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.
Diggin' in the Hip-Hop 12" Crates At 18 Months - Record Store Day 2014 Amoeba Berkeley
"It's been the busiest Record Store Day ever!" reported Amoeba Berkeley employee Gail at 4pm today during Record Store Day. People were lined up outside hours before the 10:30am opening of the Telegraph Ave. store this morning, and once those early shoppers got inside they gravitated towards the sections where they knew their desired RSD releases would be. Then they had to line up to buy them.
"Boy, there was this very long line that started in here and snaked all the way around, up and down those isles, and then on over to the cash register," said Gail, pointing all the way across the store from the world music section, not far from where DJ Inti was spinning some Afrika Bambaataa at that moment, while many shoppers were busy digging in the crates. These shoppers included the little 18 month old girl with her pops in the above video. One happy record shopper I ran into earlier had copped the special Record Store Day clear vinyl three-record set reissue of the Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death while another had picked up the RSD reissue of Sam Cooke's final album Ain't That Good News on vinyl. While many titles may already be gone there are still a lot left and several hours of shopping remain on this Record Store Day 2014. So head over to your local record store, especially if it is Amoeba. Amoeba San Francisco closes at 8pm, Amoeba Hollywood closes at 9pm, and Amoeba Berkeley closes at 10pm today.
1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy) (also on LP)
2) The Alchemist & Budgie The Good Book (Landspeed)
3) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)
4) Pharoahe Monch PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media)
5) Awol One & Gel Roc The Cloaks (Abalano Records)
Just in time for Record Store Day (tomorrow April 19th, 2014) is the special twenty year anniversary reissued vinyl version of Nas' classic April 1994 debut albumIllmatic (also on CD with bonus disc) which is this week's number one on the latest hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba store. Meanwhile number two on this brand new chart, thanks to E-Lit for the above video breakdown, is the two-disc 48 track collaborative album from The Alchemist and Budgie The Good Book on Landspeed Records which also arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday (April 15th) and, as E-Lit pointed out, is fueled by gospel samples exclusively. Another new chart entry that E-Lit is feeling a lot is The Cloaks which is the collaborative side project of Awol One and Gel Roc along with producer Awkward plus scratches by super talented DJ D-Styles.
Scroll down to end to peep the music video for the album track "Rule By Secrecy."
Sergio's Music Intervention: Snoop Dogg Please Be Gangsta Again (2010)
In honor of tonight's San Francisco concert by Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), in which he'll be "performing his classic smash hits," via music videos this Amoelbog celebrates the career highs (pun intended) of the artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg while briefly referencing some of the career lows of the artist born Calvin Broadus via the above video. I think it can be said that most of us hold an unconditional love for Snoop Dogg. Hence why the rapper who has sold over 30 million albums to date is still popular and headlining big venues like the Regency Ballroom in SF tonight and can charge $72 for a ticket to get in, and why we as longtime fans can somehow forgive him for his numerous questionable rap career deviations. These numerous career sidesteps by the notorious weed smoking gangsta rapper from the LBC are entertainingly addressed in the above hilarious video clip by Sergio Cilli in one of his famed Music Intervention rants on the now defunct Current TV. The piece originally aired back in 2010 around the time Snoop teamed up with Katy Perry for her mega pop hit "California Gurls" but is still funny because it is so true!
Odyssey "Native New Yorker" (1977)
The above video for Odyssey's timeless 1977 hit "Native New Yorker" - written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell and also recorded by Frankie Valli, Esther Phillips, and Black Box - incorporates alongside the performance footage some cool shots of New York City's skyline and streets from back in the mid seventies.
Meanwhile today in NYC climate change is on peoples' minds. Yes, with Earth Day NYC 2014 coming up Tuesday, April 22nd, the topic of climate change will be unavoidable since starting late last night (April 15th) and continuing this morning there was an unexpected snowfall - in mid April! Sure it was just a light dusting of snow overnight but considering this is Spring when typically high temps are in the 70's and sunscreen, not snow gear, is what New Yorkers are packing before leaving the house this is highly unusual and another reminder that climate change is very real and very serious.