Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: April 1992 KUSF Top 30 Hip-Hop Chart

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2015 06:00pm | Post a Comment
Just dug up the Top 30 airplay chart (left) from 23 years ago from the weekly KUSF FM  hip-hop radio show I did at that time on the beloved, now sadly defunct San Francisco radio station that used to reign supreme at 90.3FM. The radio show I did was on Sunday evenings after the Spotlight guest DJ feature program and before The Germ's demo tape show. It was a good time in the history of hip-hop when the genre was still in its so-called "golden era" epitomized by artists like 3rd Bass, Black Sheep, and Gang Starr and by such releases as Showbiz & AG's Soul Clap EP, Ultramagnetic MCs' Funk Your Head Up album (with the single "Poppa Large"), and A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory which even though it was released seven months earlier was still getting airplay due to the sheer quality of its content - every track on point - examples including "Buggin' Out," "Butter," "Check The Rhime," "Show Buiness," and "Jazz (We Got)." 

Other golden era classic tracks included on this chart are House of Pain's breakout crossover hit "Jump Around," the Beastie Boys' "Pass The Mic," and Main Source's "Fakin' The Funk." The accompanying video for that song, in which the lyrics even reference "the year of 92," can be seen below. As is evident from the video the song was used on the soundtrack to the film White Men Can't Jump that was released at that same time. Another rap heavy soundtrack included on this chart is the excellent Juice OST that got released  a few months earlier and included tracks from such acts as Eric B. & RakimEPMD, Cypress Hill, and Naugthy By Nature - but oddly not Tupac Shakur who starred in the movie and had just released his solo debut 2Pacalaypse Now. As well as the Bay Area based 2Pac there were some other Bay Area artists associated with the movie - well with the excellent soundtrack specifically. These included producer Ant Banks as well as Too $hort, and MC Pooh. The latter artist who also went by the name Pooh-Man is separately featured on this chart with the single "Funky."

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Ghostface Killah's "36 Seasons"

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2015 04:15pm | Post a Comment


A popular album at Amoeba Music since its release four weeks ago is Ghostface Killah's latest release, 36 Seasons (Salvation/Tommy Boy), which is the Wu-Tang Clan artist's eleventh solo studio album release since he unleashed his debut solo (the RZA-produced Ironman) back in 1996. It is the artist's latest since last year's Adrian Younge-produced Twelve Reasons To Die. For 36 Seasons, Ghostface collaborated in the studio with Brooklyn-based production outfit The Revelations.


The result is an album that has met positive feedback from fans who love it, with many even considering it the artist's best solo work to date. Alternately, those who have dissed it call it unoriginal and claim that the artist is merely going through the motions and regurgitating past formulas. I see where they are coming from but I disagree. I love how Ghostface continues to demonstrate what a gifted storyteller he is. With the help of album collaborators such as Kool G Rap and AZ, he weaves intriguing tales all tied into the album's theme of a returning hip-hop superhero to his rough and rugged streets of Staten Island following beeing away for 36 seasons (nine years). 

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Longtime Grand Ole Opry Member "Little" Jimmy Dickens Has Died

Posted by Billyjam, January 3, 2015 03:45pm | Post a Comment

According to several published reports today, country singing legend and longtime regular at the Grand Ole Opry "Little" Jimmy Dickens has died. With the cause listed as cardiac arrest (following being hospitalized from suffering a stroke a week ago), Dickens died yesterday in a Nashville-area hospital at age 94. According to a press release issued by the Grand Ole Opry, he was the last living member of the Grand Ole Opry who was actually older than the radio show itself. In his long lifetime, "Little" Jimmy Dickens became famous for his novelty hit records beginning with 1949's "Take An Old Cold Tater (And Wait)," "I'm Little but I'm Loud," "Sleeping At The Foot of the Bed," and "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" - the latter of which (a 1965 number one hit single) was reportedly inspired by Johnny Carson's Tonight Show sketch "Carnac the Magnificent." See the video interview below in which he talks about the mixed blessing of becoming known primarily for his novelty songs, as well as other topics such as what he wanted to be remembered for in life.

"Little" Jimmy Dickens, who earned his name for his diminutive stature (he stood 4' 11"), was a man with a self-deprecating sense of humor and would routinely get laughs by drawing attention to his own height with such witty catchphrases as calling himself "Willie Nelson after taxes."  Dickens first joined the Opry cast in 1948 and would stay with them right up the end making his final appearance on the Opry stage just two weeks ago on December 20th, 2014 - the day after his 94th birthday. Dickens, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983, leaves behind a back catalog of music spanning several decades as many record labels and including a few dozen singles and twelve albums in addition to a string of various artist compilations he appeared on. Look for Dickens' material at Amoeba online as well as in the Amoeba stores.

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Top 25 Hip-Hop & RnB Song for Week ending January 2nd, 2015 with #1 = Big Sean feat. E-40

Posted by Billyjam, January 2, 2015 01:45pm | Post a Comment
  


If you lack the time or patience to tune in and listen to hours of commercial pop/urban radio to know what's the most popular music in hip-hop and RnB these days - as in this week - the above 8 minute, 20 second video is a nice concise summary of the top 25 contemporary pop rap/RnB tracks - based on Billboard, select Top 40, and other current pop chart lists. Included are Nicki Minaj ("Feeling Myself (feat. Beyonce)"), Dej Loaf ("Try Me"), Rich Gang ("Life Style (feat Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan)"), Ne-Yo ("She Knows (feat Juicy J)," Flo Rida ("G.D.F.R. (feat Sage the Gemini & Lookas)"), and Big Sean's "I Don't Fuck With You (feat. E-40)" which is this week's number one song and appears in full below.



Big Sean - I Don't Fuck With You (Explicit) ft. E-40

"Mother Earth But Rock 'N Roll," Barb Retires From Amoeba To Begin New Year and New Chapter In Her Life

Posted by Billyjam, January 1, 2015 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Barb (left) with Joan Baez, Roxanne, and Karen at Leopold's in Berkeley, pre-Amoeba.

"Mother Earth but rock 'n roll…and we're all gonna miss her a lot," said Amoeba's Karen about Barb, who is set to retire this week. Following decades of being a recognizable friendly face behind the counter of Bay Area record stores (including the better part of the past two decades at Amoeba Music in Berkeley), passionate music fan and much beloved maternal figure Barbara (or Barb as most know her) is readying to begin a new chapter in her life in the new year.

When Barb began working at Amoeba Music in Berkeley in 1997, she was already an integral part of the Bay Area's rich record store scene following decades of being at Leopold's in Berkeley. She also worked at the Leopold's Oakland store on Telegraph, as well as at her husband Eddy's record store in San Francisco's Mission District. But it was at Leopold's on Durant in Berkeley where most folks at Amoeba first go to know Barb either as record store shoppers or as fellow employees.

Once a vital component of the music world, the long-gone but still missed Leopold's (profiled in two parts on the Amoeblog here and here) was where many Amoeba employees started out their record store careers before the founding of Amoeba Music. Folks such such as Roxanne and Karen (pictured above with Barb when Joan Baez stopped by Leopold's in Berkeley) as well as others including Gail, Jim Henderson, and Mark Beaver all worked at Leopold's before Amoeba. Mark Beaver along with Amoeba Marc and Karen all address the Leopold's/Amoeba connection in the short video below. 

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