Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:17:09
1) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)
2) Jadakiss The Last Kiss (Roc-A-Fella)
3) Aceyalone Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones (Decon)
4) eLZhi Witness My Growth (Fat Beats)
5) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)
DOOM, the artist formerly known as MF DOOM, continues to sell well at each Amoeba Music store with his latest album Born Like This on Lex. Last week he was #1 at Amoeba Hollywood, two weeks ago #2 at Amoeba San Francisco, and this week the masked mic master is number one at the Berkeley store, and deservedly so. It's a great album that demands repeated listens! And number two at the Telegraph Ave store this week is the brand release from Jadakiss, The Last Kiss on Roc-a-Fella. If there ever was a cameo-laden, star-studded rap release, this is it. Dizzam, does it have a lot of guests! Jadakiss has eye-catching, big name stars to collaborate with on the 18 track CD -- he only has three tracks to himself! Guests include Lil Wayne, Nas, Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy, Styles P, Pharrell, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon, Ne-Yo, and Faith Evans, to name but some. Evans, the singer and widow of Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, appropriately appears on "Letter To B.I.G.," a truly touching tribute to the late, great Biggie Smalls that is also found on the recently released soundtrack to film B.I.G. biopic Notorious.
The Last Kiss, whose release date was repeatedly delayed, is not the Yonkers, New York artist's final/farewell album, as the title might imply. In fact, originally it was reportedly going to be called Kiss My Ass, but for whatever reason (most likely shrewd marketing advice from label owner Jay -Z), Jadakiss decided to change the album title to The Last Kiss. It is the third solo album from the artist, who initially came to fame as a member of The LOX (signed to Bad Boy Entertainment back in the 90s), followed by his solo debut Kiss tha Game Goodbye, and his second album The Kiss of Death. The new album's rich and varied sound comes courtesy of producers such as The Alchemist, The Neptunes, Neo da Matrix, The Inkredibles, Sean C & LV, Chophouze, Mr. Porter, Eric Hudson, and Needlz. Singles from the album include "By My Side," "Can't Stop Me," "Death Wish," and the just released "What If."
My favorite new release is Prefuse 73's brand new CD With Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian on WARP, a near-perfect album whose cover harks back to the bygone rock era group Yes' cover art by Roger Dean and whose vibe is somewhat similar to that 70's prog rock act -- not so much in exact sonic duplication, but more in the feel you get from it, especially in how it flows together as a singular etheral musical composition that takes you (if you allow it) to faraway surreal imaginary places. Trippy and psychedelic? Yeah, exactly! Even though about three quarters of the album's 29 tracks are really short songs, clocking in at about a minute apiece, it doesn't matter since this CD was clearly meant to be played as a whole. This ain't no singles collection. I can't recommend this release enough for fans of downtempo, multi-layered, mood-induced, introspective hip-hop.
Keelay and Zaire " I'm On Swerv" Live at Amoeba SF April 10th 2009
AMOEBA EVENTS: Keelay & Zaire, whose new album RIdin High is damn good -- a nice balance of various styles of hip-hop and featuring such kick-ass tracks as "I Used To RIde" (feat. Fortilive and Saafir) and "Trapped" (feat. Supastition and Slo Mo)-- played a fun free show at Amoeba Music San Francisco last Friday (April 10th). To see photos (including the one at left) of the show posted on the Amoeba site, click here. Meanwhile, above is a video clip of the live hip-hop group doing "I'm On Swerv" featuring Da Evangillest and Jern Eye and Ben Shweir on vocoder during the Haight Street in-store a week ago, courtesy of AlwaysHustle.com.
Upcoming Amoeba instore shows to mark in your calendar (always free and always all ages) include The Grouch & Eligh, April 28th at Amoeba San Francisco. P.O.S.
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 18th) is the annual Record Store Day around the country and it is a big deal here at Amoeba. At the Hollywood store the fun will include DJ sets from Wendy & Lisa at 1pm and DJ Babu will be getting on the ones-and-twos at 5pm. Meanwhile, at Amoeba San Francisco there will be DJ sets from Kylee of Loquat, Kelley Stoltz, John Vanderslice and Aesop Rock. And at Amoeba Berkeley Yoni Wolf of Why? will be spinning them decks. Other special guests are expected as well, so be there! And at each store tomorrow, exclusive Record Store Day vinyl will be available along with lots of freebie swag and Amoeba gift certificate giveaways every hour on the hour between noon - 6pm. To get in the contest to win a Pro-Ject III Turntable click here. For general info about the event, click here for Amoeba Record Store Day Info.
Tonight in SF: Lots of good ish jumping off in SF tonight, Friday April 17th, in San Francisco, including at new spot Project One in Potrero Hill where the Rock Steady Crew House Sessions will feature Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew not breaking/dancing, but behind the decks getting busy, playing music. Also spinning will be DJ Tommy Bones from Lion1music, NYC...Also tonight in SF at Yoshi's is Mos Def, backed by a live band with Robert Glasper (piano), Mark Kelly (bass), Chris "Daddy" Dave (drums), Casey Benjamin (sax), and Keyon Harrold (trumpet). More info here...And at Club Six tonight In The Dark Room is Redwine, Solevibe, and True Skool Present: Funkside featuring 40Love, Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist, and Toph One. 9pm-2am. $5 before 11PM. More info here.
Arriving in Amoeba next week is the new guest heavy album from San Francisco producer TD titled Face to Face on Hella Records and featuring an impressive list of artists including such established names as Snoop Dogg, the late Mac Dre, Andre Nickatina, Goapele, San Quinn, Zion I, Casual, Pep Love, DJ Qbert, Mike Marshall, JT the Bigga Figga, Bored Stiff, Z-Man, Big Mack, and Willie Hen; plus such newcomers as Otayo Dubb, Spank Pops, Rick Flare, Schwinn, Akil, Bailey, Big Rich, Rosco Feddi, Philthy Rich, PZ, and Jay Anthony.
According to TD, the 17 track album's title refelcts the longtime SF producer's efforts to unite the sometimes opposing strains of Bay Area hip-hop together in one package and present it to the world all together. "The thing that often divides hip-hop subgenres is the produ
Tomorrow, Saturday April 18th, at UC Berkeley is the Writing And Represtentin' Hip-Hop Culture Conference. Looks like an event well worth attending too (I suggest attending both this and hitting up Record Store Day at Amoeba Berkeley before/after). Keynote speakers include H. Samy Alim (UCLA, Anthropology and African-American Studies), Dawn Elissa-Fischer (SFSU, Africana Studies), Jorge Fabel Pabon (Senior VP/Rock Steady Crew, NYU Tisch School of Performing Arts) with panelists including Adam Mansbach (author of the books Angry Black White Boy and The End of the Jews), Halifu Osumare (University of California, Davis), and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (UMUC, Heidelberg, Germany). The topics to discussed will include Hip-Hop Identities and Representation and Challenging Methodologies. There will also be a lunchtime live hip-hop performance by d. sabela grimes (dance), female emcee JenRO, live art by Ariel Shepard, b-boying performance from Jivan Ivan (Breakvision), plus a turntablism set by female DJ duo Deeandroid and Celskiii. The all day event runs 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM and takes place in 128 Morrison Hall on the University of California campus. It's free with pre-registration via this email: email@example.com.
And finally, as you well know, the big Coachella Festival jumps off this weekend. Regular Amoeblog readers no doubt will have been following the wonderfully informative Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative previews here on the Amoeblog over the past few weeks on the seemingly endless array of acts scheduled for the jam-packed event. And this year has an even more diverse mix of artists than any previous years' lineup, ranging from Conor Oberst to My Bloody Valentine to Paul McCartney to Girl Talk.
On Sunday Themselves (Dose-One and Jel) will be one of the many acts playing Coachella and Sunday I will be posting an interview with Themselves' Dose, conducted recently when they played NYC. Meanwhile, you can also peep the Amoeba staff guide to CDs by acts playing Coachella here.