Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Digital Underground Spin-off Acts

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2015 06:14pm | Post a Comment

From when they first formed in the East Bay in the late 1980s, the funk/rap/hip-hop ensemble Digital Underground (DU) was as much a collective of creative-minded artists as simply a singular rap group. As such, these young P-Funk disciples tended to have an ever-rotating stable of members and associated artists. Digital Underground, whose consistent core members over their two-decade timeline were Shock G (aka Humpty Hump, aka M.C. Blowfish) and Money B, spawned several spinoff acts in their prime years (circa '88 - '93) that included most notably a dancer and roadie turned actor and rap superstar Tupac Shakur or 2Pac, Raw Fusion (DJ Fuze and Money B), Gold Money (who were also signed to Tommy Boy for a minute, but long enough to do the cool money-themed promo items pictured below), Saafir (f/k/a The Saucy Nomad), female emcee/singer Mystic (who was also down with Conscious Daughters), and Pee Wee. Pee Wee, who was part of the aforementioned Gold Money along with Bigg Money Odis, would go on to produce for 2Pac as well as being a member of another Bay Area collective, Too $hort's extended Dangerous Crew rap family.

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First Annual Bay Area Reggae Festival Cancelled At Last Minute

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment

It was being billed as the First Annual Bay Area Reggae Festival and was to take place over this weekend at the cavernous Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. Scheduled performers were to include big names of the genre such as Junior ReidGyptian, Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Sister Carol, Barrington Levy, and Lady Saw. Tickets for the ambitious East Bay three-day event (July 17-19) were $200 or $75 per day, which, most agreed, was pricey but worth it to see some of the reggae legends booked. However, in the final lead-up days to the reggae festival, rumors had been circulating that advance ticket sales were not good.  As with any first-time festival event of this scale, those financially invested in it were getting a little anxious in the days leading up to the festival and those fears were well founded it would turn out.

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Top 10 Hip-Hop Acts At Ice-T's Art of Rap Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2015 12:55pm | Post a Comment

This Amoeblog, which includes music videos by ten of the numerous talented acts that will perform at this weekend's Art Of Rap Festival, is geared to act as a primer for the Ice-T-curated,  two-day, two-location (SoCal and NorCal) event that includes some of the best MC names in the history of hip-hop, such as Rakim, Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and the Cold Crush Brothers featuring Grandmaster Caz. Taking place today (Saturday, July 18th) in SoCal at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and then tomorrow up at the Shoreline Amphiteather in Mountain View, the ambitious project is an outgrowth of the documentary film Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap from a few years ago. The documentary features many of the same acts in the film, which is now available from Amoeba on DVD as well as the accompanying soundtrack on CD and LP that features lots of the freestyle and live versions of songs featured throughout the documentary).

25 Years After A Career That Began As Part Of Eazy-E's Ruthless/Comptown, White Female Rapper Tairrie B Returns to Her Rap Roots

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2015 08:40pm | Post a Comment

Tairrie B, who returns to rap following a two-decade detour into rock with a new rap album, has been called a pioneer for paving the way for the current generation white female rappers like Iggy Azaleawho was born the year that Tairrie B burst onto the national rap scene. That was 1990 when she was signed by Eazy-E who released her debut solo album The Power Of A Woman on his Ruthless Records imprint Comptown Records, which had major distribution through MCA. Her early 90's debut album's contributors included such heavy hitters as Eazy-E (of course), Schoolly D, Everlast, The D.O.C., and Dr. Dre, each of whom had small cameos. Originally, Eazy suggested a last track (traditionally a posse cut) called "I Ain't Yo Bitch" and having Ice Cube or The D.O.C. pen with Dre producing. How that would have gone down was that the guys in N.W.A would each have a verse calling the female artist a "bitch" with the song's target shooting back a closing retort. Reportedly, Tairrie B did not approve the song concept or the idea of Dr. Dre having the final word in the studio. That led to behind the scenes conflicts that, in turn, led to her writing her own last song that she titled "Ruthless Bitch." In the updated, self-empowering track, she took the word "bitch" and flipped the script by defining it as "B.I.T.C.H" meaning "Being In Total Control of Herself." Her goal was to replace the negative stigma associated with the word and turn the tables. Not surprisingly, not all were happy with her changes. One unhappy party was Dr. Dre, who she would run into at an after party for the Grammy's at which he reportedly physically assaulted her. She would go on to re-record the track changing the verse about Dre to include the line: "World class you got no class, So when they said let you produce me, I said I'll pass. As for the Grammy's, I'll put that on the shelf...It takes a punk motherfucker to play himself, Your best shot was weak, I didn't need stitches...Get this straight, I ain't one of your bitches! You cartoon gangsta, I'm calling your bluff...Hitting a woman, that makes you real tough!"

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It's All About Audio Quality Says Neil Young In Announcement That He Is Pulling His Catalog from Streaming Outlets

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2015 12:58pm | Post a Comment

Neil Young is back in the news this week after announcing on his Facebook page that he will pull all of his music off of streaming sites, writing that "streaming has ended for me" due to the inferior sound quality that he labels "the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution." Although Young did not name specific outlets such as Spotify or iTunes, it was implied that those were among those he was talking about, for the time being at least. "When the quality is back, I'll give it another look," he wrote, stressing "I don't feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It's bad for my music" and derives from deals "made without my consent."

Not specified as yet is if Young is including in his definition of "streaming" the online stream versions of terrestrial radio stations such as say KFOG  in the Bay Area or KLOS in SoCal. If so, that might mean no radio play for Neil Young in the US as well as on the BBC. And what about artists signed to his Vapor label such as Main Attrakionz who recently played an Amoeba in-store. Will their music also be pulled too since they're also subject to the "worst quality" of music ever. And is YouTube included as a "streaming" outlet for his and his artists' music?

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