Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:08:09
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)
2) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent)
3) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)
4) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)
5) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Universal/Motown)
For the third week in a row the Living Legends duo of The Grouch & Eligh are number one at Amoeba Music. The pair's third collaborative album, Say G&E! (Legendary Music), is the number one best selling new hip-hop album this week at Amoeba Berkeley, and has been on top since last week at Amoeba Hollywood and for two weeks already at Amoeba San Francisco (where they also performed last week). And what a diverse hip-hop album it is, with numerous guest contributors including Flying Lotus (who produced "Old Souls"), Mistah F.A.B. (who sounds unlike his usual self on the song "Comin' Up"), Gift of Gab and Pigeon John (who guest on the alt-rock sounding "All In"), and Slug of Atmosphere (who appears on the very Bay sounding, AmpLive-produced riding track "BOOM!").
Speaking of AmpLive of Zion I, I just touched base yesterday with the producer/DJ, now out on the road with fellow Zion I member Zumbi. The Bay Area duo are in the last stretch of their US/Canadian tour. "The tour has been tight. Most of the dates have been pretty packed shows and the fans have been loving the live band that we are doing now. It is always good to see the fans' reaction to new music and the response to the new album has been great," AmpLive told the Amoeblog.
Since the Zion I's latest sixth album, The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media), dropped two months ago, it has created quite a buzz. The latest single off the album is "Coastin," featuring talented up-and-coming artist K.Flay. Zion I's North American tour, which began five weeks ago and included a gig at Slims in San Francisco one week ago, comes to a close next week. Remaining dates include Madison, WI tonight, Ann Arbor, MI tomorrow, London, CT, May 11, Rochester NY May 12, and South Burlington, VT on May 13th.
For exact tour details, including the duo's tour video blog and other Zion I news, visit the official ZIon I website or their MySpace. Meantime, check out the cool video they made of their recent fun-filled few days at SXSW in Austin, TX. The video is a great overview of the annual music festival and features quick shots inside the clubs and outside in the streets where many ciphers were jumping off. Included in the 9 minute video are cameos from the likes of The Grouch, MC Lars, Codany Holiday, Charles Hamilton, and Exile.
Lots of good new releases are dropping right now, including Themselves' theFREEhoudini (Anticon) which, according to Luis at the Haight Street Amoeba, is selling really well since it hit the shelves in recent weeks. And justifably so: the guest-laden album by Themselves' Doseone and Jel (both also in Subtle) is off the hook, with literally every track a winner. My personal faves include "Rapping4Money," featuring cLOUDDEAD's Why? and Odd Nosdam, "The Mark," featuring D-Styles, "Know That To Know This," with Aesop Rock, and "Keys To The Ignition," with way underrated Chicago emcee Serengeti. Themselves, who were featured on the Amoeblog when they played Coachella a couple of weeks ago, are currently on tour in Europe. My man Tall Paul Lowe checked them out at Whelan's in Dublin, Ireland last Sunday night where they put on "a great show."
Other new releases include DJ Vadim's 18 track CD U Can't Lurn Imaginashun (bbe), which is a mixture of instrumental cuts and tracks showcasing various vocal talents. Standout numbers include "Game Tight," "Maximum" feat. French emcee La Methode, and "Thrill Seeker" feat. Juice Lee & Rjay. Similarly, San Francisco producer Unagi is about to drop his new album Reinventing The Eel (442 Records), which also contains a balance of instrumental tracks and ones featuring guest emcees. Standout tracks on this June release include "Herb Man Theme," "Top Cat," and "Do Ya Feel It" featuring Linkletterz.
Another Bay Area related new release is Keelay & Zaire's RIdin' High (MYX Music). Below is the recently completed video for the Bay Area/VA duo's song "We Made It" from their recent debut album. The group, who played Amoeba San Francisco recently, made a point of featuring many recognizable Bay Area locations in the video, which also features guest emcee Mario Dones.
Aceyalone, along with fellow HAIKU D'ETAT members Abstract Rude and Myka 9, officially kicked off their appropriately titled Mike, Aaron, and Eddie Tour this week in California, with dates already in Santa Cruz, Cathedral City, San Luis Obispo, and San Francisco, where they played at The Independent last night.
The three week tour will close back in the artists' hometown at The Airliner in Los Angeles on May 22nd. Aceyalone, who is currently promoting his hot new retro-styled Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones release will also headline the 2009 Teva Mountain Games on June 5th in Vail, CO.
Dave Paul of San Francisco's BOMB Hip Hop music label and party promotions company was pleasantly surprised last weekend at his popular monthly That 80's Show party at Madrone in San Francisco, where he and fellow longtime SF DJ Jeff Harris both spin classic 80's all night every first Saturday, when actress Drew Barrymore showed up unexpectedly and ended up spinning a short set at the Divisidero Street club. "We were DJing and one of the security guys comes over and says, 'Don't announce it, but Drew Barrymore is here,'" Paul told the Amoeblog. The movie star was rollin' deep with a group of about dozen close friends, who arrived in three big SUVs. Included in the group was her on-again, off-again boyfriend, actor Justin Long (and according to Paul, the pair are definitely in the "on again" mode).
"When the security guy told me they were there, I was like, damn, I want to see them. Coincidentally I had just watched Charlie's Angels the day before," laughed Paul. "But anyway, I had gone outside and was coming back in and I ran into her [Barrymore] and introduced myself and asked her if she she had ever guest DJ'ed before. She said yes, so I asked if she wanted to come back and play some records. She said yeah. So we get her back there [to the DJ booth] and she asked for De La Soul and for the song "Magic Number" [an 80's record]. Apparently she is a big De La Soul fan, but I hadn't brought that record with me. So she picked out and played "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" [Cyndi Lauper] and "Living on a Prayer" [Bon Jovi]."
I asked Paul if Barrymore seemed like a nice person. "Yeah, she was cool...she was pretty quiet though." During her short time in the DJ booth, Paul asked the actress if she remembered meeting a friend of his years before and, to his surprise, she did. "I asked her if she remembered my friend Keith, DJ Design, who about ten or twelve years ago up in a club in Seattle had found her purse, and somehow he and his friends tracked her down and returned it to her safely. And she remembered it clearly even though it was so long ago-- I guess because it had her diary in it and she was grateful to get it back."
Barrymore, who did a great job co-starring with Jessica Lange in the recent HBO production of Grey Gardens, will unveil her directorial debut Whip It! -- a film based on Shauna Cross' book Derby Girl -- later this year.
For more information on Dave Paul's BOMB produced parties -- the next one is a Prince vs Michael themed party on May 18th at club Madrone-- click here.
And finally, I leave you with two items. First up is a cool Flickr link to some great "remixed" album covers-- ones that imagine if Wu Tang Clan collectively and individually had been on Blue Note Records. Second is a cool Amoeba.com webisode of What's In My Bag? with DJ Lance Rock, the charismatic host of the Yo Gabba Gabba! TV show on Nick Jr, whose regular guests include Biz Markie and Elijah Wood. The webisode below was captured at the Hollywood store where the DJ was busy shopping for presents for his pals Toodee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Brobee.