion-filled production featuring Madlib vs Cut Chemist (from Jan 2001), will i. am vs Thes One (from April 2002), and Oh No vs Exile (from December 2003), all overseen by DJ Dusk. Look for it in Amoeba Music on or after the January 13th, 2009 release date.
This week's number five entry on the Amoeba SF chart is the third and latest release from the prolific 25-year old Black Milk, the album Tronic on Fat Beats, which is also selling well (CD and vinyl versions) at the other two Amoeba stores. The super talented Detroit producer/emcee pretty much handles all duties on this new album which features only three guest verses throughout the entire album (Sean Price, Pharoahe Monch, & Royce Da 5'9") and displays much of the Motor City artist's live instrumentation including both vintage and modern synthesizers. Luis at the Haight Street Amoeba store, who gives this release two thumbs up, says that another new release he is really feeling these day is new contemporary art book & record set package from Jason Jägel.
Jägel is the artist whose work includes the cover art for Stones Throw's MF Doom's MM..Food? album. Titled Seventy-Three Funshine, the book is a large-format monograph featuring 200 plus images from Jägel’s long art creating career, dating all the way back to childhood sketches and family snapshots by the artist but mainly featuring paintings and works on paper from recent years. Stones Throw’s Madlib has three tracks on the companion 10-inch vinyl record that comes with this book, selling at Amoeba for $58.98 (cheaper than other places).
Always outspoken political emcee Immortal Technique, who played a San Francisco Amoeba Music instore in August in support of his latest album The 3rd World, returns to San Francisco for a benefit for Afghanistan's Children of War at the DNA Lounge tonight, Thursday the 20th, on a bill with Hasan Salaam, Da Circle, and Ras Ceylon with proceeds going to Omeid International's efforts to establish an orphanage and medical center in Afghanistan to care for and support the country's growing number of children of war. 8:30PM show, all ages, $22 at door.
On Saturday in SF at Club Six there are two good parties jumping off at the same spot, just in different rooms. In one part it is a broad mix that includes dubstep, dread bass breaks & D'n'B, ragga, reggae, dancehall, Bhangra, and various other global beats courtesy of the "ambassadors of dread bass," the Surya Dub party folks with a lineup that includes DJ Vanka, Taal Mala, Bersas Discos, Maneesh the Twister, Jimmy Love, and Kid Kameleon. Club Six 9PM, 21+, $10. Also happening on Saturday at the same Sixth Street, downtown San Francisco club, but in The Dark Room, is a separate (Bay Area hip-hop flavored) party titled Knock'Em Out The Box with Foreign Legion's Prozack Turner & Marc Stretch, Celsius 7, DJ Denizen of The Psychokintecs, and the hardworking Oakland duo V.E.R.A. Clique. (V.E.R.A. stands for the Very Essence of Real Artist), all guaranteed to deliver quality hip-hop. 9PM-2AM. $10. 21+
Longtime SF hip-hop crew Bored Stiff will be dropping their new album The Sad Truth next week (Nov 25th) in Amoeba and across the country. The Sad Truth features a varied lineup of cameos including The Grouch of Living Legends fame, The Jacka of the Mob Figaz, Mike Marshall, Sick YG, Cait La Dee, and Genie. And on the night after the new album drops they will be throwing a record release party at El Ricon with a performance from the group as well as Sco Journers, Sandavol, and Gas Mask Colony, plus legendary longtime SF DJ Pause on the ones and twos. El Ricon is located at corner of 16th & Harrison. 9PM. 18+ Free admission.
And finally, props are in order for both Bay Area Amoeba Music stores, Berkeley and San Francisco, who each got much love from the Bay Guardian in the Best of the Bay Pocket Guide that accompanied the independent weekly's very recent Goldies Awards issue celebrating Bay Area talent. Amoeba got props under the Media Watch section in the "Best Place To Buy Vinyl and CDs." Yes indeedy!