Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 04:30:10
1) Andre Nickatina Khan! The Me Generation (I-Khan Dist)
2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
3) Cypress Hill Rise Up (Priority Records)
4) Little Brother LeftBack (Traffic)
5) Truthlive Patience (Interdependent Media)
Bonus pick of the week:
Sick Jacken Stray Bullets (Urban Kings Ent.)
Many thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for supplying the latest hip-hop top five chart, in both text and video formats, which also includes the Bonus pick of the week & featured vinyl releases (new & classic) at the Haight Street store. As Luis says in the video below, the recent Record Store Day (RSD) two Saturdays ago at Amoeba SF was off the hook, with records like the new Cypress Hill vinyl (RSD special release) and the Beastie Boys' "Mystery RSD" 12" attracting a lot of record collectors. "We sold out of all fifteen copies of that Beastie Boys record we had in like five minutes," Luis told me. As far as new releases on CD, the number one release this week is from longtime hometown artist Andre Nickatina, Khan! The Me Generation. Since arriving on the local rap scene back in 1993 with his debut The Real Jim Jones on In-A-Minute, back when he went by the moniker Dre Dog, Nickatina has not only been extremely prolific (systematically dropping an album on average of every other year), but more importantly he has remained consistently in-demand with the every fickle rap fan.
"People are always coming in and asking, 'When is there a new Andre Nickatina?' It is amazing how he manages to stay so relevant," noted Luis. Many credit the two-decade longevity of the Fillmore San Francisco artist, who is a living Bay Area rap legend but yet still unknown to the mainstream, to the fact that he is constantly doing concerts (and puts on a great show!) and more importantly, he has a most unique lyrical style in which he might rap about the weirdest things or flip a phrase that is at once sharp and culturally observant. "Get it backwards like Benjamin Button. Or in Superbad something like McLovin," he spits in the new album track "Blind Genius" in which he also rhymes, "Hit the night like a male Presidente. Don't want to be up in the Kaiser Permanente."
In the number two position on the new Amoeba rap chart is Atlanta teen phenom B.o.B., who, while still in high school, secured a major label deal with Atlantic based on the buzz generated by both his indie tracks 'Haterz Everywhere" and the 420 themed song "Cloud 9." The still teenaged artist's major label debut is B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray, which is a genre defying collection of tracks that tackle universal subjects and promise mass appeal. Tracks include "Cyber Heaven," "Trippin'," and his 2007 breakthrough hit "Haterz Everywhere (feat. Rich Boy)." As impressive as the fact that he landed a major deal at such a young age is, it is also incredibly impressive that the artist self-produced much of this new release and also, over the past few years, self-taught himself to play piano, trumpet, French horn, and other instruments.
B-Real and Sen Dog, who were working on individual solo projects the past few years, return as Cypress Hill (on CD and vinyl) with their first album in six years (follow up to 2004's Till Death Do Us Part), Rise Up, which includes such tracks as "Armada Latina" featuring Marc Anthony and Pitbull and the powerful title track that features Rage Against The Machine/ Street Sweeper Social Club's Tom Morello.
I recommend the new Evan "Truthlive" Phillips album Patience that appears on the co-founder and CEO of Interdependent Media's own indie hip hop label (home to such impressive acts as Tanya Morgan, Finale, J*Davey, and K'Naan). By no means a vanity project, Patience is on point and in it the East Bay artist with perhaps the most aliases ever (aka EJ iLL, aka Evan Flow, aka The Popular Loner, aka Santa Rosa's Own, aka The California Son (Shine), aka Evan Almighty, aka Zarpol The Vegebot) delivers thought provoking rhymes that tackle the state of hip-hop and the equality in the world today.
"It's easy to judge. It's easy to hate. It's easy to knock down. It's easy to take. It's easy to destroy. It's easy to break. It's easy to degrade, It's easy to fake," he raps on "It's Easy," one of the album's many engaging tracks on the Jake One produced project. Guest artists, who sometimes upstage their host in terms of lyrical flow, include Ras Kass, Von Pea, and Finale. On Thursday May 6th Truthlive will both spin and rap at a record release party for the new album at Som Bar 2925 16th Street in San Francisco.
Luis' Bonus Pick Of The Week is the latest from an artist with cult-like popularity -- Sick Jacken, Stray Bullets on Urban Kings Ent, which is another one of those Psycho hits from the Psycho Realm brand that you will either love or hate with a passion. The 19 track, guest-heavy release includes such songs as "Ceremonial Slang (feat. Planet Asia)," "Paid Dues (feat. Murs & Supernatural)," "Hollywood Drive-By Remix (feat. Immortal Technique)," and "Angels & Demons (DJ FM Remix)" that features the Wu-Tang's Killah Priest.
Luis @ Amoeba San Francisco with this week's top hip-hop sellers
Rappin 4'Tay "Playaz Club" (1994)
Bay Area Rap History 101: Heads up, fans of that classic 1990's San Francisco rap sound! Coming in the month of May is The Frisco Legends NorCal tour -- a TC & SB Presents production that features such Frisco rap legends as Rappin’ 4Tay, SB of UNLV, Total Devastation, and Totally Insane. With a series of shows over the next month, the stage lineup will change from venue to venue. Other Frisco Legends to appear on select dates include Black C of RBL Posse, Celski, UDI, Cold World Hustlas, and Cloud Nine.
For anyone who was (or is) into Bay Area rap from the 1990's, which was truly a golden time in Bay/SF rap music, this is an amazing opportunity to catch these legends. I know rap fans all over the world who single out this specific era of West Coast rap as their all time favorite part of hip-hop's history.
Hosting the tour is producer TC, who, along with The Enhancer, had the Midas touch with so many local Bay rap groups back in the day. Essentially TC was hugely instrumental in shaping the sound of SF 90's rap, producing the likes of Dre Dog, RBL Posse, Totally Insane, 11/5, Ad Kapone, IMP (Ill Mannered Posse), Total Devastation, and many more. The tour, which includes the first show at the Downtown Brew in Paso Robles next Thursday May 6th and the final date (June 4th) at Eproson House in Twain Harte, CA, is having a kick-off/launch party tonight at Heights Lounge 2080 Van Ness Ave at Pacific in San Francisco. There's more information here but also the Amoeblog will be updating on this tour each Friday throughout the next month.
Talented but mostly slept on Mid West emcee Coolzey will be, starting next Tuesday (May 4th), releasing a series of twelve hip hop tracks online titled Coolzey and the Search for the Hip Hop Hearts Volume I: He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper. The tracks will be available via Rap Reviews, Adam's World, and Above Ground Magazine exclusively. Every Tuesday throughout the summer he will drop a new track with production by various hip hop producers including Will Tell of Brooklyn Academy, Panik of the Molemen, Headnodic of Crown City Rockers, Insight, JRawls of Lone Catalysts, and Newman of Giant Panda.
And in the post Guru passing drama there is a very interesting and in-depth interview published by HipHopDX with Tasha Denham, who was both in relationship with Solar (with whom she has a daughter) and who has worked in various capacities for the Guru and Solar owned Grand 7 Records. As such, she had first hand exposure to all the inside dealings of this often very private company. It is really too bad that the passing of such a legendary hip-hop figure is tarnished with all this drama surrounding his final days (I am just waiting for the announcement of a movie about it all)! I personally care to remember Guru for his work with DJ Premier as Gang Starr. And consequently, I leave you with another Gang Starr sure shot, the video for their classic "Manifest" from their 1989 debut No More Mr Nice Guy (Wild Pitch/EMI).
Gang Starr "Manifest" (1989)