"Why couldn't I have been the year with Obamacare?"
Oh, 2011! Can it be it’s only been a year since I knew ye? This was a year of firsts: The first time I had a kitten who liked to lick new, clean plastic with an almost fetishistic zeal; the first year I lived in Los Angeles without working the floor at my beloved Amoeba Music Hollywood (I miss you, desperate holiday shoppers!); the first year I grew more than one grey hair at the same time (I blame you, traffic on Fairfax!)
It was also the year I suddenly, and without any obvious explanation, decided I loved and wanted to see any and all films of the horror genre. This came as a surprise to me. My boyfriend accuses me often of only liking films where nothing ever happens – preferably with a lone clock ticking in the corner of an otherwise quiet room. It annoys me when he claims this, mostly because I cannot defend myself.
The horror section in Amoeba Music’s DVD section provided me with many hours of happy judging-a-book-by-its-cover moments. Some gems I was hypnotized by were…
Amoeba Music San Francisco Top FIve 09:06:08
1) Young Jeezy The Recession (Def Jam)
2) The Game LAX (Geffen/Interscope)
3) eLZhi Preface (Fat Beats)
4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots (Million Dollar Dream)
5) Arabian Prince Innovative Life: The Anthology: 1984 - 1989 (Stones Throw)
Thanks to Luis in the hip-hop section at Amoeba Music, San Francisco for this week's Top Five chart. The top slot belongs to the brand new release from Young Jeezy, The Recession, which hit Amoeba shelves on Tuesday this week. This is the third Jeezy album, following 2005's Lets Get It: Thug Motivation 101 and 2006's The Inspiration. Although the title The Recession might imply that the record would be all about the US economy (interest rates/foreclosures etc.), it only very, very briefly tackles the US economy at large. Instead, it concentrates more specifically on hood economics, i.e., drug dealing. Hence, The Recession, over some great beats, is brimming with (yawn) street tales of making cash and selling 'caine and the glorified day-to-day trials and tribulations of a gangsta.
"All I got to my name is two bricks and one felony," raps Atlanta native Jeezy in his famous husky voiced, dirty south flow on the track "Crazy World" -- one of many detailing the struggles of the hustler lifestyle which, personally, I find tired and played out at this stage in the game. I mean is Young Jeezy keeping really real and rapping about his life as it really, or is he just trying to sell the most CDs? Does Jeezy really have to slang drugs on the corner after all his success in the rap music biz? Or is he just fronting by making up these played-out, over-romanticized drug dealing tales, geared for the target gullible white rap consumer? This is music manufactured for the wallet more than from the heart. With that said, I did enjoy most of the production, and also the album's few guests, including NaS, who upstaged his host here. I guess it's not so much the topic of gangsta but more in how an artist retells a story we've heard a million times already.
AMOEBA SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE:
1) GZA Pro Tools (Babygrande Records)
2) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)
3) Messy Marv Cake & Ice Cream (Siccness.net)
4) Ice Cube Raw Footage (Lench Mob)
5) Stacy Epps The Awakening (JapanNubianMuzzik)
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for this week's hip-hop top five album chart. In the number one chart slot is Pro Tools, the latest from Wu-Tang's GZA, aka The Genius. Note that this is the fifth solo release from one of the founding members of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan, who dropped their groundbreaking debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) fifteen long hip-hop years ago.
Although Pro Tools was originally slated to be a compilation overseen by GZA or a "GZA presents WU" type album (and it essentially still is, due to the numerous collaborators) it is officially listed as a GZA solo release. Taking its name from the production software popular with music producers, Pro Tools features many contributing talents, including production from RZA, True Master, Mathematics, Black Milk, Bronze Nazareth, Arabian Knight, and Dreddy Kruger, as well as guest vocal appearances from RZA, Masta Killa, Sean Price, and GZA's son, Young Justice (Kareem), who joins his pops on the tracks "Groundbreaking" and "Cinema." The Pro Tools track that most hip-hop fans have already heard is the advance leaked track, the 50 Cent diss rap, "Paper Plate," which continues the artist's beef with the G-Unit main man.