Amoeblog

MF DOOM's Metal Face Records Releases 2016 2LP Repressing of KMD's Storied "Black Bastards" Album

Posted by Billyjam, January 25, 2016 01:20pm | Post a Comment

New 2016 hip-hop releases at Amoeba, many of them wax represses, include the latest vinyl re-issue of KMD's ever storied and controversial album Black Bastards (aka Bl_ck B_st_rds). Intended to be the follow-up to their 1991 debut Mr. Hood on Elektra Records, this album was famously shelved by its major label in 1994 over its title and cover art. The album, that became an instant classic, did get released (and re-released) over the years since in CD and vinyl formats.  The vinyl repressings, now out of print, are not always easy to find. The new 2016 2LP version of the album distinguishes itself from previous pressings by its packaging: newly designed gate-fold pop-up album cover (above) plus an excellent 32-page booklet inside. Further, this release is care of Metal Face Records, the label owned by KMD founding member Daniel Dumile (aka widely beloved hip-hop artist MF DOOM). Essentially, this album and the events surrounding it are what shaped DOOM's whole career and his ever-intriguing persona of a masked super villain. 

Back in 1993 in his young KMD days, DOOM was known as Zev Love X.  The British-born NYC hip-hop artist and his brother DJ Subroc as the group KMD were working on their second album, which was to be a stylistic departure from their more fun, lighthearted first record. Then right before they were to finish up production on the album, DJ Subroc was killed, the pedestrian in an auto accident. He was only 20-years-old. It was devastating for DOOM who lost not just his brother but his musical partner. To make things worse, when time came for the album to be released the label said they didn't want to release it because of the cover art, the attention-grabbing "hanging sambo" art that was created by Subroc. Elektra handed the surviving brother back the master tapes for the album along with a nominal sum of money and told him they were done with him. The whole negative experience caused Dumile to spiral downward and drop out of hip-hop for a few years. Then, like a phoenix from the ashes, in 1997 Zev Love X re-emerged as MF DOOM (Metal Face Doom). As such he has become a respected prolific artist introduced to many via such collaborative projects such as Madvillain (with Madlib), DANGERDOOM (with Danger Mouse), JJ DOOM (with Jneiro Jarel), DOOMSTARKS (with Ghostface Killah), and 2014's NehruvianDOOM (with Bishop Nehru).

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Amp Live Teams Up With Rebelution's Eric Rachmany to form Unified Highway

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2016 11:23pm | Post a Comment




Oakland based hip-hop crew Zion I's sole remaining member Zumbi has been keeping busy, performing and recording as Zion I ever since his longtime musical partner/co-founder Amp Live quit the group a year ago. Next week on January 28th, Zion I performs at the Federal Underground in Long Beach on a bill with 2Mex and Crimewave 5150.  On a separate bill a week later, Amp Live performs on February 4th with Vokab Company. When he split Zion I a year ago, he said it was to focus more on his solo work and the increasing number of outside projects he is undertaking. One of these is the new project Unified Highway. Unified Highway is the collaboration project of Amp Live and Rebelution founding member Eric Rachmany. As producer, Amp Live gracefully fuses the reggae vibes Rachmany brings with electronic and other flavors, creating a fresh new sound. Unified Highway's self-titled full-length vinyl release will be dropping in March. 

Zion I fans will be happy to know that one of the album's many guests is Zumbi. He returns on a track with The Grouch, recalling the popular Heroes in the City of Dope 2006 collaboration between Zion I and The Grouch. Among the other forthcoming album guests are Busy Signal, Keznamdi, New Kingston, Shana Halligan, Garrett Douglas, and Sophia Scott.

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The Good, The Bad, The Banned, The Sad, The Surreal, Top Rap vs. Hip-Hop Metaphor of the Year + more in Best of 2015 Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2016 11:59am | Post a Comment
 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2015

Among all the top ten hip-hop albums in 2015 that caught my ear was Tone Tank's late in the year cassette release ONE-OFFs & ONE-UPMANSHIPs via indie Brooklyn label Modern Shark. It's the super-gifted Brooklyn emcee's first release in five years. The wait was worth it for what the longtime NY hop-hop artist considers his first official solo album. Complimenting Tone's unique flow and always engaging storytelling hip-hop style is a well-chosen array of mic and production collaborators. These include SerengetiCool Calm Pete, Kool A.D., Edan, Victor Vic, J Howells Werthman, and his longtime production partner Scott Thorough.  Other 2015 albums that made my top list included UK poet/emcee Kate Tempest's Bad Place For A Good Time (Big Dada), Knxwledge's Hud Dreems (Stones Throw), and Blackalicious's Imani, Vol. I (Black Mines). Their first album in a decade, it was also released in an instrumental LP version. 

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Sketch Comedy & Stand-Up Comedy Alive and Well in The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, January 18, 2016 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Sketch comedy and stand-up comedy are enjoying a healthy renaissance all over including in the Bay Area. With an already rich history for stand-up comedy, more Bay Area venues have begun accommodating comedy nights in recent years. Most of these are not the traditional two-drink minimum styled styled comedy club. A good example is tonight's (and every Monday night's) popular weekly East Bay event Move Along, Nothing to See Here at The Night Light at 311 Broadway near Jack London Square (8pm, no cover). Tonight's lineup includes Joey Devine, Cameron Vanini, Ben Kolina, and Gabby O'Poccia. Night Light co-owner Johnny "Scobey" Nackley said that with the East Bay's vibrant comedy scene it's important to include comedy shows alongside music nights.

Meanwhile, tonight in San Francisco Nato Green (SF Sketchfest / Iron Comic) will be at Doc's Lab at 124 Columbus Ave. (8pm, $8 - $10) - the former site of the famed Purple Onion.  Presented by local NPR station KALW, tonight's show features Janine Brito, Chris Thayer, David Gborie, Trevor Hill, Matt Lieb, Kurt Weitzmann, and Emily Epstein White. Another show in SF tonight is the monthly comedy night “Am I Rite?” with Torio Van Grol headlining at the Rite Spot Cafe  at 2099 Folsom St. (near 17th) (9pm, no cover).

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76-Year-Old Clarence "Blowfly" Reid Is Cancer's Latest Victim

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2016 06:50pm | Post a Comment

Yet another lost to cancer! Today Clarence Reid, the man known to music fans as Blowfly (aka the original dirty rapper), passed away from terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He had been diagnosed a few years ago but not too many people knew about it until this past week when his musical collaborator Tom Bowker announced how Reid had just entered hospice care in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and that he was not expected to survive much longer in his battle against cancer.

Again today it was Bowker, via social media, who announced Blowfly's death, writing how "Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room."  In his original message to the late artist's fans, he thanked those who in 2014 had rallied their financial support and helped save Blowfly from losing his house and by so doing "kept his last days comfortable." He also noted how Blowfly had been making one final album ("his best album since the early 80s") that he called "a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time." Entitled 77 Rusty Trombones, it is scheduled to be released next month and will be the artist's follow-up to 2012's Black In The Sack.

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