Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 04:07:12
1) Pep Love Rigmarole (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)
2) Opio Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)
3) Phesto Dee Background Check (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)
4) V/A Self Sacrifice (Mello Music Group)
5) De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve (Duck Down)
Shout-out to E-Lit (the man) at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for again supplying the new Top Five hip-hop chart and running down (in video above) all the exciting new hip-hop releases at Amoeba this week. So much good stuff that it's hard to keep up with it all. Leading the pack in the number position is Pep Love (one of three members of the longtime mighty Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective out of Oakland with chart entries this week) and his first solo release in over a decade (since since 2001's Ascension) - the anticipated new full-length Rigmarole on his collective's thriving indie label the Hieroglyphics Imperium's Clear Label imprint which has also released the new joints from fellow Hiero crew (and Souls of Mischief) members Opio and Phesto (aka Phesto Dee) who have just released the albums Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 and Background Check respectfully.
Often when artists are going through the worst shit in their lives they make their best music since it acts as a passion-packed catharsis in which they unload all their emotions. In the process usually listeners, going through similar challenges in their own lives can directly relate (think of the reason for the success of Adele's album in which she sings of her emotional pain). Similarly with Pep Love and Rigmarole which was recorded during a time in his life his life was not going well but when the music he was making acted as an outlet. "It was therapy; it made me feel better," he said of the album which demonstrates ably how he, "reinvented myself as an artist and discovered my love for what I do."
The other releases on the chart include the new Mello Music compilation Self Sacrifice that E-Lit talks a bit about in the above video clip and also the new De La Soul joint. Well technically it is not De La Soul but rather two members of the De La in a concept album project in which they adapt alter egos. Plug 1 (Pos) and Plug 2 (Dave) created First Serve in which they take on the aliases of the aspiring rappers Deen Whitter and Jacob “Pop Life” Barrow with production duties handled by French producers 2 & 4 (aka Chokolate & Kahlid). A couple of skits/promo videos for this new album, along with new videos by Phesto and Pep Love from their new albums follow below.
Pep Love "Hip-Hop, My Friend" (2012)
Phesto Dee "Full Speed" (2012)
De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve "Mrs. Whitter" (2012)
De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve "We Made It" (2012)