Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 03:06:09
1) K'NAAN Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records)
2) Zion I The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media)
3) Madlib Beat Konducta 5 & 6 (Stones Throw)
4) RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection (TVT)
5) Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique (reissue) (Capitol)
Thanks to Inti at the Berkeley Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart which finds reigning Somalia hip-hop music star K'NAAN in the top slot with his new album Troubadour. He was also number one at the Hollywood Amoeba last week. Meanwhile, Oakland duo ZIon I, who were number one at Amoeba SF two weeks ago, are in the number two slot with their highly recommended new album The TakeOver, which is full of potential hit singles. Currently Zion I, made up of producer AmpLive and emcee Zumbia, are on a West Coast tour. For details click here.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Beastie Boys' second album, 1989's Paul's Boutique, was recently reissued and has been selling well at all Amoeba stores since its late January reissue date. At the Berkeley store it is this week's number five top seller.
A lot has changed in the 20 years since the album's initial release from the New York group. Initially considered a commercial failure by their record label, who expected Licensed To Ill-scale sales and pop radio acceptance, the album catapulted the Beasties from being remembered as mere novelty rap act to serious hip-hoppers in the music history books. Included in countless magazines and critics' "Best Of" album lists, the 20th anniversary reissue of Paul's Boutique package features 24-bit remaster audio and a commentary track. If you don't already own this album, get it.
DJ Quest, the longtime San Francisco scratch DJ (Bullet Proof Space Travelers/Live Human/Mission Cartel) has rejoined fellow longtime SF DJ and partner in the turntable duo Mission Cartel DJ 2 Fresh, with whom he has released battle/break albums in the past, to record yet another must-get for battle and scratch DJs.
Simply but descriptively titled Scratch Breaks, the new turntablist record, which is the first in a new series of scratch tool records, is accurately decribed by Quest as coming complete with, "skipless sounds and essential classic scratch effects never before used on break records." Additionally, one side of the new record has some tight new scratch beats geared for DJs. Look for the record at Amoeba or find out more about it online at Mission Cartel's MySpace.
Darryl McDaniels (aka DMC of Run DMC fame) will be doing a new reality TV show in which rap contestants will battle it out with other aspiring emcees in the typical reality TV format. To be titled The Kings of Rap, the show's contestants will battle it out with one another with the understanding that no offensive lyrics are used and that an emphasis on positivity will be aimed for. The winner gets a record deal, not to mention lots of free airtime on this future show.
Tonight, Friday March 6th, is the 3rd Annual Amoeba Art Show in conjunction with the East Bay Express and OFFSpace in Emeryville. At the event there will be non-stop live art, film, musical performances, and theatrical art forms. As promised by the event organizers, there will be "a multitude of activity with a re-creation of Andy Warhol's Factory, including live production of art in the style and process practiced by Warhol."
Plus there will two Velvet Underground tribute bands (one featuring Amoeba Marc) reinterpreting various VU classics. The event is free, but if you go please bring a can of (you guessed it -- Warhol themed) Campbell's soup for the Alameda County Food Bank. By so doing not only will you be helping out a needy cause but you'll also get yourself entered to win a ton of cool prizes. The event starts at 6PM and goes til 11PM and takes place at 1343 Powell St. in Emeryville. Click here for details and updates.
Ben Stokes, who was profiled here in the Amoeblog this week, will be heading out to Austin TX to SxSW (South by South West Music & Media festival March 13 to 22, featuring 1800 live music acts) to do visuals for DJ Shadow. Stokes tells the Amoeblog that he recently got contacted by Andy Butler of Hercules and Love Affair to join the ever-popular band to do tour films for their upcoming Coachella (April 17 - 19) performance in Indio, CA. "Here's the funny thing," said Stokes who is a member of Meat Beat Manifesto, "It's a family connection now. He [Butler] was looking for someone to master and mix his record and he contacted Mark Pistel from Consolidated who is also in Meat Beat Manifesto. So he was talking to Mark and asking him about tour visuals and Mark said, 'Well you know you should talk to Ben,' so I think I am going to be doing visuals for those guys and now Mark is in the band and going on tour with them. So its' all in the family. Andy Butler is a huge fan of Meat Beat and Consolidated and DHS as it turns out. So there was a nice little kind of fluid connection there. So I am excited about Mark's being in the band as well as possibly doing some tour visuals."
Coming up on Monday in the Amoeba's Monday Movies @ Space15Twenty -- the ongoing free weekly film series featuring music related movies curated by the Amoeba Music staff -- will be a screening of This Is The Life, the Ava DuVernay documentary about LA’s famed '90s hip-hop venue/meeting place the Good Life cafe, which had a very powerful and lasting effect on the SoCal hip-hop scene.
The film includes classic old video footage from the South Central spot plus interviews with members of Freestyle Fellowship, Project Blowed, Busdriver, Cut Chemist, Chali 2na, 2Mex, Pigeon John and others. On Monday (March 9th) here on the Amoeblog there will be an interview with Ava DuVernay and others featured in the film. Meantime, check out a preview of the documentary immediately below.
P.O.S., who looks set to end 2009 a much bigger star/recognizable figure than at the start of the year, has been winning lots of new fans on his current tour and with his latest Rhymesayers release/third album Never Better. The artist, whose real name is Stef (P.O.S. = Pissed Off Stef), has just released the second video, "Optimist," from the new album -- peep below.
"I made the beat to this song after my friend Alegra taught me how to play a game she learned when she was young. Based off of taking a few upside down cups and tapping on them and swooshing them around. The main rhythm of the beat was made by setting up some mics and playing the game," said Stef of the song, paraphrasing some of the song's lyrics.
And like most of the new album, this song's lyrics were also written while driving round Minneapolis listening to the beat in his car.
And finally, I leave you with a blast from the past -- the video of the timeless Volume 10 single "Pistol Grip Pump," a classic 90's hip-hop hit that was later covered (and done well too) by Rage Against The Machine.