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The 25 Best Hip-Hop Movies

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2014 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Best Hip Hop films

The definition of "hip hop movies" is pretty darn wide as it covers a broad range of types and styles of films - not to mention differing levels of quality since, let's face it, some have been downright low-budget jenky (bad meaning bad). The hip hop movie genre as a whole encompasses such varieties as concerts films (EG 1995's The Show or 2005's Dave Chappelle's Block Party); documentaries about specific parts of the genre or individual artists (e.g. Scratch or Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme or Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest); bio-pics like Notorious or the semi-biographical Eminem acting vehicle 8-Mile; and straight up pure celebratory flicks that show love for some or all of hip hop's four elements (EG Wild Style, Juice, Beat Street, and Breakin').

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Music History Monday: June 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 16, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.


Born on this day: June 16, 1942 - R&B vocal legend Eddie Levert (born Edward Levert in Bessemer, AL) of The O'Jays. Happy 72nd Birthday, Eddie! We love you!
 


Born on this day: June 16, 1971 - Rap music icon and actor 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur in East Harlem, NY). Happy Birthday to Tupac on what would have been his 43rd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: June 16, 1979 - “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for two weeks on June 30, 1979. Written and produced by Frederick Knight, it is the biggest hit for the former school teacher turned singer from Memphis, TN. The song is originally written and intended for the then 13-year-old singer Stacy Lattisaw. When Lattisaw does not end up signing with Knight’s production company (signing with Atlantic Records instead), Knight will re-write the lyrics, originally about kids talking on the telephone, to something more suited for an adult singer. Anita Ward, a 22-year-old former school teacher will be given the song for her debut album. The track is cut at Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS and released on Knight’s Juana Records (distributed by Miami-based TK Records). The record will be remixed by famed New York club DJ Richie Rivera, which will turn it into a worldwide hit. “Ring My Bell” will sell over 2.5 million copies in the US alone.
 

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All Eyez On 2Pac Photo Shoot

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment

The other day while riding BART, I saw an ad for KMEL radio with a collage of images featuring a sampling of artists that get a lot of airplay on the popular Bay Area radio station, including the late great Tupac Shakur. The 2Pac photo (left) was that iconic one you see all the time, culled from the photo shoot for the slain rap artist's album All Eyez On Me. The Death Row / Interscope release was Tupac's fifth album and widely considered the best album of his long illustrious career, both in life and posthumously. 2Pac would be dead seven months after the
release of this album.

The actual photo, one of many shot by celebrity photographer Ken Nahoum (see video below by Nahoum from the 2Pac photo shoot) for the album's art work, was not used for the front cover but instead relegated to the inside gatefold as part of a collage of pictures and text to accompany the four-LP, two-CD set that was divided into "Book 1" and "Book 2." However, since its February 1996 release, it is this image that has been used time and time again in articles and advertisements like KMEL's.

Every time I see this iconic picture of Pac staring upwards I always wonder to myself, what is he looking at or what exactly was going through his mind right then? So over the weekend I passed on this question via my Facebook page to find our what others thought might be the answer. The response was pretty good so I decided to republish the replies below with the name of who suggested them.

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Remembering Tupac 16 Years After His Death

Posted by Billyjam, September 13, 2012 02:15pm | Post a Comment

2Pac "Keep Ya Head Up" (from Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.)

On this date, September 13th, exactly sixteen years ago Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac) died following being shot a week earlier in his well documented (but still unsolved) shooting in Las Vegas, NV on September 6th, 1996.  The iconic NY born rapper/poet/actor is much loved the world over but in the Bay Area he seems to be especially beloved since it was in the Bay that he began his illustrious rap/hip-hop career. Back on June 16th, when the slain rapper would have celebrated his 41st birthday, there were several parties dedicated to him thrown in the Bay Area including one at Yoshi's with a performance from Digital Underground (the group he rose to fame with) while the two Bay Area Amoeba Music stores witnessed an increased interest in his music on that day.

But then 2Pac is always a hot item at the record store where record collectors are constantly digging for those countless 12" singles released during his lifetime and posthumously.  As well as in the three Amoeba stores fans can check for Pac material online from the Amoeba Music Online Shop where you can find such classic 2Pac releases as All Eyez on MeMe Against the World2Pacalypse Now, and  Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z) featuring the single "Keep Ya Head Up" (video above). There's lots more 2Pac items available from the Amoeba Online Store Tupac Page including the dope 2Pac poster pictured left. This B+W commemorative poster, which sells for $12, is 24" by 36" and is shipped by Amoeba in a sturdy. durable poster tube. Rest in Peace Pac.


Tupac Shakur's 41st Birthday Celebrated Today, 16 Years After His Death

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2012 11:29am | Post a Comment
Tupac Shakur may have left this earth a full sixteen years ago come this September 13th (the anniversary of his 1996 death - the result of that infamous/unsolved shooting in Las Vegas, NV) but the beloved NYC to the Bay iconic rapper/actor, also known as 2Pac, Pac and Makaveli, is still very much with us to this day whether it be via his music getting played on the radio, his continued album sales at stores like Amoeba Music (he remains one of the best selling artists of all time), or his much talked about recent hologram appearance at Coachella during Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg's performance two months ago.

And with today (Saturday June 16th, 2012) marking what would have been Pac's 41st birthday, many are celebrating the occasion as if Pac himself were here to enjoy the festivities. All over parties and events are being thrown in his honor (expect to hear a lot of Pac on the radio today too) including a special one in San Francisco tonight at Yoshi's with a performance from Digital Underground; the Bay Area based group that he first came to fame through back in the early nineties when he started out as roadie, dancer, and later rapper. Also on the bill tonight is an appearance by Bobby Seale - the famed 75 year old co-founder of the Black Panther Party of which both Pac's parents were members. Note that tonight's 10:30pm show is a benefit for the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party (NAABPP). More info on Yoshi's San Francisco Tupac celebrations here.

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