Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:23:09
1) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)
2) Jay Z Blueprint 3 Roc Nation/Atlantic
3) Royce Da 5'9' Street Hop (Mic One/TVT)
4) Cormega Born And Raised (Traffic Ent.)
5) Drake So Far Gone (Cash Money)
5) Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 (ICEAL)
In the number one hip-hop sales slot at the Hollywood Amoeba Music this week is the brand new, rightfully anticiapted album from West Coast newcomer Fashawn, who both released his debut album, Boy Meets World, and turned 21 this week. Congrats to him on both accomplishments. Fashawn is a Fresno, California emcee, whose album is produced entirely by Exile (of Blu & Exile) and who already has about seven mixtapes to his name. He may be young, but he is deservedly getting major props from critics, fans and bloggers, who have all been anxiously awaiting this debut. Some are even going so far as to say that with this release Fashawn willl help rescue West Coast rap and put it back on top again. With a flow that has a distinctive nod to some of rap's best bygone years, the album's fifteen tracks include such standouts as "Our Way," featuring a guest spot by Evidence; “Samsonite Man;” "Bo Jackson," featuring producer Exile on the mic as well as behind the mixing board; and "Sunny CA," featuring Coss & Mistah Fab. The video for "Sunny CA" is below.
Jay-Z, who apparently can do no wrong, is still selling well at Amoeba Hollywood, with Blueprint 3 holding down a top five slot even six weeks after its release date. Likewise, both Cash Money artist Drake (So Far Gone) and Wu-Tang member Raekwon (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2 on ICEAL) are still doing well. Since they are each selling exactly the same amount of units this past week, they share the number five slot on the chart.
Detroit rapper Ryan Montgomery has a new chart entry this week at Amoeba Music. He is of course better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9" and for his early career association with fellow D-Town rap star Eminem. Most recently he was part of the hip-hop supergrpup Slaughterhouse (also featuring Crooked I, Joe Budden, and Joell Ortiz). For Street Hop Royce works again with DJ Premier, who executive produced this new album with production assistance from Emile, Denaun Porter, Nottz, Carlos Broady, and Streetrunner, Frequency. Below is the video for the tight new album track "Shake This."
Another brand new release that just arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday is the way overdue Born and Raised by Cormega on Traffic Entertainment. This is the long awaited follow up to both his 2002 album The True Meaning and his debut The Realness the previous year. Straight out of the (hip-hop) historic New York City Queensbridge Housing Projects, the young Cormega grew up alongside such future hip-hop heavyweights as Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, and Nas, who featured the newcomer back in 1996 on his album It Was Written in the song "Affirmative Action."
On Born and Raised, Cormega is in good company, especially in the production department, with DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, LES, Buckwild, Havoc, and Easy Mo Bee among those lending their skills. Meanwhile, the 14 track album's closing track, "Mega Fresh X," is a virtual who's who of hip-hop with features on the one track from Red Alert, Parish Smith of EPMD, Grand Puba, KRS-One, and Big Daddy Kane. Wow! Below is a video clip from earlier this week in Boston, MA during a live performance by Cormega in celebration of this new release.
Lil Wayne surprised many when he copped a guilty plea in a Manhattan court house yesterday to gun possession in return for a promise of one year behind bars for the rap superstar. From a rap music point of view this will only add to his street cred. But it will also add to the time before the New Orleans artist's (already hella delayed and overdue) album Rebirth will finally be released.
And finally, if there were an Amoeba Top FIve Hip-Hop Book Chart, no doubt The RZA's wonderful new book The Tao Of Wu would be this week's number one. The book is refreshingly unlike most rap or rock artist autobiographies, which tend to follow a predictable formulaic style.
In sharp contrast, the Wu-Tang Clan member's new book reads more like a guide to life, religions and philosophies, all told from a humble yet most insightful perspective. In both New York and Los Angeles at recent Barnes & Noble readings (see video below of the LA reading this week) the RZA packed them in for his engaging reading/book signing sessions.