Amoeba Berkeley Hip Hop Top Five Week Ending May 3rd: 2013
1) Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons To Die (Soul Temple)
2) Illogic & Blockhead Capture The Sun (Man Bites Dog)
3) Kid Cudi Indicud (Dreamworks)
4) R.A. The Rugged Man Legends Never Die (Universal)
5) K-Def The Exhibit (Solid Smoke)
Thanks to my man E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for again this week taking time to share information on all the new hip-hop that's been dropping lately while simultaneously proving that, despite what the naysayers might try to have us believe (that the current state of hip-hop is not good), that there is actually a ton of incredible new hip-hop coming out these days! You just have to look for it - and Amoeba is the perfect place to your looking. As E-Lit noted in the video interview above and in the corresponding top five chart also above - among the new recent arrivals in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music are (following a nine year gap) R.A. The Rugged Man's Legends Never Die (Universal), K-Def's The Exhibit (an EP in both CD and vinyl formats that arrives in addition to his recently released Signature Sevens 7" series ), and Illogic & Blockhead's five-star new album Capture The Sun on Man Bites Dog. Peep the recent Amoeblog interview with Illogic & Blockhead interview in which they talk about this album, and check out below the latest video from the new album: the Erik Anello directed and edited and Laura Green shot music video for the charged Capture The Sun track "Atlantis Depth."
Illogic & Blockhead "Atlantis Depth" (2013)
Among the many concerts and happenings in the Bay Area over the weekend is a show tonight (May 3rd) with Latryx at the Great American Music Hall along with both Forrest Day and Ghost and the City. Then tomorrow (Saturday May 4th) is the big hip-hop festival that takes place right behind Amoeba Berkeley every year around this time for the past 17 years. Peoples Park tomorrow afternoon is when the industrious Students for Hip-Hop at Cal will hold their 17th annual Hip-hop in the Park with a lineup that includes Elzhi. I remember the first one and it is so cool that it is still going strong - a great event always - one that the organizers produce with the hope that "the entire Bay area Hip-hop community will come together to enjoy live music, graffiti art, dancing, and djing." See flyer left for full details.
RIdic "Catch 22" (2013)
Like the video below the one above is also a new hip-hop video out of Oakland, CA. It is "Catch 22" by Ridic who has been around for several years but, as an artist, has been on the down low but been active via his production team with his brother and been placing beats all over. And he has a great second single coming with East Coast rap vet Kool G Rap. Released earlier this week is the new Hieroglyphics single (not avail at Amoeba so far) and corresponding video for the Oakland collective's song "Gun Fever." Featuring star Hieros A Plus, Casual, Pep Love, Tajai, Casual, and Del The Funky Homosapien (who did a killer set last weekend at the Uptown club in his hometown) the song tackles the current hot topic of guns and the culture of violence that they play a central role in. Edited by Casual the video, in which shots of the Hiero members are interspersed with TV news shots of gun use, sets out to address the USA's and mainstream media's fascination with and fetishization of guns and gun violence. According to Hiero/Souls member Tajai the track was originally "recorded in the summer of 2011, pre-Trayvon Martin, pre-Newtown" and was "expressing what was going on in our neighborhood" - Oakland CA which has an out of control problem with gun violence. "As a kid, there was a lot of fear and fascination with violence...our national anthem is about bombs...the glorification of violence is par for the course in American culture," said Tajai.
The Hieroglyphics "Gun Fever" (2013)
Malkovich "Lies (the baggage video)" (2013)
The videos above and below are both from LA but by way of Iran and Armenia respectively. Above is Irangeles (Iran/Los Angeles) lyricist Malkovich's charged new video "Lies." The Hashim Thomas-directed music video for the Evilldewer-produced song (a single from his new album Great Expectations) was written and recorded across the country in four cities: LA, Atlanta, New York City, and New Orleans. Meanwhile LA born but overtly-Armenian rapper R-Mean has just unleashed his latest video, "Open Wounds,” which is in response to the Armenian Genocide. Dedicated to the recent 98th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and released on that date (April 1st 2013) the music video's goal, says the rapper, is to promote hope and awareness in recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
R-Mean "Open Wounds" (2013)