Amoeblog

1990's Promo Pics: Beastie Boys, DJ Quik, Black Sheep, Black Czer, Gank Move, Above The Law, King Tee, Jemini The Gifted One +

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2016 01:44pm | Post a Comment
Beastie Boys (Grand Royal/Capitol Records) 1995, photo by Ari Marcopoulous

First in a series, this is a selection of mid 90's hip-hop publicity / promo photos (all black and white) sent out by record labels to print media, radio and television.The labels that sent them out these press packages in the years 1994 and 1995 included MCA, Mercury, Profile, Priority, WRAP/Ichiban, and such Relativity distributed labels as Ruthless and Lifestyles.The ten artists featured range from the iconic such as the Beastie Boys to the lesser known hip-hop acts as female rapper K-Nock whose 1994 album on WRAP Records Escape From Quad City was her only album released. Hence the publicity photo for her and the press release/bio that accompanied it was likely the only ones made for this artist. Also noteworthy is that the mid 1990's was a still a (pre digital download) period when the music industry was in a healthy state with ample extra dollars to put into promotion and publicity. Not only did record labels, both major and independent, send out advance promo CDs/records/tapes/videos but they were typically accompanied by nicely presented press packages: stylized folders with one or more professionally staged, glossy publicity photos, along with an in-depth bio and artist press clippings.

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Born out of Remains of KUSF & Recently Granted FCC License, SFCR Now Readies For Set Up of New San Francisco Radio Station

Posted by Billyjam, July 13, 2016 07:24pm | Post a Comment

Old habits die hard. Hence whenever I'm driving round the Bay Area and scanning the left side of the radio dial (where the quality stations tend to cluster), I stop the tuner at 90.3FM subconsciously expecting to hear KUSF. But then the flood of sounds of bad classical that fill my speakers quickly remind me of the fact that the beloved San Francisco college radio station KUSF of old is gone. It's been gone for five and a half years. However recently fans of the station learned some good news when the FCC announced that it would be granting a (shared) low-powered FM license to SFCR, the station that's an outgrowth/continuation of the old KUSF.  

The Jesuit run University of San Francisco (USF) radio outlet, that began in 1963 as a campus-only AM station, had by 1977 morphed into the new music and community programming FM station that it became known and loved for. As such, for over three and a half decades, it broadcast from Phelan Hall on the USF campus via the 90.3FM frequency up until January 18th, 2011 when the  signal was suddenly and unceremoniously taken off the air, as first reported on the Amoeblog. A few weeks later, in an act of solidarity with the newly formed Save KUSF movement and the legions of KUSF 90.3FM supporters, Amoeba  Music San Francisco hosted a special KUSF DJs (including DJ Irwin and DJ Schmeejay) live broadcast on WFMU that was relayed/rebroadcast live on a slew of other stations including KFJC, KALX, KZSU locally, and KVRX Austin, WITC NY, WREK Atlanta, and KRFP Idaho nationally.

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Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Among Select Female Hip-Hop Artists (In Continually Male Dominated Genre) To Be Honored by VH1

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2016 02:20pm | Post a Comment


In advance of tomorrow's (July 11, 2016) broadcast of VH1's Hip Hop Honors ceremony, honoree Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott discusses in the above preview clip how she figures she personally influenced hip-hop music. The artist, whose 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly is a classic of the genre, will be among several women honored in tomorrow evening's broadcast (9pm on the East and West Coasts and 8pm Centra) that will  be a welcome tribute to women in hip-hop. The  program will also celebrate the respective careers of fellow female hip-hop icons Lil' Kim, Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa featuring DJ Spinderella. The music videos for each of these artists, that appear below, showcase their spectacular respective individual talents. They also remind us, despite the achievements of female artists such as the multi-talented rapper/producer Elliot who has sold 30 million records to date, that women artists, decade after decade, continue to remain a minority within the male dominated hip-hop music industry. I have addressed the topic here before in previous articles such as one in Marcconscious daughtersh 2009 with the heading Why Is Ratio of Female to Male Rappers Still So Uneven?  In that piece former Tommy Boy Records president Monica Lynch, who signed Queen Latifah back in the late 80's and continued to work with the artist after long after both had left the label, offered that, "When you look at rap as a subset of the hip-hop culture at large, you see that a vast vast majority of the Dqueen latifah all hail the queenJs were male, a vast majority of the graffiti artists were guys, the vast majority of the breakdance crews were men, and the vast majority of the rappers were male. So it was just an extension of the origins of hip-hop culture being a predominantly male culture." 

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Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. & Houston's Slim Thug Unleash Tracks Addressing Police MIsconduct

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2016 11:50pm | Post a Comment

Unveiled over the past 24 hours and within a couple of days of the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police and of Philando Castile by Minnesota police, both Oakland's Mistah F.A.B. and Houston's Slim Thug have each unleashed new songs with biting criticism of the rampant police brutality against African American men in their immediate communities as well as nationally. The brand new anti police misconduct track by Mistah F.A.B., who recently released, 21 track, guest-heavy latest album Son of A Pimp 2, is The Mekanix produced "6 Shots" that he posted online earlier today. Hear the new song below along with the new Slim Thug track. That Slim Thug song on the topic of police misconduct is "IDKY (feat. X.O.)" and is culled from the Texas rapper's forthcoming album Hogg Life Vol. 4: American King. That upcoming release, the final in the 4 part CD/DVD series that began in February 2015 with Hogg Life: The Beginning - Part 1 of 4,  is scheduled to arrive via the EMPIRE label into Amoeba on August 4th.

"This shit happens in the ghetto cos we're poor",  raps Mistah F.A.B. on his new protest song that includes other lyrics like “Same situation, black victim, white cop / same scenario; 6 months later, case dropped” and "shot Oscar [Grant] in the back with his hands up" with the haunting refrain "Mr. Officer, Mr. Officer. Death and jail the only thing they offer us."  And as Ice Cube had done 28 years earlier in N.W.A's landmark protest rap song "Fuck The Police" ("Black police showing out for the white cop"), F.A.B. also calls out black police officers. "What got me hot is there ain't no black cops speakin' out/coulda been your son, coulda been your daughter out there bleedin' out/tell me what good is having arms if you ain't reachin' out/tell me what good is having a tongue if you ain't speakin' out," raps Mistah F.A.B. on the track that, note, ends with a clip from a speech by African-American police officer Nakia Jones who did speak out against fellow officers.  As for a solution Mistah F.A.B: offered that, "Police forces need to invest more in prevention. And they need to be held accountable for their actions as well. We have to stop the 'bro-code' of police and courts standing in so
lidarity with each other just because they wear the same badge." He advises civilians to be fully aware of their rights and "how to react in escalating situations with the police."

"I was born and raised in the USA / Where we see cops killing blacks on the news every day / And they do it like it’s okay, like they know they gon' get away / To stop myself from thinking reckless I just ignore it and pray," raps  Slim Thug on the "IDKY" which he was going to wait until his new album dropped in four weeks before unveiling. But in light of the fatal shootings by police earlier this week the artist rushed released the album track as a preview single. "I remember thinking in the last few weeks this song might be too late cause it's been a minute since the last one and look here we go again twice in less than 24hrs," said Slim Thug in reference to the fatal shootings this week of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling who were the 558th and 560th people respectively killed by the police in the US in 2016.

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As "Dilla Day" Does For Jay Dee Each Year, "Mac Dre Day" (July 5th) Honors Legacy of Beloved Late Vallejo Rapper

Posted by Billyjam, July 5, 2016 04:27pm | Post a Comment

In a scenario somewhat similar to that of J Dilla, whose dedicated fanbase has exponentially grown since his death a decade ago, so too has the following of the late great Mac Dre multiplied since his 2004 (still unsolved) murder in Kansas City, MO. The Detroit rapper/producer and the Bay Area rapper share not only iconic status and popular posthumous releases (and merchandise) but also an annual date dedicated to their respective legacies.

These annual celebrations only further build upon these two hip-hop artists' fanbases. The annual Dilla Day happens in early February every year around the time of his birthday while Mac Dre Day (aka Dre Day) takes place every year on today's date, July 5th. Were he still alive, the artist born Andre Hicks would be celebrating his 46th birthday today. 

Every year for the past several years, with major input from the folks at Mac  Dre's Thizz Nation there have been Mac Dre tribute concerts in various Bay Area cities from Petaluma to San Jose and San Francisco where tonight's Mac Dre Day celebration will take place at The Regency Ballroom at 7pm.

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