Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 01:13:12
1) The Roots Undun (MCA)
2) Common The Dreamer/The Believer (Warner)
3) Pac Div The Div (RBC)
4) Onra Chino Series Pt 2 (All City)
5) Thirsty Fish Watergate (Mush)
Thanks to my man E-Lit for both the above latest top five hip-hop chart and the video interview in which the diehard Berkeley Amoeba employee/ hip-hop fanatic gives a nice run down of both brand new releases and some upcoming 2012 hip-hop releases that we should keep an eye out for. As E-Lit says and I fully agree 2012 looks like it is going to be a really exciting year for new hip-hop. E-Lit mentions some of the upcoming 2012 releases in the video clip above. I also mentioned some, including Gift of Gab's sure to be dope forthcoming 2012 album The Next Logical Progression, in last week's Amoeblog Weekly Rap Up and again in a recent Amoeblog on both Pep Love's forthcoming Rigmarole album on the Hiero label. Other upcoming 2012 releases to keep an eye out for include a new one from Blacastan and a DJ Premier produced joint by Big Shug that features guest spots from both M.O.P. and Fat Joe.
Another new album coming out in 2012 to look forward to is the latest from longtime Cali emcee Planet Asia who has been putting it down since the 90's via some popular 12" singles on both Stones Throw (Peanut Butter Wolf is one of Planet Asia's biggest fans from day one) and ABB Records (the label run by Beni B). Now a decade and a half in the game the Cali-based emcee, who was born in Fresno (which he often name checks in his songs) but has spent much of his career living in either Los Angeles or San Francisco, prepares to release his first album in several years; Black Belt Theatre on Gold Chain/Wandering Worx/Greenstreets which will arrive in Amoeba on February 28th, 2012.
The album, which features the Dirty Diggs produced lead single "Golden State," was named after a 1980s Saturday-afternoon TV show and inspired by Planet Asia's favorite films. "I wanted to make the album like a movie, something you would see in a theater. That's why it has so many features. All the guests feel like different characters in the movie," said the artist of the anticipated new 20 track album whose impressive guest list includes Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Paul Wall, Ras Kass, Camp Lo, Strong Arm Steady, Fashawn (also from Fresno), Willie The Kid, Torae, and Nio Tha Gift. Of these numerous new album collaborators Planet Asia said, "They're basically just all people I thought were dope; both young cats I'm feeling and veterans I've always admired." For a free advance download of Planet Asia’s “Golden State.” Below is a classic video by Planet Asia from several years back for his great song "Knowledge Power"
Planet Asia "Knowledge Power" (2004)
Billboard chart topping Disney star turned pop rapper Drake continues to draw dislike and criticism from members of the hip-hop community. The latest public attack, which came earlier this week, is by Common in the two's ongoing beef in which the renowned veteran Chicago rapper/actor/poet extended the instrumental of the Rick Ross track "Stay Schemin" with French Montana and Drake and added his own verse on top of that instrumental while leaving the rest of the song completely intact including Drake's verse.
In the new extended remix version Common goes off on Drake who has wittily renamed "Canada Dry" (rhymes with "amateur guy") rapping such put downs as "you so black and white, try to live a nigga's life." And in case his verse might possibly be too cryptic to anyone listening Common, towards end of his verse, qualifies, "Make no mistake I'm talking about Drake." Now lets wait to hear Drake's response.
Tonight (Friday, January 13th) in the Bay Area talented Mid West MC Melissa Czarnik will be in town for a unique small setting live show with accompaniment by Eric Mire on piano/loop pedal. The Milwaukee based emcee/singer/songwriter (pictured above) will perform with Mire at 8pm tonight at the Red Poppy Art House, 2698 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Tickets: $10/$12. Myself and E-Lit will be at this show.
Meanwhile Czarnik will also be a featured guest on VoiceBox on 91.7 KALW when she talks about hip-hop with host with VoiceBox host Chloe Veltman exactly one week from today on Friday, January, 20, 10pm-11pm (PST).
Eric Mire Band featuring Melissa Czarnik "Saturday" (2010)
Another recommended Bay Area concert tonight is is titled From Oakland to Freedom! Peltier Abu Jamal! Shut It Down! Free 'em all at the Eastside Arts Alliance in Oakland which is a fundraiser for the legal defense of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier and featuring a ton of local artists, including Aztec, Fly Benzo, and De-Colonized Rymerz, and Dregs One who this week talked to the Amoeblog. See previous post for full details on tonight's benefit. Another recent Amoeblog I did on an amazing sounding show happening this weekend is the Operation Skid Row free music festival in LA's Skid Row district on Sunday afternoon and featuring performances from Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Egyptian Lover, Kurupt and many more. Read details here and check back in a few days on the Amoeblog for a follow up review of the event that I plan on driving down to LA to attend.
And finally I leave you with an interview clip uploaded to YouTube yesterday featuring two San Francisco hip-hop diehards who have been putting it down since the nineties on the Bay Area hip-hop scene; Z-Man and White Mic talking about both their respective hip-hop histories and their new collaborative project The Vegetable & The Ferret EP.