Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 06:10:111) Blu & Exile Below The Heavens Re-Issue (Sound In Color)
2) Neek The Exotic Still On The Hustle (Fatbeats)
3) Vast Aire OX 2010: A Street Odyssey (Man Bites Dog Records & Fat Beats)
4) Oddisee Odd Seasons (Mello Music Group)
5) Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz are-Hail Mary Mallon Are You Gonna Eat That? (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba for this week's Top Five chart that features Blu & Exile's reissue of Below The Heavens and the new Neek The Exotic's Still On The Hustle holding down the two top spots. Fans of Def Jux's famed NY hip-hop duo Cannibal Ox are among those snapping up Vast Aire's new OX 2010: A Street Odyssey which is a sort of throwback to his former group even if his former partner in rhyme Vordul Mega only appears on of the album's 15 tracks; the track "Thor's Hammer" that also features Raekwon. Fellow Wu warrior Cappadonna also makes a cameo on this guest heavy release that includes Double A.B., Kenyattah Black, Guilty Simpson, and Genesis of LXG. OX 2010 may not be quite as great a work as Vast Aire's The Best Damn Rap Show but it is a tight album that displays the lyricist's clever wordplay.
Oddisee's Odd Seasons is the Washington DC producer & emcee's culmination of four separate EPs representing each season that was created over the course of a year featuring many guest contributors. Odd Seasons finds all four seasons nicely mixed, mastered, and presented as a 33-track offering of energized break beats, soulful grooves, and electronic tracks. The other new chart entry this week is the concept album with a great name and accompanying cover art for the Rhymesayers release titled Are You Gonna Eat That?" Hail Mary Mallon (so named after Typhoid Mary) is Aesop Rock's first official album since 2007's None Shall Pass and for this outing he is joined by Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz for an album that whose best tracks include "Plagues and Bacon," "Breakdance Beach," "Church Pants," and "Smock."
At last weekend's invite-only FTC 25th year anniversary party Del the Funky Homosapien didnt show up but his Hiero mates Souls Of Mischief did and did a short set at the Mezzanine SF show. So did the Hoodstarz. Also in the house were Fillmore rap greats San Quinn, DaVinci, and Big Rich. Also last weekend the funk/ska supergroup Fishbone visited the Bay Area and played an Amoeba Music presents show at the New Parish in Oakland. I went not knowing what to expect because since the SoCal band have been around for 3 decades. Typically the years can take their toll on groups and a lot of times you go see a group and they are merely going through the motions - shadows of their former (more energetically youthful) selves.
Hence my utmost surprise when Fishbone who, still under the leadership of founding member Angelo Moore have had some lineup changes over the years, were not only as incredibly engaging as back in their heyday but they were even better than ever. Best concert I've been to all year! I loved it and dug how they so effortlessly ran through hard ska, funk, reggae, and soul styles. But most importantly they had so much fun onstage that everyone in the house picked up on the positive party vibe and left the club happy at the end of the sweaty night.
At that same venue in a few days East Bay soulful vocalist Baby Jaymes will perform at the New Parish's Monday Soul series. Jaymes returns after a lengthy six year hiatus with his self-described "ghetto retro" style that is more like a throwback to Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield than the typical current RnB flava. Since Jaymes has worked with countless local rap acts who knows who might be in the house Monday at The New Parish. Showtime 10pm. More info. Follow Baby Jaymes on Twitter.
Agerman "Lazarus Come Forth" (2011)
MC Hammer isn't the only popular Oakland rap artist to go gospel. Agerman, formerly of 3XKrazy with B.A. and Keak da Sneak, has traded in his gangsta/mob/misogny tales for tales of the Lord. Above is the gospel rap artist's latest single "Lazarus Come Forth" featuring lyrics like "God ain't finished with Agerman" and God is "the water mover, the mountain mover, tomb shaker." The track is taken from his new album From Gangster To God and the follow up to his Kingdom Business which featured such tracks as "3XKrazy For God" and "God, God, God." The record release for the new album will take place fittingly in a church: the Victory in Praise Church in Stockton on June 25th from 5-7pm. At the event the artist promises to "tell his true story about his life in the rap group 3XKrazy to doing gospel rap for God." For more info on the event and on the artist visit Agerman's website.
Sadat X & Grand Daddy I.U. "Know Your Rold" (2011)
The above new video for the song "Know Your Role" featuring the two golden era legends Sadat X and Grand Daddy IU is from producer Grant Parks and is a sneak peak of his upcoming album Parkstrumentals which will be available in Amoeba on July 26th. The guest heavy release will include such other noteworthy artists as, KRS One, General Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, AG of DITC, Masta Ace, Vvs Verbal, Isis Rose, K. Sparks, Phil G., Jewels, Bobby Rocwell, Kenny Bogus & Lennon of Project Mayhem.
And finally I leave you with a new Bay Area song/video about police abuse of power resulting in death of members of the public focusing on the Oscar Grant case but also referencing such other highly publicized cases as Sean Bell and Rodney King. The song also addresses the age old question about why is there always a double standard between the lives of police vs. regular everyday citizens. The Alias Films produced video is from the crew T.I.E.(The Insane Empire) featuring Ad Kapone,
of Totally Insane fame, Alias Tone, Chunk, D.B, Younglife, and Mz Kelly Kapone
The song is taken from the new The RIse of the Empire album which also features DB da Gamblah and East Palo Alto rap legend Chunk.
T.I.E (The Insane Empire) "No Justice: Just us Oscar Grant Tribute)" (2011)