Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six Chart: 11:26:10
1) Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)
2) Cee-Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra)
3) Curren$y Pilot Talk 2 (DD172 LLC)
4) Eligh Grey Crow (Legendary/Alpha Pup)
5) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)
6) Damu the Fudgemunk Supply For Demand (Redefinition Records)
For someone who has actually done hardly any interviews, Kanye West seems everywhere lately, including atop the latest Amoeba Music hip-hop chart with his critically and commercially acclaimed and recommended newest release, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, whose album cover art (above) comes in five alternate versions. One cover was so controversial with its racy imagery that many outlets refused to display it or else show a pixelated version. But of course Kayne is no stranger to controversy -- far from it; he simply seems to bounce from one well-publicized controversy to the next. And while sometimes it might seem like his erratic outbursts look to cost him fan support, the artist always seems to come out okay in the end. In fact, the timing of these controversies seem to nicely play into his grand (marketing) scheme -- assuming he subscribes to the "there's no such thing as bad publicity" school of thought.
Case in point is the recent George W Bush public condemnation of West for “one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency” from Hurricane Katrina time. This recent free bout of publicity -- from a former US president, no less (and let's not forget that Obama also criticized West, over the Taylor Swift incident) -- went back and forth between the two via network TV with acting referee Matt Lauer (who Kanye joined again yesterday during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade) and included such sound-bite gems as the unintentionally hilarious line by Dubya -- "I'm not a hater" -- that gave late night talk show hosts and online video remixers a lot to play with. (Check out the entertaining and nowadays requisite AutoTuned version of this verbal debate). You can't buy this kind of publicity and this was all for free, with perfect timing for the new West album release.
And speaking of the music, which is what it's all about really, West's latest 13 track (11 full songs/2 short tracks) album is a damn good one and the artist's best ever. But you likely knew that already, since many of the tracks have been leaked already. Still, now you can hear the whole album, and as the cohesive piece it was intended to be. It may not be a strictly hip-hop album in the traditional sense of the word (it's more rap-meets-singing), but for a mainstream hip-hop album it is a most ambitious work since it breaks a lot of rules as to what song structure and lengths are thought to be.
The album will keep your ears locked in from its spoken word intro by Nicki Minaj (coincidentally, her deservedly hyped debut album, Pink Friday, also arrived on Amoeba shelves this week), through such songs as the star-studded "All Of The Lights" (feat. Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Elton John, John Legend, The-Dream, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Tony Williams, and Elly Jackson -- no less), and “Runaway” (the response to Taylor Swift song he unveiled earlier this year at the VMA’s), and “Gorgeous,” which features Raekwon on a verse.
Other collaborators include RZA, Swizz Beatz, and Pusha T from Clipse. This lushly produced new album is Kanye's best record yet and, no doubt, will be making its way into many year-end best-of lists. Furthermore, it proves that, love him or hate him for his crazy public persona, West is one super-talented pop artist who keeps mainstream hip-hop music always interesting and ever-evolving.
Besides Kanye and Nicki Minaj there are tons of other new releases that arrived in Amoeba this week and Luis at the San Francisco store, who supplied this week's hip-hop chart, provided me with a list, with links to audio and/or video samples of many of these new music hip-hop releases featuring such Bay Area artists as Messy Marv and J-Stalin. See this great list with links below.
Luis also reminded me that today (Black Friday) is a very special day to shop at Amoeba since we are celebrating Record Store Day with numerous releases only available to buy today, November 26th. These include the limited edition green vinyl 12" pressing of Cee-Lo Green's "F**k You" single in a yellow coiored record jacket. So head to Amoeba today and take care of all your holiday shopping. Meantime, check out all the new music links below that appear in no particular order and include the name of the record label for each corresponding release.
Curren$y-Pilot Talk 2 (DD172 LLC)
Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)
Nicki Minaj-Pink Friday (Cash Money Records)
Damu the Fudgemunk-Supply For Demand (Redefinition Records)
Alchemist & Oh No (Gangrene) - Gutter Water (Decon)
Yelawolf-Trunk Muzik 0-60 (DGC Records)
Lloyd Banks-H.F.M.2 (G-Unit Records)
Shady Nate-Mobb Marley (Livewire Reecords)
J-Stalin & Lil Kev-Women and Money (Livewire Records)
Messy Marv-Vol. 2-Paystyle Flow (No Pen)
Inspectah Deck-Manifesto Redux (Urban Icon records)
Maestro Fresh-Wes-The Black Tie Affair (MFW Records)