Amoeblog

Dilla's Donuts: The Album, The 45 Box Set, and now the Detroit Doughnut/Coffee Shop, Dilla's Delights

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2016 11:10pm | Post a Comment

It's been promised for a few years now, but finally this week the uncle of Detroit hip-hop producer/emcee
J Dilla finally opened his coffee shop/doughnut spot Dilla's Delights in the late artist's honor. First reported back in 2013, Herman Hayes said that he wanted to pay tribute to his donut-loving nephew, who released the album Donuts just a few days before his 2006 premature passing at age 32, by opening a coffee/donut retail outlet in the late artist's Michigan hometown. That dream became a reality yesterday when Dilla's "Uncle Herm," who back in the day used to supply his nephew with his all time favorite snack, opened up Dilla's Delights. The downtown Detroit business is located across from the Detroit Opera House and not far from where the late artist born James Yancey once lived. In fact opening day and today were such busy days for the new business that they closed shop early having sold out of all the baked goods. Made in 15 varieties, the Dilla donuts are reportedly made from all organic flour ingredients.

A former baker with the Flint-based Dawn Donuts chain, Hayes has spent the past few years baking and selling the Dilla's Delights donuts via a few select spots such as Detroit's Red Hook Cafe as he awaited all the paperwork to be handled before finally opening up Dilla's Delights.  The new Dilla themed donut spot follows various formats of the Donuts album including the cassette version, the CD version, this year's 10th Anniversary 2LP set, and the popular box set of 45 singles that was released in 2013. Even more recently from Dilla was his latest posthumous album The Diary that showcases his mic skills. The recent Record Store Day LP version of that album sold out instantly but on Friday (May 6th) the Pay Jay vinyl release of The Diary will arrive in Amoeba.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Bay Area DMC Battle, WFMU Record Fair, Prince + Hip-Hop, New Releases, Yung Jake @ MoMA + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 30, 2016 04:42pm | Post a Comment
DJ TRAPS - once again wins Bay Area DMC Regional - photo from the 2016 DMC Bay battle by James Mak - c/o Joysco Photos and Joysco Studios

Props to DJ Traps (pictured above c/o  James Mak / Joysco Photos) who won the recent 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle. Repeating the feat he accomplished exactly three years ago in the same battle (2013 Bay DMC was held in SF), he will again head to NYC this upcoming August to rep the Bay for a chance to take the USA title. Held in Fremont on April 22nd and presented by both Official Rane DJ and Adisa, the Bishop's Hip-Hop Chess Federation, who hosted the event, the runners up in the battle were AkikoLUV - Akira Funabashi in second place, and Primo, Adrian Primo Silva in third place. Meanwhile the results of the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals also held at same venue on the day were winner DJ IQ, with runners up Prolifix in second place and DonPaco in third. Congrats to all the participants! Scroll down to end of this Amoeblog to see group picture of the Bay Area DMC event by hardworking Bay Area hip-hop photographer James Mak. Upcoming 2016 DMC Regional battles include next Saturday, May 7th, in Austin Texas. More info.

 
Shattering the (sometimes true) stereotype that rappers with "Yung" in their stage name are mostly superficial, lacking in intellectual merit, and low in substance, Los Angeles based rapper Yung Jake blew minds and stereotypes last night at NYC's MoMA. There the CalArts grad took part in MoMA’s adventurous Slithering Screens: 10 Years of New Frontier at Sundance Institute: series by performing his engaging multi-social media show that melded Tweets, YouTube viral videos, memes and GIFs, and more including of course rapping. The presentation, that lasted three hours, was s mixed media statement on life in this Internet age by the West Coast artist who hails from Long Island, NY. 

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Pioneering Bay Area Turntablist DJ Quest Releases Experimental Album "Queztocoatl" feat. free Amoeba Download Track

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2016 09:35pm | Post a Comment

Pioneering San Francisco turntable artist/producer and frequent Amoeba San Francisco contributor (group and solo sets plus curating The DJ Project), DJ Quest has just unleashed his newest full-
length Queztocoatl. The twelve track experimental album features the aptly titled "Grimmy Mutilation" that you can DL from the Amoeba Free Downloads page as well as see the accompanying music video below. 

During last weekend's record release party at Gallery 1317 in San Francisco, the father of two DJs was joined by his youngest turntablist offspring, five-year old DJ Lucas pictured above. [pic c/o Dawgisht]. His other, much older, DJ offspring is the talented 23 year DJ Trainn.  Last Saturday's release party was hosted by DJ 2Fresh, who did a showcase set, at his recently opened cool new North Beach gallery located at 1317 Grant Ave in San Francisco.

A follow up to such stellar solo DJ Quest releases as Cosmic Parasite and Questolous,  Queztocoatl is somewhat of a departure for the trailblazing turntable artist of three decades. For this release the Mission based DJ assumes the artist name of Questosahn feat. DJ Quest. This the veteran turntablist does to distinguish the more intricately produced and deeply layered project  from the turntable themed works that he's best known for. Less of a DJ/turntablist project,  Queztocoatl is more of a twisted funk collection of songs by the criminally underrated artist who is highly revered among his peers. Throughout  Queztocoatl DJ Quest equally showcases his production and composition skills. Synthesizers and old school drum machines are among the instruments he summons from his home studio collection of old analog gear to construct the, at times, darkly sinister sounding new album. Scratch fans should take note that Quest does include turntable
manipulations on the new album, selectively adding them into the dense Queztocoatl mix. 
 
DJ Quest is a founding member of San Francisco's groundbreaking Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz crew who released the pioneering battle record Hamster Breaks back in the early 90's and are credited with the "hamster style" in turntablism. DJ Quest is also the architect of the long running jazz/hip-hop trio Livehuman along with Andrew Kushin (bass) and Albert Mathias (percussion). Livehuman's rich resume boasts several albums including 2000's Elefish Jellyphant on Matador Records, while venues they've performed at since forming two decades ago include the prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Additionally for the past decade, Livehuman's hometown NPR affiliate KALW FM have utilized the revered modern jazz ensemble's music as the theme to their afternoon news reports.

Public Enemy, Kool Herc, Jungle Brothers, Doug E. Fresh, Nice & Smooth, and Bahamadia among NYC's Free Summer of Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2016 11:51pm | Post a Comment

The recently announced lineup for the annual SummerStage free concert series in New York, that includes lots of killer hip-hop shows, makes a trip to the Big Apple worthwhile even if you are a music fan living on the opposite coast. DJ Kool Herc Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, and the Jungle Brothers are among the many legendary hip-hop acts scheduled to perform for free in parks across New York City's five boroughs over the upcoming summer months. The Chuck D led revolutionary rap act, who performed in past years on the same annual series, will perform this year at Brooklyn's Betsy Head Park on June 21st. DJ Tedsmooth is the opening act for the 7pm outdoor show. Meanwhile the Jungle Brothers will play a free show on August 4th at Staten Island's Clove Lakes Park.

Among the many other hip-hop acts on this summer's impressive lineup (more than any previous year) are hip-hop DJ pioneer / scratch creator Grand Wizzard Theodore at Herbert Von King Park in Brooklyn on June 30th, and Fat Joe and Tony Touch at Crotona Park in the Boogie Down Bronx on July 6th at 7pm. At that same landmark hip-hop park in the birthplace of the music and culture, a place where many of hip-hop's earliest era parties took place, the recognized founder of hip-hop DJ Kool Herc will be performing on July 10th at 7pm. On that  same bill will be Little Shalimar whose many accolades include co-producing both Run The Jewels albums and El-P's Cancer 4 Cure album, as well as the original soundtrack for the film Rubble Kings (inc. RTJ). That film about the outlaw New York City street gangs that ruled from the late 60's to early 70's, who paved the way for hip-hop culture, will be screened at the same event.

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2016 DMC Bay Area DJ Battle with Keith Shocklee, DJ Quest, Mista B, T-K.A.S.H. and Adisa, The Bishop

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2016 06:39pm | Post a Comment

It's DJ battle season again with the DMC's annual regional DJ battle series moving to the Bay Area this weekend.  Happening in Fremont tonight are both the 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals.  To turntable participants this competitive event is a big deal.  Going to battle at the DMC could mean repping the Bay Area at the anticipated annual national finals in New York City in August. Tonight these battle DJs will be judged on a myriad of factors.  Considered will be the technical and musical aspects of scratching and beat juggling, as well as originality and whether the DJ routines display some sense of musical composition. It can be put a lot of pressure on these turntable competitors (many of them young guys, entering a DJ battle for the first time) to calmly and confidentially recreate in a battle environment, the routines  they've spent months of intense practicing at home.

In addition to tonight's battles, there will be lots of great music. Public Enemy / The Bomb Squad's Keith Shocklee will be throwing down a partyrocking set, while both DJ Quest and Mista B will each present live turntable showcase sets. Also on stage will be the event host / emcee T-K.A.S.H. who many know from his collaborations via Paris' Guerilla Funk label, plus Adisa, The Bishop whose Hip Hop Chess Federation is presented the event, along with Rane. As reported on the Amoeblog, longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist/activist/author Adisa, The Bishop recently published the book "Bobby, Bruce, & Bam: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess." 2016 DMC Bay Area Regional DJ Battle and the 2016 DMC USA Scratch Finals are at 7pm this evening at Hip Hop Chess Federation located at 42660 Christy St. Suite B Fremont, CA 94538. For more info see flyer above or visit DMC website and the Bay Area DMC Facebook page. Below are videos by tonight's on stage performers.

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