E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley Wk ending Sept 2nd, 2011
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:02:11
1) Lil Wayne The Carter IV (Cash Money/Universal)
2) The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Watch The Throne (Def Jam)
3) Casual The Hierophant (F.B.M.G.)
4) Game The R.E.D. Album (Geffen)
5) Smoke DZA Rolling Stoned (Fat Beats)
Again this week much thanks go to E-Lit at Amoeba Music in Berkeley for taking time to talk with the Amoeblog for the latest Hip Hop Top Five chart entries plus an overview of the numerous new underground hip-hop releases, in both CD and vinyl formats. These include Open Mike Eagle's Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes, the full-length by Candy's 22 in CD format, A Girl and Her Gun ("drugged out country & western rap music" - as E-Lit describes the unusual rap release), the ever prolific Blu's (of Blu & Exile fame) latest remastered version of Jesus, and Kirby Dominant & Factor's Champagne Nightmares on Fake Four Recordings. Scroll down a bit to check out the video for the album track "Orca" off the duo (also named Champagne Nightmares) off this fine latest pairing of the unique East Bay emcee with the Canadian producer who first joined creative forces back in 2004 on One Way Ticket on Side Road Records. Their new video was directed and produced by Stuey Kubrick in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Another talented East Bay emcee with a recommended new release is Casual of the Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective whose new The Hierophant album is available on CD at Amoeba. When Casual talked with the Amoeblog two months ago about The Hierophant he said that he and producer/fellow-Hiero member DJ Toure worked on the album for a long period, fine tuning it for two years. He noted that lyrically with the album his intention was to subtly send out a positive message "to seek knowledge" but to do so without sounding overly preachy. "I just use words to inspire thought and curiosity," he said in that interview.
Lil Wayne "Blunt Blowin'" off Tha Carter IV (2011)
The other chart entries at Amoeba Berkeley this week include The Throne's (Jay-Z & Kanye West) Watch The Throne on Def Jam, [The] Game's The R.E.D. Album on Geffen Records, Smoke DZA's Rolling Stoned via Fat Beats, and of course (no surprise) Lil Wayne's fourth & latest in his Tha Carter series which, since its release earlier this week, shot straight to number one despite the fact that the album was leaked online less than a week before its official release date.
Love him or hate him Lil Wayne, who plays the Bay Area's Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View tonight, Friday September 2nd, never stops working and cranking out new recordings. Even his recent 8 month jail stint on Rikers Island didn't seem to slow him down one bit, On the contrary it appeared to allow him the time and space to focus on his music. And as for how the new album sounds? Well elsewhere here on the Amoeba website it's reviewed, in part, as such, "The insane beats of “6 Foot 7 Foot” up the ante from Tha Carter III’s “A Milli” (sharing producer Bangladesh’s choice samples and spare, forceful presentation), and “President Carter” is one of his strongest statements yet, setting his boasts over stark production, while Wayne sneaks in antiwar rhetoric as the song closes (“The body count is the physical proof/And they thought drugs were killing the youth”).
Guest spots by Drake, Nas and especially Rick Ross on the theramin-crazed “John” help lighten the mood and enlighten the record throughout." You can buy Tha Carter IV from Amoeba online for $12.98 with free shipping anywhere in the US. And for $4 more Tha Carter IV Deluxe version, featuring 3 bonus tracks, is available. Tonight's Bay Area Lil Wayne show at the Shoreline Amphitheater starts at 7pm and also features on the Weezy headlined bill Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Far East Movement, and Lloyd. Ticket info.
Paranoid Castles (Kirby Dominant & Factor) "Orca" (2011)
At last Sunday's MTV VMA (video music awards) Kreayshawn got hacked, dissed, and disappointed. At the ceremony in LA, at which she not only got nominated for Best New Artist but was also working for MTV - doing red carpet hosting/interviewing on behalf of mtv.com, Kreayshawn got into a dispute with Rick Ross (who she had said some nasty things about that surfaced in a video leaked online a few days earlier) that escalated into an angry argument with her manager Stretch, had her Twitter account @Kreayshawn hacked into and then nude photos of her from some years ago posted online. She also found out that the nomination, for which reportedly inside sources had assured her she would win, she lost to fellow newcomer Tyler The Creator of Odd Future. That was all on Sunday last. And by the next day, via a vented Tumblr blog with the heading "I Am Mad," that, "All I wanted to do is create and have a good time...but, this is quickly forming into something I never would have signed up for, from being accused of being racist to getting my pre-teen nudes leaked everywhere," and in all caps that, "THIS GAME IS FAKE AS ALL HELL!"
Game "Uncle Otis" (2011)
Kreayshawn, who was unheard of just four months ago but since has landed a $1million dollar deal with SONY, has managed to alienate and enrage a lot of rap fans and artists alike in recent weeks. These include Game (formerly The Game) who rapped in the diss track "Uncle Otis" (audio above) that also attacks her fellow White Girl Mob partner V Nasty and such other rap figures as Jay Z and Wiz Khalifa, that, "I don't wear no Gucci Gucci..." "Little white bitch betta' stay in your place. You call me a nigga, I'm a gonna put the K [AK] in your face"
Mistah F.A.B. backpack giveaway report by Good News in Oakland
Meanwhile on a positive tip, major props to Mistah F.A.B. and everyone else who joined him last weekend, including Too $hort and many other music & sports figures that wanted to give back to the community, in orchestrating the backpack giveaway for kids (heading back to school) in Oakland. In these times of "economic woes...a lot of people aren't privileged enough to go out and buy backpacks and school supplies," explained Mistah F.A.B. so he took it upon himself to organize 1000 backpacks filled with school supplies for giveway. Now this is a story about a rapper that needs to be highlighted in the mainstream media who are so quick to focus on the negative. Speaking of looking for the positive major props and thanks to the Good News In Oakland organization for the video report below - a fine collective who make it a priority in reporting on positivity in a city so often marred by negativity.
Meanwhile the scheduled benefit Bay Area rap show for a two year old cancer stricken Bay Area girl, that Too $hort was scheduled to headline tonight at Space 550 in San Francisco has been postponed due to a "breach of contract" with the venue according to organizer / rapper CoBlooded the Great. Since the story was reported here two days ago, no new developments have been made in securing an alternate future date and venue for the charity event but organizers tell the Amoeblog that they will continue to try and arrange something in the near future.
Happening on Sunday is the accurately described "San Francisco Labor Day weekend tradition" - Doin' It In The Park 2011, the free hip-hop music themed festival, happening on Sunday, September 4th from noon to 6:00pm at Marx Meadows in Golden Gate Park. The event, which carries on the legacy and vibe of the ealry 1990's Informal Nation La Raza Park parties, should not disappoint provided the weather is good (and looks like It will be) with an impressive super-packed line up of confirmed DJs (and possible last minute unannounced guests) getting busy. So far the packed DJ lineup includes DJ Apollo, DJ Platurn, Mr E, Chuy Gomez, Shortkut, J-Boogie, Ivan, DJ Supreme, The Whooligan, Boogie Brown, and Prince Aries with Fran Boogie as host of the event. Should be a blast! Free event, all ages, Marx Meadows in GG Park is on John F. Kennedy Drive (off Fulton in between 25th and 30th) in San Francisco, CA
Among the many other recommended events in the Bay Area this weekend is tomorrow night's (Saturday, Sept 3rd) Fader Fest 2011 presented by Thud Rumble at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with DJ QBert, D-Styles, & Shortkut all together as a sort of Invisibl Skratch Piklz reunion, The Bangerz (the post Finger Bangerz crew that features Goldenchyld, Squareweezy, and Cutso), two time world DMC champ DJ Shiftee, Ean Golden, and the current US DMC champ DJ Vajra. Hosting the event will be Yogafrog, Toadman, and Bay Area femcee Hopie. Note early showtime of 830pm to 1130pm. Mezzanine is located at 444 Jessie Street San Francisco, CA. More club info here. More event info here.
Last weekend I attended the Rock The Bells concert when it stopped in the Bay Area at the Shoreline in Mountain View and was impressed with how, despite its grand scale, what a really good hip-hop event it was. Highlights included Nas' Illmatic set (even if it did stray from the script - the album playlist) which featured on stage with him throughout his set DJ Premier, AZ, and Pete Rock, and Raekwon & Ghostface's set on their 36 Chambers stage which Rae rightfully complained about how "ridiculous" its proximity was to the neighboring Paid Dues stage where it was like a battle of the sound systems between the Wu duo and Childish Gambino on the way-too-close other stage. It was a similar scenario earlier in the day between these two stages when Mobb Deep were pitted against Slaughterhouse, leaving fans trying hard to hear one and block out the other competing soundsystem. But that was the only drawback of an otherwise excellent event that included a crowd pleasing set by Lauryn Hill just after night had fallen. The Rock The Bells is on Govenors Island in New York this weekend for an all day event tomorrow, Saturday Sept 3rd.
And finally I leave you with the latest video from North Bay rapper Moe Green. It is the J Sutherland directed video for "Nimbus" described by its maker as, "The Clams Casino backdrop (flipped from Clams' previously released single "Wizard") has Green climbing the ladder towards his dream while looking back down to reflect on his surroundings."