Amoeblog

Danny Brown's "Atrocity Exhibition" (Warp)

Posted by Billyjam, December 21, 2016 09:03am | Post a Comment


  Danny Brown Atrocity Exhibition LP (Warp Records) [also avail on CD]

As I wrap up final year end lists for Amoeblog and upcoming WFMU radio annual retrospective show I keep coming back to this album by one-of-a-kind hip-hop artist Danny Brown and realize that, in addition to mentions and list inclusions, that it deserves its own Amoeblog post. This is because perhaps more than any other 2016 release, Danny Brown's brilliant 2 LP set album on Warp Records, Atrocity Exhibition  [also avail on CD], truly demonstrates the sheer diversity within the broad genre that is hip-hop today. From a BPM perspective,  generally most hip-hop is on the slower laid-back beats vibe - as in 100BPM and under. A prime example would be the popular Lil Yachty track "1Night" with its slowed down hypnotic beat. Meanwhile on the opposite end of the spectrum is this 2016 album from Detroit rapper Danny Brown that dropped in September, and just gets better with repeated listens. It is really fast beats and rapping to match, and as such packs a frantic, futuristic, adrenaline-fueled, up all night on acid vibe that's simultaneously disturbingly weird and beautiful.  It's a unique style that can only be described as Danny Brown, but also owes a lot to the album's main producer  Paul White. That's the UK producer who we heard from earlier this year when he collaborated with Open Mike Eagle on Hella Personal Film Festival,  but on that album he went slow and introspective with the beats. This one is polar opposite in speed and overall vibe. With a handful of other producers fleshing things out and complimenting the UK producer's sound for Danny Brown, White produced 10 of the 15 tracks on Atrocity Exhibition. The album's title, as noted in its Amoeba description, is culled from both the Joy Division song and the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name. That review accurately describes the album's varying musical styles, courtesy of several different producers, as containing "elements of trap music, psychedelia, and experimental rap." Standout tracks include "Pneumonia," "When It Rain," "Dance In The Water" and "Really Doe (feat Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, Earl Sweatshirt)." The latter track features just a few of the LP's numerous collaborators. Others, both production and mic guests, include Kelela, B-Real, Petite NoirThe Alchemist, and Black Milk.  Below is the video for the Paul White produced album track "When It Rain." Other Danny Brown releases available from Amoeba include the mixtape that put him on the map XXX, the 2013 Fools Gold release Old (also on LP), and his 2014 album Hot Soup (also on vinyl LP)

Danny Brown "When It Rain" from Atrocity Exhibition (Warp Records) [also avail on CD]

Best of 2016 Hip-Hop Lists: Top 7 Lists of Albums, Female MCs, DJ Releases, Reissues, Monalisa's Top 7 Album Picks + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2016 01:42pm | Post a Comment
Top 7 Hip-Hop Albums of 2016 by Billy Jam


1:  A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here,... Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)

2: De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody (A.O.I. LLC) (also on 2 LP vinyl)

3: Homeboy Sandman Kindness for Weakness (also on LP) (Stones Throw)

4: E-40 The D-Boy Diary Book 1 + The D-Boy Diary Book 2,
           (Heavy On The Grind)

5: Mr. Lif Don't Look Down (also on LP) (Mello Music Group)


6: ElZhi  Lead Poison (also on LP) (Glow 365) 

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De La Soul, Bowie, Ennio Morricone, Sturgill Simpson, & "Compton" OST: Top 5 Reasons 2017 Grammys Don't Completely Suck

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2016 02:17pm | Post a Comment

One of five Grammy 2017's "Best New Artist" nominees Anderson .Paak (above Feb 2015: Amoeba Hollywood following the release of his album Venice)This year the neo-soul singer/producer/musician from Oxnard (FKA Breezy LoveJoy) released both the solo album Malibu (nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album) & collaborative Yes Lawd! (on LP) with Knxwledge as NxWorries.

Predictably within moments of the public announcement of the nominees for the 2017 Grammys been made last Tuesday (Dec. 6th) disgruntled music fans swarmed social media to vent their outrage over why they felt the Grammys sucked. While many positive music fans agreed with such choices as Beyoncé (nine nominations in all!) or Sia (two nominations), or the inclusion of such relative newcomers as Anderson .Paak and BJ The Chicago Kid (both friends of Amoeba), typically it was the voices of discontent who were the loudest and that dominated the discussions.  These critics were the quickest in expressing their disdain over the picks and, more importantly, the omissions or snubs from the listed nominees for the music biz's biggest annual event: the 59th Grammy Awards to take place on February 12, 2017. "I can't believe that so-and-so [insert their fave artist here] was not included once but that Drake, Rihanna and Kanye West each got eight nominations! What the F.." was a stereotypical response by those of the many unhappy music fans to the Grammys announcement. But being incredulous at the lack of new creative alternative music in a mainstream music event doesn't accomplish anything. It's like Trump whining about how "unwatchable" SNL is while still religiously tuning in each week.

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With 3 New Albums On Billboard's Top 200, E-40 Continues Work Ethic Developed Decades Ago, As Reminded in Rare 1992 Interview

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2016 03:17pm | Post a Comment

"I was born with a rusty spoon. Now I'm a tycoon," raps E-40 on his new album track "Savage (feat. Jazze Pha & B-Legit)" accurately summing up the longtime Vallejo rapper's unique, consistently illustrious and prolific hip-hop career. Spanning three decades as solo artist, member of The Click, and frequent collaborator with countless other artists, E-40's remarkable career culminated this past week with his three new simultaneously released albums all charting on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The D-Boy Diary Book 1, The D-Boy Diary Book 2, plus The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2 Deluxe Edition not only made the Billboard's Top 200 chart, but also charted on the Top 20 of Billboard's Indie and R&B/Hip-Hop Charts, plus the Billboard Rap Top Ten Chart. While most rappers fade away after a couple of albums or within a handful of years, three decades on the Bay Area rap icon seems to be more popular and well known than ever. Very few others have accomplished this. One who has come close is fellow Bay Area rap veteran Too $hort, coincidentally an artist with whom E-40's collaborated with many times including on two albums.

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Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire: List of Fund Drives & Bay Area Benefit Concerts

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2016 06:11pm | Post a Comment
The Ghost Ship

As everywhere across the Bay Area and beyond, we here at Amoeba Music are still reeling in shock from the news of the devastating, deadly Ghost Ship inferno. At this time our solemn thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends. Located in East Oakland's Fruitvale district the warehouse was described as a home, studio, venue, and safe space for local artists, filmmakers, painters, musicians, dancers, and their families. The tragedy at the space occurred late last Friday night, during the beginning stages of an all night electronic dance party that was a show for 100% Silk, the dance music imprint of the Not Not Fun record label. One of the record label's artists Cherushii (33-year-old San Franciscan Chelsea Dolan who was also a KALX Berkeley DJ) was among the victims of the fatal blaze. Tragically she was just one of four volunteers at the UC Berkeley radio station killed in the fire. The others were Griffin Madden (aka DJ Laura), Vanessa Plotkin, and Jennifer Morris.

Reportedly, the deadly fire broke out suddenly and rapidly spread throughout the below-code wooden structure, leaving few escape options for those trapped inside the fiery smoke-filled building. As of the time of posting this Amoeblog, the number reported dead stood at 36, mostly from smoke inhalation according to authorities. Many of the names have still to be officially identified, while many of the identified victims still have not been publicly announced out of respect for their families. Somewhat heartening  however was the announcement made earlier today by an Oakland Fire Dept. official that, even with 15% of the charred building remaining to be investigated, that they are hopeful and confident that the death toll figure will not rise much higher, if at all, above 36.

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