Amoeblog

Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dead At Age 71

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2014 11:03am | Post a Comment

As reported this morning by several news outlets and confirmed by his publicist, Cream bassist Jack Bruce died at his home in Suffolk, England. While no exact cause of death was announced, it has been reported that the revered artist had suffered from liver disease. He was 71 years of age. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the lifelong musician -- who played and recorded solo, and with such artists as Ringo Starr and Frank Zappa (his latest solo album Silver Rails released back in March of this year - also released on vinyl) -- will always be best remembered as the bassist for the influential '60's British rock trio Cream along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (seen in photo above, circa 1967). The Cream classics "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room" (both hit singles culled from the Cream albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire respectively) are among the songs that Bruce wrote or co-wrote during the rock supergroup's all too-short career (1966 - 1968. Although they did reform briefly a couple of times in recent years including a decade ago for shows at Madison Square Garden and the Royal Albert Hall).  Check for Jack Bruce's solo discopgraphy and his Cream discography at the Amoeba online store. Meanwhile, below is a video of Bruce and Cream performing "White Room" at London's Royal Albert Hall when they reformed in 2005.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Video Version featuring MC Lyte & Common, Apollo Brown & Ras Kass, Kilz, Bobby Brackins, Zion I feat Sadat X etc.

Posted by Billyjam, October 24, 2014 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Zion I "Get Urs" (2014)
 

Above is the first of five videos in this all-video version of the weekly hip-hop rap up: "Get Urs" by Zion I and featuring an all star line up of guests including Mr. Lif, Kev Choice, Deuce Eclipse, Opio, and Sadat X. It is the brand new music video, published earlier this month, from the hard working Bay Area based duo of Zion I who, although constantly touring and recording, still find time to produce the annual Hella Fresh Fest that is happening this year at The Metro in Oakland on Halloween night. See the full Amoeblog preview here. Also just recently posted is a DL of the Vibe SquaD remix of the new Zion I song "Fresh," available here.
 

                                     MC Lyte "Dear John (feat. Common & 10Beats)" (2014)
 
 
Another brand new video is the latest from legendary golden era hop-hop female emcee MC Lyte who we havent heard from (album wise) in a minute. Her new track is entitled “Dear John” and features a guest spot from non other than fellow legend Common (make sure you peep his What's In My Bag? post from this week). Like so much of Lyte's work, this track and video has a message. In addition to being the first single from MC Lyte’s forthcoming album - her first studio album in 11 years that will drop in 2015 - "Dear John" is the anthem for #EducateOURMen, which is the signature scholarship initiative of MC Lyte's Hip Hop Sisters Foundation. To date, the foundation has presented two $100,000 university scholarships during the Soul Train Music Awards Red Carpet Pre-Show each year since the organization's founding. Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Faith Evans are some of the celebrities who've shown support to date.
 

Apollo Brown & Ras Kass "Humble Pi" (2014)
 
The above video is a nice preview of power duo Apollo Brown and Ras Kass - the teaming of Detroit producer with the West Coast rap legend - from the pair's collaborative album Blasphemy that will be dropping next week via Mello Music Group (that's the CD version - the vinyl will drop a couple of weeks later on November 11th). Mello Music, who have an impeccable track record, promise that the album will deliver the duo's undeniable synergy and that "their sacred writ is the same, their blasphemy for those who want to think as they nod to the rhythm. When Ras Kass crucifies supposed facts over Apollo’s beats, it’s clear he is the West Coast’s preeminent philosopher. When Apollo’s blaring suites soothe your soul, it’s an ontological fact that he ranks among the best producers in the game. With Blasphemy, the duo has delivered the truth."
 

Kilz - "Conceited (feat. Luke-O & Pyrex Pre$$)" (2014)
 
Above is the brand new video from Southwest PA producer and sometime rapper Kilz for his track "Conceited" that features guest spots from his Moola Gang Ca$h Cow$ cohorts Luke-O and Pyrex Pre$$ as they all take video viewers on a tour of Fayette County. The new underground video follows hot on the heels of the artist's popular Krak Kilz mixtape that is aptly described as "a dark, dingy, drug dealer's dream" lyrically while sonically (all production by Kilz) ranges in styles from traphouse to chilled out relax beats made for smoking weed to. Kilz has recently released a string of diverse sounding singles including "Have Some Fun" that features Mac Miller's REMember Music signees The Come Up.


Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: September 1996 In The Wake of 2Pac's Murder

Posted by Billyjam, October 21, 2014 07:00am | Post a Comment
For this week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I rewind the clock back eighteen full years to September 1996 and to the hip-hop news related to 2Pac that I was reporting on at the time via various media outlets. The shooting death of Tupac Shakur was the big story of that year.  The shooting death of 2Pac, who died in September of 1996, had a major impact on many people and often - oddly enough - in a positive way. At the time I reported on how 2Pac's death sparked discussion and unity among California inmates interviewing the then incarcerated Oakland rapper Pooh-Man (aka MC Pooh). "I've never seen anything quite like it before.  It brought every culture in here closer together; blacks, whites, and Mexicans.  Everyone was  touched by his death," Poohman told me at the time speaking by phone from San Quentin two days following the  Sept 13th news of 2Pac's death.  "I'm in a dorm with two hundred muthafuckas who is always talkin' and hollerin' but now whenever 2Pac's song comes on the radio everybody gets silent.  He meant a hell of a lot to everyone.  He was the voice of a generation.  He was speaking for all of us," said Poohman, "Right after his death a lot of the blacks got together in circles and talked about it and rapped the words to his songs," he said.  In fact at that time Poohman and fellow inmate, Oakland rapper Beehive, even went so far as to write a rap song in honor the slain rapper entitled, "We Still Feel Your Presence."

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Zion I's Hella Fresh Fest 2014 - Halloween Night @ The Metro with Grieves, Dizzy Wright, Erk tha Jerk and more

Posted by Billyjam, October 20, 2014 10:43pm | Post a Comment

Now seven years strong Zion I's annual hip-hop showcase the Hella Fresh Fest takes place this year on Halloween night in the  at the Metro with a lineup that continues Zion I's Zumbi and AmpLive's tradition of presenting a rich cross section of contemporary hip-hop talent to join them in concert.  In addition to Hella Fresh's tradition of showcasing the best of homegrown hip-hop (Sol, Erk tha Jerk, Bang Data) they've also booked such out of town talent as Rhymesayers' Seattle emcee Grieves, and Funk Volume's Dizzy Wright. Also on the bill will be Triple Threat DJ Vinroc while the Hella Fresh hosts will be Chris Riggins and Panama by way of Oakland duo Los Rakas who performed at Hella Fresh 2011. That Hella Fresh Fest took place at the Fillmore in San Francisco while last year's was at the DNA Lounge. But this year it will be in the place it was meant to be. With the name Hella Fresh it has to be in Oakland so it is perfect that it will be at the Metro in Oakland - and on Halloween night with live art by Haven Arts. Good news for young hip-hop fans is that the show will open those under 21. It is a 14 and over show! Below are a series of videos of the acts on this year's bill along with a highlights of last year's Hella Fresh Fest. Buy tickets here

  

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DJ JS-1's Guest-Packed Album "It Is What It Isn't" Proves That Hip-Hop Is Alive and Well

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2014 05:46pm | Post a Comment

If you prefer your hip-hop rooted in the traditional golden era style and with a respect for the four elements of the culture including the DJ as turntablist - then DJ JS-1's recommended new album It Is What It Isn’t is the hip-hop album for you. This latest release from the longtime New York City boom bap producer / scratch DJ - that arrived in Amoeba this past week care of his Ground Original imprint with distribution from Fat Beats - is back-to-back quality hip-hop that's more like a rich hip-hop compilation due to the long list of talented emcees that join the instrumentalist throughout its 21 tracks.

JS-1's impressive list of emcee collaborators is a balance of emcees that have been consistently putting it down since the golden era to an array of new school innovators. That long list numbers a few dozen hip-hop artists and includes KRS-One, O.C, Ras Kass,  Buckshot, Erick Sermon, Homeboy Sandman, Sadat X, Murs, Fashawn, Wordsworth, Torae, Kyle Rapps, Blacastan, Professor X, A.G., C-Rayz Walz, and the Artifacts' El Da Sensei and Tame One to name but some. 

A full-time b-boy and lifelong dedicated hip-hopper the Queens, NY DJ JS-1 began his career two decades ago. He was a member of the Rocksteady Crew. As well as been a hip-hop DJ with a talent for scratching he was also a graffiti artist who went by the name JERMS.

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