From its early days, hip-hop has been closely interrelated with black history and culture. Hip-hop is really a continuum of many previous black art forms. Rapping or MC'ing, for example, is merely carrying on a tradition of various oratorical forms in black history that include West African griots, talking blues, the sharp verbal flow of 1950's & 1960's hipster-jive talking radio DJs, the spoken word of artists like The Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron, and of course, the toasting style in reggae. Additionally, hip-hop music, through both its lyrical content and its endless sampling, is responsible for teaching black history in a non traditional way.
Thanks to hip-hop's ubiquitous sampling of such historical black figures as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. (especially in the 80's and 90's), many young people first learned about the philosophies of these black leaders and black history in general. One of the earliest popular hip-hop songs to sample Malcolm X was Keith La Blanc's "Malcolm X - No Sell Out" 1983 single on Tommy Boy that utilized absolutely no rapping, just samples of the black leader speaking. In later years most hip-hop artists sampled bits of Malcolm X to compliment the emcee's message. In 1988 Public Enemy's politically charged album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back opened with a powerful Malcolm X sample.
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:19:10
1) The Madlib Medicine Show 1, Before The Verdict featuring Guilty Simpson (Stones Throw)
2) Strong Arm Steady In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw)
3) Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 2.10 (Barak Records)
4) Mathematics Presents Return Of The Wu And Friends (Gold Dust Media)
5) DJ Green Lanern & Styles P The Green Ghost Project (Invasion Music Group)
New releases on the latest hip-hop chart from Amoeba Music Hollywood include the Slum Village reissue by Barak Records of Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 2.10 (in a two CD set), and also the equally recommended producer DJ Green Lantern and rapper Styles P collaboration The Green Ghost Project which features cameos from Styles P's fellow D-Block cohorts Jadakiss, and Sheek Louch, as well as guest shots from M.O.P, N.O.R.E, Uncle Murda, and Junior Reid. Appearing on DJ Green Lantern's label, the renowned mix DJ, who initially built his rep as the main DJ for Eminem's Shady Records label, shares production credits here with the Alchemist, Scram Jones, and Statik Selektah, a great combination of two of the best. Also new but not recommended, unless you don't have a lot of Wu Tang in your collection already, is the Feb 16th release Mathematics Presents Return Of The Wu And Friends, which really offers little new to the true Wu fan, with re-released tracks and some slightly modified/remixed ones, as the website HipHopDX so accurately pointed out. The tracks "It’s What it Is” and “Iron God Chamber” both appeared on Masta Killa’s album Made In Brooklyn four years ago, while the songs “Strawberries & Cream” and “Rush” are scooped straight from DJ Mathematics’ very own 2005 album, The Problem. It is not that this is a bad album by any means, but rather it is slightly misleading in its presentation, which implies it is chock-a-block with fresh new material.
Welcome to another installment in the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History series that takes a look back at rap/hip-hop album and singles charts from previous decades. Last month's Hip-Hop History chart showcased a Top 30 Hip-Hop Singles chart from February/March 1993. This time we flashback to a year earlier, March 1992, for both a Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Chart and a Top 15 Hip-Hop Singles Chart both courtesy of The Source magazine's March '92 issue.
Considering the delayed turnaround period for magazines (from writing to actual publishing/street date) and the fact that many records stay on the charts for several weeks or even months (especially back then), you may notice that some of these March 1992 chart entries such as Ice Cube or Black Sheep were actually released in late 1991. You will also notice, as with the previous chart, which also hailed from the so-called "golden age" of hip-hop, that damn near every release on each chart is a quality one that has stood the test of time. The charts were based on a combination of sales and the tastes of the editorial staff and some of its writers (which included myself) at the time.
UMC's "One To Grow On" (Wild Pitch/EMI)
TOP 15 HIP-HOP ALBUMS CHART: MARCH 1992 (c/o The Source)
The Knack "My Sharona" (live)
Doug Fieger, the lead singer for The Knack, has died after a prolonged battle with cancer, it was confirmed earlier today by The Detroit News and several other sources. The Detroit native was 57. Fieger, who was living in Woodland Hills, CA, was being treated for the cancer at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Fieger and his band will always be best known for their 1979 mega hit single that he co-wrote, "My Sharona," which was the No. 1 Billboard pop record for six weeks straight. Likewise, the album it was culled from, Get The Knack, also spent six weeks atop the album charts.
A Los Angeles memorial service for friends and family of Fieger is being planned. For more information on The Knack visit their official website.
Love is......well, love is many, many things, including, of course, the inspiration for innumerable songs. But perhaps the highest form of love is to make a record for the one you love as a token of your eternal commitment. Amoeblog reader and sometime contributor Acco, who lives in Japan and did the five part Graffiti in Yokohama Amoeblog series, did this when she got married to Top Bill some months back. For their wedding ceremony they had a special hip-hop song recorded and pressed up on 7" vinyl and nicely packaged to give away to guests at their wedding party.
The track, "Coupling Song," was produced by Top Bill, a Japanese hip-hop DJ/producer who lived for a short time in the Bay Area, with vocals by SoCal based Japanese transplant, producer/emcee Shing02, and with the song's hook sung by Emi Meyer. The design for the seven inch record and its packaging was all done by Acco, who told me that the idea for the record ties in with a Japanese tradition called Baumkuchen. "In the Japanese custom, we give Baumkuchen as gift at a marriage party. The Baumkuchen look similar to the rings of a tree. This mean a happiness to eternally." she said. "When I was a child, my mother told me that 'An old vinyl grow into Baumkuchen, it's very delicious.'" As pictured above, at the couple's wedding reception last October they played the "Coupling Song" single, which includes such romantic record-themed lyrics as "Every B needs an A, every B needs an A. Will you be my A? And I can be your B?" The full lyrics for this song appear below along with the audio for the vocal version. They pressed up 300 copies of the record (which has an instrumental version on side B) and saved some copies to give away but never sell.