Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 04:24:09
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)
2) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent)
3) Finale A Pipe Dream And A Promise (Interdependent Media)
4) Jadakiss The Last Kiss (Roc-A-Fella)
5) Keak da Sneak Thizz Iz Allndadoe,Vol. 2 (Thizz)
Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart. The Living Legends power-duo, The Grouch & Eligh, hold down the top slot with their new album Go G+E! -- the third and latest in an ongoing collaborative series that just hit Amoeba on Tuesday this week. Coincidentally the pair are also playing a free show at the Haight Street Amoeba on Monday at 6pm. They will also play a longer set later that night at Slim's on 11th Street in San Francisco. Both shows should be really good based on the new album alone, which sports some kick-ass tracks with lots of collaborators on board including Mr F.A.B., Slug of Atmosphere, and AmpLive of Zion I to name but a few. As accurately noted elsewhere on this website, the Legends' Grouch & Eligh have been at the forefront of the West Coast's independent rap movement for over a decade. The Legends' history can be traced back to Amoeba Music when the collective first started getting their lo-fi but heartfelt early recordings into the Berkeley Amoeba. Note that you can purchase the new Grouch & Eligh CD online for $10.98 at Amoeba by clicking here. You can also check out a performance from a past instore by Zion I and the Grouch right here.
As you probably already know from either/or attending the big Record Store Day this past Saturday at the three Amoebas or reading about it on the Amoeblog, the event was a huge success. "It was crazy...just off the hook," said Luis, who also said that he and everyone at the San Francisco store had a blast. One of the highlights, Luis noted, was the surprise turntable display by world renowned turntablist DJ QBert, who just happened to be crate digging in the store but was easily persuaded to get up on the ones-and-twos. Check out the full Amoeblog report of the Record Store Day at the SF Amoeba here.
Other new chart entries include Boston emcee (and one time Berkeley resident) Mr. Lif, whose latest album I Heard It Today -- not on Def Jux, but on the Traffic Entertainment imprint Bloodbot-- is, in true to Lif form (and as the title implies), a sharp political essay set to rhyme and tackling such straight from the headlines topics as the mortgage/housing crisis, the government's bailout of the banks, and pastor Jeremiah Wright -- Barack Obama's former minister/friend.
Other new releases on the top five at the SF Amoeba this week include the universally popular/guest-heavy new Jadakiss album The Last Kiss (Roc-A-Fella), the latest from the ever-prolific Bay rap artist Keak da Sneak Thizz Iz Allndadoe,Vol. 2 (Thizz), and Michigan emcee Finale's A Pipe Dream And A Promise which was released on the East Bay based Interdependent Media label. Hailing from Detroit, Finale's got some pretty good tracks here including the Oddisee produced title track.
After several weeks of hearing unofficial word of a pending tour and what artists might/might not be on said tour, veteran Bay Area political rapper Paris has finally officially announced the details of the Guerrilla Funk organized Hard Truth Soldiers Tour 2009, which kicks off one week from today, May 1st, in Eureka, CA and will include 45 dates. The anticipated tour is the sort of hip-hop lineup that would restore your faith in the genre if you had written it off. Along with Paris himself the performers include such other socially/politically aware acts as Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, Kam, Pete Rock, Planet Asia, T-K.A.S.H., The Conscious Daughters, Uno the Prophet, Jasiri X, NYOil, Sellassie, as well as additional special guest performers in select cities. Click here to read my interview with Paris.
The antithesis of some tricked out superficial bling-tinged rap concert series, the concept behind this tour, said Paris, "Is to provide a platform for artists to be seen and heard who have important voices that have been marginalized. All too often certain segments of hip-hop are focused on by the mainstream that don't accurately or adequately reflect us or our communities. This is a perfect way to counteract that, and to provide balance to an art form that has become increasingly corporatized and diluted for mass consumption." For more information, including exact dates, times & venues for the Hard Truth Soldiers concert series, click here.
It had initially been hoped that The Coup would also be on the Hard Truth Soldiers Tour 2009 lineup but unfortunately that is not the case. Most likely the reason is that Boots Riley had previous commitments with Tom Morello (famed guitarist with Rage Against The Machine) with whom the longtime Bay Area political rapper had teamed with to record the album Street Sweeper Social Club (due in Amoeba on June 16th), also the name of the rap/rock group he and Morello formed. That new album was produced by Tom Morello and features Boots Riley on vocals, Morello on guitar and bass, and Stanton Moore (Galactic) on drums.
Fans of these artists will be psyched to know that there will be a Street Sweeper Social Club tour that will also feature Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction. "Revolutionary party jams," is how Morello described Street Sweeper Social Club. Boots, the ever-socially aware and refreshingly outspoken voice of the people noted that, "This is a time when the working class is being fleeced left and right. More families will be homeless and more people will be jobless. They'll need something to listen to on their iPods while storming Wall Street."
The 90's themed tour will be the first tour by the original Jane's Addiction lineup in seventeen years, and will also be the first time Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction have shared a stage since the debut of the Lollapalooza festival back in 1991. The California dates for the tour are May 16 in Chula Vista at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, May 20 in Irvine at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and May 22 in Mountain View at the Shoreline Amphitheatre south of San Francisco. To hear samples of such Street Sweeper Social Club songs as "Fight! Smash! Win!," "Clap For The Killers," and "The Oath," visit the group's MySpace and for more on Boots Riley's views revisit his Amoeblog interview right here.