Amoeblog

BAY AREA HIP-HOP ARCHIVES: APRIL 1996

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2008 11:32am | Post a Comment

Lately I've been digging in my archives, specifically my Bay Area Hip-Hop archives, and it has been fun going back over all of this great music which, as is often the case, is hard to completely absorb and fully appreciate the significance of right as it is all happening around you. This Bay Area hip-hop archival from a dozen years ago, including the video above for Mac Mall's great single from that time, "Get Right," is the first in a series of hip-hop flashbacks from the Bay Area hip-hop archives that I have accumulated since the mid-eighties. This specific time-encapsulated slice of Bay Area hip-hop is from the the week of April 6th, 1996.
Tupac Shakur
It includes a Bay Area Top 50 chart (singles & albums & demo tapes -- all subjectively chosen) and a Bay Area Rap News headlines report -- both taken from the Hip Hop Slam produced radio show ("Pirate Fuckin Radio") I did at the time that was broadcast on a bunch of small micro-powered radio stations (aka pirate radio) including Free Radio Berkeley, Steal This Radio in New York City,  San Francisco Liberation Radio, Free Radio Santa Cruz, KBUD Mendocino, 89.1FM Seattle, Flavor 919 and 909 The Bomb in Miami, and Black Magic Radio in Fresno. 

Also included are certain album covers and videos. But what is most interesting about this chart from a dozen years ago is that it captures the roots of the current hyphy movement and other contemporary Yay Area rap styles. Note that Master P, his TRU (The Real Untouchables) crew and No Limit Records (later to blow up back down in New Orleans) were still a Bay Area outfit. Then, as now, women were in the minority in the local rap game. However, those that did represent, including Suga T, Conscious Daughters (see video for "Gamers" below), and Sh'Killa (self-described "gangstrez from da Bay") were all respected, empowered women artists who didn't feel the need to flaunt their sexuality in exchange for fame in the rap game.

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AMOEBA LOVE: BEST RECORD STORE

Posted by Billyjam, July 8, 2008 06:32pm | Post a Comment
Since its inception Amoeba Music has received numerous awards for its three locations, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood, with the latest award going to the Berkeley Amoeba store which was voted "Best Record Store" by the East Bay Express in their recent annual "Best of the East Bay" edition.

"There is NO place like Amoeba, not even in New York," wrote the accompanying text for this award, which was all the more significant since it was in the "Readers' Choice" section & hence was based on what a wide cross-section of Express readers sincerely think about Amoeba Music.

To help celebrate this latest award for the store, Amoeba will be part of the big party this Friday (July 11th) from 7PM until midnight at the Oakland Museum of California at 1000 Oak Street, where all of the winners in the East Bay Express'  recent "best of the East Bay" awards will be honored. If you go - and you should - be sure to stop by the Amoeba Music booth where you can say wassup and register to win free prizes,

The actual theme of this party is "Old School" and hence such classic acts from from back in the day as Flipper and The Uptones -- the longtime East Bay ska outfit who formed back in 1981 when most of its members were still attending Berkeley High School. Below is a video clip of the Uptones nowadays with them performing "Skanking Fool"  a year ago at the Metro in Oakland - a location currently closed.  Others performing at this big mixed arts event include Dyloot (Deep Voices) and Destroyer.


Brandi Shearer - Amoeba artist
Others on the bill for Friday's big and FREE event (meaning get there early, as it will likely be mobbed) include The Shoreshoes, Monarchs, and talented longtime Oakland hip-hop DJ Malachi.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 7:06:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2008 03:04am | Post a Comment
 Little Brother's new album "...and justus for all"
Juan
in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Berkeley reports that two of the hottest selling new albums at the East Bay store this past week were Little Brother's ...and justus for all and The 3rd Degree by Immortal Technique, which includes cameos from Chino XL, Ras Kass, and Crooked I and production courtesy of  Green Lantern, plus Buckwild (DITC), Scram Jones, and Southpaw.

North Carolina's Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh are reportedly releasing a total of five albums between them this year, both collaboratively and solo, including just one jointly under their group name, Little Brother.

The tight new album ...and justus for all is actually a kind of re-release since it came out last year with the same title in a (slightly different) mixtape format, which was overseen by DJ Mick Boogie. Released on Hall Of Justus, the new version of ...and justus for all has been cleaned up to a crispy clean sound via re-mastering. It also includes five new Little Brother songs that were not on the 2007 mixtape version of ...and justus for all.

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IAN CURTIS' HEADSTONE STOLEN

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 04:53pm | Post a Comment

In a creepy crime similar to an incident that happened to the late Mac Dre's resting place three years ago when the slain Vallejo rapper's headstone was stolen, the gravestone of former Joy Division front man Ian Curtis was stolen sometime between yesterday and this morning from the Macclesfield Cemetery in Cheshire, England.

As reported earlier today by the BBC, "Detectives said the stone, which has the inscription "Ian Curtis 18 -5 -80" and the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was taken...There is no CCTV in the area and there are no apparent leads as to who is responsible for the theft."

The local authorities went on to speculate that the recent surge in interest in the singer might have led to the unusual theft. Last year's biopic on the singer, Control, and the documentary, Joy Division, which was released earlier this year, have both undoubtedly led to an increase in interest in the talented Curtis, who hung himself in the kitchen of his nearby Macclesfield home back in May 1980 when he was 23. Cheshire police have pleaded with anyone who has information to contact them.

This incident brings to mind both the theft of Jim Morrison's headstone from P’re Lachaise Cemetery in Paris in 1990, and the aforementioned Andre (Mac Dre) Hicks graveside robbery from Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery in 2005.  Despite the fact that a large reward was posted for the recovery of Mac Dre's headstone (and a beat-down promised if the perp was ever caught), the headstone was never recovered. Eventually it was replaced with a new one that was tightly secured.

EMPHASIS ON "CELEBRATION" AT 2008 SF LGBT PRIDE PARTY

Posted by Billyjam, July 2, 2008 03:00pm | Post a Comment
      

Not only was Sunday's incredibly fun, huge rave-scale 2008 San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration & Parade the best party of the year so far but it was also a landmark historic event: one that marked the California Supreme Court very recently making it legal (second to Massachusetts) for same-sex couples to marry. And this significant step forward (in a long uphill battle) for human rights clearly was prominently on the minds of the revelers who descended upon San Francisco this past weekend.

Sunday afternoon's giant celebration was essentially a really, really large wedding party since so many in attendance had just gotten hitched in the days leading up to the event. Included were the happy couple pictured left in front of City Hall where, they cheerfully informed me, they had gotten married two days before.

The first part of Sunday's mega-event was the long colorful parade that slowly snaked down Market and left onto Eighth Street, and along whose route Mayor Gavin Newsom got numerous ovations for his role in pushing the envelope in the same-sex marriage issue, starting four years ago shortly after he took office.

The parade was immediately followed by the "celebration" portion of the long fun afternoon. This giant party kicked into gear from the get-go and the energy didn't let up all day. The sprawling celebration extended for blocks in every direction and featured over twenty different stages in addition to countless spaces and booths that took over all the streets around the Civic Center area of downtown San Francisco.

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