Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:06:101) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)
2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)
3) Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz (Stones Throw)
4) Curren$y Pilot Talk (Blu Roc, Def Jam)
5) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)
Thanks to Inti at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five countdown (see video below), with many of the same current releases from the past several weeks still holding strong in sales at the Telegraph Ave. store. A prime example is The Roots' widely acclaimed latest How I Got Over (Def Jam), which is number one again this week. A new entry on the top five is the latest installment from eclectic producer Madlib -- CD number seven for month number seven (July 2010) in this unique Stones Throw twelve month Medicine Show series from the prolific LA music man. High Jazz is the name of the CD and it has already sold out at Amoeba Berkeley. The album is described as a tribute to the landmark 1976 jazz-fusion album released by Stanton Davis’s Ghetto Mysticism and as such displays another impressive musical side to the ever eclectic and progressive Madlib. Noteworthy songs on this 15 track release include a collaborative piece with jazz/hip-hop drummer/producer Karriem Riggins, who, along with Madlib, is the group Jahari Masamba Unit. Note that there is also a limited edition 3-disc vinyl version of this Medicine Show installment from Stones Throw which offers an exclusive additional 30 minutes of music. Fans of the Madlib Medicine Show series can look out for release number 8 to drop on August 24th.
Other current releases of note include the highly recommended album Crown Of Thorns on Decon by LA emcee Rakaa of Dilated Peoples fame, and the German import vinyl of The Gin Diaries by Suff Daddy, who, as Inti notes, crafts some "dope hip-hop instrumentals that are very Jay Dilla-esque" in their composition. In fact, it seems like a lot of the current wave of hip-hop producers coming up are directly influenced by the late great Detroit hip-hop studio legend whose legacy only seems to grow with each passing year since his tragic 2006 death from Lupus at age 32.
J-Dilla's production is also featured on Villa Manifesto, which is the latest/last album from Slum Village (his old group), featured in the video clip with Inti below.
The ever active DJ Inti, who spun at Radio last night, will be spinning at the Oasis in Oakland tomorrow (Saturday). Also on the bill with Inti are Joe Quixx, Yoni Wolf, and The Hoodstock Boys. Longtime Bay Area hip-hop crew Foreign Legion have just unleashed their new single, "Travel Lite," which is available for free download here thanks to the group's Prozack Turner. Prozack will be interviewed here in the coming weeks about both his music and his downtown Oakland bar The Layover as part of ongoing The Town Amoeblog series about cool spots and people in Oakland, CA.
Speaking of Oakland and hip-hop I just recently got word that MC Money Ray of APG Crew died of cancer three months ago at age 38. The emcee, born Raymond Jackson, came to fame over twenty years ago as part of the North Oakland collective APG Crew, whose name stood for both Action Packed Gangstas (one of their songs) and Apgar St. (the Oakland street that they hailed from and where their label, Metro Records, was based).
APG Crew's 1989 album On The Rise was voted best local rap album back at that time, when it got a lot of love on local rap radio shows. The group also performed on many rap bills around the Bay Area between '89 and '91. If you head to YouTube you can see an unsettling video shot last June that shows the effects of the cancer in his left leg. May he rest in peace.
Inti @ Amoeba Berkeley with the Top Five for week ending August 6th 2010
The Mighty Underdogs "Science Fiction" (Def Jux, 2008)
Above is the Bay Area hip-hop supergroup The Mighty Underdogs, who are headlining tonight's big Best of the East Bay party thrown annually by the East Bay Express. The independent free weekly paper features the hip-hop trio on the cover of their current issue. Comprised of emcees Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Lateef the Truth Speaker of Latyrx, and producer Headnodic of the Crown City Rockers, The Mighty Underdogs released The Prelude EP in 2007 and the full-length Droppin' Science Fiction the following year. Between the two releases they were joined by such other artists as DJ Shadow, MF DOOM, LadyBug Mecca, and Raashan Ahmad.
This year's EBX Best Of The East Bay event will once again include Amoeba Music! We will have a booth set up at the event. Last year's big party attracted 20,000 people to the Oakland Museum but this year the party has moved down to Jack London Square, where there will be twelve stages with entertainment happening simultaneously and way too much stuff going on to include here. To get it all, check out the East Bay Express site and the Amoeba Music site for full details on this huge scale, always fun event. It is free and all ages and happens this evening (August 6th) from 5pm to 11pm. Be there!
The Oakland Faders' DJ Platurn, DJ Zeph, and DJ Mere will be there tonight throwing down at the EBX event. And tomorrow (August 7th), Platurn (aka Deejay Platurnipus) and his always busy DJ crew will be keeping the party moving with their monthly Fade' at Oakland's Era Art Bar at 19 Grand Ave @ Broadway. This third installment of the new first Saturdays monthly will also be a PCKPR release party.
Pioneering LA hip-hop group Freestyle Fellowship have reunited and are making a very special Bay Area appearance when they play Yoshi's in San Francisco tomorrow, Saturday, August 7th at 10:30PM. Tickets are $20 advance and $25 at the door but a Yoshi's $30 Pass for the Beyond Jazz Series is good for tickets to Chali2na (who plays tonight in the Beyond Jazz Series) and Freestyle Fellowship. For exact full details on this talent packed event click here
And when you are on the Yoshi's site check out info on New York hip-hop cellist/trombonist/electronic musician Dana Leong and his current project Milk & Jade, who play Yoshi's Oakland on Wednesday, August 11th. The line-up will include iLLspokiNN (emcee), Hagar Ben Ari (electric bass), and Yoni Halevy (drums).
Southern hip-hop group The Nappy Roots, whose latest album is the just released The Pursuit of Nappyness, will be making a special Bay Area appearance when they hit San Francisco next week with local Bay Area special guests 40Love, The Chosen Few, and Ren The Vinyl Archaeologist. The show happens on Tuesday, August 10th, at the Rockit Room. More info here.
And finally, I leave you with a brand new video to a song that's been out for a minute: Blitz The Ambassador's "Something To Believe In" taken from his current album Stereotype, which dropped last year (he is currently wrapping up his 2011 follow up). But this New York City emcee, who has played out in Cali a few times, including recently at The New Parish in Oakland, is one of those artists that I always cite as a good go to emcee when people complain that "there's no good hip-hop anymore, no good hip-hop with any kind of message." Wrong! There is a lot of it, but you have to seek it out: artists like Blitz The Ambassador!