A true sign of any album qualifying as a classic in its respective genre is when, even 31 years after its initial release, it still packs the same punch it did upon first listen. Such is most definitely the case with Malcolm McLaren's hip-hop and world music 43:36 minute classic album Duck Rock that was originally released in January 1983 on Island Records in the US and on Charisma in the UK. Presenting divergent styles of music from round the globe, most notably hip-hop and African and all interspersed with NYC hip-hop radio show snippets from the World's Famous Supreme Team radio show, Duck Rock featured such timeless hits as "Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch." And while British impresario Malcolm McLaren, who was perhaps best known then and now as the former manager of the Sex Pistols, is credited as the album's creator or main artist, that was not technically the case. The maverick McLaren was really more of a hands-on executive producer with a knack for unearthing new trends long before they broke and repackaging them for public consumption. And for this intuitive gift McLaren, who died four years ago, has been praised for discovering new artists/genres while alternately been criticized for exploitation. McLaren has also (rightfully) been accused of routinely giving himself more much credit than he may have deserved. In the case of Duck Rock he is listed as the artist on the record while there are numerous artists on there - with McLaren, who sings and kind of raps throughout Duck Rock (like when he does the talkover in "Double Dutch"), being just one contributing artist. McLaren is also credited as "producer" along with (post Buggles / pre The Art of Noise) Trevor Horn who actually did the majority of the music production; perfectly melding together divergent styles and sounds that included South American, Caribbean, and down home Americana roots. Thomas Dolby was also a musical contributor.
The Strypes "Hometown Girls" from the Irish band's debut album Snapshot
Tomorrow is the Stateside release date of Irish rock group The Strypes' 12 track debut album Snapshot, featuring such tracks as "Hometown Girls" above. To date only the September 2013 import version of Snapshot has only been available from Amoeba. The young retro styled rock quartet from Cavan, who Sir Elton John scooped up and signed to his Rocket Music Management, is currently on tour in the States including three gigs at SxSW. And with their stellar debut album Snapshot been released this week in the US - already available to pre-order from Amoeba - you should expect big things from the Strypes Stateside in 2014. They play Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on March 29th and the El Ray Theatre in LA on March 31st.
The other clips below include a random array of different genre music videos - both new and old - from Ireland. Included immediately below is the brand new music video for the soon-to-drop, Irish single "Lifeboat" by Ireland's 2007 Irish Idol champ Liam Geddes and featuring members of the talented Dublin rap crew Class A'z with production by John Gibbons and Scimon Tist. "25 O'Clock In The Mornin" is the track below by RíRá - the supertalented veteran Irish emcee who came to fame two decades with pioneering Irish hip-hop crew Scary Eire. The track was single on All City single and an album track on the artist's 2008 album Horses Work For Donkeys Wages (Maddaxxe). For their latest The Rubberbandits (the Limerick absurdist comedy/rap/hip-hop duo who rocketed to fame 3 years ago when their "Horse Outside" Republic of Telly skit went viral) take things to the darkside with their compelling latest, , "Dads Best Friend."
The Maccabeats "Purim Song"
To further celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim, the spring holiday that commemorates the Jewish community's narrow escape from collective destruction in the ancient Persian Empire, I share with you "Purim Song" by the Maccabeats. The upbeat, updated version of the song that celebrates the age old holiday is musically based on Pink's big hit "Raise Your Glass." The name of the Jewish holiday, which began last evening and ends this evening (March 16th) and traditionally involves dressing up in costumes and having lots of celebratory drinks, comes from the Persian word for "lots" and is a reference to the fact that the date set for the Jews' annihilation was chosen by casting lots. The Purim holiday entails several major components that include delivering gifts to friends (mishloach manot), giving charity to the poor (matanot la'evyonim), and public readings of the Book of Esther (k'riat megillah) - all of which are referenced in the Maccabeats' "Purim Song." To understand the meaning of Purim further, check out the lyrics in the video version of the Maccabeats' "Purim Song" below or research more here.
Nelly "Hot In Herre" (2002)
Whatever the reason behind Bay Area radio station Latino Mix 105.7 suddenly halting regular programming last evening to begin playing a non-stop loop of Nelly's 2002 number one rap crossover hit single "Hot In Herre," its widespread effect has been profound. Not long after 6pm last night (Friday March 14th), when Latino Mix 105.7 (also 100.7FM) first began playing the Southern rapper's NellyVille album hit, it has invoked in listeners (mostly new ones who got wind of the stunt via social media) something long lacking in commercial radio programming; a sense of mystery and the unknown. And even if solving that mystery meant listening ad infinitum to Nelly rap lines like "Stop placin, time wastin I gotta a friend with a pole in the basement (What?). I'm just kiddin like Jason (Oh)" curious ears wanted to know the reason. By around the 140th time the 3:48 minutes song was spun, nine hours in the Nelly marathon at around 3am this morning, one hooked listener tweeted, "I almost feel compelled to stay up all night and listen to Nelly just to see how this will all end" while another posed the question, "Did this nikka cure cancer recently or some shyt?"
Rick Ross "Nobody (Explicit) feat. French Montana, Puff Daddy)" (2014)
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 03:14:14
1) Rick Ross Mastermind (Maybach / Def Jam)
2) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)
3) The Grouch & Eligh The Tortoise & The Crow (Empire)
4) Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath)
5) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)
Just as last week's number one on the Amoeba Hip-Hop Chart (ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron) reflected last week’s number one Billboard pop album chart entry so too does this week's number one at Amoeba: Rick Ross’ brand new Mastermind is also the number one seller in the country as per the Billboard Top 200 charts making it Ross’ fifth album to debut at No. 1 nationally. The album features the lead singles "War Ready," "The Devil is a Lie (feat. Jay-Z)," and "Nobody (feat. Diddy and French Montana)" or Puff Daddy as he is ID'ed in the Vevo video version of the single above. The video for the song, which is a homage to Biggie, finds Ross recreated the drive-by shooting attempt on his life a year ago. Other releases on the latest chart include the recurrent entries from Kendrick Lamar (good kid, m.A.A.d city) and Childish Gambino (Because the Internet).