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Tommy Guerrero, Marc Capelle & Griff Williams' San Francisco Benefit Focuses On Importance Of School Music Programs

Posted by Billyjam, March 25, 2010 09:16am | Post a Comment

The benefits of school music programs are far reaching and life spanning. Beyond simply learning how to play a piano or a violin or a guitar, etc., young students of music also gain important life lessons. School music programs directly help shape character and individual abilities, as well as offer a way to help channel ideas and ideals throughout ones life. Hence, it is disheartening when, especially in these harsh economic times, the budgets for school music programs as well as other areas of the arts are typically the first to get slashed.

It was with this in mind that the three concerned individuals behind this week's fun & eclectic Soul Food No. 2 benefit for San Francisco music programs pooled their creative resources. Skateboarder and musician Tommy Guerrero, musician Marc Capelle, and artist & Gallery 16 owner/operator Griff Williams -- all vocal supporters of music in school programs -- are throwing the second in the Soul Food series of benefit shows "that present film and music together in a gallery setting to raise funds for local charities that have an obvious, honest, effective, and immediate impact on our neighborhoods," according to Williams. Following the success of their last Soul Food benefit (for the San Francisco Food Bank) they decided this time work to help support MuST (Music In Schools Today), geared to get musical instruments into SF area schools. Longtime SF artist Tommy Guererro, himself a former SF school district student, is most passionate about the need for school music programs and for their continuation. "Music is the only language that everyone understands: the great communicator," he told me when asked what he saw as the main benefits of school music programs. "Oh, and jocks don't hang out in music class...less beatings that way," he added with a laugh.

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Hip-Hop History: 1991 Rap Radio, When Ice Cube, Main Source, LL Cool J, Gang Starr & Digital Underground Ruled Hip-Hop's Airwaves

Posted by Billyjam, March 23, 2010 10:59pm | Post a Comment

Back in early 1991, as witnessed by the various top ten hip-hop radio charts below from that period, the popular hip-hop of the day was a pretty darn diverse selection of the genre, especially in comparison to what counts for popular hip-hop today. Although the period technically fell under hip-hop's so-called "golden age," as typified by such chart entries below as Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest and Main Source, there were many other specific rap flavors also represented. These many different styles sharing the spotlight back then included feminist rap (Yo-Yo's "Dope Femininity" -- the B-Side of "Stompin To The 90s" -- is on the charts as well as tracks by female rappers Nasty and Monie Love), uplifting, feel good party rap (Digital Underground's "Same Song" featuring 2Pac), traditional battle rap (LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out"), weed themed rap (Cypress Hill, who had a head start on the "blunt era" of hip-hop by a good 18 months with this pre-album release version), new jack swing (Father MC), socially conscious rap that pushed for change and equality (Kool G Rap's "Erase Racism" and the Human Education Against Lies -- aka H.E.A.L. project), as well as the more intense Afro-centric or hardcore political rap (Paris, X-Clan, Intelligent Hoodlum, King Sun, Consolidated), and of course gangsta rap (NWA) and player rap (Too $hort). Meanwhile, Ice Cube's incredible December 1990 released EP Kill At Will, featuring such tracks as "Dead Homiez" and "Jackin for Beats," transcended one individual style, and instead melded political with hardcore and gangsta.

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Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 03:19:10 - Kidz In The Hall, Grieves & Budo, Z-Man, SxSW, Nujabes (RIP), Grand Invincible, Lil Wayne, Reggie Watts, NeoGeo

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2010 07:47am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:19:10

Decon compiliation
1) U-N-I A Love Supreme 2.0 (Traffic)

2) Ludacris Battle Of The Sexes (DTP Recordings)

3) V/A Decon Presents Never Not Fresh (Decon)

4) Kidz In The Hall Land Of Make Believe (Duck Down)

5) Grieves with Budo 88 Keys & Counting (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Super talented SoCal duo U-N-I top this week's Amoeba Music San Francisco hip-hop chart with their recommended A Love Supreme 2.0. The record was written about in last week's Hip-Hop Round Up when it was also included on the Hollywood Amoeba's top five chart along with such other releases as Ludacris' ever popular Battle Of The Sexes on DTP/Def Jam. Number two at the San Francisco store, the album is number one in the country this week according to the latest Billboard album chart, arriving at the number one spot with a bullet. Typically a compilation is always a good bet since you get a nice variety of music and the best representation from each artist, but the new Decon Records compilation Decon Presents Never Not Fresh raises the bar quite a few notches. It is an excellent 13 track (plus "Intro" and "Outro" tracks) collection of some of the best tracks from the Decon vaults, including AceyaloneRJD2 (who appear throughout, as well as together on "All For You"), Dilated Peoples ("Spit It Clearly" with The Alchemist), Jay Electronica ("Exhibit A"), Jurassic 5 ("Ducky Boy," which was first reissued a little over a year ago by Decon on the J5 Deluxe Reissue), Skillz ("Take It Back"), Del The Funky Homosapien ("I’m Gonna Make It"), Zion I ("Ride"), and more, with tracks featuring such hip-hop talents as Casual, Chali 2na, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Lateef, Haiku D E’tat, Evidence, 88-Keys, and Izza Kizza. Below is the trailer for the compilation.

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Alex Chilton Dies At 59. Big Star's Anticipated SxSW Appearance This Saturday Now May Become A Tribute To The Influential Artist

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2010 11:09pm | Post a Comment
alex chilton
Highly influential American singer-guitarist Alex Chilton, best known for his membership in the groups The Box Tops and Big Star, as well as his solo work, died earlier today (3/17) in a New Orleans hospital reportedly the result of heart problems. He was 59.

Chilton was only sixteen when he found himself with the number one pop hit in the country in 1967 with the Box Tops'  hit single “The Letter.” By the end of the decade the group had broken up and Chilton (whom the Replacements wrote a song about, which is known to a new generation from being playable in Rock Band 2) went on to form the influential (albeit never commercially big) power-pop group Big Star.

The group was to be one of the biggest attractions at this year’s SXSW music festival, happening in Austin, Texas this week. The reunited  Big Star (who played the Fillmore in SF three years ago) was scheduled to play this Saturday (3/20) night.  Earlier that day both Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and Big Star bassist Andy Hummel (who are already in Austin tonight) were booked to appear on a SxSW music panel (Chilton was not booked on the same panel) all about Big Star and their influence. According to a few sources down in Austin tonight, Chilton's bandmates are considering going ahead with the panel, only now it will become a tribute to the late great Alex Chilton. And as for exactly what will happen in place of the scheduled Big Star concert late Saturday night, it is still uncertain but many are already speculating that it will become a big scale tribute concert with many surprise guests performing in honor of the man.

Big Star "Thirteen" from the 1972 LP #1 Record (Ardent/Stax)

Irish Hip-Hop Overview

Posted by Billyjam, March 17, 2010 10:28pm | Post a Comment
Rob Kelly
Like many countries outside of the birthplace of hip-hop, the true beginnings of Irish hip-hop took hold a decade + after its birth Stateside. Today the European country boasts a healthy, albeit still somewhat underground, hip-hop scene with many talented MCs, DJs, b-boys, and graffiti artists.

In the latter half of the eighties several Irish artists embraced hip-hop, including Sinead O'Conner, who teamed up in 1988 with MC Lyte on the single remix of the track "I Want Your (Hands On Me)." Some years later in the early 1990's O'Conner would collaborate with the political UK based group Marxman, which included two Irish born members, on the song "Ship Ahoy." There were also many scratch DJs (including DJ Mek) and b-boys starting out in the late 80's, a time when hip-hop began to make inroads on Irish music.

Many longtime Irish hip-hop heads cite the late eighties and specifically the occasions when Schoolly D and Public Enemy each played gigs in the Irish capital as pivotal moments in hip-hop taking hold in the Emerald Isle -- kind of like how those in the UK a decade earlier went to see the Sex Pistols in concert and were so directly influenced that they then went out and formed their own punk groups. "That Public Enemy concert at McGonagles changed my life," old school Dublin hip-hop diehard Laz-E, a DJ and former b-boy, told me, adding that many others at that same 1988 PE concert were directly influenced, especially by Chuck D and company. But it took a few years before a real hip-hop scene with a distinctive Irish flavor while also staying true to hip-hop's Bronx roots would properly eScary Eiremerge in Ireland.

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