Amoeba Music San Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:01:09
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)
2) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)
3) Aesher Roth Asleep in the Bread Aisle (SRC/Universal)
4) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)
5) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent)
The Grouch & Eligh, who were number one at the San Francisco store last week, are also holding down the number one slot at Hollywood Amoeba this week with Say G&E!, the sometime hip-hop duo's third collaboration in a series on Legendary Music. And this past Monday (April 27th) they put on a great free in-store show at the San Francisco Amoeba. "It was awesome!," reported Amoeba's Luis from the Haight Street store. "Scarab and Very, aka Afroclassics (who recently released The Classic EP on Legendary Music), got it going when they went on first and performed for about half an hour. Then DJ Fresh (the DJ for the whole show) got busy. And then the Grouch and Eligh came on and wrecked it."
The Living Legends duo, Luis reported, did songs spanning their long respective solo and joint careers, much to the delight of the lucky in-store attendees. Songs off the new album they performed include the title track, "Say G&E!" Also doing well at each three Amoeba stores are the latest from both (MF)DOOM (Born Like This on Lex Records) and the politically charged Boston emcee Mr. Lif (I Heard It Today on Bloodbot through Traffic Entertainment).
In second place this week on the Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five chart is the top selling album across the nation this week, Rick Ross' anticipated Deeper Than Rap album released on his own label Maybach through Poe Boy/Def Jam which, thanks to a lot of press over his very bitter and very public feud with arch-nemisis 50 Cent (who, among other things, publicly humiliated former prison guard Ross by labeling him Officer Ricky), has led to the CD selling 158,000 units in its first week and going straight to number one.
Although some argue that Deeper Than Rap sold considerably less than Rick Ross' last album a year ago, Trilla, which sold 198,000 in its first week of release as a result of fallout from the 50 feud. The general consensus is that 50 won, even if he did sink to new lows by releasing a sex tape allegedly of Rick Ross' girlfriend with another man. Boy, rap sure has changed a lot, and not for the better. Wouldn't it be nice to just get back to the relatively simple but creative and artistically satisfying days of battle raps?
Also new on the chart, as well as new to many ears for now anyway, is Asher Roth and his clever and catchy as hell debut Asleep in the Bread Aisle on Steve Rifkind's SRC label. If you are not aware of the new to the game 23 year old, Morrisville, PA emcee, then bring yourself up to speed by checking out his popular frat-boy party anthem song/video "I Love College" (over 7 million YouTube hits since it debuted two months ago) with lines like "time isn't wasted when you're getting wasted."
Of course, haters and doubters are already voicing their ire at this "privileged white rapper" who got signed relatively quickly in his career without "paying his dues" and who is comfortable in both his skin and his middle class lifestyle ("that ain't hip-hop" wrote one irate blogger). Regardless, Asher Roth makes decent music that appeals to certain demographic, has some well- thought out lyrics, plus some impressive guests on his album, including Cee-Lo and Busta Rhymes.
This just in: That exciting sounding Paris/Guerrilla Funk orchestrated Hard Truth Soldiers Tour that was announced here a week ago and supposed to begin today in NorCal has had the plug temporarily pulled due to lack of corporate sponsorship. The 45- city tour featuring Paris, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, Kam, Pete Rock, Planet Asia, The Conscious Daughters and others was postponed at the last minute by Paris.
Currently in talks with Boost Mobile, a division of Sprint Corporation, to try to get full tour sponsorship, Paris made the last minute announcement yesterday about the tour, which was to begin tonight in Eureka, CA. "Corporate sponsorship will provide us the means to more comfortably take on this tour in this economic climate," said Paris in the postponement announcement. Check back here or on this website for the revised launch tour dates.
Tonight at 111 Minna in San Francisco there is a pretty cool sounding show titled Jam On It! jumping off. The show will feature (for once) a decent representation of Bay Area female talent. Live performances are scheduled from keyboardist/vocalist Kat101 from Crown City Rockers, Lady Fingaz on MPC and turntables, and female turntablist duo Deeandroid and Celskiii on a three turntable setup. Also tonight Trya From Saigon (TFS) by way of Toronto, Ontario will be doing a one-female band set, plus there will be DJ sets from Crykit, E da Boss (Quannum/Slept On), and Aspect McCarthy (Jazz Mafia) with SF's Gurp City's one-and-only charismatic Z-Man hosting the event. More info here.
Tonight In San Jose, super-talented DJ Goldenchyld, along with Zaki Ibrahim, and Blu and Exile will be at the Blank Club, 44 South Almaden Ave. San Jose. $12 admission. Upcoming releases include the Blaqkout album from SoCal rap vets DJ Quik and Kurupt which will be dropping on June 9th. The single "Hey Playa (Moroccon Blues)" is already out there and getting some play on radio. Just released and available at Amoeba is the new album Rejuvination from legendary LA hip-hop figure Abstract Rude, who came to notority c/o the Good Life open mic sessions back in the day, and is still locking it down. The new 14 track CD on Rhymesayers, which comes with sweet packaging, includes such standout tracks as "Nuff Fire" and "Hip Hop Ryde."
And finally, I leave you with a quote and a video. The quote is from Hunter S. Thompson and is about the biz: "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Meanwhile, the video (below) is from Stones Throw's Mayer Hawthorne. It is the recently produced video for his very soulful song "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out." Directed by Henry DeMaio, this track was released on a red, heart-shaped 7-inch single by Stones Throw, as seen in the video below. Hawthorne's full length debut will be released soon on Stones Throw. Currently he is on tour with James Pants and other Stones Throw artists.