Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 12:18:09
1) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)
2) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)
3) Jay Z Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)
4) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)
5) Oh No Dr. No's Ethiopium (Stones Throw)
There are a lot of recurring entries on this week's Amoeba hip-hop chart, including the number one release, the self-titled (and excellent) rap/rock hybrid from BlakRoc, and the (#4) impressive debut from Fresno emcee Fashawn; Boy Meets World. Meantime, both Jay Z's Blueprint 3 and Black Eyed Peas's (BEP) The E.N.D., two releases that are four and seven months old respectively, continue to sell well. This is no doubt due to the sheer popularity of these artists combined with the airplay they each garner, especially in the case of BEPs' early June release, which has had a slew of singles getting constant airplay. Released in mid December, "Imma Be" is the current hit single in the US (following "Meet Me Halfway," "I Gotta Feeling" & "Boom Boom Pow") from this phenomenally popular group, who have racked up close to a combined total of 60 million album & single sales since their 2003 breakout album Elephunk, which was the group's first album to feature Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson.
Along with these recurring albums on this week's Amoeba Music Hollywood Top Five Hip-Hop chart is the first time chart entry from producer Oh No, with his recommended new Stones Throw release, Dr. No's Ethiopium. He produced this album utilizing strictly Ethiopian music and sounds (mixed with some hip-hop beats) as his source of samples. The album is the sequel to the similarly themed Dr. No's Oxperiment (Stones Throw) from two years ago which was created using Turkish and Lebanese psych samples. Good stuff and done in the vein of (fellow Stones Throw production super-talent) Madlib's Beat Konducta in India project which filtered music of that country through hip-hop style production, consequently exposing new ears to a music that many might not normally have discovered.
The new Dr. No Ethiopium, available in CD and vinyl formats, sports 36 tracks (many short) and was created by Oh No with assistance from fellow Stones Throw soldier Egon's vast record collection that includes a lot of rare, hard to find sixties and seventies Ethiopian funk, jazz, folk, soul and psychedelic rock. From here he carefully culled and crafted this latest installment. Note that the track "Heavy" off the last release, Dr. No's Oxperiment, ended up being used in the video game Skate 2's Soundtrack and on Mos Def's “Supermagic” from his most recent album The Ecstatic.
The A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) music video above for their 1993 hit "Award Tour" off their album Midnight Marauders (Jive) is one of the many videos that likely will be thrown in the mix tonight at the popular bi-weekly Strictly Videos party at San Francisco's 111 Minna Gallery. Every second Friday you can dance or simply sip a drink, watch and listen as the resident "VDJ's" Apollo, Shortkut, Swift Rock, Goldenchyld, Satva and Haylow spin a wide mix of music videos, both new and classic, such as ATCQ, from hip-hop, r&b, dancehall, and eighties pop/urban genres.
DJ Shortkut, who in addition to spinning just records/Serato has been playing videos out in the clubs for some time now, told me that "It's really fun when people can both hear a song they know, and see the video which they may never have seen or have not seen in a long while. Video really adds to the whole experience." Over the past couple of years Shortkut has been building up quite a library of hip-hop music videos, many that got little airplay when first released due to the limited playlists at such outlets as MTV, BET, and The BOX. Combined with the other VDJs, including Haylow, who is part of the Bay Area hip-hop TV show Distortion 2 Static, these guys have a lot of rare and must see music videos. 9pm to 2am tonight (Friday, Jan 8th) 111 Minna St at 2nd, San Francisco. $10. 21+ More info here.
VDJ's, DJs, and tech heads/nerds from all over will be traveling to Anaheim next week for the annual Winter NAMM Show 2010, which runs from Thursday, Jan 14th through Sunday, Jan 17th at the Anaheim Convention Center. Each year at NAMM some wonderful new technology, along with gadgets of interest to DJs, producers, engineers, and musicians, is presented for the first time. This year the buzz is that Ableton and Serato, who announced a creative partnership at the BPM show two years ago, are promising "a big unveiling" on opening day at NAMM of some new tech advancement of special interest to DJs/producers who either own Ableton Live or use Serato.
Of course, that is just one of the many items at this always worthwhile event. The Winter NAMM show takes place at 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, starting January 14th at 10am. For more information, including registration details, click here.
And since we are on the topic of wonderful new advances in producer/DJ technologies such as VDJ'ing, I leave you with an impressive Video DJ routine from Holland's DJ Irie at the IDA World Finals in Poland last month during which he took scratch VJing to impressive new heights. This is the first of two parts. To see the second part click here. And also look for DJ Irie's track "Knucklehead DJ's" on the new BOMB HIp-Hop Return of the DJ Vol. VI installment in the long running turntablist compilation series that will be widely released and available at Amoeba Music in the coming weeks.