Amoeblog

Money B & Chopmaster J Remember Tupac On What Would Have Been Shakur's 40th Birthday

Posted by Billyjam, June 16, 2011 11:37am | Post a Comment
          


Were he alive Tupac Amaru Shakur (aka 2Pac), who was fatally shot in Las Vegas in September 1996, the phenomenally popular rapper & actor would be celebrating his 40th birthday today, June 16th, 2011. At the Rockit Room in San Francisco tonight Sellassie and a bunch of other local hip-hop artists will celebrate the event in a concert honoring the slain local rap hero who, while born in Harlem & raised in both NYC and Baltimore before relocating West in the late 80's, began his rap career in the Bay Area. And many others will be thinking of Tupac Shakur today too, from the millions of diehard 2Pac fans all over the world, to family and friends including his former crew members in Digital Underground; the legendary Bay Area hip-hop crew that Shakur came to fame in. 2Pac joined Digital Underground, at a young age, first as a roadie and backup dancer and then as a rapper which, in turn, helped kick start his extremely successful, illustrious, and ultimately tragic solo career.

This week I caught up with both Digital Underground's Jimi "Chopmaster J" Dright, who along with Shock G and Kenny K co-founded the group in 1987, and with  Money B, who along with DU's DJ Fuze also formed the side-project Raw Fusion,  to ask them each about Tupac. After all it was their ever-talented & most unique P Funk-fueled hip-hop crew, that took Pac under their wing and into their fold when he was a mere bright young teenager from the Marin City projects with a knack for writing poetry.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:13:10: Bun B, Exile, Trek Life, Messy Marv, Jay Z, PE, Doug E Fresh, Rappin 4-Tay, 2Pac, Boots Riley + More

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2010 08:08am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:13:10

Exile
1) Exile Am/Fm (Traffic)

2) Bun B Trill O.G. (Rap A Lot)

3) Slum Village Villa Manifesto (E1 Entertainment)

4) Trek Life Everything Changed Nothing (Mello Music)

5) Messy Marv Thizz City (SMC)

In continuing the theme of his wonderful solo release from last year, Radio, Exile delivers this week's number one album at Amoeba, the brand new AM/FM, which is actually culled from that 2009 release. By reworking and remixing elements of Radio the talented Los Angeles producer born Aleksander Manfredi, who many came to know as one half of the emcee/producer duo of Blu & Exile, has crafted a whole new twenty one track album. In fact some of the tracks on AM/FM sound completely new with nary a trace of the earlier album's sound to them. And while Radio was more of an instrumental album (with the occasional vocal sample off the radio) showcasing Exile's studio chops with little other distraction, AM/FM shines more light on the mic wreckers. These include many of his compadres such as Blu (check out a track featuring Blu, "Love Line," below), Alchemist, The Grouch & Eligh, Evidence, and Aloe Blacc (with whom he formed his first group, Emanon). Standout tracks include the the Shafiq Husayn remix of "It's Coming Down," "Mega Mix" featuring Fashawn, Big Tone, and ADaD, and the DJ Day remix of "In Love." In addition to AM/FM, I would recommend tracking down both Radio and Exile's 2006 album Dirty Science.  

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Hip-Hop History: 10 Dates that Helped Define Hip Hop in 1996

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2010 07:24pm | Post a Comment
Mr Cee (RBL Posse)
There were numerous hip hop albums released in the year 1996, countless rap concerts & related events, plus many news worthy incidents in the genre that occurred. Here are just ten hip hop dates/events that helped shape the genre in that twelve month period fourteen years ago, and from a Bay Area perspective.

Jan 1st: Mr. Cee of popular San Francisco rap group RBL Posse was brutally shot and killed  on Harbor Road in the Bayview / Hunters Point district. He was only 22 years of age. The tragic incident marked the unfortunate  beginning of a year where  Rap = Violence became the all-too-convenient equation for the mainstream media's sensationalist portrayal of an entire genre. Unfortunately the one event that overshadowed everything else in 1996, the death of Tupac Shakur, merely reinforced this stereotype.

Feb. 27th: Death Row Records released the first of two 2Pac albums for the year, the rush-recorded double CD set All Eyez On Me, which debuted at number one on the Billboard pop charts, sold five million copies in its first three months alone, and cemented the ever controversial ShDr Dreakur as the poster boy of 'gangsta rap.' Even before his tragic death, the rapper/actor's ever newsworthy life and times blurred that fine line in reality rap between life and art. 

March 20th: Dr. Dre, the veteran LA producer with the Midas touch who both shaped NWA's sound and mainstreamed 'gangsta rap' with his 1992 multi-platinum album The Chronic, made headlines by exiting Death Row Records. Reportedly he was sick and tired of the Suge Knight dominated record company's all-gangsta format. "Then Tupac coming to the label was the straw that broke the camel's back," partner RBX told Vibe in the October issue that year. As if to prove the point, soon after his departure Dr. Dre declared "gangsta rap dead" and went about setting up his own label, Aftermath Records, releasing "East Coast West Coast Killas" as its first single, which called for an end to the then still very prominent East versus West coast rivalry.

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STARTIN' SOMETHIN': DEATH STARTS NEW CHAPTER IN MJ's CAREER:

Posted by Billyjam, June 27, 2009 05:40pm | Post a Comment
MIchael Jackson R.I.P.
"What hit me most about hearing the news of Michael Jackson dying was only then I realized just how much he meant to me, how much his music was such a part of my life," confided my friend Eboness from New York by phone on Thursday evening, just hours after the shocking news of the pop star's passing had clogged all channels of communication. 

One of the many friends and acquaintances who seemed compelled to reach out and talk MJ on Thursday and in the days since, Eboness is 38 and lives in Harlem. Like so many people out there, she grew up on Jackson's music.

She said she and her mom had just come from 125th Street, where a growing crowd was gathering en masse outside the Apollo Theater to spontaneously mourn alongside total strangers in the shared sadness. As Jackson's music boomed from speakers up high, the teary eyed crowd below, with sunken shoulders, sang along to every lyric.

Thursday afternoon's shocking news of MJ passing caught everyone off guard it seemed. When I got that first text on my phone sometime after 3pm from my friend Timi D... which read "Michael Jackson just died???" I thought that maybe it was some of kind of prank or inside joke about the oft mocked star. Maybe it had something to do with his string of upcoming UK concert dates, I theorized as my Google search quickly confirmed the tragic news, with reports citing either the LA Times who broke the story or leading gossip news site TMZ that simultaneously reported on the same story. And when I next logged on to my email, my inbox was overflowing with messages with MJ's name in the subject box. I then clicked on the Amoeblog, where I saw that Whitmore had just posted the news. That was about 3:15 or 3:20 pm on Thursday; by then the news had already spread like wildfire via news and gossip sites and of course via Twitter, Facebook, and every other social network. Michael Jackson thriller

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MOTHER: 2PAC, JOHN LENNON, SINEAD O' CONNOR & ROGER WATERS

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2009 08:40am | Post a Comment

2Pac - "Dear Mama"


John Lennon performing "Mother" live at Madison Square Garden


Roger Waters & Sinead O' Connor "Mother" (The Wall Live in Berlin concert)


The Pharcyde "Ya Mama"
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