Top Five Hip-Hop Cyber Monday Gift Ideas

Posted by Billyjam, November 30, 2015 11:41am | Post a Comment

Today is Cyber Monday until 11:59pm Pacific Time and Amoeba has slashed prices by 20% on items on! Just enter the special CYBER20 code at checkout to receive the discount. This sale include some truly dope hip-hop records and CDs that would make both perfect holiday gifts for others and treats for oneself. Below is a top ten list of some of the best hip-hop Cyber Monday gift ideas, and all at 20% off plus free shipping in the U.S. All are classic hip-hop recordings, mostly recent re-releases in either original or newly presented packaging. They include both CD and vinyl releases that are all reduced significantly today only for Cyber Monday at Amoeba Music.    

1) Public Enemy's latest, recommended (13th studio) album Man Plans God Laughs + the Chuck D led crew's hits collection Fight The Power: The Collection together as a two CD set make for the perfect introduction to one of the greatest acts in hip-hop history. I cannot recommend PE's latest album Man Plans God Laughs (also available in vinyl) enough. With incredible production ? Gary G Wiz and Carl Ryder (aka Chuck D) the new album manages to capture the PE vibe of old and blend it together on the new tracks on this five star album. Meanwhile the Fight The Power: The Collection  clocks in at one hour, ten minutes with 16 tracks featuring all the classics and more. Included are "Fight The Power," "Don't Believe The Hype," "Public Enemy No. 1," "Rebel Without A Pause," "Night Of The Living Baseheads," "Louder Than A Bomb," "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos," "Burn Hollywood Burn (feat. Ice Cube)," "By The Time I Get To Arizona" and "Can't Truss It." Regularly priced at $9.98 while the new CD released by SPITdigital is $13.98 = total of $23.96 but with Cyber Monday Amoeba discount = $19.17!

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Park Blvd. Records and Tapes

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2015 02:30pm | Post a Comment

Bucking the trend of record stores closing up shop, Oakland's Park Blvd. Records and Tapes opened up shop at the start of this past summer. In the five plus months since that opening business has been brisk for the specialized record store that is part of a new music retail business model that seeks out a small but dedicated customer base. They've found their niche and, in turn, fans of that musical niche have found them and their new retail space. While the small record store carries several genres of popular music and mostly older era (examples include 80's hardcore punk 45's) Park Blvd. Records and Tapes' main focus is hip-hop/rap records and tapes. Those records and tapes (plus some CDs, DVDs, and books) feature quite a concentration of older classic hip-hop material including a good size ratio of Bay Area rap/hip-hop from the 90's.  Stocked with some select new hip-hop releases their customers, who travel from all over, are more interested in those specialty items that normally they might only find online or at well stocked stores like Amoeba Music. A quick glance around the store's vinyl display bins and cassette and CD shelves provides ample proof. The selection includes ample amount of classic early era Bay rap and hip-hop releases by such artists as Too $hort, IMP, Hugh E. MC, E-40, Mac Mall, C-BO, Mac Dre, Dre Dog / Andre Nickatina, Celly Cel, Digital Underground, Spice 1, 2Pac, Chunk, 11/5, 415, Souls of Mischief, RBL Posse, and Bored Stiff.  Stocking releases in various formats of bygone eras along with brand new nationally popular hip-hop releases from artists like Drake or Mac Miller, it is the speciality items that attract customers to their store. The 2014 Park Blvd., Oakland CA shop, whose name outside simply reads "Records and Tapes," was vacant for three years before its latest incarnation. Before that it was a fortune teller's place of business.  That was back when the old Parkway Theatre was still down the block a bit, and before relocating crosstown to 24th Street off Telegraph.

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Saluting MF DOOM's Illustrious Career

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment
With the publication yesterday of a new video by MF DOOM in which the elusive longtime hip-hop talent promises fans a busy 2016, it's a fitting time for the Amoeblog to pay homage to the talented hip-hop emcee/producer and present a brief overview, via ten tracks (videos below), of MF DOOM's most unique and incredible career. DOOM is not just an amazing lyricist, but his career with its tragedy to triumph tale, and his whole mysterious persona, and his many collaborations aliases make him one of the most engaging characters in hip-hop history. Working backwards and starting in the present, we begin with that aforementioned new video that is entitled "DOOM - A Villainous Adventure." In it DOOM reveals his plans for a prolific upcoming new year, one that will bring "a lot of good shit." Filmed in some exotic Central American location (he shouts out "Honduras") while decked in trademark metal face mask plus sporting a "Dumile" shirt, the artist born Daniel Dumile speaks from a mountain side, and while commandeering a boat on the choppy waters. In another scene, still in metal mask, he's seen swimming underwater. Apologizing to fans for not been round so much of late (" been healing and resting up") he says that the for the MF DOOM year of 2016 he is "getting ready to fuck y’all up,” in the video that appears to be funded by the New Era hat company.

While DOOM may not have released any solo full length projects in six years he has not been idle. Proof includes a brand a couple of days earlier it is a new PRhyme (DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9") track with a feature from DOOM and Phonte too. It is culled from the forthcoming The PRhyme Deluxe Album (Dec 11th release). Up next is another 2015 Doom collaborative track: DOOMSTARKS (DOOM with Ghostface Killah) and their newest collab track "Lively Hood" whose instrumental is heard in background of the new video uploaded yesterday. Skipping over but giving a nod to last year's NehruvianDOOM, which was his collaboration with Bishop Nehru that featured DOOM's production and some rapping, it's back to DOOM's 2012 collaboration with Jneiro Jarel. Under the name JJ DOOM, they released the album Key To the Kuffs  that features the opening track "Guv'nor" below. Other classic MF DOOM collaborations included below are DANGERDOOM (with Danger Mouse) and the track "Sofa King" off 2005's The Mouse and The Mask (Lex/Epitaph), and the Madvillain (with Madlib) track "All Caps" off the 2004 Stones Throw album Madvillainy. Madlib was contributed some production for the DOOM (minus the "MF") album Born Like This. Released by Lex Records in 2009 the album, that featured such tracks as "Yessir! (feat. Raekwon)," was DOOM's last official solo studio album. There's the track "Lickupon" culled from the 2003 album Vaudeville Villain - one of two he released that year under the alias of Viktor Vaughn.

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On 20th Anniversary of "Mad Izm" Channel Live's Hakim Green Releases "Mad Izm 2015" And Keeps The Weed Flag Flying High

Posted by Billyjam, November 24, 2015 08:18pm | Post a Comment
"I used to dance for Naughty By Nature back when they were called The New Style," said emcee Hakim Green taking it way back in recalling his earliest role in hip-hop. Speaking to me by phone from Florida the other day he was remembering his formative years that also included working behind the scenes in hip-hop music video production. That was all some years before his introduction to most hip-hop fans in '94 and '95 as half of the now defunct hip-hop duo Channel Live. Along with his partner in rhyme Vincent "Tuffy" Morgan the duo grabbed everyone with their late 1994 single (a hit in 1995) "Mad Izm." The single featured a prominent guest spot from KRS-One and was featured on the East Orange, NJ duo's debut album Station Identification, one of three they would release over a decade long career. While Tuffy has gone into management and behind the scenes music projects, Hakim has stuck with hip-hop as artist and just released a guest-heavy, new single ("Mad Izm 2015 (feat. Treach, Minty Burns, Keith Murray, Do It All & Dyme A Dzin)" (video below) with a similarly titled full length to follow. With "Mad Izm" (meaning weed) being the title of his latest single and forthcoming album  as well as his two-decade old release, not surprisingly, Izm / weed and its legalization is something that Hakim has cared deeply about for a long time, and it is something he has a personal interest in.

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Hip-Hop Vinyl Exclusives For Black Friday Record Store Day 2015

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2015 11:30am | Post a Comment
This coming Friday, November 27th, is a big day at Amoeba with another post-Thanksgiving Record Store Day (RSD) on its way. With it comes exclusive releases that span all genres including some really nice hip-hop worth getting. Most of these releases are small run pressings exclusive for RSD at indies stores like Amoeba Music. The growing number of avid hip-hop 45's collectors will be more than pleased with the new seven inch hip-hop pressings that will be available on RSD. Included is a 7" unique pressing of “Egypt, Egypt” b/w “Girls” from friends of Amoeba The Egyptian Lover and Stones Throw Records. Greg Broussard (aka The Egyptian Lover), who earlier this month played both Hollywood and San Francisco Amoeba in-stores in support of his brand new album 1984, said in a pre-instore Amoeblog interview that he will be releasing his anticipated Anthology via Stones Throw next year. It is sure to be a goodie as Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw label never disappoints with its packaging and presentation. This Friday's RSD 7" is proof of this. The limited edition vinyl is described as 7” die-cut “pyramid” shaped white vinyl.   Regal pop-up packaging with folding magnetic panels creates a 4-sided, 3-dimensional pyramid.

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