Amoeblog

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:05:09

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2009 04:45pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:05:09
diplo decent work for decent pay
1) Diplo Decent Work for Decent Pay
 (Big Dada)

2) P.O.S. Never Better (Rhymesayers)

3) Illa J Yancey Boys (Delicious Vinyl)

4) J-Dilla Yancey Boys Instrumentals
(Delicious Vinyl)

5) RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection (TVT)

A glance at the new top five hip hop albums chart above from the Hollywood Amoeba is proof that 2009 in hip-hop is already looking real good with numerous quality new releases dropping or about to drop from all over the map, both stylistically and geographically.

Multi-talented Staten Island Wu warrior RZA, who plays Sunday night in San Francisco at Mezzanine on a bill along with Pariah and DJ Radius and others, has just dropped the album soundtrack to the Spike TV animated show Afro Samurai Resurrection on TVT. Meanwhile from Calgary, Canada comes the talented duo of Dragon Fli Empire, which is DJ Cosm and Teekay. The pair have been putting it down for a minute in their homeland. Both their 2004 release Conquest and their 2006 album Invasion got warm responses. On their new 2009 album Redefine they are joined by several guests, including fellow Canadian Cadence Weapon and Bay Area resident emcee Raashan Ahmad (of solo and Crown City Rockers fame) who joins them on "Ride On" -- one of the best tracks on the album. Other good cuts on the 14 track CD include "Just That Nice."
mic crenshaw thinking out loud
Out of Portland, Oregon come two great yet stylistically very different emcees: Sapient and Mic Crenshaw. Mic Crenshaw's Thinking Out Loud on Focused Noise is the debut solo release by the emcee who has built a fan base as part of Suckapunch, Hungry Mob, and Cleveland Steamers. Although associated with the Northwest's hip-hop scene, the artist is not from there originally. Born and raised in Chicago (Southside), he moved to Portland via Minneapolis. As much an activist as an emcee, Crenshaw is a founding member of Anti Racist Action and the famed Minneapolis anti-racist skinhead crew, The Baldies. He is also reportedly co-founder of a non-profit caled Global Farm which has been instrumental in setting up computer centers for Iraqi refugees, as well as for disadvantaged youth in Burundi in Central Africa. Not surprisingly then, Crenshaw's new album addresses some of the issues that are close to his heart. On the album he is joined by another politically minded hip-hopper, Stic Man of Dead Prez. Other guests include Nightclubber Lang of Boom Bap Project.

Meanwhile, Portland emcee/producer Sapient's Letterhead is a refreshingly original sounding new hip-hop album. To date he is best known as part of the Northwest crew Sandpeople, whose members Ethic and Onlyone each make cameos here, and whose most recent release, Honest Rocket, released last May featuring The Grouch and Sean Price, got quite a good buzz.  Letterhead is even better and proves how sometimes when the emcee is also the producer things can really click perfectly. Sapient doesn't even try to adhere to the unwritten rule of only digging in the funk and breaks crates for his soundscapes. Instead he has an arsenal of unconventional samples and sounds, like the bugged out computer effects on the song "Stay Connected," to draw from and funnel into the mix and still have them come out hip-hop sounding.

Continue reading...

ANTI RECORDS ALSO CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2009 08:38pm | Post a Comment
booker t
The Amoeblog section of the Amoeba Music website is by no means the only blog recognizing and celebrating Black History Month in 2009. Over on ANTI- Records' blog they have an insightful, well-written piece reflecting on Black History Month penned by Booker T. Jones that was posted earlier today. And the musician / author of the blog knows what he is talking about. With a long history of living outside racial boundaries Booker T. and the MGs had both black and white members at a time when much of the country was integrating only under the protection of the National Guard; Booker T.'s was the perfect voice to bring attention to Black History Month on the Anti blog.

Read Booker T.'s insightful and hopeful essay by clicking here and check back on the ANTI blog this month where, like us here at the Amoeblog, they are celebrating Black History Month with music related blogs, all penned by African American recording artists. Upcoming blogs will include Bettye LaVette writing about Barack Obama, Mavis Staples on the the power of music to both heal and communicate, and Solillaquists of Sound's Swamburger talks of his experiences as a black male and a black artist.

THE HIGH DECIBELS' NEW HIGH PROFILE C/O SUPER BOWL AD

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2009 12:39pm | Post a Comment

Pop quiz: what Oakland rap act was featured prominently in a television commercial spot during Sunday's big Super Bowl event? If you answered MC Hammer, you would be partially correct, as indeed the long fallen-from-grace (and riches) bygone Oakland pop-rap star was featured along with another former big baller, Ed McMahon, in the funny (but in a sad/tragic way) Cash4Gold commercial in which Hammer and high decibalsMcMahon are seen selling off their worldly possessions to get some needed cash.

But also on Sunday there was another Oakland rap act featured, or rather their music was featured, in the new series of always anticipated Super Bowl commercials.

New up-and-coming Oakland hip-hop group The High Decibels' song "That Dude" was prominently featured in the "Sphere of Summer" Super Bowl Commercial spot for Budweiser's new Bud Light Lime line of beer. The commercial, which aired in the game's exciting final quarter, was one of many anticipated new TV commercials unveiled during Super Bowl and which famously cost advertisers $3 million per 30 second spot to run on NBC but are viewed by tens of millions of potential customers.

Considering that the High Decibels are a relatively little-known group with only one album out on a small indie local label, I was curious as to how they landed their music on such a major TV spot. So yesterday I caught up in person with the group's mainman/guitarist KC, who I hadn't seen since I did an Amoeblog profile on the High Decibels back in October when they had just put out their debut album HD on Rolling Jack Records and were doing a record release party in SF. In addition to putting together the hip-hop band, whose two emcees are Duke and Chief, KC also oversees the management and business of the group. high decibels

Continue reading...

867-5309 FOR SALE ON EBAY AND FETCHING BIG BIDS

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2009 06:52pm | Post a Comment
tommy tutone 867-5309 jenny
Anyone who watches VH1 Classics, lived through the eighties or has listened to any bit of retro 1980's radio hits will already be quite familiar with the phone number 867 53 09 as enunciated by Tommy Tutone in his infectious pop-rock hit single "867 5309/Jenny" from 1982 which reached number 4 on the pop singles chart. But news is that five years ago, as a bit of a joke, someone in New Jersey actually requested that phone number  from their phone company. To their surprise, they were granted the seven digit number. They also got inundated with phone calls from fans of the song and of the ficticious Jenny.

According to the Associated Press, in the five years since the person who had the phone in his name, Spencer Potter, who is a music fan and mobile disc jockey in Weehawken, NJ, and his  housemates have been "fielding thousands of calls to one of rock 'n' roll's most celebrated phone numbers. Potter and his roommates requested the number on a lark for their home phone in northern New Jersey. They got it, along with about 30 to 40 calls a day."

The phone number, which doubled as Potter's mobile DJ business number, is currently up for sale on eBay along with the DJ business itself. The 28 year old has it listed as "Selling my DJ company with the most famous phone numbers in HISTORY....  867-5309!" But get this: at the time of posting this Amoeblog, it had received 104 bids with the latest one at $158,100.00, which seems ridiculously high. And who knows how much higher it will go and what might happen in the bidding process between now and when the auction closes in 6 days, 17 hours, and 8 minutes (as of posting this) and counting.

BOOTS RILEY OF THE COUP TELLS IT AS HE SEES IT

Posted by Billyjam, February 2, 2009 10:00am | Post a Comment
boots riley
In 1993 when Boots Riley and The Coup (Pam the Funkstress and former member E-Roc) first caught the attention of the hip-hop world with their socially & politically charged debut Kill My Landlord (Wild Pitch), hip-hop had already passed its political Afro-centric wave. 

It was when gangsta rap, with Dr. Dre and The Chronic leading the way, was fast becoming the prevalant hip-hop flavor, remaining so ever since. But none of that bothered the ever-outspoken, individually minded Raymond "Boots" Riley one bit, not then nor in the 16 years since. Boots as both an artist and acitvist has remained a refreshingly consistent voice of rebelliion; one constantly questioning authority, in particular the capitalist system of the country in which he lives.

Last week I caught up with Boots by telephone to talk with him about Black History Month, Barack Obama being in the White House, the relationship between police & minorities in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant case, and of course music, among other things. Riley was in LA in the studio sitting in on the finishing stages of mixing an album for a forthcoming release of an exciting-sthe coup kill my landlordounding side project by The Coup frontman, which is detailed further in the conversation that follows.

Amoeblog: So what is this new album side-project you are finishing up right now?

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  283  284  285  286  287  288  289  290  291  292  293  294  >>  NEXT