Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:23:10
1) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)
2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)
3) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)
4) Curren$y Pilot Talk (Blu Roc, Def Jam)
5) Tie between three:
- Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)
- Rick Ross Teflon Don (Def Jam)
- Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives
Thanks to both Inti and Evan at the Berkeley Amoeba Music, who star in the video below, for this week's hip-hop chart and honorable mentions/picks. As Inti mentions in the clip, still holding steady in sales are The Roots, Big Boi, Eminem, Drake, and Nas & Damian Marley. Meanwhile, the new entries include Rick Ross' Teflon Don, the Miami artist's fourth full length release following 2006's Port Of Miami, 2008's Trilla, and last year's Deeper Than Rap. The new album features such guests as Ne-Yo, members of the Miami-based Triple-C (Carol City Cartel), Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chrisette Michelle, Drake, T.I., and Raphael Sadiq. And in case, like me, you were fooled into thinking that MC Hammer, whose name appears on the sticker on the cover of the new CD, also appears on the new release, he doesn't; instead there is the song "MC Hammer (feat. Gucci Mane)" (audio sample below).
Rick Ross "MC Hammer (feat Gucci Mane)" (2010)
The new album was released this past Tuesday on the Bawse’s Maybach Music label through Def Jam, and it has already been doing quite well both at Amoeba and nationally, with fans clearly loving the artist. Still, Rick Ross simultaneously has more than his fair share of detractors, ranging from 50 Cent to many in the media who have routinely questioned his credibility. The latest example appears in this week's Village Voice care of a must-read article titled "Critical Wonkery: Who Does Rick Ross Think He Is, Exactly?" in which writer Zach Baron fairly critiques the shapeshifting self-made gangsta rapper who borrows his Teflon Don persona from John Gotti. The piece also recounts Ross' "struggles with embarrassing revelations about his time as a Florida corrections officer (to say nothing about the sex tape of his baby's mother 50 Cent procured and then made public, or the fur coat 50 copped for Ross's other baby's mother, also on camera). Pretty much every Rick Ross song is about being some variety of rich off cocaine, despite the fact Ross almost surely isn't, and the contradictions therein haven't much seemed to bother the record-buying public, who've made Ross one of rap's biggest stars in a surprisingly short time."
Inti and Evan @ Amoeba Berkeley with Top Five and Top Picks
Don't feel too bad if you are not up on talented New Orleans emcee Curren$y. His just released, much delayed official debut Pilot Talk (on Blu Roc with distribution through Def Jam) is one of the most sought after new releases of the past two weeks and is number four on the latest Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five chart. But you soon will be well aware of this major star-bound young talent who has had a challenging past few years trying to get his career properly started. He was affiliated with Lil Wayne's Young Money and Master P's No Limit labels -- both of which didn't materialize into anything concrete and delayed this talented New Orleans MC's official debut studio album from coming out until now.
Nonetheless, over the past several years Curren$y has built a strong underground rep with a steady series of mixtapes. At last year's SxSW he made a big splash, was given much love by the rap magazine XXL, and has been making friends all over, including Ski and Stalley through Dame Dash’s DD172 collective. His recommended official debut album Pilot Talk features Jay Electronica, Mos Def, Wiz Khalifa, Devin the Dude, Mikey Rocks, Stalley and many more, plus production by Ski Beatz and Mos Def. On "The Day" (one of the 13 great album tracks), he is joined by two of hip-hop's best, Mos Def and Jay Electronica, and he talks shit on former rap affiliates, paraphrases Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," and sings the praises of the sticky icky -- something that is a recurring theme for the artist throughout his career to date and on other new album songs like "The Hangover (feat. Mikey Rocks)."
Curren$y "The Day (feat Mos Def & Jay Electronica)" (2010)
Kero One "On Bended Knee (feat. Sam Ock)" (2010)Amoeba Berkeley's Evan's picks include fast rising SF rap star Kero One; the emcee/producer/multi-instrumentalist and former web designer reportedly counts the Black Eyed Peas' Will I. Am as being a part of his ever swelling fanbase. According to Evan, Kero One's latest album, Kinetic World, released on the artist's own indie SF based Plug Label, includes a cameo from the LA based Fashawn, who hails from Fresno (not Stockton as I had mistakenly said in video clip with Evan and Inti @ Amoeba).
Immediately above is the brand new video from Kero One from his new album, the song "On Bended Knee (feat. Sam Ock)." According to Kero One's website, the song was written from the talented SF artist’s own personal experiences. He writes, "'On Bended Knee' is about finding the one to spend the rest of your life with despite having traveled the world looking for love previously in all the wrong places. Kero One adds: "And if you are wondering what happened with the girl he’s rapping about in the song, she said 'yes.' Their wedding was literally a few days ago." The video was shot and directed by Johnny Le from Portland, Oregon.
Take Back the Mic Bay Area (2010)
On their FaceBook page, the Take Back the Mic Bay Area group writes, "Until recently you had to be famous to get heard. The capacity to amplify messages was in too few hands. Now with new media and social media, we have the responsibility to tell our stories and amplify our voices like never before!" The Bay Area hip-hop group's most recent story, as seen in the just-posted YouTube clip above, is their take on the recent BP oil spill and the damage done to the environment of the Gulf and beyond for many generations to come. Emcees in the clip above include veteran Oakland mic talent Naru Kwina.
And finally, I leave you with the video for the killer new track "Concrete Jungle Juice" from Fillmore, San Francisco mic wrecker (and sure to be a national rap star) DaVinci, who got his start cameo-ing with fellow Fillmore resident/ Bay Area rap vet San Quinn. His album is due out this summer.