Amoeblog

EPMD's "Strictly Business 30 Year Anniversary Tour" In California This Week

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2016 11:04pm | Post a Comment
 
EPMD's math may be a bit off for the ongoing Strictly Business 30 Year Anniversary Tour, but the opportunity to catch this reunited iconic hip-hop duo perform their landmark 1988 debut album is one not to be missed.  Tonight at midnight in San Francisco EPMD will hit the stage at Public Works to perform Strictly Business in full, in addition to "all their hits" from the pair's rich golden era back catalog.  Tomorrow, July 22nd, they perform in LA at the Hollywood Palladium and the following night (July 23) at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center as part of Ice-T's Art of Rap Festival tour. Then Sunday July 24th they headline the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix with their tribute to Strictly Business. Three years ago the album by the legendary duo of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith (aka PMD) [EPMD = Erick and Parrish Making Dollars] enjoyed a special 25 Year Anniversary Strictly Business. Presented by Snoop Dogg that reissue version included five bonus tracks: alternate versions or remixes of album songs.

29 Years Later, Too $hort's "Born To Mack" Remains Oakland Rap Pioneer's Rawest But Best And Most Definitive Album

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2016 11:41pm | Post a Comment

With this week marking the 29th anniversary of Too $hort's album Born to Mack on Dangerous Music, I went back to re-listen in full to the July 20th, 1987 release by "the Godfather of Oakland rap." The album remains Too $hort's best: the one that laid the blueprint for the rest of his long career up to the present day. And although the LP is often presented as Short's "debut studio album," it was actually preceded in the mid 80's by a series of earlier albums by the young artist released on the local Oakland 75 Girls record label. But it would be this release on Dangerous Music (him and manager Randy Austin's breakaway label) album that would be the one to blow up Too $hort on a national level. The album led to the artist born Todd Shaw signing with Jive/RCA who would re-release the album the following year. Then the year after that, in 1989, the NYC based label would release Life is Too $hort followed by a string of many more Too $hort albums that would build upon the Born to Mack blueprint.  On each album the artist would further fine-tune the created persona of Playboy Short that he first presented on this definitive album. Re-released last year in 180 gram vinyl version by Plain Recordings, Born to Mack is a must have and worth it for just the two Too $hort classics "Freaky Tales" and "Dope Fiend Beat." 

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1990's Promo Pics Pt II: Gravediggaz (RZA, Prince Paul, Poetic, Fruitkwan), Alkaholiks, Goats, Ill Al Skratch, Big Daddy Kane, AWOL +

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2016 11:51am | Post a Comment

"The mouths and minds that you loved in Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Stetsaonic, and Too Poetic are here," read part of the 1994 press release (excerpt below) introducing, although they were out for few years already, the rap supergroup the Gravediggaz. The press release, sent out by Gee Street, part of Island Records.for the album 6 Feet Deep was accompanied by a couple of publicity photos by David Corio of the "horrorcore" group comprised of Prince Paul,  RZA, (aka Prince Rakeem), Poetic, and Fruitkwan. Both pics are included in this second part in the new Amoeblog series of paying tribute to artists, photographers, and labels involved in  hip-hop publicity / promo photos back in the 1990's. These are mostly all black and white photos from the mid nineties that accompanied  bio/press releases sent out at the time by record labels to print media, radio and television outlets. Part one included the Beastie Boys Gank Move, DJ QUIK  Above The Law,  King Tee, Black Czer,Kwame, Black Sheep and Jemini The Gifted One. This second part is from the years of 93, 94 and 95 and via such record labels as Relativity, Gee Street/Island, Loud/RCA, One-Way/BEG/Ichiban, Mercury/Polygram, MCA, Profile Records, and Ruffhouse / Columbia.  Daniel Hastings, who was also credited in part one, is among the photographers responsible for the pics here in part two.

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New Hip-Hop Vinyl, Shows, Top 5 Music Videos: Aesop Rock, Blu & Nottz, Damu, Yoni & Geti, Zion I, Mistah F.A.B., Mister Freedom

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2016 08:03pm | Post a Comment
Top 5 Hip-Hop Records 07:18:16

1: Blu & Nottz Titans In The Flesh  12" with ten tracks (Coalmine)
 
2: A$AP Ferg Always Strive & Prosper LP (RCA)
 
3: Analog Brothers Pimp To Eat LP reissue (Mello Music Group)

4: Bahamadia Kollage LP (Capitol)

5: Damu The Fudgemonk Untitled V1   7" (Redefinition/Fat Beats)

Future Pick: Atmosphere Fishing Blues LP (Rhymesayers Ent.)  release date 8/12/16 but pre-order now

 
It's mid-summer 2016 and hip-hop is in full on creative mode with a slew of new releases including the top five vinyl releases (LP, 12" and 7") above that include such new releases as Blu & Nottz and reissues such as the 1996 Bahamadia repress of Kollage, and the Analog Brothers (feat. alter egos of Kool Keith and Ice-T). There are also some incredibly innovative new hip-hop music videos out there these days such as the top five that follow below. And right now all over the US there's a rich variety of hip-hop shows and tours to choose from. For example in the Bay Area in the week ahead coming through town will be EPMD at Public Works on Thursday as part of their Strictly Business 30 Year Anniversary Tour in which they'll perform that 1988 album (28 year anniversary?) in full as well as dipping into their treasure trove of golden era hits from other albums including Unfinished Business. Associated with the latter part of that same throwback era, and on that same night but across the Bridge over in Oakland will be The Artifacts and Ed O.G. Unlike EPMD however they'll be playing newer as well as older material. With San Francisco emcee supertalent Z-Man as well as Karen Less, Mike Fish & The Monolyth, Unlearn The World, and Bottled Water also on the bill, the show takes place at Shadow Ultra Lounge/Level 13 located at 341 13th street Oakland, CA. 9pm 21+ $12 at door.  Meanwhile for a taste of some of hip-hop's modern progressive sounds that, at times embrace alt rock, I recommend the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Saturday (July 23) with  Yoni & GetiYoni & Geti is the duo comprised of brilliant Chicago emcee Serengeti and WHY? frontman Yoni Wolf who he's been down with a good few years. Wolf co-produced Serengeti's  Family & Friends album for Anticon in 2011. In May of this year the two released their collaborative album Testarossa on Joyful Noise (also avail on vinyl). This current US tour, which will end a week later (July 30th) in Denver, CO at the Larimer Lounge, is in support of that new album.

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1990's Promo Pics: Beastie Boys, DJ Quik, Black Sheep, Black Czer, Gank Move, Above The Law, King Tee, Jemini The Gifted One +

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2016 01:44pm | Post a Comment
Beastie Boys (Grand Royal/Capitol Records) 1995, photo by Ari Marcopoulous

First in a series, this is a selection of mid 90's hip-hop publicity / promo photos (all black and white) sent out by record labels to print media, radio and television.The labels that sent them out these press packages in the years 1994 and 1995 included MCA, Mercury, Profile, Priority, WRAP/Ichiban, and such Relativity distributed labels as Ruthless and Lifestyles.The ten artists featured range from the iconic such as the Beastie Boys to the lesser known hip-hop acts as female rapper K-Nock whose 1994 album on WRAP Records Escape From Quad City was her only album released. Hence the publicity photo for her and the press release/bio that accompanied it was likely the only ones made for this artist. Also noteworthy is that the mid 1990's was a still a (pre digital download) period when the music industry was in a healthy state with ample extra dollars to put into promotion and publicity. Not only did record labels, both major and independent, send out advance promo CDs/records/tapes/videos but they were typically accompanied by nicely presented press packages: stylized folders with one or more professionally staged, glossy publicity photos, along with an in-depth bio and artist press clippings.

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