Amoeblog

RAPPERS: THE WEAKEST, THE WORST, THE OLDEST, & THE YOUNGEST

Posted by Billyjam, March 12, 2009 08:10pm | Post a Comment
Below are four entertaining videos that cover extremes in rap: the weakest, the worst, the oldest & the youngest. The first one is a clip from the forgotten gem of an episiode of NBC TV show The Weakest Link from 2002 when it adapted a rap theme to determine who was the weakest rapper. On the show from seven years ago, host Anne Robinson had, it seemed, almost as much fun with her contestants (Young MC, Xzibit, B-Real, Da Brat, DJ Quik, Nate Dogg, Jermaine Dupri & Rev Run) as "Miss Katie" Couric recently did interviewing Lil Wayne.

The World's Worst Rapper? (Up for debate of course since there are probably worse.) The clip below features no-talent emcee Stephen from Sheffield and is from the 2006 preliminaries of UK's The X-Factor with judges Simon Cowell, Sharon Osborne, and Louis Walsh -- all of whom weren't feeling Stephen's flow. 

The World's Oldest Rapper video clip features Herb Jeffries rapping at 95 years old. And the World's Youngest Rapper clip is of Bobby J, who is actually not the youngest rapper. I think he is about 4 and a half or five in this clip, and there are many younger rappers out there. But of the numerous 3  year olds I have seen/heard, none come close in style and flow to lil Bobby J. And anyways, this Amoeblog is more about fun than anything else. So just enjoy!


The Weakest Rapper

WOMEN IN HIP-HOP PT. II: FLY GIRLS! B-BOYS BEWARE

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2009 09:30am | Post a Comment

The history books show, as recently as the early nineteenth century women in the United States were considered second-class citizens, subservient to men, and whose existence was limited to the interior life of caring for the home and children. Not only did women not have the right to vote, but after marriage they did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or  even sign a contract.

Of course, things have changed radically since then, especially in this country, and in 2009 we like to think everyone is equal regardless of gender, color, race, age, religion, or sexual orientation. But let's be real: we still have a ways to go for true equality. And you have to look no further than at hip-hop for proof that gender inequality exists-- the ratio of female to male artists is totally uneven, in favor of men. Flip through the CD or vinyl hip-hop aisles at Amoeba Music and odds are the ratio of female to male artists will be 1 to 10 at best or 1 to 20 at worst. Why is that? There are many reasons that I will explore in later installments of this Women In Hip-Hop Amoeblog series for Women's History Month. But for now I just want to celebrate some of the great female hip-hop artists, starting off with this Amoeblog focusing on the female emcees featured on the recent Soul Jazz release Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers!

A highly recommended tribute to the fly girls of hip hop, this CD and limited vinyl pressing, which has been selling well at Amoeba since its late January release date, is a wonderful historic overview of some of the funkiest female tracks from the 70's through the 80's and into the 90's. Of course, with just twenty tracks this snapshot only scratches the surface of the history of women in hip-hop, but considering that, it still does a hell of a job and unless you have been avidly collecting hip-hop over the years you need this for your collection.

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HANK LOCKLIN, OPRY'S OLDEST LIVING MEMBER, PASSES AT AGE 91

Posted by Billyjam, March 9, 2009 02:20pm | Post a Comment

As reported by today's Nashville CIty Paper, Hank Locklin, the Grand Ole Opry's oldest living member, died early yesterday (March 8th) at his Brewton, Alabama home of unknown causes. He was 91 years of age. Ever-prolific and active, Locklin only very recently released his 65th album -- By the Grace of God, a collection of gospel songs.

Born Lawrence Hankins Locklin, he was a member of the revered Grand Ole Opry family since 1960 and had a long recording career with RCA Victor, with whom he scored such notable hits as “Please Help Me I’m Falling” (a Top Ten Billboard hit in 1960), “Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On,” "Happy Journey," “Happy Birthday To Me," "Geisha Girl," and “The Country Hall Of Fame." (audio below)

Locklin, who was one of country music’s first Honky Tonk singers, was listed along with his single "Please Help Me I'm Falling" in Billboard Magazine's 100th Anniversary issue as the second most successful country single of the rock ‘n’ roll era.

MARCH 8th: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Posted by Billyjam, March 8, 2009 05:00am | Post a Comment

Today, March 8th, is the day recognized every year as International Woman's Day (IWD). It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. IWD began as a political event, with the annual event blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia, as well as other nations of the former Soviet bloc).

While In some cultures IWD has lost some of its political flavor and become simply an occasion for men to express their love or respect towards women (a la Valentines Day meets Mother's Day), in many more countries it has maintained its political/sociological edge, where issues pertaining specifically to women are discussed. This year is no exception, as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the specific health-care needs of women are often ignored or insufficiently taken into account in war situations.

The ICRC points out, "In the world’s least developed countries, many of which are at war, women are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications than in developed countries, according to UNICEF. While armed conflicts and other violence affect entire communities, women are particularly at risk of rape and other forms of sexual violence. Because of poor security conditions or because they have no means of transportation, it is often impossible for women to reach a health-care facility so as to give birth safely."

And in recognition of IWD, leaders from seven international organizations converged in New York this week for a 'Girl Power and Potential' reception with the event featuring a panel of speakers outlining the strategies and goals of the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Adolescent Girls. For more information click here.

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 03:06:09

Posted by Billyjam, March 6, 2009 06:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 03:06:09

1) K'NAAN Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records)

2) Zion I The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media)

3) Madlib Beat Konducta 5 & 6 (Stones Throw)

4) RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection (TVT)

5) Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique (reissue) (Capitol)

Thanks to Inti at the Berkeley Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five chart which finds reigning Somalia hip-hop music star K'NAAN in the top slot with his new album Troubadour. He was also number one at the Hollywood Amoeba last week. Meanwhile, Oakland duo ZIon I, who were number one at Amoeba SF two weeks ago, are in the number two slot with their highly recommended new album The TakeOver, which is full of potential hit singles. Currently Zion I, made up of producer AmpLive and emcee Zumbia, are on a West Coast tour. For details click here.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Beastie Boys' second album, 1989's Paul's Boutique, was recently reissued and has been selling well at all Amoeba stores since its late January reissue date. At the Berkeley store it is this week's number five top seller.

A lot has changed in the 20 years since the album's initial release from the New York group. Initially considered a paul's boutiquecommercial failure by their record label, who expected Licensed To Ill-scale sales and pop radio acceptance, the album catapulted the Beasties from being remembered as mere novelty rap act to serious hip-hoppers in the music history books. Included in countless magazines and critics' "Best Of" album lists, the 20th anniversary reissue of Paul's Boutique package features 24-bit remaster audio and a commentary track. If you don't already own this album, get it.

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