Posted by Billyjam, January 8, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 12:18:09


1) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)

2) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

3) Jay Z Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

4) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

5) Oh No Dr. No's Ethiopium (Stones Throw)

There are a lot of recurring entries on this week's Amoeba hip-hop chart, including the number one release, the self-titled (and excellent) rap/rock hybrid from BlakRoc, and the (#4) impressive debut from Fresno emcee Fashawn; Boy Meets World. Meantime, both Jay Z's Blueprint 3 and Black Eyed Peas's (BEP) The E.N.D., two releases that are four and seven months old respectively, continue to sell well. This is no doubt due to the sheer popularity of these artists combined with the airplay they each garner, especially in the case of BEPs' early June release, which has had a slew of singles getting constant airplay. Released in mid December, "Imma Be" is the current hit single in the US (following "Meet Me Halfway," "I Gotta Feeling"  & "Boom Boom Pow") from this phenomenally popular group, who have racked up close to a combined total of 60 million album & single sales since their 2003 breakout album Elephunk, which was the group's first album to feature Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson.

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Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2010 01:45pm | Post a Comment
 Is it live? Yes it is. Ke$ha & her crew on The Tonight Show

Last night's live "performance" by pop sensation of the moment  Ke$ha of her hit "Tik Tok," off her debut album Animal, on Conan O'Brien's show provided a very strong argument for the use of Auto-Tune and other studio effects to help smooth out an otherwise God awful rendition of her current disposable pop single. Compare last night's poor live performance that lacked any studio effects above (right down to the amatuer choreography that wouldn't make it past the first round of American Idol) with the far superior official music video version of the same song below. The difference is like night and day. 

The official video version has racked up over six million YouTube views since it was posted a couple of months ago with the digital single selling over half a million copies just last week. It showcases the studio version of this song for what it is: a really good, rap-fused dance/pop tune with a memorable melody. But taken out of the studio setting, sans effects, it just doesn't translate, and, to me, proves that some artists shouldn't venture out of the security of the studio and its effects until they are ready, if at all.

Ke$ha "Tik Tok" official video version


Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2010 02:14pm | Post a Comment
MC Paul Barman "Owl Pellets" from his new album Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud

New Jersey born, New York City based MC Paul Barman first caught the attention of the hip-hop world a decade ago when he arrived (seemingly out of nowhere) with his Prince Paul (Stetsasonic, De La Soul, A Prince Among Thieves, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Souls of Mischief etc.)-produced It's Very Stimulating EP, which won critical praise and instantly cemented his place as an unabashedly nerdy hip-hopper. A most clever wordsmith, he was labeled by some as a thinking man's emcee. And while his unique lyrical style may not have been every rap fan's cup of tea, he won respect for not fronting, just being himself, and for MC Paul Barmantackling topics not addressed by your average rapper.

He also won the respect of many hip-hop artists and over the years has collaborated with such acts as MF DOOM, Deltron 3030, Masta Ace, and has toured with such acts as Blackalicious and Del tha Funky Homosapien, who is one of the many guests on his new album, Thought Balloon Mushrooom Cloud (Househusband). The album, which touches on such topics as sampling, owls, AIDS, and circumcision, is the self-described "Jewish atheist'"s first official release since 2002's album Paullelujah!. I recently caught up with the artist to talk about Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud and some of the new rhyme styles unveiled on this recommended new album.


Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2010 12:07pm | Post a Comment
The Book Of Eli
When I first glanced at a version of the poster, left, advertising the new movie The Book of Eli, it was plastered on the side of a bus that whizzed by me on the street. Not knowing anything about the film, due to its layout, I wrongly assumed that it was an ad for some religious group and that Gary Oldman the actor must have become a born again Christian or something like that and was lending his name to this religious group.

Of course, soon after, I discovered that was not the case and that the movie (one of many opening this month), which also stars Denzel Washington in the lead role, is the latest film from the Hughes Brothers, Albert and Allen. Their past films include Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, American Pimp, and From Hell.  As you will gather from the trailer below for this movie, which was filmed in New Mexico, it is the story of a lone hero named Eli (Washington), who battles his way across the wasteland of a post apocalyptic America (circa 2043) in an effort to save a sacred book "that might hold the key to saving the future of humanity." Gary Oldman's character Carnegie -- as the tyrannical ruler of a small makeshift town -- is there to stop him from doing so. The Book Of Eli, which also stars Mila Kunis, opens Friday of next week, Jan 15th, 2010.

The Book Of Eli is just one of many new movies opening this month, and judging from the descriptions and/or the trailers advertising them, it looks like one of the best out of the new bunch. Below, along with the trailer for Eli, is a sampling of some of the other films opening this month that no doubt the Amoeblog's Phil Blankenship will be checking out the weekend they arrive in theaters. Some, such as Bitch Slap, which wisely is only opening in a limited number of theaters and is described as "three bad girls (a down-and-out stripper, a drug-running killer and a corporate powerbroker) as they arrive at a remote desert hideaway to extort and steal $200 Million in diamonds from a ruthless underworld kingpin," looks so, so bad (complete with really bad acting) that it's not even so bad it's good. Just plain awful. But you be the judge. Other trailers below include the futuristic vampire movie Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke (no doubt Hollywood will run the vampire theme into the ground this year); the "emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business" starring Mel Gibson, Edge of Darkness; the drama Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, and Keri Russell; and Youth In Revolt starring Michael Cera along with Steve BuscemiRay Liotta, which seems like one of the better of the new crop of mainstream movies opening this month. Not included, because even the trailer is painful to watch, is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Tooth Fairy, opening Jan 22nd.


Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2009 10:15am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:31:09

The Grouch
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

3) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

4) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

5) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

Last week longtime Living Legends emcee and friend of Amoeba The Grouch was the number one chart entry at the San Francisco store with his latest album, Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music). And this week, the prolific artist repeats that feat at the East Bay Amoeba Music, where fans, eager for this short (only ten tracks) but quality CD, have pushed it to number one. Even though The Grouch released his last solo album (Show You The World) last year and his collaboration album with fellow Living Legends emcee Eligh (Say G&E!) just eight months ago, he still manages to come up with fresh and original material.

Less than six degrees of seperation from The Grouch is the number four entry on this week's Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top FIve: FELT, which features Slug of Atmosphere, who collaborated with The Grouch & Eligh on their collaborative album this year, and MURS, who is another fellow Living Legends member. Aesop Rock does production on this third and latest installment in the FELT series of tributes to B-movie actresses, FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez, which appears on the record label that seemingly can do no wrong, Rhymesayers Entertainment.

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