Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:08:10
1) Michael Franti The Sound of Sunshine (Capitol)
2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)
Ski Beatz 24 Hour Karate School (Def Jam)
Curren$y Pilot Talk (Def Jam)
4) Ice Cube I Am The West (Lench Mob Records)
5) Black Milk Album of the Year (Fat Beats)
Michael Franti & Spearhead, who last month produced and headlined their 12th annual Power To The Peaceful Festival in San Francisco, shot to number one on the new Amoeba Hip-Hop Top Five chart at the Berkeley store with The Sound of Silence on Capitol Records. Nationally, the new album, which is the group's seventh album to date, also did well, debuting at #17 on the Billboard album chart and making it the highest chart entry yet for the Oakland, CA artist and his group. This latest debut even surpassed the debut of 2008’s All Rebel Rockers, which came in at #39. On The Sound of Sunshine Franti and crew reunite with Sly & Robbie in Jamaica for parts of the new album. Even though it is charting on the hip-hop album list, the record is really a lot less hip-hop and a lot more of that upbeat, hook-driven, positive-message, sunshine-y (pun intended) reggae that has helped Franti win over so many fans around the globe. The album's title track follows.
Michael Franti & Spearhead "The Sound of Sunshine" (2010)
In a tie for third place on the new chart is hip-hop producer Ski Beatz (aka DJ Ski) with his tight new Def Jam release 24 Hour Karate School. He is already boasting quite a rep for his production for Camp Lo and on many of Jay-Z's most renowned songs (including "Feelin' It," "Dead Presidents," "Streets Is Watching" and "Who You Wit 2"). The artist, who started out in the early 90's as a member of Original Flavor, also recently produced a majority of the tracks on Curren$y's Pilot Talk -- the album coincidentally sharing the number three spot on this week's Amoeba chart, which, I guess, technically makes him the winner of the shared chart position. Curren$y returns the favor and appears on Ski Beatz' new album along with other collaborators such as Mos Def, Tabi Bonney, Wiz Khalifa The Cool Kids, Jay Electronica, Camp Lo, and Stalley. Below is the track "Cream of the Planet" featuring Mos Def. Also below is "I Rep The West" off the new ice Cube album that is number four on the latest chart.
Ski Beatz "Cream of the Planet" featuring Mos Def (2010)
Ice Cube "I Rep The West" (2010)
Pharoahe Monch Premieres "Clap" From W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) Live on London Radio
As seen in video above, American emcee Pharoahe Monch, who was over in the UK recently, took the opportunity during his visit last weekend to London radio station KISS 100's Hip Hop Show with hosts Shortee Blitz and DJ MK for a live on-the-air premiere performance of his new song 'Clap.' The song comes from his forthcoming album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), which is slated to drop sometime in the new year. It is produced by M-Phazes and featuring Showtime on the song's chorus.
Longtime Bay Area hip-hop emcee Motion Man, who started out two decades ago with Sway & Tech on the Wake Up Show and since has recorded extensively with Kool Keith and KutMasta Kurt, is back with a new album titled Adult Situations on 442 Records. The 12 track album, which is produced by San Francisco's Unagi (who appeared on the Amoeba Music Compilation Vol V) and up-and-coming Philly producer Jethroe, features guest spots from longtime Motion Man pal Lyrical C plus D'WYZE and KutMasta Kurt, who does a remix of the song "Interoffice Romance." As the album title and cover art imply, Adult Situations is a sex themed collection of songs that show the influence that hanging out with Kool Keith has had on Motion Man.
Another Bay Area hip-hop act active out there is young East Bay crew The Pack, who, when still in Berkeley High School shot to fame a few years back during the hyphy movement. They scored a hit with their ode to sneakers anthem "Vans," and consequently got signed to Too $hort's label Up All Nite, soon after dropping an anticipated album via Jive Records. They may not have overtaken the world as was once expected, but they did make some good tunes and have continued making music ever since. Tonight they will play both new music (including their infectious recent single "Sex On The Beach," which is somewhat reminiscent of Sexual Harassment's early 80's hit "I Need A Freak") and older music (as in circa 2004-2006) at their show in Santa Cruz along with Dev and Nima Fadavi (DJ Set) at The Catalyst. It is a 16 and up ages show. More info here.
This afternoon in Riverside, CA there will be a screening of the hip-hop film Louder Than A Bomb which is currently touring the country and playing on select screens. The award-winning documentary was produced & directed by Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel and tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth slam. Today's screening is at 3pm at the Culver Center Film Theatre. More information here.
If you cannot make today's screening, the film will be shown again in the SoCal area in a few weeks -- on October 27th at 7pm it will be screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles at the Ray Stark Family Theater. More info here.
Louder Than A Bomb may take its title from a Public Enemy song, but it doesn't feature any members of that famous group. However, the David “C-Doc” Snyder written and directed feature film The Quiet Arrangement does. Chuck D appears in the feature film that was first shown at film festivals last year, including the Oakland International Film Festival, and is just now out on DVD. See the movie trailer here.
The Bay Area will be well be extremely well represented in Atlanta at this weekend's big A3C hip-hop fest. Now in its sixth year, the ATL festival, which kicked off last night and runs through tomorrow, will feature a slew of Bay Area acts during tonight's B.A.R.T. (Bay Area Rap Teamup) showcase with the Yay in full effect. Artists featured will include Fillmore rapper DaVinci, Erk Tha jerk, Mistah FAB, The Jacka and many more that are either Bay Area based or Bay Area related somehow. The showcase, which will be hosted by Lyrics Born, happens at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage at 11:45pm this evening.
The Bay Area showcase is just one small aspect of this really cool sounding, well-rounded three day hip-hop event that also features a b-boy event and a DJ battle / showcase (Put The Needle To The Record) -- both tomorrow / Saturday. There are numerous panels including one titled What is a mixtape...really? and workshops including one on Traktor Scratch Pro.
The countless showcases include sets by the Cool Kids, Tanya Morgan, MURS, 9th Wonder, Kidz in the Hall, Camp Lo, and J-Live. The admission is reasonable, with advance pre-tickets going for $33 for the three days and a little more for walk up entry that is now already under way. But since there is so much going on, for complete details on this exciting weekend in the ATL it is best to check out full info on the A3C festival.