Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Loses Another Legend With the Passing of DJ E-Z Rock

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Rob Base & DJ EZ-Rock "It Takes Two" (1988)


Hip-Hop has lost another legend and way too early in life too. Harlem hip-hop artist and one half of the legendary hip-hop duo Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Rodney "Skip" Bryce died yesterday of, as yet, undisclosed reasons at the young age of 46. A DJ and producer, who began his career three decades ago, DJ E-Z Rock along with partner in rhyme Rob Base will be best remembered for their two biggest hits, both from the late 80's: "It Takes Two" and "Joy and Pain." The songs were two of the four singles culled from their Profile Records 1988 hit album It Takes Two. The huge success of the single "It Takes Two" was in part due to the perfect choice of sample (James Brown-produced Lyn Collin's 1972 hit "Think (About It)" that fueled its memorable chorus) plus the fact that the song was equal parts rap and house/dance music - hence appealing to varying audiences.

As soon as the news of the DJ's death began to spread yesterday friends/collaborators/fans alike all took to social media to offer their condolences and memories including Biz Markie who first Tweeted the sad news, and fellow Harlem NY hip-hop veteran DJ Red Alert who, along with the classic photo of the artist (left), wrote via Instragram: "We Have Lost Our Very Own From Harlem NYC & The Hip-Hop Culture Our Brother DJ E-Z Rock. Rest In Peace Boss, My Condolences To The Friends & Family Of The Abraham Lincoln Houses." Above is the music video for "It Takes Two" while below is a live performance version of "Joy and Pain" at the Apollo on 125th Street in Harlem not far from where DJ E-Z Rock grew up. In a tragic side note singer Omar Chandler, the artist born Chandler Spencer who is seen/heard singing the hook on "Joy and Pain," died a year ago at age 51 - a stabbing murder/robbery victim in Hartsville, South Carolina.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.25.14: Top 5, New Releases with E-Lit, SF DMC Regional with DJ Cue, Blitz the Ambassador + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2014 12:54pm | Post a Comment
          


Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5, Week Ending 04:25:14


1) Childish Gambino   Because The Internet [Record Store Day] (LP) (Glassnote)

2) Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death [Clear Vinyl] [Record Store Day] (LP) (Atlantic)

3) J. Stalin S.i.d.-shining I (Town Thizness)

4) Various Artists Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows (Mello Music Group)

5) Nocando Jimmy the Burnout (Hellfyre Club)

As a result of the mad rush for exclusive Record Store Day releases at Amoeba Music on the incredibly busy RSD 2014 last Saturday some of those releases make up the latest Hip-Hop Top Five weekly chart from the Berkeley Amoeba store where E-Lit, in the video above, does a run down of new releases and what was popular during Record Store Day such as the vinyl version of Childish Gambino's  Because The Internet.  Other new chart entries include Bay Area homegrown talent J. Stalin's in demand new joint S.i.d.-shining I, the excellent Mello Music label compilation sampler Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows, and brand new Hellfyre Club release Jimmy the Burnout from Nocando.

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Movie Trailer Highlights from The 57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2014 02:48am | Post a Comment

20,000 Days on Earth  screens during SFIFF on Monday April 28th, 9:45pm, at Sundance
Kabuki Cinema, and Thursday May 1st, 6:15pm at New People Cinema.

The Nick Cave biopic 20,000 Days on Earth is one of two music-related films that Amoeba Music is co-presenting during this year's 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which just kicked off its action-packed 15 day schedule. 20,000 Days is just one of about 30 documentaries in this year's festival that include other music-themed films such as the Grateful Dead-related The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir, and Heaven Adores You (the other Amoeba co-sponsored festival screening) about the life of singer-songwriter Elliott Smith up to its tragic ending at age 34.

Meanwhile under the Festival's World Cinema category is We Are The Best! - the Swedish feature film by Lukas Moodysson set in the '80s about three young teenager girls who form a punk band. Coming of age comedy Ping Pong Summer is about a shy hip-hop obsessed 13 year old in the Maryland seaside town of Ocean Side in the mid '80s during a life-changing summer vacation. Susan Sarandon stars in a role that includes a scene of her wielding a fish as a weapon. Another SFIFF attraction is Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's culinary and wit-driven travel adventure sequel The Trip To Italy - worth it for the Michael Caine impressions alone. Above and below are trailers for each of these films. For the full schedule and more info, go to the 57th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival website. 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #78: SummerStage 2014 Schedule, Museum @ FIT, CitiBike, NYC Earth Cam Views, Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2014 12:07pm | Post a Comment

Above is a screenshot of the live Earth Cam stream of Times Square in the heart of Manhattan. This 24/7 live video cam is a cool URL to save just to check in and get a glance of how things are looking in New York City. Stationary for several minutes, the camera routinely does a pan of the area to settle into another vantage point from high up looking down a this "crossroads of the world" and, like all Earth Cam live video feeds, comes with current weather updates. The camera is one of several cameras around town that you can bring up on your computer to get a birds eye view of New York.

Just a fifteen minute stroll down Seventh Ave. from Times Square is the free and always interesting Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). It is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Featuring ever-changing, innovative fashion exhibitions, the museum's Fashion Culture special programs happen all year long, Tuesday through Sundays, and include exhibition talks and tours, fashion conversations with major designers, lectures, and book signings. All ages. Free. Tues-Friday 12 noon to 8pm, and Saturdays 10am to 5pm. More info

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Hip-Hop Songs To Celebrate 420

Posted by Billyjam, April 20, 2014 11:06am | Post a Comment

         
                                        Bone Thugs~N~Harmony "Weed Song"

Happy Easter!
Happy 420! Both holidays, which fall today, seem almost equally accepted and mainstream, especially in states such as California, Colorado, and Washington. But it wasn't always that way. The first time I personally became aware of the symbolism of 420 and what it meant was back in the mid '90s when I was over in Amsterdam reporting on the High Times sponsored Cannabis Cup for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. During that week of events in the Dutch city long associated with cannabis, I noticed how at exactly 4:20pm each afternoon without fail everyone would stop whatever they were doing to spark one up. Of course, most stoners don't need an excuse or specific time to remind them to indulge in the sticky icky, but that doesn't stop folks from observing the hour of 4:20 (pm or am) as if it were a religious holiday. Weed lore has it that celebrating 4:20 dates back to the early 1970's when, somewhere in NorCal near Humboldt - longtime the epicenter of California weed-growing, a group of friends chose that time of the day to light up. Since then the time morphed into the date of April 20th as a celebratory time and nowadays it seems everyone, smokers and non-smokers alike, are well aware of the meaning of 4:20. 

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