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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 09.20.13: 2 Chainz, LNMO, Big Sean, Arsenio Hall

Posted by Billyjam, September 20, 2013 10:19am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Top Five Week Ending 09: 20:13


1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)

2) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)

3) 2 Chainz B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME (Def Jam)

4) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)

5) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

Included in the latest hip-hop top five chart from Amoeba Hollywood is 2 Chainz' B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME which is the winner of the "#1 Next Level Album Title (September, 2013 - Associated Amoeba Website Album Reviewers Association)." This latest  from 2 Chainz - the ever popular Atlanta-based rapper formerly known as Tity Boi is accurately described by this website as "super classy melancholy vibe which has 2 Chainz doing his pretty specific list-rapping (potentially equivalent to the one-liner stylings of someone like Steven Wright or Jack Handey?), which always manages to be both unbelievably laid back and unbelievably urgent." and is well worth picking up at each Amoeba store or online here (Note; free shipping in USA). Another recommended new entry on this latest Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart is local SoCal artist LMNO's brand new album After The Fact (Up-Above) that finds the Long Beach, CA artist in killer form with a rhyme flow that is smooth and engaging from the get go with the album's top notch production courtesy of Evidence who also graces the mic. Other collaborators among the album's well chosen guests include Rakaa, and MED. A must get for fans of that timeless 90's flavor hip-hop.

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2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part II

Posted by Billyjam, December 28, 2012 03:49pm | Post a Comment

This second part in the 2012 best of hip-hop series is a Top 130 album chart that is based on sales at Amoeba Music over the past twelve months. It is comprised of nearly all 2012 releases, but since it reflects sales in 2012, there are a few previous year crossover releases such as late 2011 albums like The Roots' Undun (MCA).

The list is a combo of both CD and LP releases since more releases were issued on vinyl in 2012 than in the previous years. (Ironically, major labels who were the ones trying to kill off vinyl back in the early 1990's as they were pushing CDs heavily have issued a lot of vinyl versions this past year.) There are some EPs included here as well as full-lengths such as Homeboy Sandman's Subject Matter on Stones Throw and  Azealia Banks 1991 EP (Interscope). The chart is compiled based on the weekly hip-hop top five sales charts from the three Amoeba Music stores (Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco) submitted to the Amoeblog over the past year. This is a good gauge of what was popular and selling at the three Amoeba stores and via the Amoeba online store for 2012. It also should be noted that the first top fifty chart entries far outsold the next eighty releases. Not surprisingly Kendrick Lamar topped the chart with his commercially / critically acclaimed Good Kid M.A.A.D City CD on Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In addition to such other as across the board (national commercial) hits like 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story, Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam), Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic), and Nas' Life is Good (both on Def Jam), Amoeba shoppers also picked up a lot of indie label releases in quantity such as Aesop Rock's Skelethon (Rhyemsayers Ent.), El-P's Cancer4Cure (Fat Possum), Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon), and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist (Macklemore LLC). As well as new releases the chart also features some reissues such as The Pharcyde's Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde [Expanded Edition] (Delicious Vinyl), Notorious B.I.G.'s  Ready to Die, and  RBL Posse 20th Anniversary (Rightway Productions) which was a reissue of their three 1990's albums.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 08.17.12: 2 Chainz, Dopestyle, Nas, La Coka Nostra, Ron Artiste, Has-Lo + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2012 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:17:12


1) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
3) Nas Illmatic (Columbia)

4) Aesop Rock Skelethon (Rhymesayers)

5) Nas Life Is Good Deluxe edition (Def Jam)

Nas rules everything around him this week at Amoeba Hollywood where life is good for the legendary Queesnbridge NY artist. The emcee once known as Nasty Nas' latest album Life is Good on Def Jam is both number one and number five on the SoCal store's latest Top Five Hip-Hop Chart. The latter entry is the Life Is Good Deluxe CD edition of Life Is Good which boasts four bonus tracks over the regular version. Note that there is also a Life Is Good LP vinyl version (it has exact same 14 tracks as regular CD version) available of this tenth studio album by Nas with featured appearances by Rick Ross, Mary J. Blige and the late great Amy Winehouse. On top of this Nas' landmark 1994 critically acclaimed debut Illmatic has re-entered the chart where it is on the number three slot this week. The other two chart entries are 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story on Def Jam from the Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy,(see his new video for album track with Nicki Minaj cameo down below) and Aesop Rock's much heralded return after a five year hiatus with Skelethon on Rhymesayers Entertainment which is also available from Amoeba in LP/vinyl format. 

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New Albums: Dead Can Dance, 2 Chainz and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 14, 2012 06:47pm | Post a Comment
just tell me that you want meVarious ArtistsJust Tell Me That You Want Me                 
 
Starting out with a slice of guitar nirvana as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis joins Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and his band for a trip through the early instrumental Fleetwood Mac jam “Albatross,” a highlight of the period before Stevie and Lindsay joined the band and helped launch them to worldwide fame, Just Tell Me That You Want Me hits all the marks as a tribute album. Ubercool artists are called upon to tackle an intimidating catalog full of both iconic songs and gems buried beneath those tall trees. Antony takes a done-to-death cover with “Landslide” and somehow breathes new life into it with his quivering shivery croon. Up-and-coming singer Trixey Whitley puts on an extraordinary performance of Peter Green’s “Before the Beginning,” while Best Coast provides not her cover of “Storms” — that honor goes to Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who put their own Appalachian spin on the Stevie Nicks torch song — but instead inverts the darkness of “Rhiannon” and makes it into a jaunty, piano-led singalong. Artists like Washed Out, MGMT and especially Tame Impala infuse Mac classics with psychedelic eletronics, and the collection also excels by its possibility of introducing bands who more obviously follow in Fleetwood Mac’s footsteps to fans of Fleetwood Mac, especially L.A. darlings Best Coast and Haim. Just Tell Me That You Want Me succeeds by taking a few chances while staying true to the band it covers.
 
dead can danceDead Can DanceAnastasis
 
Dead Can Dance’s music is one of high concept, sewing various world musics across centuries into its black cape of 4AD goth glory. So given the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard haven’t released an album since 1996’s Spiritchaser, and the demise of their relationship as lovers, it seems only fitting to hear Anastis (Greek for “resurrection”) in terms of the band as a concept. The death march drums and elegiac stringed instrument that open “Kiko” give way to a powerful, mournful vocal from Gerrard. Similarly, “Anabasis” moves on the sound of relentless, clanging percussion and unsettling melodic lines that rise to a climactic cry from Gerrard, but it’s also a perfect example of DCD’s ability to appeal both to world music and underground rock fans — both goth and gothic, if you will — as its synths blend with stringed instruments that predate the use of electricity, and its melodies would sound perfectly fitting played on electric guitars. However, despite the music’s usual grimness, there’s also that sense of revival hinted at by the title, and it comes through on tracks like opener “Children of the Sun,” which builds an expansive chamber sound on which Perry intones “We are the children of the sun/Our journey’s just begun.” Perry has said Anastasis is the beginning of a new era for the band, which will continue with a “regeneration” period; if Anastasis is the sound of death, it is one draped in the most beautiful attire and stately ceremony.
 
2 chainz2 ChainzBased on a T.R.U.Story
 
The onetime Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy knows he’s no youngin. The MC went through a number of difficulties before breaking through with Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag,” which featured then rising star Lil Wayne, and now sees his own star rising at the age of 35 following a string of successful guest spots. His solo debut bears these past experiences but doesn’t force itself on its listeners with excessive boasting or self-seriousness; rather, Based on a T.R.U. Story is excellently executed and a lot of fun. “Birthday Song,” featuring Kanye West, gets by on the line “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.” All of the guest spots are heavy hitters (save for up-and-comer Cap1) who bring something to the table, from The-Dream’s lushness on “Extremely Blessed” to Nicki Minaj, who comically saves the otherwise repetetive “I Love Dem Strippers,” even if she rehashes in part “Beez in the Trap,” on which 2 Chainz previously guested. 2 Chainz’ flow is dynamic throughout, occasionally breaking into faster passages, as on the awesomely strange “Dope Peddler,” though he usually keeps things mellow, favoring economic phrases and quick jokes, perhaps most effectively on “No Lie,” rapping over creepy theramin and sparkling synths before Drake takes over and lends the song his trademark singing-into-rapping style. By playing it cool, surrounding himself with equal talent and not overreaching, 2 Chainz creates a highly effective debut that establishes him not just as a righthand-man rapper but a skillful creator of a consistent hip-hop album.

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