Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 03:16:12
1) Too $hort No Trespassing (Dangerous Music)
2) Maxilla Blue Volume 3 (Galapagos4)
3) 14 KT A Friendly Game of KT ( A-Side Worldwide/Mello Music)
4) Busdriver Beaus $ Eros (Fake Four Inc.)
5) Lee Bannon Fantastic Plastic (Plug Research)
E LIT'S PICK of the week: Ecid Werewolf Hologram LP
Special thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for taking time to give us the new Top Five list and to record the above video at the Telegraph Ave. store with a nice run down of all the new arrivals in Amoeba. E Lit will do reports each week on the latest hip-hop for the next three weeks here on the weekly hip-hop rap up Amoeblog. In the number slot this week is the latest (19th studio album) from Bay Area's godfather of rap Too $hort: No Trespassing on Dangerous Music.which includes such tracks as the lead single "Money On The Floor (feat E40)" (video below) the weed anthem "Cush Cologne" and the cautionary tale on cheating, "I Got Caught" with guest vocals by Bay Area soul singer Martin Luther.
Also on the new chart is the latest from Des Moines, Iowa's Maxilla Blue crew, Volume 3. Since forming in 2006 Maxilla Blue (producer Aeon Grey and MC Asphate Woodhavet along with turntablist DJ Touchnice) have been both building a following for themselves - as well as one for hip-hop from Iowa.
This latest album, which is a split release between Central Standard and Galapagos4, is their best yet and further showcases Maxilla Blue's unique take on hip-hop: distinguished by with Aeon's jazzy meets cinematic production and Asphate’s deep wordplay which can take several listens to fully comprehend. Standout tracks include “Lego Blocks” and “Grey’s Yawn," and “Serpent’s Twist,” and the mostly instrumental “Crane Style,”
Other chart entries include Wu Tang affiliated producer Lee Bannon's Fantastic Plastic on Plug Research, LA alt-rap artist Busdriver's latest Beaus $ Eros on Fake Four Inc., and 14 KT's A Friendly Game of KT released through A-Side Worldwide/Mello Music. Silly and playful may not fit the bill for a lot of hip-hop but it does for 14KT's A Friendly Game of KT which is an excellent experimental album with a range of styles incorporated. Standout tracks include “Blindsided,” “Another Age,” and the A Tribe Called Quest influenced “Where Else?”
Other new releases that did not chart include ones from Roddy Rod and also Zebra's concept album The Original Soundtrack. Meantime reissues showcased by E-Lit in the above video include a CD/7 inch pack by Damu the Fudgemunk, and a classic hip-hop reissue of Boogie Down Productions (BDP) by Traffic Entertainment.
Too $hort "Money On The Floor (feat. E40)"
Headnodic “Cough Drop (Raashan Ahmad)”
Along with the Too $hort video above for the track off his new album is the latest video from Headnodic and featuring Raashan Ahmad - "Cough Drop." This track is taken from from the Crown City Rockers' and The Mighty Underdogs' producer Headnodic’s excellent debut solo album “Red Line Radio” that arrived in Amoeba last year. Look for it in its unique packaging with a limited 5" micro vinyl record featuring two exclusive songs. The album includes appearances by Latyrx, Gift of Gab, Mr. Lif, The Grouch, Sadat X, Moe Pope, Raashan Ahmad, Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E., One.Be.Lo, People Under The Stairs, Scienz of Life, as well as all the members of Crown City Rockers. Another Bay Area hip-hop talent about to release an album in 2012 is longtime political emcee Paris who is currently holed up in the studio working on a new album which will be his first offering since 2008's excellent Acid Reflex, and, according to the artist and his label Guerrilla Funk, "promises to deliver hard truth over raw, rough music as never before." In other Paris news his music will be featured in the forthcoming movie End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña!
billy woods "Headband: The Layover Video" (2012)
In celebration of his soon to drop new album, History Will Absolve Me, Washington, D.C. rapper billy woods (lower case spelling) has just released the above video for the non album track "Headband." The album, to be released on April 10th on Backwoodz Studioz, will be woods' first solo release in eight years and the latest from an artist whose multi-faceted career has included him been a part of the group The Reavers, alongside Akir, Karniege, Vordul Mega, Hasan Salaam, and others, and a founding member of the duo Super Chron Flight Brothers - along with fellow weed loving emcee Priviledge. As for this new solo joint the artist said, "I decided I wanted to do some shit that would be wholly uncompromising. Fuck biting my tongue, or not saying something because people might not get it. I don't want to die or quit without making some sort of final statement I can stand behind 100%" The album's featured artists include Roc Marciano and Elucid with producers including Willie Green, and Marmaduke.
DJ Questlove of the mighty Roots is back in the Bay Area tonight (March 16th) when he will be spinning all night at the Independent on Divisidaro. More info here. Tomorrow night (March 17th) the excellent Robert Glasper Experiment will be at the New Parish in Oakland for what could be a most memorable show since you never know who might show up to jump in on the session. And of you cannot make it on Saturday they will be doing a second Bay show on Sunday at the Mission District, SF spot Brick & Mortar. Meantime down in Texas at the big South by Southwest (SXSW) festival there is a ton of hip-hop showcases. Check here for hip-hop @ SXSW.
And finally I leave you with the brand new video for Toronto and NYC-based MC, producer, and songwriter 4th Pyramid's song "Can't Stop." from his new album, The Pyramid Scheme. It's his first release since signing his Silk Ivory label to a joint venture with Lyrics To Go/Universal Music. The album was produced by 4th Pyramid, Rich Kidd, Simahlak, Maco Polo, and Jersey Jay, and features Greg Nice, Saukrates, Cosmo Baker, and others. The video was directed by Johnny Nghiem of the NE.
4th Pyramid "Can't Stop" (2012)