AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP SEVEN: 02:27:09
1) K'NAAN Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records)
2) Exile Radio (Plug Research)
3) Joe Budden Padded Room (Amalgam Digital)
4) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)
5) Various Artists Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware (Soul Jazz)
6) Mobb Deep Instrumentals (SONY)
7) Madlib Beat Konducta 5 & 6 (Stones Throw)
Thanks to Edwin at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for this week's chart of the top selling new hip-hop full length CDs. And this week, rather than the usual Top Five, we extended it to the Top Seven since there were just so many hot selling releases at the LA store this week. And in the number one slot is K'NAAN, the Somali artist that the LA Times pegged as "Artist to watch in 2009," with his sophomore release Troubadour. K'NAAN, who grew up in war-torn Mogadishu, doesn't glorify violence like so many American rappers. Instead he weaves a message of peace and positivity -- at times channeling the spirit of Bob Marley. Having son Damien Marley joining him as guest on the song "I Come Prepared" helps achieve this.
Among the many other notable guests on Troubadour is Chubb Rock (remember him?) who joins in on the song "ABC's," which cleverly portrays the ugliness of life during civil war. In that same vein, only deeper, the song "Somalia" addresses the larger political issues of his homeland, including the heavily publicized rash of recent offshore attacks on ships by Somalian pirates. Other guests include Mos Def, Chali 2na, and (surprise) Metallica's guitarist Kirk Hammett who joins K'NAAN on the track "If Rap Gets Jealous."
In the number two slot is in-demand producer Exile (of Blu & Exile fame) who follows up his own cameo-filled production album, Dirty Science and Blu & Exile's Below The Heavens with his new solo joint Radio. The UK Soul Jazz label, which can do no wrong whether they are reissuing classic hip-hop or compiling the best new electronica, deliver the goods with their new female emcee collection Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware which has such well worn tracks as Queen Latifah's "Ladies First," such lesser known ones as Lady B's "To The Beat," and such familiar in a way ones as Camille Yarborough's "Take Yo Praise" -- later reworked as "Praise You" and popularized by Fatboy Slim.
As previewed here a week ago, this past weekend in LA at Cal State was the ambitious second installment of the Timeless Composer/Arranger Series in which Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and his 40 piece orchestra paid tribute to J-Dilla. Well, according to the folks involved, it was a big success, with Common, Talib Kweli and De La Soul's Posdnous, Bilal, Dwele, Amp Fiddler, and Shafiq Husayn of Sa-Ra all teaming up with Atwood-Ferguson's 40 piece orchestra to celebrate the timeless work of James Dewitt Yancey (aka Dilla). Fittingly, the event was titled "Timeless: Suite for Ma Dukes" -- Dilla's mom, who also has lupus, the disease that killed her son. The event was a benefit for her mounting medical bills. For more info on the event and upcoming ones, including the third installment on March 15th, hit up www.mochilla.com.
At 6PM today in the Bay Area is the free Hip Hop Unity Jam at San Francisco State University. The goal of this event, say organizers, is "to capture and define a movement in music that is essential to the elevation of our consciousness. The theme of the event is “Liberation Through Music” and it aims to promote local, recognized, and independent artists from the underground scene...and will give the audience a sound that truly reveals the true essence of Good Music in Hip Hop. This show is for all hip-hop heads and true listeners of real music, as well as those who seek to discover earthly music again."
And who said real hip-hop was dead!? Artists confirmed include Nudekades Tenure, Weather Undersound, Cobe Obeah, Tafara Manning, Sellassie, Kev Choice, and Raaka from Dilated Peoples. All ages, free, 6-9PM. Venue Information: San Francisco State University 1600 Holloway Ave. Btwn. Font Blvd. & 19th Ave. San Francisco, CA 94132
If you are a regular MTV viewer you will already be well aware of the new weekly variety talk show Dogg After Dark featuring the tall LA rapper/renaissance man/weed promoter, who must have the easiest job in the world, just being himself: Snoop Dogg. On this coming week's show, which airs Tuesday at 9PM on MTV, he will be joined by Ice Cube when the two LA gangsta rappers turned celebrities will discuss basketball, among other things. Also joining Snoop on this all new episode (March 3rd) will be be comedian Mike Epps, b-baller Jalen Rose and crooner Robin Thicke. The episode will also feature special performances by LMFAO and Fall Out Boy. More info.