2) Souls Of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear)
3) Mos Def The Ecstatic (Downtown)
4) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)
5) Sene & Blu A Day Late & A Dollar Short (SW Records)
Last week the Bay Area's own J-Stalin was number one at the San Francisco Amoeba store and this week he repeats that accomplishment by topping the hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba Music with his latest official release (as distinct from his series of mixtape CDs), Prenuptial Agreement (Town Thizzness/SMC/Fontana). On this latest album the cover shows the rapper from the Cypress Village housing projects in West Oakland looking very sharply dressed. J-Stalin delivers what his fans fiend for: good quality Bay rap with catchy hooks and featuring many well known guests. The 22 track CD, which includes the two singles “Rock Day” and “Everyday My Birthday,” features such guests as E-40 (who appears on the song "Get Me Off" that also offers a cameo from E-Da Sanga), Messy Marv ("H.N.I.C."), Too $hort & Mistah F.A.B (together on "Neighborhood Stars"), San Quinn ("Posted"), The Jacka ("Red And Blue Lights"), and Shady Nate, who collaborates on two album tracks.
The Black Eyed Peas' current chart entry is The E.N.D. which appropriately stands for The Energy Never Dies since the energy and support for this album never seems to fade. The E.N.D. is now over seven months old at this stage but still continues to garner consistent sales. The same goes for the ever popular current release from Mos Def The Ecstatic on Downtown, which was released on the same Tuesday last summer as the BEP album, June 9th 2009. Impressive!
The former Amoeba Music Berkeley employee once known as DJ Platurn (of Oakland Faders fame), but who nowadays goes by the name DJ Platurnipus, had the honor of DJing the Warriors Vs. Nuggets game at Oracle Arena on Wednesday evening this week when he threw down a lot of classic old school hip-hop for the crowd. Tomorrow night (Sat., Jan 23) the busy DJ will be spinning alongside DJ Icey, Robbie MoPo Kowal AKA DJ Motion Potion & The Sunset S. Francisco crew at club Mighty at 119 Utah Street in San Francisco. Speaking of DJs, if you missed the recent Amoeblog report by Shing02 from the DJ scene at the annual NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA last week check it out here.
Bay Area turntablist DnZ will be among the DJs stopping by the Poleng Lounge at 1751 Fulton in San Francisco tonight (Friday 22nd) for the Definition: Battle of the Decades party. Also in the house and on the decks will be Mr E, DJ NeoGeo, Boogie Brown, DJ Shred One and others. And as for the theme of tonight's party, the organizers say that since In the last few decades, hip-hop music has provided the soundtrack to the life and mindset of urban youth, this -- the first in a series of parties -- will be "dedicated to hip-hop music and the various artists and movements that have contributed to the evolution" of the genre and will attempt to pay homage to the art form and recognize its impact on current culture.
Longtime Left Coast hip-hop crew The Pharcyde is playing two shows in the Bay Area this weekend along with a live band (including DJ of course) -- they play tonight and tomorrow (Jan 22 & 23) at Yoshi's at 1330 Fillmore in San Francisco (tix $30/$35). A couple of days ago I caught up with the crew's DJ of the past few years, DJ Icewater, to ask him about the two weekend shows and what to expect. "Regarding the show, I just came back from rehearsal and I'm excited because we are doing some classics that have never been in the set in the 3 years I've been with the group. There's also going to be a keyboard player and guitarist to enhance the sound. The guys are the most professional people I've ever worked with so they won't disappoint."
On Tuesday this week PBS aired the one hour documentary Independent Lens: Copyright Criminals. The doc set out to explore the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the ongoing debates about artistic expression, copyright law and (of course) money and featured QBert and many other DJs and artists. If you missed it, it will be rebroadcast on your local PBS channel in the future. Meantime, here is a link to the trailer on the PBS website.
Another hip-hop related TV documentary that aired earlier this week on the Biography Channel (aka BIO) and will re-air tonight (Friday) at 9pm is about Mac Dre, called "Romper Room Gang." One of many pieces to date on the late great Vallejo rapper, this show, part of the cable channel's Bio's Bad Boys series, takes the sensationalist approach, focusing on the "Romper Room Gang," referring to the period during the nineties in Andre (Mac Dre) Hicks' career when he got arrested and ended up going to jail for some years for being allegedly tied to the "Romper Room" gang robberies in NorCal. For more info on the documentary on the Bio channel click here.
Among the new releases already out in 2010, one of my faves is The Honey on Public School Records
from newcomer emcee Coolzey, who melds various styles into his genre-bending debut album. The record features such high profile guests as Raashan Ahmad (Crown City Rockers), Sadat X, and Copywrite. DJ Rob Swift's The Architect will be dropping next month. Below is the first video from this new release, the turntablist track "Rabia- 2nd Movement." The Architect is scheduled to arrive in Amoeba on February 23rd when it will be released on Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings. The video below, which was directed by Rodolfo Duran, was filmed in New York outside the turntablist's Queens apartment building, then along the drive into Manhattan to both the DJ school Scratch Academy and the record store FatBeats in the Village.