Oakland based hip-hop crew Zion I's sole remaining member Zumbi has been keeping busy, performing and recording as Zion I ever since his longtime musical partner/co-founder Amp Live quit the group a year ago. Next week on January 28th, Zion I performs at the Federal Underground in Long Beach on a bill with 2Mex and Crimewave 5150. On a separate bill a week later, Amp Live performs on February 4th with Vokab Company. When he split Zion I a year ago, he said it was to focus more on his solo work and the increasing number of outside projects he is undertaking. One of these is the new project Unified Highway. Unified Highway is the collaboration project of Amp Live and Rebelution founding member Eric Rachmany. As producer, Amp Live gracefully fuses the reggae vibes Rachmany brings with electronic and other flavors, creating a fresh new sound. Unified Highway's self-titled full-length vinyl release will be dropping in March.
Zion I fans will be happy to know that one of the album's many guests is Zumbi. He returns on a track with The Grouch, recalling the popular Heroes in the City of Dope 2006 collaboration between Zion I and The Grouch. Among the other forthcoming album guests are Busy Signal, Keznamdi, New Kingston, Shana Halligan, Garrett Douglas, and Sophia Scott.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 08:08:14
1) Amp Live Headphone Concerto ( Plug Research Music)
2) Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty (SubPop)
3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)
4) Has Lo & Castle Live Like You're Dead (Mello Music Group)
5) BPos Positive Beings (One League Entertainment)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's top five chart plus his nice comprehensive run-down (see video above) of all the new and recent hip-hop arrivals at the East Bay store - in both CD and vinyl formats. These include Armand Hammer's vinyl only Furtive Movements (Backwoodz Studioz), the brand new collaboration between Philadelphia emcee MarQ Spekt and prolific New York City producer Blockhead - JustPlayWitIt on HiPNOTT Records, and Anticon label co-founder/member Alias' new full-length Pitch Black Prism featuring fellow Anticon co-founder/former Amoebite DoseOne as guest emcee on the track "Crimson Across It." Other new arrivals include the limited edition vinyl (only 300 pressed up) House Shoes and Street Corner Music Presents: T-White The Gift Vol. 5!, and Washington DC beatmaster Damu the Fudgemunk's Public Assembly CD care of Redefinition Records and Fat Beats that was initially intended as a limited edition vinyl only release for the 2014 WFMU Record Fair. The other new / recent releases that made the top five chart entries this week
(recent Amoeba San Francisco instore performers) Shabazz Palaces' pioneering new album Lese Majesty (again on SubPop), Madlib's Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD c/o Madlib Invasion that is also available in single volumes on vinyl (Rock Konducta Vol. 1 LP and Rock Konducta Vol. 2 LP), and the latest from the unstoppable Mello Music Group; Has Lo & Castle's Live Like You're Dead. The other two top five entries are both Bay Area (Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba San Francisco have long been highly supportive of homegrown talent): San Francisco crew BPos's latest Positive Beings on One League Entertainment that will be featured in detail in a soon to be published feature here on the Amoeblog, and the newest release from Zion I producer Amp Live: Headphone Concerto on Plug Research Music. As he proved long ago on such productions as Rainydayz Remixes project, on which remixed Radiohead's 2008 album In Rainbows (totally reworking it and adding in such artists as Too $hort, Del, and Zion I mate Zumba, Amp Live has always musically been beyond hip-hop. And this album - his first for Plug Research - while it is hip-hop at its base still further pushes the envelope more beyond hip-hop into such other musical terrain as soul, pop, and electronic on such tracks as the cello intro'ed, pop hit sounding "Penny Nickel and Dime" featuring Anya and Prof (see video below which demonstrates the message of the song - about the influence and power of the almighty dollar).
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:23:11
1) The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Watch The Throne (Def Jam)
2) Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV (Cash Money/Universal)
3) The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West) Watch the Throne - Deluxe
4) Lil Wayne Tha Carter IV Deluxe (Cash Money/Universal)
5) Blu & Exile Below The Heavens (Sound In Color)
This week's hip-hop five chart from the Amoeba Hollywood store proves that the big names (Weezy, Kanye, & Jay-Z) are holding their own with both Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV and Jay-Z & Kanye West's Watch The Throne both still holding down top slots in not just the regular CD versions but also the Deluxe versions of each release.
Speaking of Lil Wayne, the artist who was recently incarcerated at Rikers for 8 months, does not seem to have lost any momentum at all in his ever rising career. The latest achievement for Weezy is being placed in the 2012 Guinness Book Of World Records for having the most US Hot 100 hits. Over the past decade the artist has had an astounding 60+ tracks that entered the Hot 100 chart. This will not be the rapper's first time in the Guinness Book Of World Records. He previously got inducted for having the most “likes” on Facebook in one 24 hour period. Also charting on the Top Five this week at the Los Angeles store is Blu & Exile's sleeper hit Below The Heavens.
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:18:10
1) Chali 2na Fishmarket Part 2 (Decon Records)
2) Amp Live Murder at the Discotech (Child's Play Records/OM)
3) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)
4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era (The Artist Records)
5) Messy Marv Millionaire Gangsta (Prominent House Records)
Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, which features lots of West Coast flava (including SoCal's Chali 2na) and a bit of the Dirty South from the Canadian born, former kids TV show (Degrassi) star turned Cash Money Records (and Lil Wayne protege) rap sensation Drake (who did a good job at the recent VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South) with his highly anticipated full length rap/RnB debut Thank Me Later on Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint through Cash Money/Universal. The Bay Area is well represented with the latest from the ever prolific Messy Marv (Millionaire Gangsta on Prominent House Records), the new joint from popular rapper The Jacka teaming up with Lee Majors (The Gobots 2 D-Boy Era on The Artist Records), plus the anticipated release from Amp Live, Murder at the Discotech on Child's Play Records/OM Hip-Hop.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:26:10
1) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) (Interscope)
2) Souls Of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label Records)
3) Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic, Vol. 1 (Barak Records)
4) Ludacris Battle Of The Sexes (DTP Recordings/Def Jam)
5) Wu Tang Clan Wu-Tang Meet the Indie Culture, Vol. 2 (Enter The Dub Step)
Somehow the phenomenally popular Black Eyed Peas' (BEP) current singles-driven album The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) on Interscope continues to sell well everywhere, including at Amoeba Berkeley where it returns to the number one slot (based on sales) a full nine and a half months after its initial release date. The album's continual slew of hit singles of course helps the BEP stay on top, combined with such other factors as their successful ongoing world tour which arrives in California next week with two shows in LA at the Staples Center (March 29 & 30) and one show in San Jose at the HP Pavilion next Friday (April 2nd). On April 3rd they play San Diego's Sports Arena and on April 7th they play ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Additionally, on Tuesday of next week the group's tour movie The Black Eyed Peas: The E.N.D. World Tour arrives in movie theaters on 500 screens. No doubt this will only further fuel their popularity. For more BEP tour and event info click here.
Inti, who supplied this week's Amoeba Music Berkeley hip-hop chart, reports that a lot of older hip-hop albums never seem to go out of style with customers and that Pete Rock & CL Smooth's 1992 album Mecca And The Soul Brother is one of those classic hip-hop albums that people continue to buy as if it was a new release. As for Inti's favorite recent releases? He says he is feeling a lot of the instrumental hip-hop coming out lately including Mike Slott's Lucky 9teen that was released on the LuckyMe label three months ago.