Amoeblog

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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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 06.20.14: Roots, MURSDAY!, Sage Francis, Open Mike Eagle, Clipping, Radioinactive, Sapient, 50 Cent

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2014 09:09am | Post a Comment
      
 

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 06:20:14

1) !MAYDAY x MURS Mursday! (Strange Music, Inc.)

2) Open Mike Eagle Dark Comedy (Mello Music)

3) Sage Francis Copper Gone (Strange Famous)

4) Blu & Nottz Gods in the Spirit (Coalmine)

5) Madlib Pinata Beats (Madlib Invazion)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for the above top five chart and video breakdown of all the new and recent arrivals in the hip-hop department of the East Bay Amoeba store for which this week's special Video Version of the Hip-Hop Rap Up I've assembled the corresponding (or as many possible) of the top five albums plus other new releases referenced by E-Lit including MURSDAY!, Open Mike Eagle, Sage Francis, Radioinactive, Sapient, and clipping. (the new SubPop release). Also included below in video format are two other current Amoeba Music hot sellers: the video for the title track off 50 Cent's Animal Ambition (G-Unit), and some great video footage from last month in NYC at the Public Theater during the release concert party for The Roots' ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam) which is also available in LP.  Watch and enjoy and visit either one of the three Amoeba Music retail stores or the Amoeba online store to buy this music.


MAYDAY! vs MURS "Here" (2014)

Wu-Tang Clan's $5 Million Album Personifies Music Industry's Unpredictable, Ever Shifting New Business Model

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2014 02:37pm | Post a Comment
"Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin ta fuck with" - those famous well-worn, two-decade old Wu-Tang Clan lyrics are proving to be most accurate with the latest news on the Staten Island (aka Shaolin) hip-hop crew who last week announced that for their next album (The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) that they would only be manufacturing one single (physical) copy of the album.

That sole physical LP copy, to be released in addition to the later unlimited digital download version of this brand new album that was recorded in secrecy, would be auctioned off for what they hoped would be a final bid of a million dollars or more. The 31-track, 120 minute album will be a double vinyl set and reportedly packaged in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by British-Moroccan artist Yahya. Most intriguing is the ambitious figure of a million dollars or more that the group said they hoped to get. That was last week and I thought it was outlandish and unrealistic amount of money that in no way would they ever get. But I was wrong - very wrong.

As reported by Billboard magazine yesterday the Wu got offered a lot more than one million dollars. "Offers came in at $2 million, somebody offered $5 million yesterday," the group's RZA told the music magazine. "So far, $5 million is the biggest number," he continued. "I don't know how to measure it, but it gives us an idea that what we're doing is being understood by some. And there are some good peers of mine also, who are very high-ranking in the film business and the music business, sending me a lot of good will. It's been real positive." Real positive is an understatement. That's absolutely incredible and a hell of a lot more money (provided this is not some hoax) than the Wu-Tang would ever make from selling an album via the traditional channels of releasing it via a major label like RCA who distributed Loud Records - their original label on which they released their hip-hop classic, 1993 landmark debut Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #21: Deep Cuts Record Store/Barber Shop, The Return of NY Hip-Hop, V-Day in NYC, Concerts + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2013 04:02pm | Post a Comment


In this week's New York State of Mind Amoeblog is a preview from the forthcoming XXL magazine on the return of New York hip-hop, a review of a unique new record store/barber shop  Deep Cuts at the Silent Barn in Bushwick Brooklyn, plus a novel, budget conscious, way to celebrating Valentines Day in New York City, as well as a righteous rewarding way to participate in V-Day's  One Billion Rising in NYC,  plus concerts picks and happenings for the week ahead.

Concerts include gospel great Mavis Staples (pictured right) on Feb. 14th as part of the American Songbook series in the Allen Room, Jazz At Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall at Broadway at 62th Street. 8pm show. More info 212 721-6500 and at AmercianSongbook. Also on Feb 14th (Valentine's Day) soul singer Freddie Jackson plays BB King's on 42nd Street in the Times Square area. More info. On Friday, Feb 15th heavy metal masters Meshuggah headline a bill at Roseland Ballroom on W 52nd near 8th Avenue with both Animals As Leaders and Intronaut opening. Tickets and info. Big Head Todd & The Monsters play Irving Plaza on Saturday, Feb 16th. More info. Longtime homegrown hip-hop acts M.O.P. and Smif-N-Wessun, both from Brooklyn, team up to play a show at the Highline Ballroom at 431 West 16th Street in the Chelsea district on Sunday Feb 17th. More info.
On Friday and Saturday (Feb 15 & 16) in celebration of Black History Month 2013 Reg E Gaines will present three performances of his multimedia one-man show The Last Celebrity  which is billed as a "non-linear look at Reg’s accidental brush with fame and his journey from obscure street poet to writer of the Tony Award winning musical, Bring in da Noise/Bring in da Funk." For each of his three performances (two on Saturday and one on Friday) he will have a different opening act. For the 7pm Friday show NJ to the Bay to NY artist Azeem will do a performance of his acclaimed one man show Rude. Technically it is not a New York event since it happens across the river over in Jersey City at Art House Productions at 1 McWilliams Place. But Jersey City is only a five minute PATH train ride from WTC station in Lower Manhattan. Tickets are $10 and you can buy them here.

"New York is back" - that's the word according to New York City based Harris Publications hip-hop magazine XXL who, in celebration of this proclamation, feature on the cover of their brand new (March/April) issue both Harlem’s A$AP Rocky and The Bronx’s French Montana in both solo covers and the joint cover (left). These two newcomer NYC rap stars, "are sure to be two of 2013’s most celebrated MCs" write XXL's editors. A$AP Rocky’s debut album (as distinct from his mixtapes), LONG.LIVE.A$AP, debuted at No. 1 on the Amoeba chart and on Billboard 200 upon its release last month. Meanwhile fellow NY rapper French Montana's debut disc, Excuse My French, will drop on April 16th and is expected to do extremely well. In the new XXL issue, which hits stands nationwide on February 19th, both artists give intimate in-depth interviews with Rocky talking about such things as his former drug dealing days and the recent death of his father, and Montana discussing such things as his relationship with 50 Cent and his feelings on that almost deadly day he was shot in the head.

For its 14 Year Anniversary, New York Hip-Hop Radio Institution WNYU's The Halftime Show Will Not Feature Live Guests. Instead, They Take it Back to the Pay-Your-Dues School

Posted by Billyjam, March 7, 2012 05:33am | Post a Comment
For its fourteen year anniversary show tonight at 10:30PM (7:30PM Cali time) on NYU college radio station WNYU (heard in NYC at 89.1FM on the radio dial and all over streaming online at wnyu.org) the much loved & respected New York hip-hop radio institution The Halftime Show will break tradition and not have any live guests come through the studios to freestyle. Why? Because the quality is not that good anymore. So instead it will present previously recorded material from its deep archives of 14 years of weekly shows. 14 Years of Rap is how tonight's special is being billed by the show's main producer DJ Eclipse; but the show will draw mainly from its earliest years - circa the late 90's - a time when hip-hop was in a whole other state of mind & creativity. Artists' live on-air sets to be played back tonight will include Redman, Cage, Hieroglyphics, Method Man, A.G., Dilated Peoples, Talib Kweli, and many many more (see flyer down end for full listing). It should be top notch quality stuff too since the respected radio show, when it began in 1998, essentially carried on the baton - in New York City underground hip-hop radio terms - from Stretch & Bobbito who did their legendary NYC radio show from 1990 to 1998 on uptown Columbia University college station WKCR.
 
"Usually for the anniversary shows on Halftime Show we have two or three producers come up with beat machines. We have about thirty MCs come through and we have a couple of DJs come through and they all do like live stuff because to me that's when radio's at its best - when you don't know what you are going to get. But this year I decided to reflect on the earlier years of the show and I'm going back to the first two or three years of the show and pulling old freestyles from some of  the acts that came through in those first years," DJ Eclipse told me recently when I stopped by his Queens NY record filled home. The veteran hip-hop DJ, who is a member of Non Phixion, and a longtime hip-hop industry insider, who has worked for Fat Beats NYC and before that Wild Pitch Records, has been with the radio show from day one with an evolving crew of fellow radio show producers/DJs including DJ Riz, Lynn Gonzalez, and DJ Skizz to name but a few.

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