Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 09:11:09
1) Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)
2) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II (ICEAL)
3) Large Professor The LP (Red Line)
4) D. Black Ali'Yah (MYX)
5) Dr Dre The Chronic Re-Lit & From The Vaults (Wideawake/Death Row)
Amoeba SF Soul Pick of Week:
Mayer Hawerthorne A Strange Arrangement (Stones Throw)
Not too surprisingly, the anticipated, brand new, star-studded Jay-Z album The Blueprint 3, (aka TB3), which originally was scheduled to come out last year, is this week's number one release on the new hip-hop chart at Amoeba Music. The album features a slew of guest collaborators, including Young Jeezy, Kanye West (in producer mode mainly), Rihanna, Drake, Kid Cudi, Mr Hudson, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell and Alicia Keys, and is the final release in the Blueprint trilogy that began exactly eight years ago on September 11th, 2001 -- the day the Twin Towers were attacked. In fact, that was why initially Jay-Z had scheduled the release of TB3 for today (Friday, September 11th), but then he changed his mind at the last minute, reverting to the typical Tuesday date release. The fifteen track TB3 is the artist's 11th studio album and his first on his own new label Roc Nation.
Luis at the Amoeba San Francisco store, who supplied this week's chart, gives two thumbs up to the number two chart entry this week, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Links Pt II. Of course this album features many impressive guests, including several fellow Wu-Tang Clan warriors: GZA, Papu Wu, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killah, Slick Rick, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Jadakiss, and Styles.
New this week at Amoeba is the two disc set remastered reissue of Dr Dre's landmark, debut solo 1992 album The Chronic -- the album that made Snoop Doggy Dogg (as he was then known) a star and forever changed the direction of popular hip-hop. Titled The Chronic Re-Lit & From The Vaults, this two disc new release includes all of The Chronic’s sixteen tracks remastered, plus liner notes from producer Quincy Jones III. More importantly, the new reissue includes a DVD entitled From The Vault, which features music videos for singles from The Chronic, a half hour Dr. Dre interview, plus various promotional pieces. The new package also includes seven unreleased songs featuring Snoop Dogg, CPO, Jewell, and Kurupt.
Another new release on the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop chart this week is Large Professor of Main Source fame and his album The LP, which was originally supposed to have come out back in 1995 or 1996 on Geffen but then got put on the back burner and ended up never officially released. A few years ago there was a poor quality vinyl bootleg of this album floating around but this is the one you want to cop. It is definitely worth the wait and finds the emcee in fine form in his first solo outing. The album harks back to the sound of one of the best times in hip-hop music. The new CD includes bonus unreleased songs and some nice alternate versions of classic tracks such as the "Mad Scientist" (video below) and "One Plus One" featuring NAS.
The Large Professor "Mad Scientist"
Ali'Yah on MYX is Seattle rapper D. Black's second album and it is quite a departure from his debut. Much more conscious in lyrical content than street rap, this time out D. Black's new joint features production from Vitamin D and Jake One. And finally, Luis at Amoeba gives the stamp of approval to soulful artist on Stones Throw Mayer Hawerthorne and his tight new release A Strange Arrangement.
Below is the latest video from Brooklyn, NY emcee Bisc1, who goes by the name Bisco Smith these days. The song is "Morning Breath" and it was produced by J.Vegas and taken from Bisc's new album The Broadcast. The video was directed and edited by Hector Nava of Lasek X and opens with the emcee's upbeat message, "Good morning world. Open your eyes, spread your arms, it's a new day." The artist then takes on two characters with two separate lifestyles -- one rides his bike, the other yuppie half rolls in his expensive ride. It is this juxtaposition of two types of people and the roles that they can choose to play in life that Bisc's message lies: no matter who you are or what kind of personality you fit, you always end up where you are supposed to be.
Lots of fun things are happening in the Bay Area this weekend, and one of the most popular will no doubt be Michael Franti's 11th annual Power to the Peaceful Festival from 9am to 5pm tomorrow (September 12th) at Speedway Meadows in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
The festival's stellar and varied lineup includes Michael Franti and Spearhead, Sly & Robbie, Alanis Morissette (acoustic set), Sellassie, Truth Universal, and DJ Zita (pictured left). For more exact information on both tomorrow's event and Sunday's at the Herbst Theater, and the after party at the Fillmore, click here.
And finally, I leave you with an amazing video clip from Brussels based DJ Elephant Power. He performs "Sonic Nuage" off his Atlas Anthem mini-LP and beautifully utilizes both the DJ QBert designed QFO and the Shing02 designed Faderboard DJ technologies in a refreshingly inspired way. The video was directed and edited by Nicolas Soquette. For more information visit DJ Elephant Power's website or the Sonig website.
DJ ELEPHANT POWER "Sonic Nuage" Atlas Anthem mini-LP (2009)