Amoeblog

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 01:09:09

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2009 06:06am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 01:09:09
keak da sneak and san quinn
1) Keak da Sneak & San Quinn
 
Welcome To Scokland (Ehustl)

2) San Quinn From A Boy To A
Man
(SMC/Fontana)

3) E40 The Ball Street Journal
(Sic Wid It/Warner)

4) Common Universal Mind  Control (Geffen)

5) Messy Marv Draped Up &
Chipped Out 3
(Scalen)
 
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music Sam Francisco for not only providing the Amoeblog with this first hip-hop top five of 2009 but also for being instrumental, through his dedication to local music as hip-hop buyer at the Haight St. store, in the healthy representation of Bay Area hip-hop on this weekly chart. Four of the five new album entries, including the king of the Bay E40 and his latest The Ball Street Journal, are homegrown rap recordings. Only Chicago's Common (and his December 9th release Universal Mind Control) hails from beyond the Yay Area. The number one seller is the hands-across-the-bridge (Bay Bridge) collaboration, appropriately titled Welcome To Scokland, between two of the Bay's best longtime rap acts, Oakland's Keak da Sneak (who recently dropped his own new solo album, Defied, and who will be interviewed in an upcoming Amoeblog) and prolific San Francisco rapper San Quinn.

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BAY AREA HIP-HOP ARCHIVES: APRIL 1996

Posted by Billyjam, July 10, 2008 11:32am | Post a Comment

Lately I've been digging in my archives, specifically my Bay Area Hip-Hop archives, and it has been fun going back over all of this great music which, as is often the case, is hard to completely absorb and fully appreciate the significance of right as it is all happening around you. This Bay Area hip-hop archival from a dozen years ago, including the video above for Mac Mall's great single from that time, "Get Right," is the first in a series of hip-hop flashbacks from the Bay Area hip-hop archives that I have accumulated since the mid-eighties. This specific time-encapsulated slice of Bay Area hip-hop is from the the week of April 6th, 1996.
Tupac Shakur
It includes a Bay Area Top 50 chart (singles & albums & demo tapes -- all subjectively chosen) and a Bay Area Rap News headlines report -- both taken from the Hip Hop Slam produced radio show ("Pirate Fuckin Radio") I did at the time that was broadcast on a bunch of small micro-powered radio stations (aka pirate radio) including Free Radio Berkeley, Steal This Radio in New York City,  San Francisco Liberation Radio, Free Radio Santa Cruz, KBUD Mendocino, 89.1FM Seattle, Flavor 919 and 909 The Bomb in Miami, and Black Magic Radio in Fresno. 

Also included are certain album covers and videos. But what is most interesting about this chart from a dozen years ago is that it captures the roots of the current hyphy movement and other contemporary Yay Area rap styles. Note that Master P, his TRU (The Real Untouchables) crew and No Limit Records (later to blow up back down in New Orleans) were still a Bay Area outfit. Then, as now, women were in the minority in the local rap game. However, those that did represent, including Suga T, Conscious Daughters (see video for "Gamers" below), and Sh'Killa (self-described "gangstrez from da Bay") were all respected, empowered women artists who didn't feel the need to flaunt their sexuality in exchange for fame in the rap game.

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4AM CRITIQUES PUBLIC'S FASCINATION WITH DECEASED POP STARS

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2008 01:49pm | Post a Comment

 
You know, James Dean is dead.
But don't worry or get upset or anything, He's been dead for a long time
But a week after he died he received more fan-mail than any other living American actor,
Which is weird right?  'cause he's dead, he's not gonna read that shit
But still, people felt inclined to write him

I think that's the first sign about what's happening with the entertainment industry today,
Especially with music:
I mean, you're gonna make more money dead, have more fame dead
And more people are going to hear your message dead, than ever would've alive. And that's weird

I mean, no one cared about Nick Drake until they put his song in that Volkswagen commercial and now everyone loves Nick Drake...
He died, man, he died poor and alone and no one gave a crap.
2Pac, Biggie, sure they were big in their lifetime but how many albums did they put out after they died...? Man that's fucked up!

Stop messing with peoples legacies like that!
Stop jumping on the bandwagon the second somebody dies and then make a movie about them.
Go out and find that music right now 'cause there are people out there right now working, living, and creating to help make this world a better place and if we don't help them now, or wait until after they're dead, what point is there to being an artist? What point, what point is there?

 Stop doin' that shit, stop ridin' shotgun for the industry and jump in the car with us cause we're going to Weinerschnitzel, then maybe later we can have some muffinz

         
- 4AM from the track "Ridin Shotgun" off the new Dopestyle 2CD set
                         The Little Happy/Fool's Pool
(Daly City Records)


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AIRBRUSHING OUT CONTROVERSY

Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2007 01:00pm | Post a Comment
juice tupac
The image to the left is the album cover art from the soundtrack to the film Juice that starred Tupac Shakur as the crazy & wild, revolver-carrying character Bishop (one of a group of Harlem teenagers). At the time of its release in 1992, the film stirred up quite a bit of controversy over said gun in the artwork that was also used in the movie's advertising campaign. I remember back then, as you probably do too, seeing the ad in magazines, on big billboards and also on AC Transit buses driving by. The image was identical to the one at the left with a gun-toting Pac. But soon after, a heated controversy arose over the inclusion of the gun in the movie poster and the artwork was altered, with the gun being airbrushed out of the image altogether.

The whole controversy over the Juice advertising campaign was instigated by reporter Anita Busch at the Hollywood Reporter when she wrote a critical article about Paramount Pictures' advertising campaign for the movie. She wrote that some people feared the ad dipiction would lead to violence around the movie theaters. The article triggered a landslide of bad publicity, which in turn triggered fear, which ultimately led the studios/producers of the juice tupac film to alter the artwork and remove the gun (a revolver) from all movie related materials -- as in the DVD cover art, on the right.  

Among shocked rap fans at the time (myself included), the feeling was that it was a bullshit censorship move, with the real irony being that Hollywood was not airbrushing out guns from other (non rap related) movies. Clearly it came off at the time as a double-standard targeted at black youth and at a genre of music that was prone to controversy. (This was around the time of Ice T's "Cop Killer" and other hot-button controversies.) In fact, just a year earlier Vice President Dan Quayle used his high-profile position to slam Tupac's first album, 2Pacalypse Now: "There is absolutely no reason for a record like this to be published … It has no place in our society," was what Quayle said at the time of the rap album by the former Digital Underground member.

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RAP AND ROCK STARS MORE LIKELY TO DIE PREMATURELY

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2007 09:28am | Post a Comment
Rap & Rock Stars More likely to die Prematurely

You ever notice how everytime you open a paper or read this  AMOEBLOG that it seems that yet another famous celebrity you
grew up listening to has passed on? And how it seems like the
ratio of rockers or rappers compared to regular folk
dropping off the face of the earth is much greater? Well, it
doesn't just appear that way. It is that way. According to a
newly published British based study, according to Reuters,
rap and rock music stars -- "already notorious for their
so-called 'crash and burn' lifestyles really are more likely
than other [regular everyday] people to die before reaching old age."

All of this is proven by the study of more than a thousand mainly British and
American jimi hendrixartists, spanning the time from Elvis Presley's era up until two years ago (the years 1956 to 2005) in which the
study found these musician stars were "two to three times more
likely to suffer a premature death than the general population."
 
The study's results showed that between
1956 and two years ago there
were a hundred deaths among the
1,064 musicians examined by researchers
at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool
John Moores University.



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