Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 06:21:13
1) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
2) J. Cole Born Sinner (Columbia)
3) Mac Miller Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Rostrum Records)
4) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)
5) The White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Ingrooves/Fat Beats)
Thanks to Amoeba's E-Lit for the above latest top five hip-hop chart and the video below with the Amoeba Berkeley staffer running down all the newest CD and vinyl hip-hop releases this week. And a lot of good stuff too - from small indie to big major label releases - including the ever topical latest from Kanye West, Yeezus on Def Jam with the simple cover artwork. Some love the album - many hate it, while others are too caught up in the public persona of the artist to show true objectivity. But they have a point too since the artist himself is seemingly so far up his own arse that it is hard to separate the person from the artist. I liked the Amoeba.com review that accompanies it that sums up Yeezus as, "a response to everything Kanye West has previously recorded — and to hip-hop, and popular music, in general. In short, it sounds like nothing else around, a fusion of harsh industrial production and some of West’s most aggressive lyrics to date." Agreed! Many listeners, true rap/hip-hop fans especially, are balking at the out-there experimental rock/industrial leaning production value (thanks to Daft Punk) of this new album but to me that is what I love the most about it and commend Kanye as pop artist for not serving up what he could get away with merely follow the cookie cutter rap template that so many others of today churn out.
"Yeezus is so thoroughly exciting that complaints largely fall by the wayside……Even as the spectacular My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stretched the limits of modern hip-hop, Yeezus doesn’t sound tethered to any particular time or genre, nor does it sound particularly concerned with radio airplay — even the Rick Rubin-produced “I Am a God,” one of the closest tracks here to straight-up hip-hop, seethes frustration and anger, dissolving into a series of screams and Twin Peaks-style synth strings, with nary a catchy sample or synth riff to rope in the average listener." accurately writes the Amoeba.com review of this album that, so far, only comes in regular version (no deluxe or vinyl versions yet). Below is the video clip of Kanye on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago doing a performance of the new album track "Black Skinhead." Also below are accompanying videos for the other top five chart entries including J. Cole's Born Sinner album track "Power Trip (feat. Miguel)," Mac Miller's Watching Movies With The Sound Off album track "Watching Movies," The White Mandingos' The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me album track "Mandingo Rally," and Quasimoto's audio only for "Green Power (Yessir, Whatever Version)" not to be confused with the previous version of this song by Madlib/Quasimoto.
Kanye West "Black Skinhead (Live on SNL)" (2013)
J. Cole "Power Trip (feat. Miguel)" (2013)
Mac Miller "Watching Movies" (2013)
The White Mandingos - "Mandingo Rally" (2013)
Quasimoto - Green Power ( Yessir Whatever Version)