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Hollywood Amoebite Monalisa Talks About Hip-Hop, Wu-Tang Clan's Early Days, DJing, and Working at Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, October 21, 2010 04:20am | Post a Comment
Monalisa
If you're a regular shopper at Amoeba Music Hollywood, you may have already had the pleasure of crossing paths with the ever knowledgeable Monalisa. Maybe she helped you track down a rare hip-hop record or locate some soul CD you've been seeking for a while. Perhaps you sought her advice at the vast SoCal store's information desk and she ended up turning you on to some music or artist that you had never heard of but are now a converted fan of. Amoebite Monalisa has been an amazing asset to the Hollywood store since she began working there sixteen months ago. She's brought with her a vast knowledge of music -- from classic soul & golden era hip-hop up to contemporary hip-hop, to rock, jazz, funk, and more -- all accumulated over two intense decades of being deeply embedded in the music world as diehard fan/collector, DJ, and putting in countless hours working behind the scenes at important hip-hop record labels such as Loud, Delicious Vinyl, and Wild Pitch during their 1990's heyday.

While taking a break from work at Amoeba one day recently I caught up with Monalisa to ask her about her music history, about working with the Wu-Tang Clan in their formative days, what some of her all time favorite records are, and what she likes about working at Amoeba Music, among other things. "The first thing, of course, that I like about working at Amoeba is the music -- the musical atmosphere and all aspects of it," she said. "I like interacting with people and finding out what music they are into and helping them find the music that they are looking for." As for her history in the music industry, she informed me that she worked in the music biz "for about fifteen years. I worked at a lot of record labels over the years -- Loud, Wild Pitch, Delicious Vinyl, PMP [a subsidary of Loud Records], A&M, to name a few, and I held several positions, from local retail manager to street team coordinator. I also did national college and commercial/mixshow promotion and national street team accounts for corporations, clothing companies and entertainment firms." This included setting up her own independent promotions and marketing business to facilitate music and sports related "lifestyle marketing" projects, she said.

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BILLY JAM'S HIP-HOP ROUND UP OF THE WEEK: FROM A to Z-MAN

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2008 06:30am | Post a Comment

Super unique & talented, albeit generally slept-on, longtime San Francisco emcee  Z-Man flew out to New York City last week to do a couple of gigs including opening for the Alkaholiks at the Knitting Factory last Thursday (4/10) when the Gurp City former 99th Demention emcee, down with the Hieros, totally wrecked it on the mic (pictured left), much to the delight of the numerous San Fran transplants in the NYC audience that night, proudly representing in their SF Giants gear (no doubt they showed up to see both Z-Man and the other SF rapper on the bill Starski who is on the current LIKS tour).

 Z-Man, as well as pleasing fans, managed to convert many East Coast-ers unfamiliar to Z-Dazzle's fluency in the Bay Area spun Gurp City** slanguage (word billy) for a tight set that included his song "OJ Simpson & Courtney Love."  A great set, with DJ Thanksgiving Brown ably backing up the MC, from a true lyrical talent who I rate up there with E40 and the late Mac Dre when it comes to being a truly creative wordsmith, creating new words and always telling stories in a most engaging way -- a far cry from the usual tired clichés that pass as rap/hop-hop these days. For proof, pick up his CD "Dope or Dog Food" (Refill/Hiero - 2002) or any of the other releases of his available at Amoeba including his "Z-Mutiny" 12" vinyl release.  Z-Man never disappoints.

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