Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 12:18:09
1) Snoop Dogg Malice N Wonderland (Priority/EMI)
2) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)
3) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)
4) Timbaland Shock Value II (Blackground Records)
5) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)
Snoop Dogg went straight to number one this week on both the Billboard 200 chart and the new Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Chart with his tenth and latest solo outing, the 14 track Malice N Wonderland. He first arrived on the rap world back in 1992, when he premiered on the title track of the Dr Dre produced Deep Cover soundtrack and later that same year on Dre's landmark The Chronic album. Ever since then, Snoop (who dropped the "Doggy" part of his name some time back) has become more than merely a prolific rapper recording a string of solo singles and albums, in addition to making countless cameos on other peoples' records. He has also become a movie and television star and a pop culture icon -- not to mention a controversial figure often getting into trouble with the law, incidents that collectively resulted in him getting legally banned from the UK and Australia. Now that's gangsta!
Snoop is also a notorious weed smoker and earlier this week in his entertaining appearance on the Stephen Colbert Show on Comedy Central, when quizzed about his 420 habit he assured the host that it was prescribed "medical marijuana." "Who's your doctor, Dr. Dre?" shot back Colbert, without missing a beat, to loud laughter. If you missed this great Colbert episode, that also included Snoop doing a song plus a funny soap opera reading with Colbert, go back and check it out on ColbertNation.com. But stoner or no stoner, the ever active Snoop recently added the title of business executive to his resume when EMI hired him as the chairman of the recently reactivated Priority Records on which Malice N Wonderland appears with distribution through EMI. The new album's lead single, "Gangsta Luv," is produced by and features The Dream, who is just one of Malice's many guest contributors. Brandy and Pharrell cameo on "Special," while Souja Boy Tell Em appears on "Pronto," and Lil Jon joins Snoop on the track that he also produced, "1800." Other producers include the Neptunes, Battlecat, and Scoop DeVille, who produced "I Wanna Rock" -- a track that was mixed by Snoop's original mentor Dr Dre. In addition to the album Malice N Wonderland, Snoop also made an accompanying mini-movie of the same name, a la his 1994 short film/soundtrack Murder Was the Case. A trailer for this short film follows immediately below.
The great new BlakRoc album on V2/Cooperative continues to sell well at Amoeba Hollywood, where customers have been digging the Damon Dash produced rock/rap hybrid that melds the dirty southern rock stylings of the Black Keys with rappers Jim Jones, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Raekwon, RZA, Pharaohe Monch, Ludacris and and the late ODB to great effect. Oakland hip-hop vets the Souls of Mischief's latest release, the Prince Paul produced Montezuma's Revenge on the Clear Label, is selling well in Southern Cali as well as back up on their home turf at the two Bay Area Amoebas. In an upcoming Amoeblog, look for an interview with Tajai of the Souls who will talk in detail about the new album.
Clipse, the hip-hop duo of Pusha T and Malice, is back with another album of songs about cocaine (crack-rap) plus some new topics too on an album that should not be confused with a similarly titled C-Bo album from some years ago (Til My Casket Drops). Clipse's album Til the Casket Drops follows hot on the heels of the teaser mixtape by the two Bronx siblings Road To Till The Casket Drops, and features lots of well-known guests, including Kanye West, Keri Hilson, Pharrell, Cam'ron, Ab-Liva and Yo Gotti.
Timothy Mosley, aka influential, prolific, hit making producer/rapper Timbaland, is back on the Amoeba charts with Shock Value II on Blackground Records. This record is the follow-up to the 2007 hit Timbaland Presents Shock Value, which gave the world such hits as "Give It To Me" (featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake), and "The Way I Are" (featuring Keri Hilson and D.O.E.). The new Shock Value sequel features even more high-profile guests, including Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, The Fray, Chris Daughtry, Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, Brandy, and Drake. Oh and both Keri Hilson and Justin Timberlake are back on the new one too.
GOOD NEWS FOR PIRATE RADIO: Those who aspire to run local low power FM (LPFM) radio stations, as well as those existing low powered radio broadcasters who have been broadcasting illegally (pirate radio stations) received good news this week when the House of Representatives passed the Local Community Radio Act (HR 1147) by voice vote on Dec 16th. This new bill will finally endorse something that Stephen Dunifer, the founder of unlicensed micropower pirate radio station Free Radio Berkeley, has fought so hard for in the nineties in his protracted legal case with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to try and legally get thousands of LPFM radio stations dedicated to broadcasting community news and local broadcasting to neighborhoods across the country.
And although the FCC first created the LPFM service almost ten years ago, now the move has been stalled following intervention from the fearful broadcasting industry who, through lobbying, convinced Congress to place strict limits on the then new LPFM stations. But thanks to the work of community activists and public-interest groups, it got to the point of the Local Community Radio Act. Of course, the irony is that in the years since the fight for LPFM radio first began, its popularity and importance has slipped considerably to streaming internet radio, which is becoming more readily available by the moment in this digital age.
DJ BATTLE NEWS: Italian DJs fared well in the recent ITF/IDA (International DJ Association) world champion battle in Poland last weekend. The Italian DJ crew The Scratch Busters came in first place in the battle that took place last Saturday (Dec 12th). Second place went to Italian DJ Mandrayq, while the runners up, numbers three and four, were the Italians DJ Bioshi and DJ Drugo respectively.
"This has inspired a lot of Italian DJs to get excited about turntablism and DJing again," said DJ Skizo of Italy's Alien Army crew. "And you will see a surge in turntablist activity. I can guarantee it," he told the Amoeblog.
And finally, I leave you wtih a seasonal rap song video. No, it's not Christmas-themed, but instead it's more of a Hanukkah themed song by fun, funny artist Eric Schwartz, aka Smooth-E. This is his just completed song/video "Honika Electronica," and if you like this song, you'll enjoy such others as his video for "Chocolate Coins" or his Souljah Boy spoof "Crank That Kosha Boy."
E-Smooth "Honika Electronica" (2009)