Amoeblog

LADY GAGA IS LATEST TO ADDRESS HOMOPHOBIA IN HIP-HOP

Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2009 05:01pm | Post a Comment

More than any other popular musical form, hip-hop is perhaps the most consistently (and often apologetically) misogynistic and homophobic genre in all contemporary pop music. This is something that Lady Gaga speaks about in the video clip above, taken from an interview with host Touré from on On The Record, that will broadcast later tonight (Monday, Nov 23rd at 9pm) on Fuse TV.  Of course, this is not exactly breaking news to anyone No Homowho listens to popular rap, but it is nonetheless refreshing to hear a high profile person address homophobia in popular rap music. This is something that encompasses recurring anti-gay lyrics in songs and also the whole "No Homo" obsession, popular within hip-hop circles for several years now, whereby the words "NO HOMO" are instantly said aloud by a person right after they utter  something that might possibly be construed as "gay sounding." This two word statement absolves them from the ultimate crime (of being perceived as "homo"). This "No Homo" subcultural movement even spawned its own fashion line that includes the "No Homo" baseball cap (pictured).

In her interview, Lady Gaga, as always, is very supportive and defensive of her large gay following. When pressed by Toure as to which high profile homophobic hip-hopper she is referring to, she won't say. Truth is that it could be a great many rappers out there. But more than likely it is 50 Cent who she is referring to, since recently on the Angie Martinez radio show Fitty in a mocking derogatory tone referred to the scheduled Lady Gaga and Kanye West Fame Kills tour as the "gay tour." (the tour got cancelled due to Kayne's VMA outburst combined with lackluster advance ticket sales). This is the same rapper who in Spin magazine a few years back opined, "In hip-hop, there’s certain standards of things you can’t do. Being gay isn't cool -- it's not what the music is based on." Of course, many, including anyone within the so-called "homo-hop" subgenre of hip-hop, would argue that such a notion is nonsense. But, despite the growing numbers of queer rap artists, this hip-hop subgenre remains mostly a totally separate (and underground) world, and one that does not generally crossover into popular rap. Simply put, while most of the rest of popular culture has at least superficially embraced gays, it looks like it is still a ways off before popular hip-hop will accept its first openly gaHeavy D & The Boysy rap star.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 11:20:09

Posted by Billyjam, November 20, 2009 05:48am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:20:09

Wale Attention Deficit

1) Wale Attention Deficit (Interscope Records/Allido Records)

2) FELT FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers)

3) Wu-Tang Meet the Indie Culture, Vol. 2: Enter The Dubstep... (Ihiphop Distribution)

4) Gift of Gab Escape 2 Mars (Cornerstone/RAS)

5) Wyclef Jean From The Hut, To The Projects To The Mansion  (R.E.D. Distribution)

It may seem like Washington DC rapper Wale has been around for quite a while already and that he should be up to his third or at least second album by now, but in actuality the justifiably hyped emcee is only just now releasing his debut, Attention Deficit on Allido via Interscope. The album has been much anticipated and has numerous big name collaborators (particularly production), including Mark Ronson, Cool & Dre, The Neptunes, 9th Wonder, and Green Lantern, and Lady Gaga, who lends her MIA inflected vocals to the single "Chillin" (already out many months and a big hit -- see video below), which seems to be everyone's favorite new hip-hop release. Since it dropped last week, Attention Deficit has been selling really well everywhere, including at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store, where it shot to number one with a bullet on the latest Weekly Hip-Hop chart. The album, which distinctly packs much crossover appeal, features Wale tackling many topics, including feelings of insecurity ("Contemplate"), the trials & tribulations of the everyday grind for a hard working rapper ("World Tour" featuring Jazmine Sullivan -- another already released single, one that revisits A Tribe Called Quest's song of the same name), and the reality of reality shows ("TV in the Radio").

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DR. DRE'S THE CHRONIC 1992 & 2009 VERSIONS

Posted by Billyjam, November 19, 2009 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Dr. Dre The ChronicWhile the publicity blitz a couple of months back surrounding the remastered reissue of the Beatles' back catalog was certainly justified, it wasn't the only remastered reissue of classic music material to come out back in early September. In that same week Dr Dre's landmark debut solo 1992 album The Chronic was reissued in a new remastered and repackaged form.

Retitled The Chronic Re-Lit & From The Vaults and released by Wideawake/Death Row, the new reissue offers much more music -- over twice as much as the original! The new two disc set includes all of The Chronic’s original sixteen tracks remastered, plus liner notes from producer Quincy Jones III. More importantly, the new reissue includes a DVD entitled From The Vault, which features music videos for singles from The Chronic, a half hour Dr. Dre interview, plus various promotional pieces. The new package also includes seven unreleased songs featuring Snoop Dogg, CPO, Jewell, and Kurupt.

The Chronic, released in late '92, forever changed the direction of popular hip-hop and made Snoop Doggy Dogg (as he was then known) a star. It also propelled the careers of Daz Dillinger, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, and (Dre's step-brother) Warren G. And its singles, including "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" (see video below), "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin'),” and "Let Me Ride," Dr Dre were hits and ruled the airwaves for quite some time.

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HIP-HOP BEHIND BARS: A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT BY X-RAIDED, PT III

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
X-Raided
For this third installment in the ongoing Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account Amoeblog series by longtime incarcerated Sacramento rap artist Anerae “X-Raided” Brown, the artist writes about his early days in hip-hip, joining the Crips, what got him sent to prison, the meaning behind the recurring "Unforgiven" theme, his new label and recent signees and his recent releases, which are available at Amoeba Music.

There is also a breakdown of his career timeline that includes the songs he wrote for C-Bo and his own extensive discography, which is all the more impressive considering that he has done most of it somehow from behind bars. 



Brief History, Timeline & Discogaphy 
by Anerae “X-Raided” Brown

I was born in Sacramento, California, on the Southside. When I'd get in trouble my mom would send me to Prichard, Alabama, with my father, out near Mobile. I've been all up in Happy Hill. Other times I'd be out in East Waco, TX, from Trendwood to the Sherman Mannors. I lived in the Village for a while too. I got back from one of those trips down south around the time I was 15. I joined the 24th Street Garden Blocc Crips X-Raidedthat summer. The homies Big J-Dogg and Slim put me on. In hindsight, I coulda done something better with my life, but at the time I wasn't tryina hear that. All I cared about was the Blocc.

I started writing rhymes seriously when I was 15 or 16. I'd go to juvenile hall for getting caught with a sack of dope, or riding in a stolen car with a gun. It was always something. My mom would come pick me up. We never had to do more than a few months; sometimes we'd go home the next day. During those times in juvy I'd write rhymes to pass the time. I learned how to format my rhymes by listening to other rappers and feeling it out. My cousin Nicole knew Sicx, Sicx introduced me to (Brotha) Lynch and we got to work. I ended up signing with Black Market Records and the rest is history.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 11:13:09

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2009 07:00am | Post a Comment

                Amp Live feat. Trackademicks & Mr. Micro - Gary is a Robot (OM Records)

Above is the brand new video for the latest release from super-talented Bay Area producer Amp Live, equally known these days for both his membership with Zion I and for his acclaimed Radiohead remix project Rainydayz from last year when he masterfully reworked Thom Yorke & company's In Rainbows LP. The video above is for the single "Gary Is A Robot" (which comes in four other remixed versions) on which Amp is joined by Trackademicks and Mr. Micro. The track is a taste of what is to come on Amp Live's forthcoming solo album project, Murder at the Discotek, which is scheduled to drop on Child's Play/OM in the first quarter of 2010. Stay tuned for details.

Speaking of Bay Area hip-hop talent, hard-working, versatile SF emcee and self-described "make something happen-aire" Sellassie, who last night (Thursday) put it down at the In House Bay Area Talent Sellassie the GreatShowcase at Element, is tonight (Friday 13th) opening for Raekwon at the Independent. Queen YoNasDa and DJ Raw B are also on the bill tonight.  9:00 PM show. Click here for tickets and info

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