Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top FIve: 12:04:09
1) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)
2) Lil Wayne The Carter Documentary DVD (Cash Money/Universal)
3) Birdman PRICELE$$ (Cash Money/Universal)
4) DOOM Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust Media)
5) Juvenile Cocky and Confident (Atlantic Records)
Blakroc by BlakRoc, the number one new hip-hop release from the Hollywood Amoeba store this week, is one of those refreshing albums that pushes the boundaries of what rap or hip-hop is, or can be. The Blakroc project, which was initiated by rapper Jim Jones and produced by Damon Dash, is a large scale collaborative affair between the Black Keys (who you'll recall worked with Danger Mouse on their last album) and a slew of high profile hip-hop talents including Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, RZA, Pharaohe Monch, Ludacris, and the late ODB. But to label BlakRoc simply another rap-rock fusion (a melding that so often comes off sounding forced) is selling it short. The album comes off sounding fresh and never forced with the Black Keys' (guitarist & vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney) dirty, guitar driven, big drum beat sound proving to be the perfect match for the album's numerous emcees. Because it is far from your typical cliche rap release, this album will not appeal to all rap fans, which is why it is so worth listening to. For a taste of this album, check out the video below for the album track "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" featuring Mos Def and Jim Jones.
Cash Money Records holds down two new releases on the new Top Five, a CD and a DVD from Birdman and Lil Wayne respectively. The 90 minute documentary takes an in-depth look at the highly successful New Orleans rap artist Dwayne Carter Jr., aka Lil Wayne, aka Weezy, aka the self-proclaimed 'greatest rapper alive." It includes lots of interviews, behind the scenes segments, and, of course, concert footage. The movie, which won positive reviews when it screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival, also offers a pretty revealing look at Wayne and what makes him tick (and also what gets him high). You get to see the popular and prolific artist, who has been a star since his early teens, as an alternately funny and short-tempered fellow. Unfortunately -- due to the timeline of its creation -- the film doesn't include his latest legal problems (gun possession) and the likely jail time he may soon serve. There is a ten minute excerpt from the documentary below.
Lil Wayne's long delayed album, the much anticipated and hella delayed rock-rap hybrid Rebirth, is still not out, so those fiending for more Lil Wayne can savor the new Birdman CD Pricele$$, which features Weezy on 7 of its 12 tracks. Drake, T-Pain, and Rick Ross also join the rapper/producer/Cash Money co-founder Bryan 'Baby' Williams, aka Birdman. Click here to see the video for the album track "Money To Blow," featuring Drake and Lil Wayne. Juvenile is also on the new Amoeba Music Hip-Hop chart. Although no longer with Cash Money, Juvenile still keeps that Dirty South flavor alive with his latest, the 19 track CD Cocky and Confident on Atlantic Records, which deserves a three and a half to four out of five rating.
The fifth new release on this week's chart comes from the masked one, DOOM (formerly MF Doom), whose new release of older music, Unexpected Guests on Gold Dust Media, is a great mix he put together of the various collaborations and special recordings he has done over the years. These are the ones favored by the artist, with the likes of Talib Kweli, Ghostface, Sean Price, J-Dilla, Babu, and KMD (the group where he started his career). The 18 track collection showcases DOOM as an expert emcee and producer and (for completists out there) includes some rare tracks that have never been commercially available up until now.
BlakRoc - "Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo)" Ft. Mos Def and Jim Jones
Excerpt from Lil Wayne's The Carter Documentary DVD now available @ Amoeba
And finally, I leave you with a video from the new Prince Paul-produced Souls of Mischief album, Montezuma's Revenge, that dropped this week. It is the Oakland collective's first album in nearly 10 years and is arguably their finest work since they first arrived on the hip-hop world sixteen years ago with "93 Til Infinity."