Hip-Hop Rap-Up 10:09:15: Top 5 Albums, African Identity Memorial, Skratchpad, Lyrics Born, Dregs-One, Richie Cunning + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2015 09:41pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Albums

1. Blackalicious Imani Vol. 1 (Black Mines)

2. Apollo Brown 
Grandeur (Mello Music Group)

3. Chief Keef Bang 3
(RBC Records)

4. The Underachievers Evermore: The Art of Duality (RPM) LP

5. Bleubird Lauderdale (Fake Four Inc.)

Hardworking, Humble DJ Shortkut Is Finally Ready for His Solo Debut LP + Discusses New Skratch Piklz Album and Career Highlights

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2015 11:49am | Post a Comment
 Hardworking, humble, & hella talented DJ Shortkut @ 45 Sessions New Parish JZLim Photography

"If I was to end all this tomorrow and I had an album, then I would be happy," DJ Shortkut confided when I caught up with the hardworking, highly respected, and diversely talented San Francisco DJ in his hometown this week. Feeling "exhausted" but with a wide smile on his face, the heavy in-demand globe-trotting DJ, who is booked on average 4 to 5 nights a week, was just back home in the States from Asia where he's been spending a lot of time in recent months including at Red Bull Thre3Style events with the recently reunited Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP), along with Qbert and D-Styles, with whom he recorded the anticipated album The 13th Floor. Despite the fact that he was honored with the Grand Wizard Theodore Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the development of scratching & DJ culture, and that he holds membership of three of the most revered turntablist ensembles in the history of the genre - ISP, The Beat Junkies, and Triple Threat DJs (with Vinroc and Apollo) - and has recorded with each of them, plus released a stack of his own amazing solo DJ mixes encompassing hip-hop and dancehall and other styles, he has never released a DJ Shortkut album. But that is all about to change the Daly City DJ born Jonathan Cruz told me this week following an impressive turntable set he threw down at Guitar Center on Van Ness celebrating the launch of Thud Rumble and DJ Qbert's TRX Scratch Mixer.

Luke Sick's Music/Culture zine LET'S SIDE Rewinds to Simpler Pre-Digital Age Aesthetic

Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2015 11:23pm | Post a Comment
10 Random LET'S SIDE Items culled from Issues #1 thru #8

1:  LUCKY 13 by Lord Toph
2: On That Town Shit
    Confessions of a Rap Nerd

3: "Resident gets a package of gorilla dung"  newspaper story
4: Memphis Murder Music
5: To Make D.M.T. In Your Kitchen
6: Five "rarish" Bay Area rap records
7: RBL Posse early 1990's In-A-Minute press photo
8: Break Science & The MC
9: Ocean Floor Records profile
10: 5 Random Grabs by DJ Eons One

You've got to love everything about DIY music and culture zine LET'S SIDE - the Bay rap-rooted, retro styled, DIY printed publication that is curated and published by longtime Bay Area underground hip-hop artist and label owner Luke Sick (Grand Invincible / Grand Killa Con) who, via his original hip-hop crew Sacred Hoop, initially came to fame in the 1990's. That same decade gets a lot of throwback love in the zine that Luke launched three years ago and has tirelessly been publishing ever since.  LET'S SIDE is a heartfelt homage to not just the nineties but that whole era of 80's/90's/early 2000's right before the Internet pretty much took over everything. His zine's stubbornly simple, pre-digital / analog aesthetics are similar to Luke's indie music label MegaKut - on which he releases extremely limited run cassette-only releases of typically a 100 copies total pressing. Similarly LET'S SIDE is a print only, quarterly zine, of which only a 100 printed copies are made. The zines are all handmade by Luke down at his local Xerox store - just like in the olden days before websites, blogs, and Instagram when information was limited and slowly disseminated. With a small talented crew of contributors, but no advertising or financial backing - just his passion for music and culture Luke delivers a wonderfully raw, unpolished, throwback style zine that is unlike any other. 

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Mr. Lif Signs Multi-Album Deal with Mello Music Group But Insists You Don't Call It A Comeback

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2015 11:50am | Post a Comment
Legendary Boston emcee talent Mr. Lif, who came to fame last decade via Def Jux with his sharp politically tinged lyrical assault and whom it seems we have not heard from last decade either solo or with his group The Perceptionists (with Afrobatik and DJ Fakts One), has just signed a multi-album deal with  Mello Music Group. The announcement came yesterday from the prestigious, eight year old, Arizona based label whose roster of artists released includes Oddisee, L'Orange, Open Mike Eagle, and Apollo Brown whose very recent album Grandeur is the latest release from the label, who said that the deal will include several albums over the upcoming two years 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile the artist himself, in reaction to how the average hip-hop fan assumed that he had hung up the mic for good since he had not released anything since 2009's I heard It Today, also made a statement to insist that this should not be called a comeback by the post-millennium underground hip-hop star. "I’ve been very active musically for years but I haven’t been putting records out," the Massachusetts artist born Jeffrey Haynes insisted, adding that, "I’ve been touring the world with Thievery Corporation and otherwise living in the studio, constantly making songs.” Fans, who were introduced to the artist via such now indie hip-hop classics as his 2002 EP on Def Jux I Phantom, can look forward to his first in the Mello Music Group album series in early 2016.  In the meantime the label has announced that it will be reissuing the (long out of print) 14 track, double LP I Phantom on November 27th. That underground classic from El-P's now defunct Defintiive Jux features an impressive array of artists (production and mic) joining the Boston emcee throughout including El-P, Edan, Insight, DJ Fakts One, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, and Akrobatik. You can find Mr. Lif's previous releases on the Amoeba website. Below is the video for the track "The Sun" off 2009's and another with Thievery Corportion from 2011.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up 10.02.15: Apollo Brown, TBB 40th, DOOMSTARKS, Homeboy Sandman, TableBeats App, 30th DMC World Finals

Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2015 01:28pm | Post a Comment

DOOMSTARKS, which is the mythical collaboration between MF DOOM and Ghostface Killah that gave us the "Victory Laps" 12" single via Nature Sounds from few years ago,  are back with the "Lively Hood" single via Cartoon Network’s popular late-night Adult Swim programming as part of its sixth annual "Singles" series, supplying exclusive new music for free digitally from an eclectic array of artists.  This year's series includes the single from DOOMSTARKS (pictured above) on which the two mic-wreckers, over a DOOM produced track, trade hypnotic stream-of-consciousness rhymes. Among the others in the 19 part series for this year are Danny Brown with Clams Casino, Sia, Slayer, and  WOKE which is Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, & Thundercat, featuring George Clinton.

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