Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:15:08
1) Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella Records)
2) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)
3) E40 The Ball Street Journal (Sic Wid It/Warner)
4) Akon Freedom (Konvict/Universal/Motown)
5) Ludacris Theater of the Mind (Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam)
The top five selling hip-hop albums in this week's chart from the Berkeley Amoeba Music store include artists that are similarly popular at the San Francisco and Hollywood Amoeba stores, as well as on other charts. For example, the number one, Kanye West's Auto-Tune heavy 808's & Heartbreak, also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Pop albums chart on its first week of release. Q-Tip's critically acclaimed triumphant return with The Renaissance is also selling well across the country. The new album, which with the exception of one song produced by the late great J-Dilla was all self produced by Q-Tip, has been selling consistently since it was released last month. Meanwhile Akon's new album Freedom, which originally was going to be titled Acquitted, debuted at number 7 on the Billboard charts. It is number 4 at Amoeba Berkeley, where the other two entries are Ludacris and E40. Check out the brand new Earl "E40" Stevens video below for The Ball Street Journal autobiographical track "Earl."
Need a holiday gIft idea? Here's the perfect (and easy) one: an Amoeba Music Gift Certificate for that special someone to pick out their own gift from the store with the most music to chose from. And best of all, these Amoeba gift certificates can be purchased online. Note that online orders must be made by Wednesday this week (12/17) to ensure delivery by December 25th.
Additionally, you can pick up the gift certificates at all three Amoeba Music stores or, if you want, make the purchase by phone. Just call 510.549.1125 and place your order for an Amoeba gift certificate to be sent either to you or to the recipient. They come in any denomination.
Also the Amoeba Holiday Gift Guides are in the house and online here. Amoeba buyers have hand-picked an amazing selection of music and movie titles for everyone on your shopping list! From the most popular to the more eclectic, you can’t go wrong with the recommendations in our Hollywood and Bay Area Gift Guides. Check out the special gift packages we’ve assembled in the Hollywood Guide as well as the "click to buy" titles in the Hollywood online guide.
In addition to shopping at Amoeba for gifts here's another fun gift idea, especially for the drummer loving person on your list: It is the electronic drum-kit T-shirt manufactured by ThinkGeek which sells for about $30. This one even tops the previously released LED shirt (whereby the music or sounds around the T-shirt wearer would respond in levels on the LED on shirt).
This new shirt design actually plays. You tap the drums on the shirt and the drums play through the embedded speaker (powered by four AAA batteries - not included) which has a pretty decent range in (adjustable) volume. Below is a video demo of the Electronic Drum Kit Shirt which is avail to buy here.
Universal Mind Control is Chicago emcee/actor Common's eighth and latest album and it arrived in Amoeba and other stores this week after several delays. It was oiginally scheduled to be released six months ago under a different title (Invincible Summer) but then, due to several factors, including the fact it was no longer summer and that Common (who is even busier acting than doing music these days) was filming 24/7, its release date got delayed a few times.
Universal Mind Control is the follow up to last year's Common album Finding Forever. That 2007 album, which went Gold, features one of my favorite Common songs of all time, "The Game" featuring DJ Premier. Meanwhile the diverse sounds on the new Universal Mind Control range from the Afrika Bambaataa influenced title track, to the "California Girls" styled "Make My Day," and "Everywhere" which samples Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield."
Los Angeles' DJ Ice is the force behind the brand new Miracle Mile various artists hip-hop project, which includes artists from his own Wilshire District hood (hence the title Wilshire District Presents: Miracle Mile Volume One), as well as from the home of hip-hop, the Boogie Down Bronx. The mostly SoCal Wilshire District project's artists include Medusa, Ariano & LMNO, Akil The MC, John Robinson Skills District, the Conference Room (Kool Keith, Dennis Deft & Tytus Penn), Aloe Blacc, Evidence (as producer), Blame One featuring Johaz, Emcee Reach, Wildchild, Lord Ron & Derek Strong, Deep Thinkers, Cadalack Ron, and Brothaz Bent. Meanwhile, representing the birthplace of hip-hop is one of the pioneers of the genre, The Chief Rocker Busy Bee, who ties the whole release together by appearing five times throughout the nineteen track album on a few interludes as well as on the intro & outro.
And finally, I leave you with a really great informative interview with NY's Finest, Pete Rock, recorded at Amoeba Music Hollywood back in March of this year.