Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending June 7th, 2013
1) Digable Planets Blowout Comb LP (Modern Classics)
2) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)
3) Ugly Heroes Ugly Heroes (Mello Music/Fat Beats)
4) Aceyalone Leanin' On Slick (Decon)
5) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City CD (Aftermath)
In case you did a double take on the new number one album and its corresponding cover art image in the latest hip-hop chart from Amoeba Hollywood, yes that is the same 1994 album from jazz hip-hop trio Digable Planets who broke up a year after the release of this sophomore release of theirs. The current Amoeba album chart entry version of Blowout Comb is a new vinyl only 2LP set (originally released by Pendulum/EMI Records) from Modern Classics which is a part of Light in the Attic Records - the Seattle based reissue label that is tight with Amoeba Music (their road trips from Seattle down the West Coast always stop into Amoeba where their quality releases are stocked). Coincidentally Seattle is also the home of Ishmael "Palaceer Lazaro" Butler of Shabazz Palaces who formerly recorded/performed under his "Butterfly" moniker. That was when he had teamed up with Mary Ann "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira and Craig "Doodlebug" Irving as the short-lived but influential Digable Planets who were based out of Brooklyn, NY two decades ago. They also heavily identified with the NYC borough as is evident throughout this incredible reissued album of theirs - check out the video below of the album track and single (the group's third) "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)" with all the great shots of BK. (Also note that the graffiti-ed subway and street images also marked the end of the "old New York City" the city would experience a dramatic makeover under new Mayor Rudy Giuliani who got into office that same year and would soon after begin to gradually transform the whole city).
Blowout Comb was titled after the comb popular with Afro hairstyle wearing folks in the 1970s and, according to Butterfly, at the time, was significant of the album's music since it meant the "utilization of the natural, a natural style" - as in pure simple jazzy fueled hip-hop. Fittingly fellow hip-hop jazz practitioner and fellow BK resident, the late great GURU of Gang Starr made a cameo on the album as did both his buddy Jeru The Damaja, and a third New Yorker Jazzy Joyce. The album was the second and last from the short lived trio (however they did reunite a decade later when they dropped the retrospective of outtakes and B-sides etc. Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles) and was the follow up to their more commercially accessible debut Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) from the year before that featured Digable Planet's best known / biggest hit - the 1992 single "Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)." The jazz samples on the album include Its instrumentation includes sax, vibraphone and flute. Its jazz samples include Roy Ayers' “We Live in Brooklyn, Baby” which was flipped into the amazing album track “Borough Check." The album is really a heartfelt homage to the borough of Brooklyn but what is interesting about this is that none of the three members were from BK or NYC. Perhaps the fact that they came to Brooklyn from elsewhere - Seattle, Philly (Doodlebug), and Maryland (Ladybug) - gave them the perspective to truly appreciate the place. The new reissue comes, as seen in photo left, with a bonus poster and new liner notes.
Below, along with the video for "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)" from Digable Planets' Blowout Comb LP, are music videos from each of the other four chart entries this week: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist, Ugly Heroes' Ugly Heroes - the latest from Mello Music, Aceyalone's excellent Leanin' On Slick, and the unstoppable Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.A.A.D City.
Digable Planets "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)"
Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis "Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)"
Ugly Heroes "Hero's Theme (feat. Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent, Red Pill)"
Aceyalone "Leanin' On Slick"
Kendrick Lamar "B---, Don't Kill My Vibe"