Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Weekly Top Six: 07:24:09 by Luis
1) Eyedea & Abilities By The Throat (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
2) Awol One & Factor Owl Hours (Fake Four Inc)
3) Twista Category F5 (GMG/Get Money Gang/EMI)
4) Yukmouth The West Coast Don (Smoke-A-Lot/RBC Records)
5) Biz Markie Ultimate Diabolical (Traffic Entertainment)
6) MHZ Table Scraps (Man Bites Dog Records)
Classic Hip-Hop Album Reissue:
The Beastie Boys Ill Communication (Capitol) (originally released in '94 -- extra tracks)
Super-duper thanks to Luis -- the hip-hop buyer at Amoeba Music San Francisco -- for providing this week's Top Six chart of the new hip-hop sellers at the Haight Street store, in both text and video formats. In the number one slot with a bullet is the new By The Throat album from Eyedea & Abilities, on which Michael "Eyedea" Larsen (aka Oliver Hart) demonstrates the mad mic skills that won him his rep as a killer freestyle battle rapper. Meanwhile, his partner, DMC champ DJ Abilities (Gregory Keltgen), has truly come into his own as a powerful producer with turntable skills to match. Fans of the duo should note that they are on the Rock The Bells tour, which will be stopping in SoCal at the San Manuel Amphitheatre in San Bernardino on August 8th and in the Bay Area the next day, August 9th, at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.
About a month ago, in anticipation of the new Rhymesayers album dropping, Eyedea & Abilities did a special show at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, MN where they previewed the new album, performed every song, and prefaced each one with a short story or an explanation. Below is a video clip from that concert of them doing the new album track "Burn Fetish." As they performed, Michael Gaughan, the artist responsible for the album artwork, did a watercolor painting of the duo in action. An interesting side-note-- the ever observant Luis at Amoeba pointed out the similarity in style and choice of paint colors that both Gaughan's cover art for Eyedea & Abilities and the cover art by Alex Pardee for the also recently released Cage album Depart From Me both share (both covers above to compare). "Both covers are kinda similar, but more importantly, both artists and labels, Rhymesayers and Def Jux, are each at the forefront of innovative hip-hop right now," accurately observed Luis. Word has it Luis will be one of the hosts onstage (under his DJ alias EL-S) at the upcomng Amooebapalooza at Mezzanine in San Francisco on August 2nd, when eighteen Amoebite acts, including 40 Love, will perform.
Also on this week's top selling new releases chart are Awol One & Factor teaming up with Owl Hours on Fake Four Inc. whose standout tracks include "Stand Up," "Up Downtown," and "Waste The Wine." Factor's production is off the hook, while Awol One, who I must admit it has taken me til now to grow to appreciate, has a flow (kinda like someone with no voice singing in the shower) that demonstrates a real knack for flipping a verse. The Bay Area's own Yukmouth (of Luniz fame) is back with a new slapper, The West Coast Don, on Smoke-A-Lot/RBC Records. Also charting is Chi-town vet Twista (the self-proclaimed "Jason Voorhees of rap"), who has been putting it down for close to two decades now and who came to fame via his battle rap abilities. He returns with the album Category F5 on Get Money Gang/ EMI, which, as Luis pointed out, is not only popular at Amoeba, but also across the country, charting high and hitting number one on the new Billboard charts too.
The other two Top Six chart entries this week are new releases of not-so-new music. The MA label with the finest taste in bygone era hip-hop, Traffic Entertainment, have just released a Biz Markie career retrospective titled the Ultimate Diabolical -- a title/claim that it lives up to. As any fan of the Biz already knows, there have already been a few "best of" Biz collections released, but this collection not only includes all the songs by the Diabolical one/member of the Juice Crew (including "Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz," "Nobody Beats The Biz," "Vapors," "Just A Friend," and "Spring Again"), but also includes music videos by the humorous, story-telling rapper, including "Spring Again," "Vapors," and "Just A Friend." In all, twelve audio tracks and six videos are included -- it's so well worth getting Ultimate Diabolical.
Meanwhile, MHZ (pronounced Megahertz) featuring RJD2 and Copywrite, released a full length CD of music from earlier this decade (a lot of it unheard until now), including lots of unreleased and rare old stuff, such as an unreleased RJD2 song called "Rain." As explained by Copywrite in the video clip below, this is the music that caught the attention of Bobbito's Fondle Em Records. According to Luis, Amoeba hip-hop shoppers, including Weathermen fans, have been asking about this release for a while.
Also in the seven video clips below is the once hella popular Spike Jonze directed video for "Sabotage" (with rarely seen intro/outro). The song was taken from The Beastie Boys' Ill Communication album which, when it was released in 1994, topped the Billboard album charts. A remastered version of the album has just been released (with extra tracks added) by Capitol and it is this week's Classic Hip-Hop Album Reissue pick by Luis who, along with the rest of us here at Amoeba Music, wishes Adam "MCA" Yauch a speedy recovery from his recent cancer diagnosis.
Eyedea & Abilities perform "Burn Fetish" (from By The Throat) live, June 2009
Awol One & Factor "Destination" from Owl Hours (2009)
Twista "Birthday" from Category F5 (2009)
Twista "Birthday" from Category F5 (2009)
Yukmouth The West Coast Don commercial (2009)
Biz Markie "Spring Again" -- both song + video on new Ultimate Diabolical 2009
MHZ's Copywrite talks about the newly released Table Scraps (2009)
The Beastie Boys "Sabotage" from 1994's Ill Communication -- reissued 2009