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Longtime Sacramento Hip-Hop Artist C-BO is Truly Gangsta Rap & Despite a Career Interrupted by Long Stretches Behind Bars, He Has Remained Highly Prolific

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2009 02:27pm | Post a Comment

c-bo
Rapper C-BO has long been known for his no-holds-barred, shock-filled, self-described "killer style" of gangsta rap. Ever since his debut album Gas Chamber sixteen years ago, the Sacramento rapper has been consistently satisfying his dedicated legions of hardcore rap fans with both controversy and countless releases. In addition to a string of solo albums, he has also collaborated on songs or albums with the likes of first cousin E40, 2Pac, Yukmouth, Killa Tay, Spice-1, Master P, Brotha Lynch Hung, as well as his crew Mob Figaz, to name but a few.

Unlike so many self-described "gangsta" rappers, Shawn "C-BO" Thomas is genuinely 'gangsta'. Growing up in the notorious gang-filled Garden Block of Sacramento, the artist became a member of the Crips while barely into his teens, and openly admits his past involvement in drug dealing and other gang related crimes before he became a full time recording artist. His rap name stands for Cowboy: "I got the name cowboy from being around guns all the time," he told me in a 1997 interview.

Not surprisingly, that lifestyle resulted in C-BO's spending several periods of his life incarcerated from his teens onwards. It was in jail in 1993 that he first met Killa Tay, who he would later collaborate with. And it was also during a separate stint in the Sacramento County Jail that he collaborated with fellow inmate X-Raided on writing some music. In fact, it was X-Raided who wrote the song "Deadly Game" for C-BO, a song that later landed C-BO back in jail and caused a national controversy -- drawing attention and outrage amongst freedom of speech advocates while simultaneously only further fuc-boeling C-BO's notorious reputation amongst hardcore rap fans.

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SEX & VIOLENCE IN MUSIC TARGETED IN JAMAICA's RECENT BAN

Posted by Billyjam, February 23, 2009 04:25pm | Post a Comment

Vbyz Cartel feat. Spice "Ramping Shop"

Following their decision two weeks ago to place a ban on both violent and sexually explicit lyrics in popular dancehall records, the Jamaica Broadcasting Commission (JBC) has followed up, in a controversial decision a few days ago, by also issuing a ban on soca and hip-hop songs with both sexually explicit content and lyrics that encourage violence through gun use.

Two weeks ago, in its current quest to clean up the broadcast media, the Jamaican broadcast regulating commission first targeted reggae dancehall "daggering" songs and videos ("daggering" is a popular dance style with dancehall reggae fans that simulates sex via pelvic grinding moves) such as the popular, auto-tune happy single "Ramping Shop" by Vbyz Kartel featuring Spice (video above). The dance, as seen in the Mr Vegas "Daggering" video below, is very similar to the female booty ass shaking moves associated with Miami bass and most of current era popular hip-hop dances in BET music video play.

Hence it is no surprise that a lot of explicit hip-hop and soca were targeted by the JBC in its follow up ruling ban of few days ago. The reaction to this ban has been mixed. Some in Jamaica are outraged, calling it a double-standard since there is still a lot of explicit material in TV shows and movies. Others, such as US based YouTuber and big time dancehall fan Daggasista, said that, "Mi nuh care if dem ban di daggerin song dem mi still a whine an galang bad fi dem." As with any other past instances of censorship of music, bans like this usually only drive the music further underground while simultaneously fueling an interest in it.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:20:09

Posted by Billyjam, February 20, 2009 09:17am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:20:09
zion i the take over
1) Zion I The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media) 

2) Madlib Beat Konducta Vols. 5-6 (Stones Throw)

3) 40Love BANGERANG! (No Label)

4) P.O.S. Never Better (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

5) Various Artists NASA: The Spirit of Apollo (Anti)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this latest Hip-Hop Top Five, compiled from weekly sales figures of new hip-hop full-length CDs at the Haight Street store. And in the number one (with a bullet) slot is the off the hook just released Zion I album, The TakeOver on Gold Dust Media. This is the sixth album from the Oakland based duo who released their first full-length back in 2000. Comprised of producer AmpLive and emcee Zumbi, who moved out to the Bay Area from Atlanta, GA thirteen years ago where they first met up as students attending Morehouse College, Zion I just get better and better as time goes by. And The TakeOver is without a doubt their finest release to date. It is also their most musically diverse, incorporating elements of hyphy, boom bap, dirty south, power pop rap, and more.
amplive
And impressively, much of the music is live, not sampled. "On this album we wanted to keep it more live and also electronic so as to just have it as a tight combination," AmpLive told me recently, noting that the drums on the New Orleans flavored track "Gumbo" are all recorded live. Meanwhile, guest artists on the album include Rhymesayers emcee Brother Ali; Oakland power vocalist Jennifer Johns, whose numerous other collaborations include recording with former Amoebite DJ Platurn; Devin The Dude, who collaborates on the infectious, hit-bound "Country Baked Yams;" female vocalist K. Flay, whose vocal style is reminiscent of Sinead O' Connor; and talented UK emcee Ty, who deserves more attention Stateside than he has gotten to date.

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AMOEBA AS THERAPY & NINE OTHER REASONS TO LOVE THE SF STORE

Posted by Billyjam, February 19, 2009 08:55am | Post a Comment


"Amoeba has so much more vinyl and is a much more happening store to forget about life worries ... it's therapy for me. Amoeba has always been THE BEST!" So recently wrote Amoeba fan "Lovedrop Says" in a posting on the NBC website as part of a poll amongst Bay Area residents intended to decipher which is a better store, Rasputin or Amoeba.

By end of the voting Amoeba had beaten out Rasputin with 68% to their 32% of votes by Bay Area NBC website visitors. The poll was actually about the Berkeley Amoeba but what Lovedrop Says about the Telegraph Ave. Amoeba is equally true of the Haight Street Amoeba, as reaffirmed about a week or so ago when I stopped by the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for some therapy myself.

Besides that feeling of "therapy" described by Lovedrop Says -- when you get so lost in the rows and rows of vinyl and CDs that time just magically slips away and what seems like ten minutes can be two hours -- there are many other reasons to love visiting the Amoeba Music San Francisco store. I made a list of ten of the top reasons to shop Amoeba right here, including what Lovedrop Says wrote about Amoeba as therapy -- reason #1.

As an art lover, especially graffiti, I have almost as much fun outside Amoeba SF gazing at the walls of colorful art on the store's outer walls (reason #2) including the image above (minus the photoshopped in Tony Bennett I Left My Heart in San Francisco LP -- that record can found inside in the used LPs section). So impressive are the colorful outer walls of Amoeba SF that they have been used in many photo and video shoots including in Bored Stiff's most recent video "@ A Distance." There is also lots of other graf art on walls nearby all within a block of Amoeba SF. It is like a free outdoor art gallery. Well wicked!

TIME ON FACEBOOK Vs FACE TIME IN THE REAL (NON VIRTUAL) WORLD

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2009 02:30pm | Post a Comment
"Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life," claims the heading on Facebook once you arrive on their website. But we all know, or should suspect, that the phenomenally popular social networking site (175 million + members worldwide) would love to share your information with more than just "the people in your life" (i.e., advertisers or anyone willing to pay), especially when increased revenues for the company are at stake.

Hence the news this week that, following a tidal wave of protests from its justifiably anxious users that Facebook (FB) would again modify its rules by withdrawing recent changes to its so-called "terms of service" (TOS) dealing with the data (personal information, wall postings, messages, images etc.) supplied by its legions of devoted members, should not come as a big surprise.

The new message posted on FB reads, "Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised." That recent adjustment to the Facebook/member contract occurred about two weeks ago when the site deleted a provision from its TOS: an important one that said users could remove their FB data anytime they wished, and once they deleted it, that the license would expire. Suddenly FB added new data stating that FB could and would retain users’ content and licenses even after a user's FB account was terminated. Understandably this was perceived as meaning that FB forever owns everything you post on their site and naturally this unnerving bit of news set off a domino effect of paranoia amongst its members.
facebook ceo zuckerberg
Hence the back-peddling by FB top dog Mark Zuckerberg, who assured members in a blog posted two days ago that the fact that “people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant.” This is the guy, you will recall, who forked over a whopping $65 million settlement in a lawsuit by his three old Harvard buddies who said they came up with the idea first -- intended for their own site, ConnectU -- and that that Zuckerberg (whose net worth is guestimated to be $1.5 billion) simply stole it from them. The case got settled before going to court so we really don't know the real dealio and it is possible that Zuckerberg is innocent, but I sure doubt it. This is the guy who millions are entrusting with their most personal information! 

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