Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 03:26:09
1) Brother Ali The Truth Is Here (Rhymesayers)
2) Zion I The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media)
3) Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique (Capitol/Reissue)
4) V/A Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers! (Soul Jazz)
5) K'NAAN Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records)
Thanks to Tunde at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's hip-hop top five chart. All of the same five titles are likewise selling very well at all the Amoeba stores. On the list is Bay Area duo Zion I's critically acclaimed sixth release The TakeOver; the wonderful Soul Jazz female rap retrospective Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers!; the Rhymesayers collective's Brother Ali's tight new CD/DVD set The Truth Is Here; Somalian artist K'NAAN, who plays at Winter Music Conference this weekend (details below); and the reissue of the Beastie Boys' landmark hip-hop album Paul's Boutique.
Recently re-released to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the reissue of the Beatie Boys' acclaimed Paul's Boutique by Capitol Records comes in both CD and vinyl versions. The LP reissue version is on 180 gram vinyl, which comes in a two-sided, four-panel gatefold sleeve. It also includes a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary. The album, which was produced by the Dust Brothers and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn, may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill, but it was a far greater quality recording and one that truly stands the test of time as proven by such tracks as "High Plains Drifter," "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun," "Car Thief," "Shadrach," and "Get On The Mic."
Meanwhile, the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in a nod to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punkers about to morph into fulltime hip-hoppers. That early collective living/recording space address in the Lower East Side of Manhattan was what Mike D once described in an interview as "a floor in this Chinese Sweatshop building on Chrystie Street."
That residence wasn't far from where, several years later, they would shoot the photo for the cover art of Paul's Boutique. Although there is a sign that reads "Paul's Boutique" temporarily hanging to the left side of the store, it was staged-- specifically made & mounted for the album photo shoot. If you look at the album cover (at the top of the page) it can clearly be seen that the store was actually named Lee's Sportswear.
Located on 99 Rivington St. on the corner of Ludlow, Lee's Sportswear store is long gone, as are many of the businesses and residents who dwelled there back in 1989 when Paul's Boutique was originally released. Over the past several years that Lower East Side area of lower Manhattan has become the epicenter of NYC gentrification and as such, it has become the subject of debate for many who scorn all the expensive boutiques, bars and costly condos that have displaced longtime residents and businesses. A few days ago, while in New York, I trekked over to the site of the Paul's Boutique cover to snap some pictures of this hip-hop historic spot. Reportedly, up until two years ago, the building contained an eatery inside named Paul's Boutique in honor of the album. But since then It was changed to become an eatery renamed Three Monkeys, as in the picture I took above.
With the big South By Southwest music conference just finished last week in Austin TX, it is on to the Winter Music Conference (WMC) this week in Miami, FL which started on Tuesday and runs through Saturday (28th). Traditionally DJ oriented, dance and electronic music themed, the annual Miami music conference has expanded over the years to include more and more other types of music such as hip-hop of all stripes.
This year's numerous performances include a cool series of shows hosted by Giant Step. There will be a three night run at The Florida Room in the Delano starting tonight (March 26th) with Wale, Pete Rock, and DJ Jus Ske, and on Saturday (March 28th) a promising DJ set from Questlove AKA ?uestlove (BKA as the percussionist with The Roots) plus on the mic MC Yameen. 10PM to 4AM each night.
In another part of the same location (Delano's/A Morgan Hotel), Giant Step are throwing two poolside music parties, something they've been doing for years: tomorrow (Friday, March 27th) will be DJ sets from Turntables On The Hudson, Claas Jazzanova and Vikter Duplaix, and on Saturday there will be exclusive WMC performances from both K'NAAN and Anjulie. 6PM - 11PM each night. For each event RSVP here. And hit up here for general WMC info.
Never one, it seems, to pass up an opportunity to expand his fan-base and fatten his wallet, the ever-resourceful Snoop Dogg's latest power move is to jump on the 8 Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire bandwagon by teaming up Tanvi Shah (Oscar winner for Best Original Song, "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire) to record the song "Snoop Dogg Millionaire" with assistance from several others.
The song, which was leaked by the artist on the Internet, is from his forthcoming album Malice In Wonderland, slated for a Fall release. Featuring the Hustle Boyz on the chorus, it was produced by LA's Wild Animals (John Legend, Kurupt, Murs) and the UK based Chase & Status, who recently received the Best Album Award at the 2009 Drum and Bass Awards in Birmingham, England.
Tonight (March 26th) and every last Thursday of the month at the Oasis in Oakland is LAST Thursdaze The Oakland Poetry Slam & Open-Mic with tonight's event being an extra special one, the last opportunity to qualify for Oakland's '09 Slam Team. The finals will be the April 30th.
And with this being Women's History Month, tonight's event will feature two slam female favorites: longtime local competitive poet Lauren Wheeler, who's been competing in the National Poetry Slam since 1998, and talented young newcomer Hadeel, who won first place at both the prelims and finals at the recent Oakland Poetry Youth Slam competition. In addition to poetry there will also be an open mic for singers, emcees, and stand-up comedians, etc., followed by dancing to the selectors DJ Agana and DJ Silmatic.
The event is hosted by Nazelah & Dahled with beats throughout the night by DJ Mr. G. The Oasis is located at 135 12th St. near Madison in Oakland, CA. $10 Click here for more info.
Conscious Daughters, who will be featured here in the Amoeblog in the coming days, informed me that they will be part of an exciting upcoming tour with Paris, Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique, The Coup, Zion I, Planet Asia, and more starting in May.
And finally, I leave you with an invigorating live concert performance courtesy of SupWidIt TV by the Bay's finest -- San Quinn, Big Rich, and Traxamillion doing "SF Anthem."
SF Anthem Performance - San Quinn, Big Rich & Traxamillion by SUPWIDIT TV