Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:19:11
1) Lupe Fiasco Lasers (Atlantic) CD
Love him or hate him, Lupe Fiasco’s new one was last week’s best seller by far, selling out the first day we received it and steadily moving units since. Lasers has apparently been disowned by Lupe himself in interviews, which is somewhat of a testament to his testy personality, but he’s clearly tapped into a special realm of the pop music spectrum if he can appeal to Top 40 crowds and seasoned rap listeners alike.
2) Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows (3D/Javotti Media) CD
Back in stock! I wrote up a bit on this one the other week, but it was out of stock for a sec and now that it’s back on the shelves it’s moving quick. Talib Kweli’s latest is his first independently released solo project in a minute, boasting production from the likes of Oh No, Marco Polo, S1, and Khrysis amongst others. Gutter Rainbows is one crafted for Talib’s long-time fans for sure.
3) Blu Amnesia (Nature Sounds) 10”
New limited 10” single from everybody’s favorite new school West Coast MC, Blu. Taken from his upcoming full length HerFavoriteColour, which was released as a download a while back but is now newly remastered and available to the DJs on wax. The title track and two additional songs on this 10” highlight not only Blu’s natural flow, but also his interesting lo-fi soulful production. Limited and smooth as hell.
4) Raekwon Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (EMI/Ice H2O) CD
The latest Wu-Tang product is this new one from Chef
Raekwon, who for my money has been releasing some of the more solid projects in the Wu catalogue in recent years. Those who expected Raekwon to fall back into “Immobilarity” territory with this release had better think again, as this album feels like a worthy follow-up to Only Built for Cuban Linx 2. Raw kung-fu inspired production reminiscent of RZA and guest spots from all your favorite Wu-Tang artists.
5) Elzhi Deep (Funk Night Records) 12”
Dope new single from Slum Village’s illest rap talent. A-side produced by Black Milk, B-side produced by DJ Spinna. It’s from Detroit… need I say more?
+ Honorable Mention:
Void Pedal Omni-Colour (Fieldwerk) (CD/LP)
The Chicago record label Fieldwerk has been putting out some of the most interesting instrumental hip hop music in recent years, and Void Pedal’s debut full length really demonstrates their ear for talent.
Omni-Colour is one of the most subtle, nuanced and moody instrumental hip hop releases I’ve heard in a minute. Well worth checking for if you’re a fan of early RJD2, LA’s current beat scene, or Dark Time Sunshine’s producer Zavala. Dope!
Once again thanks to Amoeba Berkeley's E.Lit for this latest hip-hop top five chart & breakdown that includes some of the same releases (Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, & Raekwon) that have simultaneously been selling well at the San Francisco and Hollywood Amoeba Music stores. Lupe Fiasco's Lasers, the Chicago rapper's third album released last week, did well everywhere else too, topping the Billboard 200 albums chart this week, charging straight to the number one slot by selling 204,000 copies. And even though, as E.Lit mentioned above, the artist is trying to distance himself from the release, it is his most commercially successful to date.
In rap news for the week, as reported here few days ago, the great Nate Dogg, who came to fame during the G-Funk era, passed this week at the young age of 41 following complications from two serious strokes over past few years. Down in Austin, TX the big annual SXSW film & music conference, now in its 25th year, continues today and tomorrow with lots of hip-hop acts this year. For full event listings go to the SXSW site for details.
One recommended show tonight at SXSW is the Red Bull Thre3Style All Star Showcase with sets by such artists as Q-Bert, Jazzy Jeff, Z-Trip, and De La Soul. One of the greatest hip-hop groups, De La Soul have promised a new album this year, according to the trio's Maseo in an interview with Pedestrian.TV a couple of weeks ago.
According to that interview, De La's Art Official Intelligence 3 will be out sometime this year and featuring the album track "Return of the D.S.T." that has been floating around online since it was leaked by the group last August. In the meantime I suggest digging up (if you already have it in your collection) or else buying from Amoeba the classic & timeless 1989 De La Soul debut 3 Feet High And Rising with its pitch perfect Prince Paul production.
Pioneering legendary funk bassist / Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins will release his first new album in five years next month, the guest heavy Tha Funk Capitol of the World (Mascot Records) that will include cameos from Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, & Chuck D, who appear together on the new album track "Hip Hop @ Funk U." Other guests on this radically diverse album will include the late Jimi Hendrix, Bela Fleck, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Cornel West, Sheila E, Samuel L. Jackson, and Buckethead, to name but a few. Should be an interesting album. It arrives in Amoeba on April 26th.
Tomorrow, Sunday March 20th, the San Francisco scratch DJ club Skratchpad run by Deeandroid and Celskiii, will take a departure from its usual venue (The Cellar in SF) to travel north to Petaluma for a free all afternoon turntablist exhibit at World of Stereo between 2pm and 5pm. Joining them will be such other skratch masters as Mista-B. Click here for all the info.
Moe Green "Cruise Control" (2011)
Above is the brand new video from North Bay rap talent Moe Green, who lately has been busy in the studio fine-tuning his upcoming EP Lionheart, which will be the anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed debut album from last summer (a popular item at Amoeba SF), Rocky Maivia: Non-Title Match. One of that album's tracks was "Cruise Control," for which J. Sutherland directed the above brand new video. The 22 year old Vallejo rapper, who many have cited as the next breakout rap star from the Bay, began writing rhymes in kindergarten with his childhood best friend and E-40's son, Droop-E.