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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.08.14: Amoeba Berkeley Chart With E-Lit, AmpLive, Wu-Tang Clan, Armand Hammer, Triple Threat DJs

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2014 12:24pm | Post a Comment
     


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 08:08:14


1) Amp Live Headphone Concerto ( Plug Research Music)

2) Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty  (SubPop) 

3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

4) Has Lo & Castle Live Like You're Dead (Mello Music Group)

5) BPos Positive Beings (One League Entertainment)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's top five chart plus his nice comprehensive run-down (see video above) of all the new and recent hip-hop arrivals at the East Bay store - in both CD and vinyl formats.  These include Armand Hammer's vinyl only Furtive Movements (Backwoodz Studioz), the brand new collaboration between Philadelphia emcee MarQ Spekt and prolific New York City producer Blockhead - JustPlayWitIt on HiPNOTT Records, and Anticon label co-founder/member Alias' new full-length Pitch Black Prism featuring fellow Anticon co-founder/former Amoebite DoseOne as guest emcee on the track "Crimson Across It." Other new arrivals include the limited edition vinyl (only 300 pressed up) House Shoes and Street Corner Music Presents: T-White The Gift Vol. 5!, and Washington DC beatmaster Damu the Fudgemunk's Public Assembly CD care of Redefinition Records and Fat Beats that was initially intended as a limited edition vinyl only release for the 2014 WFMU Record Fair. The other new / recent releases that made the top five chart entries this week
(recent Amoeba San Francisco instore performers) Shabazz Palaces' pioneering new album Lese Majesty  (again on SubPop), Madlib's Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD c/o Madlib Invasion that is also available in single volumes on vinyl (Rock Konducta Vol. 1 LP and Rock Konducta Vol. 2 LP), and the latest from the unstoppable Mello Music Group; Has Lo & Castle's Live Like You're Dead. The other two top five entries are both Bay Area (Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba San Francisco have long been highly supportive of homegrown talent): San Francisco crew  BPos's latest Positive Beings on One League Entertainment that will be featured in detail in a soon to be published feature here on the Amoeblog, and the newest release from Zion I producer Amp Live: Headphone Concerto on Plug Research Music. As he proved long ago on such productions as Rainydayz Remixes project, on which remixed Radiohead's 2008 album In Rainbows (totally reworking it and adding in such artists as Too $hort, Del, and Zion I mate Zumba, Amp Live has always musically been beyond hip-hop. And this album - his first for Plug Research - while it is hip-hop at its base still further pushes the envelope more beyond hip-hop into such other musical terrain as soul, pop, and electronic on such tracks as the cello intro'ed, pop hit sounding "Penny Nickel and Dime" featuring Anya and Prof (see video below which demonstrates the message of the song - about the influence and power of the almighty dollar).

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #92: Amoeba In NYC, Concert Guide, NYC Rated #1, Free Phone Charging Stations + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2014 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music in New York City? Yes, inside Urban Outfitters @ Herald Square

Representing Amoeba Music and being in New York City, I am often asked by record collectors and music fanatics if Amoeba might ever open a store in New York City. While I would have answered that question with "Unfortunately, probably not" before, I can now cheerfully reply that Amoeba Music has a scaled-down but impressive record shop inside the recently-opened new Urban Outfitters in Herald Square across the street from the flagship Macy's. There inside the three-level, 57,000 square foot flagship Urban Outfitters the California-based Amoeba has proudly set up shop and curated a diverse assortment of over 400 vintage vinyl titles. Ranging from classic rock and punk to jazz and soul and more, these vinyl titles (mostly first pressings) are in excellent condition, shrink-wrapped, and all come with a bonus Amoeba sticker inside. They are priced at $20 an LP. You will find the Amoeba section conveniently located on the street level of the new store that opened in June, sharing space with Urban Outfitters own impressive music section (new vinyl, turntables, headphones, etc.) and other shops such as Intelligentsia cafe, Hairroin Salon, and a Bikestock bike repair station. Urban Outfitters is located at 1333 Broadway between 35th and 36th Streets. Open 9am - 10pm Monday to Saturdays and Sunday 10am to 10pm.
 

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.01.14: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5 Chart, Common, Cormega, Shabazz Palaces, Mix Master Mike + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2014 11:17am | Post a Comment
         
Common "Kingdom (feat Vince Staples)" (2014)


Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart Week Ending 08:01:14


1) Common Nobody's Smiling (Island/Def Jam)

2)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

4) Cormega Mega Philosophy (Slimstyle)

5) Madlib Pinata Beats (Madlib Invasion)

The brand new hip-hop chart from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store finds longtime Chicago emcee / actor / poet to the president  Common in the number one position with his tenth studio album Nobody's Smiling (Island/Def Jam).
Fittingly the theme of this latest full-length from the Windy City artist is Chicago itself in which, as the Amoeba.com reviews, Common examines, "the city’s historically high crime rate but also its sense of pride, there’s no better man to take us through it than Common, whose career as an intellectually leaning yet nearly always relatable presence in hip-hop comes to maximum fruition on Nobody’s Smiling." And the ten track album, which Amoeba accurately calls "a fine return to form for Common," is indeed a strong album - one that should appeal to new and old school hip-hop heads -  that features fellow Chicago native No I.D.’s perfectly complimentary production along with well chosen guest spots from such artists as Big Sean, Elijah Blake, Jhené Aiko, Snoh Aalegra, Dreezy, Malik Yusef and Vince Staples (see video for his cameo on the track "Kingdom"  above) along with thought-provoking lyrics from Common (the master who brought us the classic "I Used To Love H.E.R.") like these from the title track:

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Remembering Oakland Rapper Seagram, Exactly 18 Years After His Unsolved Murder (Includes Rare 1991 Interview Excerpt)

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment

Seagram "The Ville" (from The Dark Roads)

Today marks the eighteenth anniversary of the death of talented Oakland rapper Seagram who on July 31st, 1996 was shot and killed on the streets of East Oakland. Seagram Miller was only 26 years old with two albums to his name (his third would be released posthumously) and had not yet reached his artistic potential nor had he gotten the full level of appreciation that he deserved. A smart, intelligent, articulate wordsmith whose way ahead of its time debut album (The Dark Roads on Rap-A-Lot) addressed the realities and consequences of the gangsta life that he was unapologetically a part of right up to his tragic death - a violent shooting murder that was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle at that time as such: "Oakland police Sgt. Gordon Melera said the two men had just exited a van in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue, an area in East Oakland known for violence and drug trafficking, when they were fired upon Wednesday night." That same article also noted how three years previously Seagram had escaped an assassin's bullet writing that, "Police said Miller's song about a rival gang in 1993 angered an Oakland drug kingpin, which led to an attempt on Miller's life. Miller escaped injury in that shooting, but a San Leandro police officer was wounded" but that OPD would not speculate whether his fatal shooting, in which Seagram's rap associate Gangsta P was seriously shot but not killed, was related to the earlier 1993 attack. Even 18 years after that fatal night in East Oakland the murder is still unsolved. Also of note from a Bay Area hip-hop historical perspective is that in that same year of 1996 two other Bay rap greats were also shot and killed: Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas two months later, and Mr Cee of R.B.L. Posse who was killed in San Francisco on New Year's Day of that year.

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