Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:18:10
1) Chali 2na Fishmarket Part 2 (Decon Records)
2) Amp Live Murder at the Discotech (Child's Play Records/OM)
3) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)
4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era (The Artist Records)
5) Messy Marv Millionaire Gangsta (Prominent House Records)
Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, which features lots of West Coast flava (including SoCal's Chali 2na) and a bit of the Dirty South from the Canadian born, former kids TV show (Degrassi) star turned Cash Money Records (and Lil Wayne protege) rap sensation Drake (who did a good job at the recent VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South) with his highly anticipated full length rap/RnB debut Thank Me Later on Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint through Cash Money/Universal. The Bay Area is well represented with the latest from the ever prolific Messy Marv (Millionaire Gangsta on Prominent House Records), the new joint from popular rapper The Jacka teaming up with Lee Majors (The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era on The Artist Records), plus the anticipated release from Amp Live, Murder at the Discotech on Child's Play Records/OM Hip-Hop.
Amp Live is known for his membership in Zion I (along with emcee Zumbi), for whom he has crafted a wide range of sounds and styles, as witnessed on the Oakland based group's last album The Take Over (Gold Dust). He also gained recognition for his inspired remixing of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, which he retitled Rainydayz and expertly melded such hometown rappers as Too Short, Zumbi, and Del the Funky Homosapien with the instrumentals of Thom Yorke's band. For the just- released solo Amp Live production, the 13 track Murder at the Discotech, the producer offers up a mixture of all instrumental tracks plus ones with such guests as Trackademics & Mr Micro ("Gary Is A Robot," which was the lead single/video), Dude Royal, The Grouch, Fashawn, Eligh, Zumbi, Bambu, & Chris Young ("Hot Right Now"), Yak Ballz ("Ugly"), Myka Nyne ("Get Served," which is a smoking track), and Oakland female rap crew Hot Tub ("Dropp," which is another banger).
The Amp Live album, which is distinctly post-hyphy Bay Area sounding, explores new wave, electroclash, techno, and other beat weirdness that is so often lacking in hip-hop. In other words, this is a hella experimental Bay Area rap album that pushes the proverbial envelope in every possible direction. I've had an advance of this for a while and I have played it to death. For a full lowdown on this recommended new album check back here on the Amoeblog in the near future for an interview with Amp Live.
As he has proven time and time again over his decades long career, DJ Quest is all about the music. The longtime San Francisco turntable artist is a regular at Amoeba Music, where he's performed at the San Francisco store at least a half a dozen times, including a couple of times with the kids he mentors from the Horizon's Unlimited DJ Project. He does everything out of love for the music he makes. Tomorrow (June 19th)'s recommended and talent studded Quest Fest that the artist is organizing will include sets from his two groups, the Bullet Proof Space Travelers and Live Human, as well as sets from Z-Man, Grand Invincible (Luke Sick & Eons One), Dawgshit, 2Fresh, Bas-One, DnZ, Mista B, Dopestyle, DJ ALF, and many more. It's a prime example of the love and dedication he has for music. The all day event has taken a lot of planning, organizing and hard work, and DJ Quest insists on it being all ages as well as a totally free grassroots event. Quest Fest's statement of purpose says the goal is to "bring various talented and like-minded individuals together in one place and allow for the right atmosphere to form and inspire creativity and motivation for all involved."
Last night I caught up with the busy DJ Quest on the phone to ask him about the event named after him and how and why he is doing it as a totally free event. "Everything everyone does nowadays is about money it seems and I wanted to do something that was not focused on making money," he said. "The reason I do music has never been about money. And the things that inspire me, you could never buy with any amount of money. This is about us artists promoting ourselves as artists. This is not about going to party to get drunk," he said. The festival promotes a healthy environment and encourages people to bring their kids.
The idea for Quest Fest came about, said the Mission District DJ, "Because Albert [Mathias -- percussionist of Live Human] and I wanted to do an event of some kind. And then it turned into wanting to see about doing something outside, not just a regular concert in a club. And then there were so many artists involved, so many heads that are talented and have so many similar goals and creative ideas that can be shared, and it became this big thing that kept fueling itself." The end result was Quest Fest, which will have a sound system both inside and outside at the Tin Castle space at 152 Toland St. in an industrial district of San Francisco.
The event kicks off at 2pm and will feature performances from the previously listed acts plus such others as Trunk Drank (Eddie K & Brandon B), Dick Gail, Holly Saucy, DJ L.O.C., DJ Lonely, Go Like This, Ray Two Thousand & Taso, plus some of the kids from the Horizons Unlimited DJ Project and Renegade Rockers and the Horizons B-boys. The event will be the first time that all members of both of Quest's groups will all be onstage at the same time -- his longtime turntablist crew The Bullet Proof Space Travelers (formerly the Bulletproof Scratch Hamsters) that includes DJ Marz, DJ Cue, & Eddie Def; and Live Human, which is the experimental jazz inflected trio with percussionist Mathias and bassist Andrew Kushin. So who knows what musical magic might jump off with that extended ensemble all on stage together!?
And as for the what Quest hopes to get out of this event that he and Mathias and others have been working so hard on for the past several weeks, and all for no money, just love? "Yeah, it is a lot of work we are putting in, but if someone gets inspired from it then that is already an accomplishment, in my opinion. So it would have served its purpose," said Quest, quickly reiterating that Quest Fest is strictly for people who sincerely care about the music. "This is not a commercial event. It is for music fanatics!"
Quest Fest takes place from 2pm to 6am at 152 Toland St, San Francisco. (Cross street is Evans -- behind building, in the parking lot.) The 9 San Bruno bus is the closest for public transit. Driving is recommended and, since it is an industrial area, there's lots of free parking. There will be limited barbecue pits available with charcoal and ice, plus plates and condiments will all be provided by Quest Fest. Attendees are invited to bring their own food and refreshments (picnic-style) and reminded to dress warmly for the inevitable chilly SF weather. For more info visit www.djquest.com.
Another San Francisco event happening tomorrow (Saturday, June 19th & every third Saturday) is the Stellartrax produced Analog Affair at Koko Cocktails with DJs Vinnie Esparza and DJ Vanka throwing down a variety of beats that cover such genres as Latin, soul, funk, Afrobeat, disco, Bollywood, ska, rocksteady, and highlife. Click here for more info.
Currently on tour, The Grouch feat. Bored Stiff, who played in Santa Clara last night, take their underground hip-hop show to downtown Modesto tonight (Friday June 18th) at the Fat Cat Music House & Lounge. In addition to the two headliners, there will be performances from Cobalt, Squad The Troll, Jusum One, Tronikfuq, Enzyme Dynamite & DJ Tru Justice, Tha Thurd & DJ Q, Talk To Strangers, Fourcast, Phatraxxx, Multiple Personalities, Jabberjawz, and DJ Perksun on the ones and twos. $20 at the door. $15 presale at www.tickets.com. For more info click here!
Tonight there is a highly recommended free show at Amoeba Music San Francisco that, while it is not hip-hop, is more importantly just really good music! Electro-soul singer/artist Jamie Lidell's just released, star studded fourth album Compass is a wonderful soulful but raw melange of twisted soul/funk tracks (think Prince channeled through Jay Dilla with a touch of a tweaked out sounding Al Green). A few years ago I caught Lidell in concert in New York on one of these boat parties and he was very entertaining live (people were going crazy for him), so you should check out his free instore at the Haight Street Amoeba at 6pm this evening (June 18). He also plays at The independent in San Francisco tonight.
And finally, I leave you with two videos. The first one is by New York emcee with a punk rock vibe Propaganda Anonymous, who has just released the video for "Luxury Condos" from his soon to drop album Squat The Condos which, as its name implies, is an album that addresses the issue of luxury condos coming into urban areas around the US and displacing low income housing in the name of "progress." The other video below is an outtake from the Jimmy Fallon Show a week ago when Ice Cube joined The Roots (along with Ren Geez, and Sleazy E) in a red hot smoking live rendition of NWA's "Straight Outta Compton," which, as far as I know, never aired but was part of the pre-show warm-up set for the audience members lucky to be there.
Propaganda Anonymous "Luxury Condos" (2010)
"Straight Outta Compton" The Roots. feat Ice Cube, Ren Geez, & Sleazy E (2010)