Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending June 18, 2011
1) Hail Mary Mallon Are You Gonna Eat That? (Rhymesayers)
Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz top the charts this week with their deservedly popular collabo, which combines their abrasive Def Jux aesthetic with some fun party vibes.
Hail Mary Mallon represents some of Aesop Rock’s strongest material in a minute, and really showcases his talents as a producer through some neck-snapping beats. Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic have got great vocal chemistry, and are local SF-dwellers these days as well. Worth peeping!
2) Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (Capitol)
The Beastie Boys continue to prove that they’re one of the most universally popular groups in hip hop by coming in second this week after a long run of topping the charts.
Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 is a return to form from To the 5 Burroughs that proves that you can still record a grimy sounding album on a million dollar budget. The sort of raw, playful rap music you’ve come to expect from these guys.
3) Bad Meets Evil Hell: the Sequel (Shady Records)
The long-awaited collabo album between Eminem and Royce Da 5’9” finally sees the light of day, and naturally folks are curious to see if their combined forces of wit live up to the lofty expectations.
These guys have been rapping together on and off since Eminem’s first proper Slim Shady full length, so the pairing is bound to be a genuine group effort rather than a B.S means of marketing acts. Features guest verses from Slaughterhouse on the song “Loud Noises”
4) Tyler the Creator Goblin (Deluxe) (XL)
Next to the Beastie Boys, Tyler the Creator’s album has remained a constant seller, which just goes to show how far the popularity of Odd Future has grown in such a short span of time.
Easily some of the most offensive and aggressive music in hip hop today, though it’s far from a gimmick and amounts to Tyler and the rest of the Odd Future kids speaking their minds as they see fit. The deluxe version of Goblin features three songs not available on the regular edition.
5) Blu & Exile Below the Heavens (Sound In Color)
Considered somewhat of a cult classic amongst Cali hip hop heads, the debut album from Blu & Exile launched Blu into major fanfare and was deemed one of the best hip hop releases of 2007. The songs are smooth and introspective, and the entire album is a classy example of a talented MC and a talented producer producing beautiful music together.
The album’s been out of print and highly sought after for many years, and has finally been reissued for a limited time with Amoeba as the exclusive retail outlet carrying it in California. Buy it before it becomes unavailable again and goes on eBay for a hundred bucks!
Acid Reign Diversity (Uncommon)
Amoeba Berkeley has been expanding its selection of dope under-the-radar LA hip hop recently, and what better group to showcase what Los Angeles has to offer than Acid Reign? These guys have built a reputation for themselves as being one of the best live shows that LA hip hop has to offer, which is no joke considering the amount of raw MC talent bubbling in that scene.
Their most recent album is a great representation of the impressive Project Blowed stylings that fans have come to expect, featuring the talents of Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, Myka 9, Ellay Khule, Neila, and many others. If you’re not familiar with BeOnd and Gajah’s rapping under the moniker Acid Reign, these guys kill it on the style tip as well. Support the Reign!
Thanks to my man E Lit in the hip-hop department at the Amoeba Berkeley store for writing up the above top five chart with detailed descriptions of each new hip-hop full length release. Also special thanks to my buddy Jay for assisting in both typing plus overall layout/formatting of this blog which, as a result of injuries caused by a recent bike accident, I am temporarily unable to perform since my right hand is out of commission.
So well received was the very recently completed Atmosphere headlined cross country Family Tour that the group's emcee Slug, producer/DJ Ant, guitarist Nate Collis, and keyboardist Erick Anderson have decided to go back out on the road in August for a follow-up tour to be titled The Family Vacation Tour; similarly drawing its name from the Rhymesayers act's current album The Family Sign. Not all but some of the same acts, plus some new ones of interest to LA hip-hop fans, will join them this time around. These will include the super-talented, fellow Rhymesarers act Blueprint, who the afternoon after the recent May 7th Greek Theater Berkeley date did a most memorable Amoeba Berkeley instore.
New to the upcoming August tour will be LA emcee Evidence, who will be supporting his highly anticipated 2011 Rhymesayers debut Cats & Dogs, of the legendary SoCal crew Dilated Peoples. Joining him will be fellow Dilated Peoples member & Beat Junkies turntablist crew star DJ Babu just like he did at a supercharged 2009 Amoeba Hollywood instore. Additionally long-time Rhymesayers affiliate Prof will round out the bill for the August only Family Vacation Tour whose California dates will include August 25th at Santa Cruz's Civic Auditorium and August 26 at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre. Meantime check out the Amoeblog print interviews I did with both Blueprint and Slug of Atmosphere.
Making stops in California in both July and August will be this year's Vans Warped Tour featuring a hip-hop side stage. Dubbed the Bring It Back Stage performers will include OneBeLo (Binary Star), Total Eclipse, LuckyIam, MED, Soul Khan, Dante Lasalle, Parable, Madd Illz, LMS and many more to be announced that will only play certain cities. The ambitious Bring It Back stage will not only feature music performances but also showcase B-Boy cyphers, DJ exhibitions, and live painting. Additionally the stage promises to provide community outreach in each city through its partnerships with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and the Fighting For Futures organization. The Bring It Back stage California dates will include July 2nd at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, July 3rd at the Ventura County Fairground at Seaside Park, Ventura, Aug 10th at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, and Aug 11th at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville. And for general info on Vans Warped Tour 2011.
As a sort of advance promo for Jean Grae's highly anticipated, scheduled Fall release album Cake or Death, the talented female emcee is giving away the free Mix-CD Cookies or Comas next Thursday, June 23rd, at noon EST or 9am Cali time. For details follow her on Twitter at @JeanGreasy. The album is hosted by DJ Drama (A Gangsta Grillz Special Edition) and features Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Styles P & Royce Da 5' 9" and the first official audio leak is the Boogie Blind produced "Casebasket" track. Download song here.
And finally I leave you with the Todd Angkasuwan directed video for the great new track "Random Call" off hip-hop supergroup Random Axe's (comprised of Sean Price, Black Milk & Guilty Simpson) self-titled new album on Duckdown Records.
Random Axe "Random Call" (2011)