Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:20:10
1) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)
2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)
3) Rick Ross Teflon Don (Def Jam)
4) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)
5) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)
Thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music for this week's hip-hop top five chart which, as he notes, "has a lot of the same releases from the past few weeks" still holding it down, including Drake, Eminem, The Roots, Big Boi, and Rick Ross. But by next week expect some changes when, no doubt, the just released and already much hyped Camu Tao debut album King of Hearts takes over.
The album is already one of Amoeba SF's Luis' hot picks. The posthumously released album is the debut from this talented Brooklyn-via-Ohio emcee, singer, & producer, who died two years ago after a protracted battle with lung cancer. The late artist's CD, which could as easily be filed under rock as rap, is an effective blend of hip-hop sensibilities with melodic pop/rock & electropunk and may even remind some of a grittier version of B.O.B. and (longtime fan) Kid Cudi. Had King of Hearts been released when it was first recorded it would have been ahead of the curve. Knowing that these recordings, which executive producer El-P deliberately kept in their raw original form, date back many years only adds to their greatness.
Hearts may be Camu's official solo debut had he been around for a minute. Tao got his start back in mid-90s Columbus, Ohio alongside RJD2 and Copywrite in the hip hop group MHZ, whose releases were issued by Bobbito Garcia's legendary long defunct label Fondle 'Em Records. Cop a free download of the infectious opening track "Be a Big Girl," which borrows from Elvis Costello's "Big Boy," c/o of the Village Voice, who this week did a nice piece on the late artist. And click the player below to hear the abrasive, raw rock-sounding but infectious album track "When You're Going Down." Expect to be hearing a lot more about Camu Tao over the coming weeks and months.
Camu Tao "When You're Going Down" (2010)
The new four song 12” from Dam-Funk on Stones Throw is about to drop. The super-talented artist takes it up yet another notch with a Steve Arrington (Slave) joining him on "4 My Homies" and MC Eiht on "Hood Pass Intact" on the four-song release. DJ Inti at Amoeba Berkeley suggests checking the preview clip (below) for the forthcoming Wu-Tang Clan documentary which is a ten-years-in-the-making, no holds barred, behind the scenes piece on the often volatile relationship between members of the hip-hop collective. One of hip-hop history's most beloved groups, the Shaolin crew first caught the world's attention 17 years ago when they unleashed Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which remains a brilliant and timeless work. The documentary, produced by the group's GZA, makes the point that, despite the many solo careers of Wu members, fans fiend for the Wu as a crew over individual members. As Method Man states in the film, "Anytime you see me on stage they ain't screaming Method Man. They screaming Wu-Tang!"
They'll be screaming Wu-Tang this weekend at NOS Event Center in SoCal when this year's brief but talent packed two-weekend traveling hip-hop festival Rock The Bells kicks off tomorrow at noon at the National Orange Event Center and heads up to the the Bay Area the next day (Aug 22) at the Shoreline Amphitheatre at 11am. In addition to the Wu, acts include A Tribe Called Quest, Ms Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg (doing Doggystyle in its entirety), KRS-One with Rakim, Slick Rick with DJ Premier, Immortal Technique, Boots Riley + Tom Morello's Street Sweeper Social Club, Murs & 9th Wonder, Brother Ali, Supernatural, and more too. There are also many side attractions, such as a freestyle session and a b-boy lifestyle showcase. The line up is the same for all stops of Rock The Bells, which moves East next weekend: August 28 at Governor's Island, NYC & August 29 at Merriweather in DC. Tickets are $99 and up. More info here.
Wu-Tang Clan documentary preview (2010)
Tonight in the Bay Area is a must attend event for fans of SF rap: the record release party for the new local rap compilation Concrete Dreams. Bigg Tae and One League Ent. are putting on tonight's event, which happens at 9pm at El Rio in the Mission and will include live appearances by BPos, Akil, and Spank Pops. These artists also appear on the new release along with Bored Stiff, Z-Man, Equipto, Gypsea Rose, FDOG, Hugh E. MC, Cait La Dee, Tabb Doe, Eddie k, G Scott, D Life, Agent Strik 9, P.W. Esquire, Lock Down, Dro P, Blacc Smith, Sick Y.G., B-Line, 1 Oak, Pharoe, Conceit, and Mike Marshall. Click here for more info!
The 45 Sessions are happening tomorrow night at The Layover in Oakland with the Oakland Faders' DJ Platurn and Joe Quixx both playing 45s only at this free party at
1517 Franklin St, downtown Oakland. More info here!
MC Hammer is back and performing tomorrow at the two-day Oakland Art & Soul Festival. Other big name hometown artists taking it back to the old school include En Vogue and Tony! Toni! Toné!, all part of a wonderful Oakland musical heritage line-up. Full lineup and ticket info here!
Last weekend at the Hollywood Amoeba store Spinderella and DJ Scratch (pictured below) graced the store's turntables as part of the special Sunday Sound Matinee with Spinderella session. This was a return visit for the former Salt N Pepa member, who DJ'ed at the Amoeba Hollywood store during Record Store Day. To see more photos from last weekend's Amoeba session click here.
Meanwhile, this weekend's Sunday Sound Matinee summer DJ series features the members of Darker My Love, who will be taking turns at spinning between 2pm and 4pm, August 22nd. The group's new album, Alive As You Are (Dangerbird), is out now. And finally, I leave you with two videos featuring Ray Ricky Rivera and each shot in LA. The first is of the Amoeba Hollywood staffer/LA hip-hop artist recently giving a tour of the LA Amoeba's vast hip-hop section and the other video is the emcee's wonderful video for his tribute to LA, "The Boom Box Bounce," which is directed by Manuel Huerta with camera work by Jerry Henry.
Ray Ricky Rivera's Tour of Amoeba Hollywood's Hip-Hop Section (2010)
Amoeba Hollywoood's Ricky Ray Rivera's tribute to LA video: "The Boom Box Bounce" (2009)