Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 12:24:10
1) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
2) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)
3) Diddy-Dirty Money Last Train To Paris (Bad Boy Records / Interscope)
4) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)
5) Curren$y Pilot Talk II (Def Jam)
Thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera at Amoeba Hollywood for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart at the Los Angeles Amoeba store. It includes many of the recent new releases that have been doing well at the other two Amoebas and beyond: Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, and Curren$y. It also includes the brand new DIddy-Dirty Money album, Last Train To Paris, which the artist/rap impresario once known as Puff Daddy said took three years to make and described its sound as "electro-hip-hop-soul funk." In a press release, Diddy said that for this more dance club sounding album he was influenced "by being in the dance music world and doing stuff with Felix da Housecat, Erick Morillo, Deep Dish, DJ Hell and being in Ibiza and DC10," in reference to the big nightclub on the island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean. Despite themselves, many Diddy haters will find this album infectious since it is filled with irresistibly catchy choruses. Of course, being the wise overseer / producer he is, Diddy only did part of the real work on this album; he shrewdly enlisted the talents of others to accomplish his musical goals.
Diddy Dirty Money "Ass On The Floor (feat Swizz Beatz)" (2010)
Talib Kweli, who was interviewed by the Amoeblog this week, is among a group of politically active & socially conscious emcees who have banded together to show their support for imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Kweli joined Immortal Technique, M-1 of Dead Prez, Skyzoo, and Rakaa of Dilated Peoples in contributing songs to the brand new 13 track album, Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop's Contribution to the Freedom Campaign.
On the album track "Right This Wrong," Dilated's Rakaa raps, "It's been over 30 years of tears and frustration. Since the brother stood up with no fear for the nation. Human rights organizations are trying to right this wrong. But for Peltier the least I can do is write this song." 33 years ago Peltier was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for the murder of two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His supporters claim that he was wrongfully accused, but despite numerous protests over the years, he has been consistently denied parole.
More than any other contemporary genre, hip-hop has been losing its creators at a relatively young age. Last week news surfaced that Richard Sisco (AKA Sisco Kid) had died. The pioneering, legendary hip-hop emcee, who was known for his membership in (the Kool Herc affiliated) The Herculords and, perhaps most notably, for his appearance in the 1984 film Beat Street (see clip below), died last Tuesday after suffering from a long battle with cancer. He was 50 years of age.
Even more tragic, due to how she died, is the sudden death of New Orleans bounce rapper Magnolia Shorty. This Monday she was murdered along with Jerome “Man Man” Hampton in Little Woods, New Orleans East. The artist born Renetta Lowe, who hailed from N.O.'s Magnolia Projects, was the first female emcee to record with Cash Money Records. Read the full report on how she was murdered and her career in a recent Amoeblog post by Eric Brightwell.
Beat Street excerpt feat. Sisco Kid (1984)
Just because it is Christmas Day and it seems like everything is closed doesn't mean that you can't go out and find places to party. Tomorrow, December 25th, in San Francisco, clubs happening include Reggae Gold at Club Six with resident selectors Daddy Rolo, DJ Polo Moqz, and DJ Serg plus special guest
DJ Veyn from Natural Mystiq.
The party is the 3rd Annual Red & White Affair and costs $15 admission or $10 before 11pm. Club Six is located on Sixth Street between Market and Mission in SF. More info here.
And in the spirit of Christmas and hip-hop, I leave you with two classic and timeless Christmas rap songs from back in the day: Run DMC's "Christmas In Hollis" from 1987 and Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rapping" from 1980 on BBC Television's Top Of The Pops show thirty years ago. Happy Holidays!
Run DMC "Christmas in Hollis" (1987)
Kurtis Blow "Christmas Rapping" (1980)