Amoeblog

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted by Billyjam, February 10, 2010 11:34am | Post a Comment
Dr Carter G Woodson
Since a lot is being blogged about Black History Month both here at the Amoeblog and in the blogosphere in general this month, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a moment to briefly examine the history of Black History Month itself, as well as present a general timeline of black history. One thing that amazes me is the short time span that Black History Month has been around, especially considering that African Americans have been a part of the American fabric dating back to the colonial times. Black History Month only officially started a short 34 years ago, even if the practice of observing black history dates back to the 1920's, which is still not that long ago in a historical context.

Originally known as Negro History Week, it was created in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar with a Ph. D from Harvard who was the son of parents who were both formerly slaves. Woodson was so incensed that there was little or no proper written documented history of blacks in this country that he fought hard to initiate change. Up until that point on the rare occasion in which blacks were included in the American history books it was in a negative light -- they were typically portrayed as inferior human beings to the white ruling class.

A decade before initiating Negro History Week, Woodson laid the foundation by establishing the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which began with careful documenting and writing the history of blacks in this country. The formation of that association led to the creation of the Journal of Negro History which, in turn, led to the launching of Negro History Week 84 years ago for which the second week in February was designated. Black History Week officially began in 1972, and four years later (in 1976) it became Black History Month. Below are a few random select key dates (by no means fully comprehensive) in American black history -- many officially documented by Woodson.

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HIP-HOP AND SUPER BOWL XLIV THEMED RAP SONGS

Posted by Billyjam, February 7, 2010 12:12pm | Post a Comment
Unlike the most recent World Series, which showcased hip-hop music when Jay-Z (along with Alicia Keys) performed, today's big Super Bowl XLIV halftime show will feature rock n roll with The Who performing live. Reportedly their set should include the songs "Baba O'Riley," "Pinball Wizard," "Tommy, 'Can You Hear Me?'," "Who Are You," and "Won't Get Fooled Again." But rock music at a Super Bowl halftime show is nothing new; it almost always tends to be rock or pop music, along with university marching bands. Recent years have included Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and U2. But Prince, James Brown, and, of Nascourse, Janet Jackson have also performed over the years. Some hip-hop or rap flavored halftime performers that have represented include Queen Latifah in 1998, Nelly in 2001, and again in 2004, along with P.Diddy and Kid Rock when they were on the small stage; that same halftime was when Justin Timberlake was on the main stage with Janet Jackson during her much talked about and controversial "wardrobe malfunction."

Come think of it, the perfect song for a halftime performance would be Nas doing his great 1992 debut single "Halftime"...  but that's probably not gonna happen. However, you might hear his music, or other true hip-hop artists in a Super Bowl ad. One thing that is guaranteed is that there is always hip-hop popping up in the much hyped & mega costly TV commercials that premiere during the Super Bowl. Last year during a Bud Light Lemon ad the music of indie Oakland hip-hop crew The Baby Boy Da PrinceHigh Decibels ("That Dude") was exposed to millions of new ears. And odds are there will be hip-hop in the slew of brand new commercials being unveiled during today's big game in Miami. There is also a lot of pre game hip-hop surrounding the Super Bowl. In fact, for yesterday's scheduled Miami Big Game Extravaganza, Lil Wayne along with Sean Kingston and Trey Songz were all supposed to be performing as a warm up, but the show, all set to take place at Jungle Island, was canceled at the last minute due to some contractual dispute.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:06:10

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2010 06:30pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:06:10

lil wayne

1) Lil Wayne Rebirth (Cash Money/Universal)

2) The Madlib Medicine Show 1, Before The Verdict featuring Guilty Simpson (Stones Throw)

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

4) Thavius Beck Dialogue (Mush)

5) Eligh Gandalf's Beat Machine Level 3 (Legendary Music)

The terms "highly anticipated" and "long overdue" each accurately apply to Lil Wayne's Rebirth on Cash Money / Universal, this week's number one hip-hop album at Amoeba Music San Francisco. However, it seems the term "disappointing" could also apply based on the overall negative review the album has received since its release earlier this week. The artist's seventh studio album and the follow up to his 2008 multi-platinum full-length, Tha Carter III, Rebirth is (as written about here) a repeatedly delayed release that should have come out almost a year ago. Due to one thing or another (many speculate that Lil Wayne's label insisted it needed more work & hence postponed its arrival in stores) the release date for the popular rapper's rock/hip-hop hybrid album (with Carter on the cover posing with electric guitar on lap) had been postponed about a half a dozen times in all. But now that Rebirth is finally available, what is the consensus on the music? Overall not good.

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TEN YEARS LATER & DREAM'S LEGACY CONTINUES TO GROW

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2010 06:15pm | Post a Comment
Mike DREAM Francisco
Senselessly gunned down and killed during a random street robbery on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland ten years ago this month, Bay Area graffiti legend Mike "DREAM" Francisco's legacy has grown exponentially in the decade since his tragic murder. And tomorrow, Friday, Feb 5th friends, family, fans, along with those who never even met the late artist but who were somehow touched by his life, his work, and/or his spirit, will congregate en masse for the big annual DREAM DAY.

The sure to be packed event, which takes place at the New Parish on 18th Street near San Pablo in Oakland, will feature graffiti artists, DJs, b-boys and emcees all celebrating, through their respective elements of hip-hop culture, the life and legacy of the man known to many as King DREAM.

As well as graffiti art by DREAM's graffiti collective, the TDK CREW, there will be music provided by a long list, including F.A.M.E., emcee Equipto, DJ Apollo, Shortkut, Fuze, Myke One, Sake One, The Bangerz, and DJ Platurn. Former Amoeba Music Berkeley employee DJ Platurn is among those who actually never met DREAM but whose life was impacted by DREAM's work. "The first time I heard of Mike Dream was through Saafir's Boxcar Sessions. Not only did his art grace the cover but his voice on the record resonated with community and a sense of pride in his craft," Platurn commented earlier today. "I never knew the man personally, being a recent L.A. transplant around that time, but he was always someone that I knew to be a hero and legend in the Bay Area hip-hop game and I'm proud to honor his legacy in any way that I can."

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HIP-HOP HISTORY: TOP 30 RAP SINGLES CHART, FEB/MAR 1993

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2010 08:00pm | Post a Comment
Black Moon
The following Top 30 Hip-Hop Singles chart from February/March 1993, which was originally compiled and published by long defunct East Coast hip-hop zine One Nut Network, was put together based on rap singles' airplay on both college hip-hop radio shows and commercial radio mix shows at the time. The time was early 1993, considered by most as the tail end of hip-hop's much celebrated and oft lamented so-called "golden age" or "golden era," when, it seemed, every new hip-hop release was a noteworthy (and worth owning) release. And while that belief may not be 100% correct, it is, as the following chart indicates, pretty darn close to the truth.

By just eye-balling the 30 singles on the Feb/March 1993 chart below, many of which, including Black Moon, Dr Dre, Young Black Teenagers, and Ice Cube, got released towards the end of 1992 but still had airplay into the first quarter of 1993, you can tell a lot about the status of hip-hop at the time and where it stood in its historical development. For example, many of the acts most associated with the aforementioned "golden age" of hip-hop were represented here, including Kool G Rap ("Ill Street Blues"), Gang Starr ["Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)"], Brand Nubian ("Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down"), Diamond D ("Sally Got A One Track Mind"), Naughty By Nature ("Hip Hop Hooray"), and Lords of the Underground ("Funky Child") -- each of which happened to be East Coast (NY or NJ) acts.

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