Murs & Terrace Martin "We On Melrose" (2011) = Number one Hip-Hop release at Amoeba
1) Murs & Terrace Martin ...Are Melrose (Murs 316)
2) Livewire I Pledge Alliegance To The WIre (LivewIre Records)
3) Strong Arm Steady Arms & Hammers (Blacksmith/Element 9)
4) Beans End It All (Anticon)
5) Trackademicks State of the Arts (Honor Roll)
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba San Francisco for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart that features the brand new, fun & upbeat collaborative release from Murs and Terrace Martin on the Murs 316 label, Murs & Terrace Martin Are Melrose. On this concept album these two Left Coast talents morph into a pair of party animal alter egos with tales of partying on such tracks as "We Are Melrose" (above), "Fresh Kicks," "We Got Sumthin (feat. Coi Mattison)," and "Ding Dong (feat. Uncle Chucc)."
The seemingly unstoppable and ever prolific Livewire collective, the Oakland crew that features such popular rappers as J. Stalin, Philthy Rich, Stevie Joe, and Shady Nate, unleash another new album that technically is a compilation but is billed as the artist Livewire. Regardless, the 21 track, guest-heavy CD is packed with mob street rap tales that will satisfy Livewire's already dedicated fanbase with contributors including Messy Marv, Eddi Projex, D-Lo, Lil Rue, Lil Joe, J-Diggs, Matt Blaque, Jay Jonah, Da Thrill & Ant Mack, and Fat Boy Chubbs.
Another new chart entry is the highly recommended End It All album on Anticon from Beans -- the emcee of Anti Pop Consortium fame who raps a mile a minute with some of the most intense rhymes. Check out the video clip below from his recent record release party at Santos Party House in NYC.
The Talib Kweli overseen label Blacksmith Records has just released the latest from West Coast supergroup Strong Arm Steady (SAS), consisting of Krondon, Mitchy Slick and Phil the Agony. The anticipated Arms & Hammers album is the group's third studio album following their last one with the Stones Throw label. Once again the emcees kill it with production assistance from such talents as DJ Khalil, Nottz, Jelly Roll, Blaqthoven and Terrace Martin. Their guests include Too $hort, who joins them on the album single "On Point" in which SAS paraphrase the lyrics from some Short Dog classics (video below).
Prolific Bay Area producer/emcee/instrumentalist Trackademicks, who has worked with countless artists from Mistah F.A.B. to E-40, has released his official full-length debut State Of The Arts on Honor Roll. Producing all of the dozen tracks on this recommended album himself, the Alameda, CA native enlists many of the same artists he's worked with over the past several years to guest. Included are Mistah F.A.B., Goapele (who is on the uplifting title cut), Little Brother/Foreign Exchange founder Phonte, Kid Sister, and Teedra Moses. In addition to this album, Trackademics also wrote a State of the Arts accompanying book. Below is the video for the title track.
Trackademicks- "State of the Arts" (2011)
Strong Arm Steady "On Point (feat Too $hort)" from Arms & Hammers (2011)
Beans live at Santos Party House (NYC) during recent record release party for End It All (2011)
Seems like a week doesn't go by without a new book about hip-hop being published. The latest is the just published Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop by Michael P. Jeffries which, described as the "first academic book that investigates the meaning of rap music, the most visible and commercialized element of hip-hop," takes the fresh approach of not interviewing artists or music critics. Instead the author interviews the people who consume the music on a daily basis: fans from all racial backgrounds or "everyday people," as author Jeffries puts it, making the book "into a conversation, as fans explain what hip-hop means, what makes good rap, and what to make of all the controversy surrounding hip-hop culture." In addition to views about music and what the music means to these subjects there are also their collective reflections on such topics as racial identity and gender politics.
In what seems to be a common trend these days, Daedelus will be releasing his new album on digital and vinyl formats only -- no CDs. Titled Bespoke and to be released by Ninja Tune next month, this vinyl & digital only full length release, which I got a preview of, is another great album from the unique super talented Los Angeles hip-hop/electronic producer born Alfred Darlington. It is also just one aspect of what looks to be a pretty productive year for Daedelus, who'll be touring in support of the album starting in North America with Tokimonsta and Shlohmo. Additionally, he has plans for several studio collaborations throughout 2011. The album Bespoke, which will arrive in Amoeba Music on April 11th, features quite a few collaborations too, with artists like Baths, Bilal, Young Dad, Inara George, and Busdriver in a performance that's unlike anything he's done before.
If you are in the LA area today make an effort to head over to Ameoba Hollywood for the free, all ages 6pm instore with DJ / producer / supertalent Cut Chemist, whose set will include highlights from his most recent CD release, the Sound Of The Police on A Stable Sound / Soul Kitchen Records. The mix, which was done live off of original 7" and LP pressings, using only one Technics turntable, one Rane mixer, and a Boss RC50 loop pedal, features, according to the LA turntablist, "African and South American inspired music from around the world. It was constructed for the first of Mochilla’s Timeless series on February 1st, 2009. I had the privilege of performing this set opening for Mulatu Astatke, which was his very first Los Angeles appearance. I recorded the rehearsal using the best parts of multiple takes." If you attend, buy a copy of the CD and get it signed by the artist. If you are unable to attend the Hollywood instore you can always get the CD online directly from Amoeba here.