Trans World Entertainment #0643
Trans World Entertainment #0643
1) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)
2) Flo Rida R.O.O.T.S. (Poe Boy/Atlantic)
3) UGK UGK 4 Life (Jive)
4) Jim Jones Pray IV Reign (Columbia)
5) Madlib Beat Konducta Vols 5 6 (Stones Throw)
Miami pop rap act Flo RIda is In the number two slot this week with his just released second album R.O.O.T.S. The record includes the already major hit "RIght Round" -- the unavoidably popular track that reworks Dead Or Alive's mid-eighties synth-pop hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” to which it owes its phenomenal success. Despite contributions from the likes of Ne-Yo, Akon, Wyclef Jean, Pleasure P, and Nelly Furtado, this sophomore album on Poe Boy/Atlantic, while better than Flo Rida's debut, comes off as hollow and ten years from now will most likely forgotten. The problem? Like most mainstream hip-hop, it doesn't sound like it is coming from the heart or soul but instead comes off as music manufactured out of a desire to score a quick pop hit.
Meanwhile, Harlem artist Jim Jones' delayed latest album, Pray IV Reign -- his first for Columbia -- is a superior record and sounds like it is made from the heart. But it too suffers from a common problem in rap these days, the derivative factor. In this case, the former hype-man is constantly channeling 2Pac, not only copping Shakur's whole rhyme flow and inflections, but going so far as to even loot some of his trademark phrases ("Keep your head up," he spits on the new album track "Let It Out").
If you read my blog over the last year, it's easy to tell I’m a big fan of Monterey, Mexico’s very own Toy Selectah. His official releases on Mad Decent and Bersa Discos are due to drop at some point this year. Until then, Mad Decent has put up an entire album’s worth of Toy Selectah remixes that you can download free of charge. Included on his Mex-More release are remixes from the likes of Air, Chromeo, Santigold, Molotov, Lil Wayne, Café Tacvba, Devendra Banhart and The Human League. Whether it's Ghetto-Tech, Raverton or Cumbia remixes, it's a party from start to finish.
Speaking of Bersa Discos, they are having another installment of their Tormenta Tropical nights at The Three Of Clubs in Hollywood on Friday, April 10. Guest DJ’s will be Ghislain Poirier (Ninja Tunes) and Nguzu Nguzu from Maryland. They be playing some mean Electro-Cumbia, Electro-Soca or just plain Electro. Either way, it should be loud and fun.
Also on this busy Friday will be the return of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to Los Angeles. After a seven-year hiatus and the death of one of the original members, Gerardo "Toto" Rotblat, the band decided to reform, record and take it on the road. Their album, La Luz Del Ritmo is out now and picks up where the band left off. Their blend of high energy, Latin infused Ska/Reggae/Funk/Cumbia/Punk has been widely imitated but few have matched. Should be a great show at the Gibson.
Prism Entertainment #51001
But for their latest graffiti book, published this week by Prestel, they traveled to Miami, Florida to capture the 200 + vibrant images for this recommended
contemporary art coffee table book.
Simply titled Miami Graffiti, it is an amazing collection that captures the vibrant and stylistically diverse graffiti and murals of Miami, a city that for some reason tends to be overlooked somewhat when it comes to its street art scene. In fact, this is the first book to focus soley on Miami graf. Flipping through the pages upon pages of perfectly shot, bright, colorful panoramic shots, it's immediately evident that the husband and wife team of James and Karla Murray have both a real passion and a true gift for what they do.
For this Amoeblog I invited the photo authors, who I will interview in a few weeks on the New York graf scene, to supply the Amoeblog with some high resolution jpegs of Miami Graffiti from pages I randomly picked, based on my own taste and the variety of styles displayed. I also asked them to say a few words on each shot and the subject captured. Their words are below, with the page of the book each image appears on as well.
The artist CROME says, "I always like to incorporate a character into my piece because if you just do letters it can look repetitive. You need something more to look at than just letters."