Amoeblog

Hip Hop Rap Up: Record Store Day, Coachella, Concert Picks, US MCs + Euro Producers

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2015 04:00pm | Post a Comment

As you well know tomorrow - Saturday, April 18th - is Record Store Day 2015 and it is the one day that you must head to one of the three outlets of the world's largest independent record store - Amoeba Music - where we have some amazing RSD releases plus a ton of other stuff including in-stores sets ( and complimentary coffee, and announcement of the winner of the Pro-Ject Essential II turntable and a ton of choice vinyl. See full Amoeba Music RSD details here. As far as the special RSD releases - of which there are 500+ this year - some of the hip-hop ones include N.W.A.'s landmark Straight Outta Compton on cassette - with digital download card. To be best prepared for the rush and crowds of Record Store Day it is best to arrive at Amoeba prepared - knowing which specific RSD releases you want in advance of getting to the store. And you can study the full RSD 2015 releases list here.  

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2015 DMC San Francisco Regional + 2015 DMC Battle for US Supremacy review by DJ Cue + James Mak

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2015 12:29pm | Post a Comment




2015 DMC Battle for US Supremacy

    1st: DJ Precision - New York
    2nd: Ambideckstriks - Chicago


2015 DMC San Francisco DJ Battle
    1st: DJ Precision - New York
    2nd: Ichy the Killer - San Jose
    3rd: The Beat Molester - Seattle
    other DJs in the top six included Lou $hort
   (Modesto), LazyBoy (Santa Rosa),
    and Kosmo (Ft. Collins CO)


The photos above and below, all care of James Mak (Joysco Photos), are from Sunday's exciting  2015 DMC San Francisco Regional DJ Battle at Brick and Mortar which, in addition to the regional battle portion, was also the setting for the Battle for US Supremacy which meant that a lot of DJs flew in from all over the country to compete in the important battle. Among those visiting competitors was DJ Precision (above) who flew out from New York City to not only take the title in the 2015 DMC Battle for US Supremacy but also scoop up the local regional title in the 2015 DMC San Francisco DJ Battle beating out Bay Area DMC regular Ichy the Killer (below) from San Jose who won last year's SF DMC title and consequently went onto to NYC for the DMC US Finals where he placed fifth.

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Tour Inside and Record at Abbey Road Studios Right Now

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2015 09:57am | Post a Comment

They say that the Abbey Road zebra crosswalk, made famous by the Fab Four for their album cover of the same name, is among the top most popular sights for tourists to London, England to shoot photos of themselves as they reinact that famous Beatles Abbey Road album cover. But now, thanks to Google UK, anyone anywhere can go inside the famed Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded (and other albums too including ones by Oasis, and Adele, plus such soundtracks as for Star Wars and Harry Potter).

Note that the tour is a virtual online tour of Abbey Road; albeit a hands on, interactive one that begins by clicking on this link to Inside Abbey Road that will look like the screen still above. Then, wearing headphones as highly recommended for full effect, click on Step Inside link which will take you inside where you can choose one of the available studios to go inside and learn. For example go into the "Tape Effects" and play around with basic analog (pre-digital) type effects or you can go into the J37 where you are challenged "to master the J37" by mixing around the sole four instruments. "Innovative artists got around this by merging instruments onto one channel" - the page advises as you can make your own tracks using the hard break beat drum line laid down as your starting point before selecting a bass guitar line or a flute riff, etc. etc.

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Hip Hop History Tuesdays: Young MC

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2015 12:04pm | Post a Comment

Scoring a top ten hit single might seem like any recording artist's greatest fantasy come to life. However the reality is that a hit single can become a stigma for an artist, particularly if it is the only hit single that an artist scores in their career since it will relegate them to that "one hit wonder" pile. Such, unfortunately, was the case for late-80's rap star Young MC whose 1989 breakout crossover single "Bust A Move" was his only big hit - one that has been featured on VH1's "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders." But even before that, eight years after his hit had topped the charts, Young MC himself seemed resigned to the fact that he was indeed already a one-hit wonder. That was in 1997 when he released the poorly received comeback-attempt album unapologetically entitled Return of the 1 Hit Wonder.  Too bad since Young MC was a good rapper whose career deserved to go further than that one hit.

British by birth, Marvin Young  was born in the Wimbledon suburb of South West London, England before his family crossed the Atlantic to where he would be raised in Queens, New York City. There he graduated from Hunter College, soon-after moving west across the States to attend the University of Southern California.  It was at USC where he not only earned a bachelors degree in economics but also earned the friendship of two students with a bright music biz future ahead of them. Michael Ross and Matt Dike were the founders of the then fledgling Delicious Vinyl Records label. The meeting of these two and Young MC would be a most important one. Thanks to signing the unknown but soon to be hugely successful Young MC to their new upstart label as Delicious Vinyl's first artist - they made a grand entrance into the rap music business. The signing would also in turn launch the career of their next crossover pop rap artist Tone-Loc for whom Young MC co-write both the 1989 top-ten, Tone-Loc mega hit  "Wild Thing"  as well as Loc's hit "Funky Cold Medina" - both from Tone-Loc's debut hit album Loc-ed After Dark. Many have rightfully noted that Young had pershaps foolheartedly given away some of his best material to Tone-Loc.

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Irish Music Ambassador Ray Wingnut Archives His Nation's Thriving Indie Music Scene Via His Unique Record/CD/Tape Retail Business

Posted by Billyjam, April 13, 2015 06:25pm | Post a Comment


Since his teens growing up in Co. Cork, Ireland, Ray Wingnut has been an avid fan of all types of contemporary music, especially music made by artists from his native Ireland.  Consequently Ray Wingnut's destiny seemed set from the beginning - that he would end up working, in some capacity, with Irish-made music. However in what capacity precisely was the mystery. Five years ago that mystery was solved when the Galway based music fan was making one of his regular crate digging visits to his favorite hometown independent music store - Bell, Book, and Candle in the heart of the historic city where, along with selling books and candles, since the early 90's owner Paul Deacy has been selling albums and CDs with a focus on releases from the neighboring, musically rich West Of Ireland.

Ray recalls how he was hanging out, talking music and the failing music retail business - something that took a double wallop in Ireland where the financial crisis around the world was felt twice as severely in the post Celtic Tiger, economic collapse of the Emerald Isle. But while others saw despair, the innovative mind of Wingnut saw opportunity; an opportunity to push homegrown Irish music at a retail level - at a time when music shops around the country were closing at an even more rapid rate than their counterparts in the States or even over in nearby England.

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