E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley 8-26-11
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:26:11
1) The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Watch The Throne Deluxe (Def Jam)
2) The Game The R.E.D. Album (Geffen)
3) Elzhi & Will Sessions Elmatic (Over The Counter)
4) Ski Beatz 24 Hour Karate School Pt II
5) The Cool Kids When Fish Ride Bicycles (Green Label Sound, C.A.K.E. Recordings)
Thanks once again to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for taking time to talk with the Amoeblog for this week's Hip Hop Top Five chart and also for running down (in video above) some of the cool new releases and recent arrivals in the Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley store. The new Watch The Throne Deluxe version of Jay Z and Kanye West's The Throne project now joins the original regular Watch The Throne CD version, both on Def Jam. A close second place on the chart is the latest from Left Coast rapper The Game, The R.E.D. album, which is produced by Dr. Dre and Pharrell and features the the single cameoing Chris Brown --"Pot Of Gold."
Ski Beatz "Metabolic (feat Locksmith)" (2011)
Another popular release, new to this latest chart, is Ski Beatz' 24 Hour Karate School Pt II from the artist who started out as an emcee back in day but by the mid-'90s had switched up to become a producer and first earning major props for his work with Jay-Z on his debut album, Reasonable Doubt.
Fast forward to two years ago when he joined his old school partner Damon Dash's DD172 collective, which also goes by the name the 24 Hour Karate School. Hence the title of this album - the sequel to last year's first volume. This new release, sporting 12 killer tracks, does not disappoint with tracks such as "Metabolic," featuring Locksmith. (Check out the audio sample above.)
Apathy "Peace Connecticut" (2011)
East Coast mic wrecker Apathy released his third-solo album, Honkey Kong, this week. The above new video for Da Beatminerz-produced track "Peace Connecticut" shows much love for his home state. As well as Da Beatminerz and the artist himself, the new album also features production from DJ Premier, DJ Muggs, Statik Selektah, Evidence, and Teddy Roxpin, and others. Plus there are guest mic appearances on the album from Xzibit, Slaine, Vinnie Paz, Esoteric, Ill Bill, Celph Titled, Action Bronson, General Steele (Smif N Wessun), and Mad Lion.
Other new releases this week include Oddisee's his newest album Rock Creek Park on Mello Music. Of the new album and his first summer in the Big Apple, the recently NYC based DC native says that, "This has been one of my most productive summers and somehow I've managed to still enjoy the outdoors. I moved to Brooklyn, New York in October so this has been my first official summer in NYC. The inspiration I've received from my new environment has definitely had a positive impact on my music. Once the weather broke, I spent a llot of time cycling around New York and through its parks. It reminded me how much I loved Rock Creek Park in my home town, Washington, DC. This album is dedicated to Rock Creek Park & the memories its given me." The new album features such winning tracks as the song "Still Doing It" which features a cameo from yU of Diamond District with lyrics such as: "Pennslyvania Ave, we rolling around, this is summertime we got the windows down."
A local underground Bay Area recent release that you will find in the two Bay Area Amoeba stores is the self released full length CD Lancelot from diverse sounding emcee Larry Brite (aka Lance Laverdure) who is well embedded in the Bay Area hip-hop scene as evidenced by the track "Give It 2 You," on which he shouts out virtually everyone in the Bay Area hip-hop scene including the Oakland Faders who is tight with. Last weekend he once again acted as MC for DJ Platurn and the Faders' monthly all seven inch records party The 45 Sessions at Disco Volante in Oakland. This 16 track CD, which includes such winning tracks as the bouncy "Hip Hop" with the Dead Prez inspired chorus, is the latest in a string of underground CD releases such as 2007's Mulatto from this slept-on homegrown talent.
Fan footage of Common's set during last weekend's LA area Rock the Bells show
The big hip-hop event in the Bay Area this weekend is the Rock The Bells 2011 music festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View all day tomorrow (it starts at 10:30am) which is any hip-hop fan's dream concert. But is also a frustrating event for a hip-hop fan; albeit in a good way since there is so much going on (over 30 acts on four stages throughout the day long event) that no matter what you see/hear you will be missing out on something else you'd likely want to check out.
Call it the too-much-of-a-good- thing syndrome; something that can be offset with a little bit of pre-planning before you go to the event. Check out the schedule in advance or when you get there (in case of any last minute changes) and try and plan out whom you want to see most out of the acts that include Common, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Cypress Hill, Souls of Mischief, Mobb Deep, Genius/GZA, Black Moon, Raekwon & Ghostface, Slaughterhouse, Black Star, Fashawn + Blu & Exile, Mac Miller, Immortal Technique, and Curren$y. Many of these acts are doing entire albums of theirs. More info here.
Happening on Monday (August 29th - Michael Jackson's B-day) is Under Raps - the monthly (last Mondays) San Francisco open mic freestyle session for aspiring and established emcees. Hosted by Fist Fam with "surprise guest DJ's and producers playing beats with Michael Jackson samples" the producers of this event stress that it is a strictly freestyle only open mic session. "That means no written raps...even though nowadays you can call a written rap a freestyle" they say of the event that happens at 10pm at The Showdown at 10 6th Street, San Francisco. 21+ No cover. More info.
Famed Bay Area turntablist DJ Shortkut (Beat Junkies, Triple Threat DJs, Skratch Piklz etc.) will be headlining at Hopmonk in Sebastopol along with Deezlee Brycon, J. Riggs Fossil, and Mr Element (Cuttyroutes DJs). The Hopmonk Tavern is located at 230 Petaluma Ave in Petaluma, CA. Both Shock G and DJ Fuze of Digital Underground will at the Shattuck Down Low tonight, Friday August 26th "performing the classics" such as "Humpty Hump" and "Doowutchyalike." The Shattuck Down Low is located in downtown Berkeley at 2284 Shattuck Ave. Advance tix are $12. $17 at door tonight. More info here.
Los Rakas "Ta Lista" (2011)
The above song "Ta Lista" is by talented Bay Area based duo Los Rakas who look set to blow up really big time with the release of their anticipated EP 'Chancletas Camisetas Bordada. In support of the new release, which arrived in Amoeba this past Tuesday and includes this song, they are doing a big record release party on Sunday, August 28th during the Rebel Soul Party at The New Parish in Oakland.
Hailing from Panama, the relocated Oakland duo, comprised of DunDun and Rico, have a refreshingly unique take on hip-hop (delivered in both Spanish and English) that runs from familiar sounding hip-hop into strains of reggae. Tix are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. 18+ Showtime is 9pm. New Parish is located at 579 18th Street (near San Pablo) in Oakland. More info.
Illus "Free (feat. Homeboy Sandman & J.J. Brown)" (2011)
And finally I leave you with the above, brand new video by Illus for his song "Free" which features cameos from both J.J. Brown and Homeboy Sandman - the super talented NYC emcee who just recently inked a deal with Stones Throw Records. The song “Free” is taken from Illus' new album For Adam which pays homage to the late Adam Walsh who was murdered in 1981 and whose father John Walsh went on to help create the long-running television program, America’s Most Wanted.