AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE: 03:20:09
1) Eligh and Jo Wilkinson On Sacred Ground: Mother And Son (Legendary Music)
2) Scarab + Very present The Classic EP (Legendary Music)
3) Brother Ali The Truth Is Here (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
4) N.A.S.A. The Spirit Of Apollo (Anti)
5) T.I. Paper Trail (Atlantic)
Special thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart of the store's best selling new hip-hop albums. In the number one, with a bullet, slot is the new Legendary Music release from Eligh and Jo Wilkinson, On Sacred Ground: Mother And Son, whose impressive guest list includes Mark Bell, The Grouch, Pigeon John, Jiro Yamaguchi, Paul Dateh, Robert Miranda, Shanti Foster, and Slug of Atmosphere. Album highlights include "By And By" (feat. The Grouch & Paul Dateh), and "Honor Me" (feat. Pigeon John). Number two on the chart is a related release featuring Scarab (also of Living Legends fame) and Very of Us Pros, the duo known as Afro Classics, with the Classic EP. The EP includes songs such as "Boom It," "The Follow Through," and "Live From Los Angeles Pt 1."
Other entries include the CD/DVD set from Rhymesayers' Brother Ali's The Truth Is Here, which includes nine previously unreleased and new tracks. Also back on charts is T.I.'s September 2008 release Paper Trail on Atlantic, whose return could have something to do with the recent publicity he has received surrounding the fact that he will be going to jail within the week, and of course the significance of this album, which the artist wrote (on paper --hence the album title) as he awaited trial for federal weapons and possession charges.
Also charting this week is the guest-heavy N.A.S.A. project The Spirit of Apollo on Anti. The forty odd guests on this album include the king of Bay rap E40. The ever-active and prolific E Feezy also made a recent cameo appearance on Fist Of God, the new album from Canadian dance-punk duo MSTRKRFT.
It may be a long way off and far away (unless you live in the Philadelphia area), but tickets go on sale today for the exciting sounding 2nd Annual Roots Picnic, which happens on Saturday, June 6th at The Festival Pier, Penns Landing, in Philly. The amazing lineup includes sets from The Roots, TV on the Radio, The Black Keys, Santigold, Kid Cudi, and Asher Roth. Additionally, Public Enemy will have a special performance of their classic 1988 Def Jam album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back with back up by Antibalas and The Roots. Wow! Click here for more on The Roots Picnic.
Students at the Bay Area, CA and Norfolk, VA based Hip-Hop Chess Federation's "HHCF LIfe Strategies" pilot program recently sent a chess set and a challenge to White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel and "Team Obama" to play chess. So far, no word back from Washington DC but the avid young chess playing hip-hop fans are hopeful.
Ryan Academy High School, VA and John O’Connell School, CA are the only schools in the Hip-Hop Chess Federation’s new pilot program using chess in the classroom as a tool to "teach unity, non-violence, strategy, confidence and every subject from English to American government," according to the organization. They thought it fitting to invite the White House to play a game or two as a way to help raise awaremess and also to go about raising some much needed funds for the program.
According to Adisa Banjoko, CEO of HHCF in the Bay Area, the hip-hop inspired chess organization *runs scholarship tournaments [to] help students who are not normally perceived as achievers acquire scholarships to attend community college or to seed student loans for those accepted to college but unable to attain scholarships any other way." Click here for more on the HHCF Obama challenge.
South By South West (SxSW), which has been going strong all week in Austin, TX, is at its peak today and tomorrow. One of the way too many shows (of an estimated 1800 during the week) to mention today is at Peckerheads (402 E. 6th Street, Austin) with Tanya Morga, Mickey Factz, Blu & Exile, Curren$y, Charles Hamilton, Buff1, Blue Scholars, Brother Ali, Black Spade, and Nato Caliph & Rockwell Knuckles. Note the early start time of 4:30PM.
Tomorrow's shows (Saturday, March 21) include the Okayplayer / Frank 151 showcase @ the Speak Easy (412 Congress Ave # D) with 88keys, Keelay & Zaire, Jern Eye, Fortilive, UNI, LMFAO, Blu & Exile, UGOD, RES, & B.O.B. It will be another early show that kicks off at 1:00 PM and runs til 8:00 PM.
Emcee Xzibit started his hip-hop career as a member of the Likwit Crew, but in recent times he has been equally known as an actor and TV personality, including hosting MTV's Pimp My Ride. It has been announced he will be starring in the new movie American Violet, which will arrive in theaters in mid April. The film is about a woman convicted of drug trafficking who fights back against the system. Xzibit plays the character Darrell Hughes alongside a cast that includes Alfre Woodard and Nicole Beharie.
Meanwhil Xzibit, who reportedly is an avid Twitter user under the tag mrxtothaz, has just announced a unique new contest whereby he is giving away $10G plus more via Twitter to the lucky 500,000th person that follows @mrxtothaz. To get in on the action go here. And for more information on the artist visit the official Xzibit website.
Xzibit will be one of the many guests on the exciting sounding forthcoming DJ Muggs-led Soul Assassins album titled Intermission. Slated for a June release date on Gold Dust Media, the album features a richly diverse number of guests, including the RZA, La Coka Nostra, Prodigy, M1 (Dead Prez) and Alchemest, Bun-, B-Real, Planet Asia, Evidence, Self Scientific, Sick Jacken & Necro, Fashawn, PCP, Cynic, and Young De. The album will also usher in the return of Muggs' dark, down tempo project Dust.
Diamond D, the longtime Bronx, NY producer (and sometime emcee) and founding member of the legendary hip-hop crew Diggin' In The Crates (aka D.I.T.C.) that included Big L, Fat Joe, Showbiz & A.G. to name but a famous few, released his fifth solo album a few months ago, The Huge Hefner Chronicles on Babygrande. The release, his first since 2003, includes the song "Bad/Good," for which he has just completed a cool video this week.
The brand new music video, which is free of the stereotypical modern day hip-hop video content: bling, cars, & half-clad girls, is a refreshing throw back to the old school hip-hop videos from the era in which he released the video for his 1992 single "Best Kept Secret" off his still classic album from the same year Stunts Blunts & Hip-Hop. Both the 1992 and 2009 videos are below. In addition to his own five releases, Diamond has simultaneously remained busy as a producer for a host of other artists including The Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch and numerous others.