Amoeblog

The Gospel of Hip Hop According to KRS One, Part I

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2010 03:34pm | Post a Comment

Announced just last week, anticipation is already mounting for the very special appearance by KRS One at Amoeba Music Hollywood on July 28th at 6pm. The Teacha himself -- one of hip-hop history's most articulate and prolific spokespersons -- will give a lecture and field questions from the standing room only audience in relation to his most recently published book The Gospel of Hip Hop (Powerhouse Books).

The Gospel of Hip Hop, which is subtitled First Instrument presented by KRS One for the Temple of Hip Hop, is more than simply another book on rap and hip-hop. The tome is something that the longtime emcee/educator/lecturer/activist & author born Lawrence Parker (later known as Kris Parker) has been diligently working on and fine-tuning since the mid nineties.

And unlike, say, Jeff Chang's invaluable hip-hop history book Can't Stop Won't Stop, which examines the history of hip-hop music and culture, KRS One's latest book (the author's third, following The Science of Rap and Ruminations), which does outline the history of hip-hop's elements,  is really more like a Hip Hop Kulture rooted philosophical, spiritual manual/day-to-day living guide for the Hip Hop generation, particularly for those who may feel disaffected with organized religion but can relate to all things Hip Hop.

At next Wednesday's standing room only Amoeba lecture (in the Hollywood store's intimate Jazz Room) the Teacha will discuss The Gospel of Hip Hop, sign copies of the book, and take questions from the audience. Note that due to the intimate nature of this event plus obvious space constraints, Amoeba will sell advance Gospel of Hip Hop packages, which, for the nice price of $25, include a copy of the book on event date (7/28), guaranteed space in signing line to meet KRS One, plus a ticket to hear KRS speak and answer questions. Note that all sales are final.

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What is Hip-Hop? This is Hip-Hop. It's All in Your Attitude...Peace, I'm Out

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2010 03:53pm | Post a Comment

This is Hip-Hop

Thanks to DJ Inti at Amoeba Berkeley for forwarding me the above video. Its earnest portrayal of what hip-hop is was not meant to be funny but certainly is! Note how the delivery of the woman is similar to the pitch and flow of the ShamWow guy. Well worth the three minutes it will take you to watch.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:16:10: Big Boi Bashes Jive, Black C Keeps RBL Posse Legacy Alive, Die Antwoord Sells Out Rickshaw Stop, Lineage's New Video, Dopestyle's Afro Themed Video Shoot, Big L Reissue + Much More

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2010 02:16pm | Post a Comment
Luis @ Amoeba San Francisco with run-down of new & noteworthy hip-hop, mid July 2010

Special thanks to my man Luis (above video) at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for doing a nice in-depth run-down of the new and noteworthy hip-hop CDs and vinyl releases, including reissues, at the Big BoiHaight Street store this week. As the ever knowledgeable hip-hop buyer (and DJ) notes, right now is a perfect time to stop by Amoeba SF and dig for vinyl in the vast hip-hop section of the store.

As with the Hollywood and Berkeley Amoebas, the new releases from Big Boi, Eminem, Drake, Nas + Damian Marley, Madlib, and The Roots are all in demand in San Francisco. And as noted by Luis, Phonte, who guests on the new Roots album How I Got Over, will be at the San Francisco Amoeba in one week when his group Foreign Exchange plays a free instore next Friday, July 23rd at 6pm.The critically acclaimed group (rapper/singer/songwriter Phonte + producer Nicolay), whose still in-production third album Authenticity is scheduled for an October release, play Yoshis SF later that night as well as the previous night (July 22nd) when they are billed to play with YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and live band.

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Recommended Reggae Compilations

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2010 02:22pm | Post a Comment
Rita Marley
Digging in the crates of my reggae albums today I came across some really good various-artist collections from the early nineties. This was a time when reggae music, particularly dancehall, was making a big impact in the US thanks in large part to the proliferation of hip-hop that was dancehall fused. Of these collections I have singled out three that are still available at Amoeba Music and are well worth tracking down. Compilations are always a great way to get a nice jump into any style of music, reggae included!

Classic Reggae Vol. 1 (Profile) was originally released in 1992 but the reggae on this compilation dates back from the mid 70's to the early 80's. This all killer, no filler collection is jam packed with classic selections ranging from the sweet voice of Sugar Minott on “We’ve Got a Good Thing Going” to the ragga stylings of Johnny Osborne on the bass heavy track “Buddy Bye," and Beres Hammond's timeless “What One Dance Can Do.” Other reggae classics on the CD are Barringtion Levy’s thrilling “Murderer,” Rita Marley’s 420 themed “One Draw,” Dillinger's timeless "Cocaine In My Brain," the lovers-rock classic’ “Cottage In Negril” by Tyrone Taylor, and one of reggae music's all time anthems, “Greetings” by Half Pint.

Also released in '92 on the same label was the then contemporary dancehall collection Dancehall Stylee (The Best Of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 3). This twelve track comp offers a sampling of some of the top dancehall artists from the vibrant scene, including Cutty Ranks, Frankie Paul, Louie Rankin, Shabba Ranks and Barrington Levy. The powerful Ninjaman and Florigan track “Zig It Up” is in this collection, as is the head-bobbing Lady Patra track "Ambition," which lyrically offers a little overview on her philosophy of life. Note that both this comp and the previous one mentioned were released Profile Records, who have built a name for their hip-hop catalog but have also put out some great reggae music! Additionally Profile released a series of wonderful house and techno compilations from the late 80's to early/mid 90's.

Finally, on Heartbeat Records (a label that specializes in Jamaican music) is Steely & Clevie's Plays Studio One Vintage. As reggae fanatics will be quick to tell you, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd, who was considered the Berry Gordy of Jamaica, owned Studio One and his renowned studio was responsible for launching the careers of countless Jamaican artists. Artists who recorded at Studio One include Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown and Marcia Griffiths.

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Oakland Group The Hot Toddies' Infectious Sound Wins Over Amoeba Berkeley Audience

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2010 01:20am | Post a Comment
The Hot Toddies
In the comments section below one of The Hot Toddies' numerous YouTube video posts one fan wrote, "This is my favorite band, and if it is not yours, the only possible explanation is that you are hopelessly insane." Another fanatic of the indie rock female quartet enthused, "I fuckin' love this band!" Such is the effect that this Oakland group, who played a charged instore set at Amoeba Berkeley last evening (Tuesday, July 13th), has on people. And no wonder. Their hook-laden songs are the sort that The Hot Toddiesslowly seep into your brain and have you still humming the melodies days later. The Hot Toddies' music is catchy and infectious, as evidenced by the ten songs that pack their recommended new album Get Your Heart On (Asian Man Records), which was released yesterday.

At the East Bay store yesterday, where the sound mix of vocals and instruments was just the right balance, the Amoeba crew were actively video-taping and photographing The Hot Toddies' fun set so be sure to keep an eye out here on the Amoeba website in the coming days for lots of quality photos and video footage of the group performing.

Much of the four-piece's half-hour plus set, which started just after 6p.m., included a lot of material from the brand new Get Your Heart On, the band's second album, including the upbeat song "Rain or Shine," which starts out kind of soft and acoustic but then nicely builds up as the drums and electric instrumentation kick in and is accentuated, like all the group's songs, by beautiful harmonizing. The Hot Toddies manage to make music that is new-sounding yet simultaneously reminiscent of some of the best power pop/rock of the past several decades, most notably the sixties.

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