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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #75: Old vs New NYC, WTC B.A.S.E. Jump View, Frankie Knuckles R.I.P., Danny Brown in New York +

Posted by Billyjam, April 2, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment
        

The above video, produced by the pro-walking for health City Walk series, is a mix of new New York City plus a century old New York City - back in 1901 when the sidewalks were wider than the actual street in the middle. The 113 year old NYC footage was filmed by the Thomas Edison Company and culled by the folks at City Walk, whose goal is to encourage Americans to walk more and utilize their communities in the best possible way with respect to the environment. Compared to today this footage is from a much simpler and more peaceful time in New York City. I say this after last week's most unsettling statement from President Barack Obama who said that stopping "a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan" is the US's top security concern. Say what? He sure caught my attention, and I'm sure everyone else who lives in New York City, not to mention those planning on visiting New York.  I could almost hear the clicks of tourists cancelling their planned trips to the Big Apple.

Even 13 years after 9/11 New Yorkers are still jittery and this type of statement from the commander in chief sure doesn't help. And neither did the news, also last week, of how easy it was for the B.A.S.E. jumpers to break into the site of  almost finished 1 World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) building to make their jump, and in so doing demonstrating just how poor security is even at the site of 9/11. Meanwhile the stunning video of that B.A.S.E. jump, which took place back in September but was only published last week, is below. Adding further proof that homeland security, at the very place where it should be at its highest, is below par was with another news story last week about a 16 year-old New Jersey youth who easily managed to break into 1 World Trade Center, bypass security (who were asleep), and make his way up to the top of 104th floor of the building.  "I walked around the construction site and figured out how to access the Freedom Tower rooftop. I found a way up through the scaffolding, climbed onto the sixth floor, and took the elevator up to the 88th floor. I then took the staircase up to 104th floor," the teen told police after getting arrested.
 
       

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, 25 Years Later

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2014 09:25am | Post a Comment
beastie boys paul's boutiqueHard to believe that it is already a quarter of a century since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique was initially released, and five years since the 2009 20th anniversary deluxe reissue of that landmark second Beastie Boys album. Paul's Boutique, while widely considered the group's greatest recording, was initially considered a (commercial) flop by its label, Capitol Records, back in '89 cut to its lackluster sales in comparison to its predecessor. In fact so disappointing to Capitol were sales that, following a huge initial hype / marketing campaign, they completely stopped promoting the album. Many rap fans, drawn to group by the hits on their Rick Rubin produced 1986 Def Jam debut mega-hit album Licensed To Ill, were disappointed too. But true hip-hop fans saw/heard the brilliance of Paul's Boutique that was a distinct departure from Licensed To Ill.

Instead of Rick Rubin handling production on this sophomore release, which demanded repeated listens to fully appreciate its depth and brilliant nuances, was produced in good part by the Dust Brothers and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn over an extended period of time to ensure it came out just right and to the liking of members Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch.  It did, and sure while it may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill (still a great album too) Paul's Boutique was a far greater quality recording and one that truly stands the test of time as proven by such tracks as "High Plains Drifter," "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun," "Car Thief," "Shadrach," and "Get On The Mic." No wonder then that over the years it grew in popularity (and sales),  is regularly included high up on music lists' best albums of all time, and was reissued on its 20th anniversary.
 
Re-released five years ago to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the 2009 reissue of the LP reissue version was on 180 gram vinyl, in a nice two-sided, four-panel gate-fold sleeve - that revised the very original expensive gatefold pressing of the album. The 2009 reissue also included a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary on the album that was so close to the Beasties' hearts. For instance the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in reference to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punk rockers about to morph into full time hip-hoppers.

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Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance Tour in San Francisco This Week

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2014 02:03am | Post a Comment

Known to many as Tom Haverford - the character he's played for the past five years on television's Parks and Recreation - prolific actor/comedian Aziz Ansari has a lot going on in addition to his hilarious role in that popular NBC sitcom, between acting gigs, writing a book, and of course his active stand-up career. He's landed acting roles in numerous other TV shows and movies including the recently released film Date and Switch. Meanwhile his busy stand up shows have yielded releases including last year's Dangerously Delicious CD (see clip above from this 2010/11 tour of the same name) and 2010's Intimate Moments For A Sensual album- both released by Comedy Central. And likely his current stand up tour, entitled Modern Romance: A New Comedy Tour, will be released as an album and DVD too.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 03.28.14: Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, YG, JJ Doom, L'orange, Demrick, Young Gully + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2014 10:30am | Post a Comment

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Shame (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)" (off
Pinata)


Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 03:28:14

1) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

3) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)

4) JJ Doom Bookend EP (Lex Records)

5) Rick Ross Mastermind (Maybach / Def Jam)

The new number one hip-hop album at Amoeba Hollywood this week is the recently released (March 18th) collaborative album  Pinata (also available on LP/vinyl format) from the power duo of Madlib teaming up with Freddie Gibbs. Released through Madlib's Madlib Invazion label this one hour,  seventeen track, hip-hop tour-de-force also features some very well-chosen guests (new school and old school) that perfectly compliment the pair including Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, BJ The Chicago Kid, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Mac Miller, and Odd Future's Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt. Another new album featuring numerous guest collaborators is the number two chart entry this week from popular new rapper YG whose just released debut on Pu$haz Ink via Def Jam My Krazy Life features such big name guests as Drake, Young Jeezy, Kendrick Lamar, and Ty Dolla $ign along with his longtime producer DJ Mustard. Scroll down below to see the video for YG with DJ  Mustard's "Left, Right" off the new album. Another new chart entry is the recent (vinyl picture disc DP) Bookend EP from JJ Doom (the duo of DOOM - aka MF Doom, and producer Jneiro Jarel) on Lex Records.

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Graffiti Art Icon KEL1ST Launches New iPad App That Takes A Trip Back In Time In NYC Graffiti History

Posted by Billyjam, March 27, 2014 11:20am | Post a Comment

Self-described "anthropologist technologist" Randy Rodriguez, aka veteran New York City graffiti artist KEL1ST, has just launched his latest project; the unique iPad App titled 2Many2Name that presents what he calls, "a blend of graffiti history and technology, the first in depth view of graffiti wild style" that showcases pieces by some of NYC's graf legends. With the full length title of KEL1ST presents The history of 2 Many2Name this cool, colorful new App he designed takes iPad users on a narrated ride that incorporates new media with the urban landscape and showcases graffiti masterpieces of a bygone era via a whole new platform.  When he started out as a young graf writer KEL1ST, Rodriguez magnificently and colorfully spray-painted NYC subway trains back during the NYC graffiti heyday of the 1970's and 1980's. And as such he was immortalized in such landmark hip-hop history documents as the hip-hop/graffiti documentary Style Wars by the late great Tony Silver, and in the pages of the bible of graffiti art - Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant 1984 pioneering street art book Subway Art. Meanwhile as later day anthropologist technologist, Rodriguez was pioneering by creating (now defunct) VoiceOfTheGhetto.com which was the Internet's first urban outpost dedicated to graffiti and hip-hop way back in the early Internet days of the early 1990's. Also in the 90's Rodriguez became what he claimed to be "hip-hop's first graffiti jeweler" making graffiti rooted jewelry for such big hip-hop and pop star names as Madonna, Busta Rymes, Afrika Bambaataa, and Mariah Carey. His successful freelance design business has racked up an impressive client list that includes The Wall Street Journal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Boeing, T-Mobile, and Microsoft - not bad for someone once considered a delinquent and a vandal. Additionally his art is on permanent exhibit at the  big Brooklyn Museum. And with his new iPad App he brings things full circle back to his beginnings as NYC graffiti master. 2Many2Name is described by Apple as "an immersive experience, with just a swipe of a finger KEL1ST unveils the blueprint of the iconic master pieces that established the standard for Graffiti Wild Style and made New York City the Mecca of Graffiti." To use the new iPad application users will need iOS 6.0 and higher. More info here.

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