Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Roots of Gangsta Rap

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2015 09:00am | Post a Comment

N.W.A are routinely credited with creating the genre known as gangsta rap, which is a fair summation since it was these West Coast rappers who inspired a whole new unstoppable generation of hardcore gangsta rap recording artists. However, these LA rappers are predated by fellow LA-based artist Ice-T who in turn was predated by the true O.G. (Original Gangsta) -- Philadeplhia's Schoolly D who in 1985 unleashed the original gangsta rap record. Entitled "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?" and released on his own small indie label, Schoolly D Records, the record with cutting by DJ Code Money was an ode to the Philly street gang that the rapper (born Jesse B. Weaver, Jr.) was associated with. The initials P.S.K. stood for the Park Side Killas gang and their song dedication was brimming with references to gangsta activity: guns, violence, sex, and drug use, with usage of the N word ("sucka ass nigga tryna sound like me"), which was something uncommon though not totally unheard of in rap records up to that point.

Although originally considered a regional rap record with likely little appeal beyond its immediate hood, the distinctly hardcore rap record struck a nerve with music fans well beyond Philadelphia. The NJ-born, LA-based Ice-T adapted its style for his single, "6 In The Mornin" (later entitled "6 'N the Mornin'), released a year later in 1986. It was also included on his 1987 debut album Rhyme Pays.

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HBO Sitcom Silicon Valley's Guide To Sade

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2015 05:53pm | Post a Comment

Last night's episode of the HBO comedy series Silicon Valley had me cracking up and nodding my head in agreement when one of its lead characters offered a funny, succinctly accurate summation of Sade's musical output. Entitled "Adult Content," the episode was the seventh in the ongoing second season of the sitcom created by Mike Judge and Alec Berg about the challenges of the fictional South Bay start up Pied Piper. The episode contained a scene in which T. J. Miller's hilarious character Erlich Bachman (pictured above) imparts some sage advice on setting the perfect sex-inducing mood for a date to his nervous, lesser experienced roommate/co-worker Dinesh Chugtai (played by Kumail Nanjiani). The best music to play is Sade, he tells him. But he quickly clarifies not just anything from the British Nigerian singer's three-plus-decades-long career that has spawned a string of  releases including six official studio albums.

"Early Sade, before her arrangements became too baroque," he further advises Dinesh. Later in the episode, Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" (off her second album, 1985's Promise) is heard playing.  Look for Sade's music, including her debut album, Diamond Life, at Amoeba where you will also find Silicon Valley: The Complete First Season on both DVD and Blu-Ray. See trailer below along with video for Sade's "Sweetest Taboo."  Meanwhile Silicon Valley, which was recently nominated for an Emmy and renewed for a third season, airs Sundays at 10pm on HBO.

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Lyrics Born Discusses His Recently Released New Orleans Flavored Album "Real People"

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2015 11:52am | Post a Comment

 
"No, I never thought that one day I'd be working with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It's funny because I went to the Preservation Hall in the '90s to watch them play and I appreciated the music, but my world was centered around hip-hop for a long long time," answered Lyrics Born when quizzed if he ever envisioned himself one day working with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as the longtime Bay Area emcee/Quannum co-founder/Latyrx member does on his latest solo album. Entitled Real People and released through his own Mobile Home Recordings label, it is the eighth album (including solo and group) from the artist born Tsutomu "Tom" Shimura, and is available from Amoeba in both CD and digital download formats with a forthcoming vinyl version on the way.

Mostly upbeat with just a few down-tempo tracks, the 13 track, 44 minute album is a recommended uplifting funky fresh collection of New Orleans flavored hip-hop unlike any you've heard before that features, in addition to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, such other NOLA heavyweights as Ivan Neville and Trombone Shorty, plus full production by the Big Easy's Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman from Galactic. In addition to the full Galactic band (who join Lyrics Born on the killer cut "Rock-Rock-Away"), other album contributors include Corey Henry, Corey Glover of Living Colour, David Shaw of The Revivalists, and Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame.

Hip-Hop Rap Up: E-40 & Ariel Pink, Alchemist & Oh No, NYC Regional DMC Battle, Killer Mike, G.A.T.S., N.W.A Movie, SF DJ Block Party

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2015 07:07am | Post a Comment

E-40 with Ariel Pink? Tangerine Dream with The Alchemist and Oh No?  Yep as unlikely as both those musical pairings might sound each are exactly what you get on the recently released Welcome To Los Santos diverse collection. The album, that is also available in vinyl version, is the new Alchemist and Oh No composition done in partnership with Woody Jackson and Tangerine Dream. Welcome To Los Santos from Mass Appeal Records and Rockstar Games is a multi-genre 14 track compilation of music "based on and inspired by the original soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto V" (cover above) that includes the aformentioned E-40 track ("California") which, in addition to Ariel Pink, features also Dam-Funk. Other contributors include Killer Mike, Freddie Gibbs, Little Dragon, and Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio - to name but some. 

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French Electronic Pop Outfit Yelle Publish Video For Completement fou's "Ba$$in"

Posted by Billyjam, May 20, 2015 02:19pm | Post a Comment

Yelle "Ba$$in" video published today

In support of their current album  - Complètement fou that was released by Kemosabe Records back in September in both CD and vinyl formats - the irresistible French electronic pop dance group Yelle today published the perfect accompanying music video (above) for the album track "Ba$$in" - the second cut on the recommended thirteen track full-length.  The colorfully vibrant, unique and surreal retro-feel video was directed by the production pairing of music video maker to the stars Diane Martel (Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce etc.) with Geoffrey Lillemon who is one of the leading artists of the net.art movement. As such Lillemon bases his work on the interplay between the digital and the physical world - an area described as where the real and the imaginary interact. Together, drawing direct influence from music videos of the the decade when MTV was new, they've produced a video that perfectly compliments Yelle's sound and vibe.

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