Amoeba Music San Francisco Top FIve 09:06:08
1) Young Jeezy The Recession (Def Jam)
2) The Game LAX (Geffen/Interscope)
3) eLZhi Preface (Fat Beats)
4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots (Million Dollar Dream)
5) Arabian Prince Innovative Life: The Anthology: 1984 - 1989 (Stones Throw)
Thanks to Luis in the hip-hop section at Amoeba Music, San Francisco for this week's Top Five chart. The top slot belongs to the brand new release from Young Jeezy, The Recession, which hit Amoeba shelves on Tuesday this week. This is the third Jeezy album, following 2005's Lets Get It: Thug Motivation 101 and 2006's The Inspiration. Although the title The Recession might imply that the record would be all about the US economy (interest rates/foreclosures etc.), it only very, very briefly tackles the US economy at large. Instead, it concentrates more specifically on hood economics, i.e., drug dealing. Hence, The Recession, over some great beats, is brimming with (yawn) street tales of making cash and selling 'caine and the glorified day-to-day trials and tribulations of a gangsta.
"All I got to my name is two bricks and one felony," raps Atlanta native Jeezy in his famous husky voiced, dirty south flow on the track "Crazy World" -- one of many detailing the struggles of the hustler lifestyle which, personally, I find tired and played out at this stage in the game. I mean is Young Jeezy keeping really real and rapping about his life as it really, or is he just trying to sell the most CDs? Does Jeezy really have to slang drugs on the corner after all his success in the rap music biz? Or is he just fronting by making up these played-out, over-romanticized drug dealing tales, geared for the target gullible white rap consumer? This is music manufactured for the wallet more than from the heart. With that said, I did enjoy most of the production, and also the album's few guests, including NaS, who upstaged his host here. I guess it's not so much the topic of gangsta but more in how an artist retells a story we've heard a million times already.
1. David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
2. The Smiths - The Smiths
3. Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman (1988)
4. Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
5. Judy Garland - Judy At Carnegie Hall (1961)
6. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead (1986)
7. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
8. Madonna - The Immaculate Collection (1973)
9. Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983)
10. Antony & The Johnsons -
I Am A Bird Now (2005)
According to a wide spectrum of gay music experts quizzed by Out Magazine, these are the top 100 gayest albums of all time. To compile this Top 100 Gayest Albums of All Time, Out Magazine polled more than 100 actors, comedians, musicians, writers, critics, performance artists, label reps, and DJs, asking each to list the 10 albums that left the most indelible impressions on their lives. Out writes in this new report that "After receiving responses from Boy George, Rufus Wainwright, Cyndi Lauper, the Indigo Girls’ Amy Ray, Candis Cayne, Perez Hilton, Nate Berkus, Jake Shears, John Cameron Mitchell, Wilson Cruz, Justin Bond, Darren Hayes, Junior Vasquez, Bruce Vilanch, Janis Ian, the Cliks, Ari Gold, Holly Johnson, and a slew of others, we tallied the results to determine our top-100 list."
This is the second of the two part Amoeblogs remembering long-defunct Berkeley music store Leopold Records. Part 1 focused on the Leopold's Amoeba connection, while this one is about the hip-hop history of the store. Included are an interview with former Leopold rap buyer Daria Kelly and an essay by Amoeba Brady who, like many, worked there before joining Amoeba. I highly recommend you read both of these insightful windows to another time in Bay Area music history. Also included in this Remembering Leopold Amoeblog is one of the final Bay Area Top Ten charts issued by the store before it closed, from early 1996, and a video of Saafir performing live at the store from late 1994.
The live Saafir performance is of "Just Riden" (video above), the song originally from the artist's Boxcar Sessions album released in September 1994 on Qwest/Warner Brothers. The footage iis from an in-store that was technically an "out-store," since the Oakalnd emcee did it right outside the store doors of Leopold's on Durant in Berkeley, CA.
Look closely at the video above for the quick crowd camera pan and you will see Del (in Hiero T-shirt) puffing happily on what looks like a blunt. Around that same time in East Bay hip-hop history you would usually find members of Saafir's extended rap family Hobo Junction right outside Leopold and around the streets of Berkeley selling, or as they called it "dirt hustlin,'" their lo-fi but tight homemade rap tapes.