Amoeblog

Hip Hop Rap Up: Action Bronson, Death Grips, J-Live, Your Old Droog, Greg Grease + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment
                         Amoeba Music Berkeley Top Five Hip-Hop Chart April 09, 2015

1) Death Grips The Powers That B (Third Worlds) also avail in vinyl

2) Action Bronson Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic)

3) Greg Grease Born to Lurk x Forced to Work (Sound Verite)

4) Your Old Droog Your Old Droog (Your Old Droog)

5) J-Live His Own Self (Mortier)

The new Amoeba hip-hop chart number one album is The Powers That B by one of a kind NorCal group Death Grips.  The new double album (avail in both CD and vinyl formats) is the group's fourth studio album and is essentially a two-in-one LP release since it includes both the previously released June 2014 free digital download full-length Niggas on the Moon, plus the second half of the 2 album set been Jenny Death - aka Disc 2.  Now some protest that Death Grips do not qualify as "hip-hop."  E-Lit, who supplied the above current Berkeley hip-hop chart, does not. And neither do I. My feeling is that this totally unique Sacramento trio do not fall under any already established genre or sub-genre of any music and that hip-hop is as good a descriptive starting point as any other to label the band with or, as Amoeba.com accurately labels the group's aggressive sound and crediting them with, "basically created their own genre of aggressive electro noise, Zach Hill’s wildman drumming and MC Ride’s berserk raps."

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Remembering Compton's Short-Lived C.P.O.

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2015 12:01pm | Post a Comment

In the aftermath of the success of N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, record labels were rushing to sign West Coast SoCal acts in any way related to N.W.A. or even just hailing from their Compton neighborhood. Compton's C.P.O. were such an act. Down with N.W.A. and from Compton, the rap group was comprised of rapper Lil Nation and DJ Train (plus some extended posse members). Formed in 1989, they were signed soon after, thanks to N.W.A.'s MC Ren, by Capitol Records who released their debut album To Hell And Black the following year. However, the major label dropped the rap group from their roster that same year. 

The short-lived Compton-based C.P.O., whose name stood for Capital Punishment Organization, was primarily just its front person - the robust rapper/MC Ren protege Lil Nation (aka 'CPO' or Boss Hogg) who, at 6'2" and 357 pounds, was far from 'lil' back in 1990 when the former gang-banger emerged on Ren Records/MC Ren Productions. To Hell And Black spawned the two funky singles "Ballad Of A Menace" and "The Beat Is Funky" and their accompanying videos.

DJ Train, who added all the turntable scratching and cutting, had previously worked with both J.J. Fad and MC Ren, and had been down with N.W.A. for some time. He was among those included on the album cover photo of 1987's N.W.A. & the Posse.  Meanwhile the C.P.O. entourage was rounded out by The Chip, Donovan, and Young D who co-produced the group's sole album with Ren (who also rapped on the release). Lil Nation, as Boss Hogg, would later appear on N.W.A,'s 1991 Niggaz4life on the track "Findum Fuckum and Flee."  C.P.O. was in the right place at the right time, arriving on the music scene just as gangsta rap, still a relatively new and primarily West Coast phenomenon, was, to the chagrin of many, proving itself to be more than just a passing fad. They were presented alongside the major players of the new hip-hop shock sub-genre of that era.

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2015 SF DMC Battle (April 12 @ Brick & Mortar) Fosters "Accepting Vibe Where Everyone Can Feel Respected And Encouraged"

Posted by Billyjam, April 6, 2015 08:08am | Post a Comment

Three years ago in April of 2012, following a noticeably long six-year absence, the longtime DMC DJ Battle returned to San Francisco with its 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle at 330 Ritch at which DJ Sol Rising won the turntable competition. It was a most welcomed return of the world's longest running, most recognized, and prestigious DJ battle to the epicenter of turntablism/skratch music in the country. Thankfully, each year since then a Bay Area DMC Regional, one that determines who will go on to represent NorCal in the DMC USA national finals in New York, has taken place. The 2015 DMC San Francisco Regional DJ Battle will take place this coming Sunday, April 12th, at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco. Tix here.

As well as being the NorCal Regional battle, the event will also encompass the Battle for US Supremacy as part of the six-hour long program. The event is special also in the fact that this year's will be an all-ages event! Note that there is still time to enter for the battle by contacting usa@dmcworld.com. DJs have until exactly 11:59pm on April 11th to register for the battles on April 12th. This year's battle has the backing of the Rane DJ gear company along with the pioneering Bay Area DJ Cue's (co-founder of the Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters) San Brun-based Special Tech DJ school.

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Amy: The Amy Winehouse Documentary

Posted by Billyjam, April 5, 2015 12:21pm | Post a Comment

Amy Winehouse movie preview (2015)

Above is the very telling first trailer for the forthcoming documentary, Amy, on the short life and times of the late great Amy Winehouse. In it the singer, who died at age 27 of alcohol poisoning, incorrectly predicts in an early interview how she figured that she was not going to be very famous. In regards to fame, she said, "I don't think I could handle it. I'd probably go mad!" 

The film, directed by Asif Kapedia (Senna), promises to include a lot of unseen archival footage as well as feature some never before heard Amy Winehouse tracks (likely to appear on an accompanying soundtrack).

No doubt there'll be more trailers for Amy published before its scheduled theatrical release in July. In the meantime, check out Amy Winehouse's back catalog at Amoeba Music, which includes the track "Back To Black" (video below) -- the title track of her second album released by Universal in 2006. The song can be heard in the above movie teaser, albeit in an altered, slower, stretched-out version that isolated the acapella parts and mixed them over an eerie sounding instrumental for full haunting effect.

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Various Causes of Musicians' Deaths, By Genre

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2015 11:53am | Post a Comment


Melancholy a topic as the content in above chart might be, which comes care of theconversation.com, it is very engaging and enlightening. The color red on the chart represents "significantly above the overall average rate for cause of death" with rap and hip-hop leading the chart's overall percentage amount. Meanwhile, metal leads in suicide as cause of death, with cancer pretty much evenly spread across all genres except for hip-hop and rap - perhaps because it is the youngest genre represented.

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