Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Chart Week Ending May 10th 2013
1) Talib Kweli Prisoner Of Conscious (Blacksmith)
2) The Uncluded (Aesop Rock + Kimya Dawson) Hokey Fright (Rhymesayers)
3) Qwel & Maker Beautiful Raw (Galapagos4 Records)
4) Sunspot Jonz and BOAC Skywalkers (Outhouse Records)
5) Sole No Wising Up, No Settling Down (Black Canyon)
Thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for his run down (video and chart above) on all the latest in hip-hop releases at Amoeba Music this week that include such new joints as Sunspot Jonz (Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends) who teamed up with Bay Area producer BOAC (founding member of The Earthlings along with DJ Bootleg who used to book the hip-hop shows at the defunct SF venue Maritime Hall) for his latest release Skywalkers - released on the long running Living Legends label Outhouse Records. As E-Lit notes it is a fun, all killer, no filler hip-hop release. Other new releases include the straight up hip-hop album from Qwel & Maker Beautiful Raw on Galapagos4 Records, and the much more alternative/adventurous hip-hop outing from The Uncluded: Hokey Fright on Rhymesayers Entertainment. The Uncluded is the pairing of Aesop Rock with Kimya Dawson who have worked together before this new collaborative full-length album. You may recall that Kimya Dawson made a cameo on Skelethon - the stellar solo album (following a five year gap) from Aesop Rock last summer (when he did a memorable in-store at Amoeba San Francisco), and that Aesop Rock in turn had made guest appearances on Dawson's album from the previous year Thunder Thighs. Released by Rhymesayers Entertainment it features the single "Earthquake." See the accompanying video below and you will immediately see why E-Lit describes it as like children's music in its production presentation of the 16 track album that, according to the publicity release from the label, "helps to tell the story of two people who are finding therapy through making art together."
The Uncluded (Aesop Rock + Kimya Dawson) "Earthquake" (2013)
Other new releases include the ever adventurous and prolific Sole's newest No Wising Up No Settling Down which was strategically released on May 1st to coincide with International Workers' Day since its focus is on varying aspects of the class struggle but not in an overly preachy political way. Then of course, in the new number one slot, is the long awaited (that's an understatement) and highly anticipated Prisoner of Conscious album from friend of Amoeba Talib Kweli (see pic of him left at Ameoba Hollywood in-store performance) which has been supposed to be released for quite sometime now. Even way back in December 2010 when I interviewed Talib Kweli in NYC for the Amoeblog and brought up the topic of Prisoner of Conscious (which most fans had expected to have dropped even by then) he told me he would release it whenever it was ready. Fast forward a year and a half and EMI, who distribute Kweli's Brooklyn based Blacksmith Records imprint, announced it would be released "sometime" in 2012. But now the album is finally out and whether it was worth the wait or not depends on who you talk to - some really like it while others, like myself, expected more from the artist. One thing most agree on is that Prisoner (his fifth solo outing) is a bit of a departure from previous releases. The album features guest spots from such artists as RZA, Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y, and Busta Rhymes. In addition to the CD version there is also a vinyl / 2 record set version of Prisoner Of Conscious.
Never thought I would see the day when Too $hort would appear on network television doing a live performance of his raunchy classic 1980's rap "Freaky Tales" but such an unlikely event occurred this past week when the Godfather of Bay Area rap and the pioneer of nasty raps appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show where, with the backing of The Roots, to do said song. Since there is no video (at least I could not find one online) of that performance I leave you with the video for another Too $hort classic: the more conscious, but equally excellent, Short Dog hit from 1990 "The Ghetto" from the album Short Dog's In The House.
Too $hort "The Ghetto" (1990)