Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Number One Hip-Hop Singles of 1990

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2015 09:31pm | Post a Comment
The following list of number one hip-hop singles from 25 years ago is based on a combination of sales and radio airplay and comes care of Billboard magazine who calculated the initially published charts throughout 1990 in the weekly music magazine. Some were culled from albums released in 1989 but all singles charted in '90 with Salt-N-Pepa's "Expression" (remembered by many by its repeated catchy hook "express yourself") holding down the number one slot for the longest at eight consecutive weeks from mid January through mid March that year. Meanwhile Candyman's pop rap single "Knockin' Boots" spent five weeks at number one. Interestingly Vanilla Ice's ever-popular mega hit "Ice Ice Baby" only spent one week at number one on the hip-hop charts in 1990. However it soon crossed over to the separate pop singles chart where it enjoyed much more success going to number one for 13 weeks. The East Bay based, Tommy Boy act Digital Underground's biggest hit single of their career "The Humpty Dance" was number one for five straight weeks beginning on St. Patrick's Day, 1990. BDP artist D-Nice's "They Call Me D-Nice" spent four weeks at number one as did "We're All In The Same Gang" by the appropriately named West Coast Rap All-Stars, featuring Ice-T, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Young MC, Digital Underground, MC Hammer, King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Michel'le, Tone-Loc, and Above The Law's Cold 187um & KMG, which spent a month at number starting on July 21st. Meanwhile Ice Cube, with his debut solo post N.W.A. single "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" from the album of the same name, spent three straight weeks at number one beginning on June 9th, 1990 - but never had an official video made for it.  Most of the others spent one or two weeks at number one. For exact number of corresponding weeks at number one to individual hip-hop single see number in brackets following title of song, all below in video format in chronological order of release as singles.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Berner, Boots Riley, Kanye West, DJ Cutso, Kool Keith + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2015 10:05am | Post a Comment
New releases to Amoeba this past week include the EP 20 Lights (Bern One Entertainment) by the numero uno Bay Area weed ambassador Berner whose prolific output disproves that old belief that weed makes you lazy (his last release - the album Drugstore Cowboy - dropped just three short months ago).  Included on this new joint (pun intended) guest heavy, seven song CD are collaborations with such fellow dank-loving talents as Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Smiggz, The Jacka, and Mac Dre (the latter two Bay Area greats no longer with us - rest in peace).  Also new this week is the vinyl version of Sour Soul by BadBadNotGood backing Ghostface Killah that was released on CD a month ago. This explicit new vinyl version, that is care of Lex Records, comes complete with a digital download card.  is available in regular  the two download-only smoked and chopped 8Ball & MJG albums Comin Out Hard and On The Outside Looking In remix projects by Green Thumb that feature Dirty South rap tracks each given that hella slowed down and extended remix treatment.

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Essential Records: Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics' "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2015 09:07pm | Post a Comment



For me an essential album is one that never ages, no matter how many times I re-listen to it. It's also one I feel compelled to listen to all the way through every time - no temptation to ever skip ahead. Hence, without a second thought, I file this classic hip-hop album, which is brimming with jazzy funky grooves and irresistible rhymes, under that essential records category. A five-star release from the latter end of the genre's much-heralded golden era, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop by Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics scores on all levels: production-wise and lyrically, in addition to introducing most fans to hip-hop's long since beloved D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) crew. Formerly a member of the rap group Ultimate Force, Diamond (aka Diamond D) proved with this debut album that he not just a gifted producer but also an adept emcee. Released in 1992 on Chemistry/Mercury/PolyGram, Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop is a truly solid, all-killer, no-filler hip-hop full-length release, sporting such timeless head-bobbing tracks as the popular lead single "Best-Kept Secret," "Feel The Vibe," "Check One Two," "Fuck What You Heard,"  "Sally Got a One-Track Mind," and the title track. 

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The Orb Plays The Regency in SF On April 30th

Posted by Billyjam, March 18, 2015 02:35pm | Post a Comment

Ambient house pioneers The Orb will headline at The Regency on April 30th with Austin-based electronic producer Govinda opening. The UK downtempo electronic group, who were formed back in 1988 by Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty of KLF fame, have gone through numerous personal changes over the past 27 years with Paterson being the sole permanent member throughout. From the beginning it was Paterson's knack for producing and weaving trippy ambient sounds and effects (built mostly from obscure or flipped and reshaped samples and found sounds) that was highly instrumental in distinguishing The Orb's sound and would earn them such tags as "the Pink Floyd of the Nineties."

While The Orb, who have stayed consistently busy over the years (most recently with 2013's More Tales from the Orbservatory with Lee Scratch Perry and last month's 2 CD remix set History of The Future Part 2 on Malicious Damage), they have never quite recaptured the critical and commercial peak they enjoyed in the late '80s and '90s. However they continue to attract diehard, longtime fans alongside younger, new curious fans to their music and their concerts, which have always been a full-on sensory overload with trippy, spacey light shows and projected images to accompany the music. In concert, The Orb typically play a mix of newer and older material including such globally big hits as "A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre of the Ultraworld" (aka "Loving You") and "Little Fluffy Clouds," both of which are below along with the more recent track "Golden Clouds." A dub reprise of "Little Fluffy Clouds"  was the lead single taken from The Orb's 2012 collaborative album The Orb featuring Lee Scratch Perry presents The Orbserver In The Star House, released on Cooking Vinyl.

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Irish Female Vocalists

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2015 04:04am | Post a Comment

No better time to do an Irish female vocalists Amoeblog post since it is Women's History Month and since I am here in Dublin, Ireland today, where the national St. Patrick's Day Parade will begin at noon. The crowds have already swarmed the city centre while the festivities kicked off here over the weekend with overflowing bars and various events surrounding the four-day I Love My City 2015 Festival that leads up to and includes St. Patrick's Day. Generally, it's a time for both Irish natives and the influx of tourists to get their collective (drunken) Irish on. Naturally there's lots of Irish music everywhere, including a free show at The Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle with new Irish music vocalist Pauline Scanlon, backed by Notify  who is part of the current wave of Irish singers keeping the Gaelic (Irish) traditional music alive by infusing slightly new arrangements on traditional airs with some electronic instrumentation backing alongside trad instruments.

Pauline Scanlon is one of the Irish female vocalists showcased in this Amoeblog along with a cross-section of others from over the past few decades up to the present. This list is both subjective (based on my own personal favorites) as well as culling the opinions of a few music fans here who include Paul Deacy (owner of Galway record/book/candle shop Bell Book & Candle), longtime Irish music collector and ambassador Tall Paul Lowe, and RTE 2XM radio DJ/broadcaster Eric "DJ Laz-E" Moore.   

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