Amoeblog

Three Decades Into His Illustrious, Prolific Rap Career: E-40 Prepares To Drop New Two Album Set: "The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2"

Posted by Billyjam, October 5, 2016 04:35pm | Post a Comment

E-40 has enjoyed an illustrious, prolific career (mostly as a solo artist) since embarking on his unique rap career in the latter half of the 1980's with family group MVP who would soon after morph into The Click featuring fellow members B-Legit, D-Shot, and Suga T . And that long-running successful career of the artist / entrepreneur born Earl Stevens (also the name of his popular wine brand) shows no sign of slowing down. On November 18th E-40 will drop his latest solo project: the two album set The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2 (scroll down for complete track listing).
This upcoming E-40 release will unleash over forty new tracks and feature guest spots from such (mostly Cali) collaborators as G-Eazy, Stresmatic, Gucci Mane, Lil B, Nef The Pharaoh, Droop-E, Jay Rock, Kid Ink, B-Legit, Mistah F.A.B., Casey Veggies Husalah, Turf Talk, Ricco Barrino, and Joe Mo. The follow-up to his last two-part release in December 2014: the dual albums Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 1  and Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 2 these upcoming new pair of albums from "Forty Wata" will bring his total number of solo album project releases to 27 albums! Add to that his recordings with The Click such as their now legendary Down and Dirty CD that was re-released by Sony Classics,  and all the compilations he's appeared on plus the countless cameos he's made on so many other artists albums, and you have one mind boggling back catalog! Not bad for an artist who, when he first started out his rap career, was written off by most hip-hop elitists who could not get with his most unusual rapid fire lyrical flow.
 
As for the new album's content E-40 says of his upcoming two-part release, "What's happening at this point in my career defies logic. I still spit the realest and rawest shit of anyone in the rap game right now. The D-Boy Diary will lace the unlaced, will tutor the truant--it's a guidebook for a street life." To be released in regular and DeLuxe versions, the new two-part release will feature the two previously released singles "Slappin'" and "Petty (feat. Kamaiyaha)" in the deluxe version.Like fellow Bay Area rap veteran Too $hort, with whom he's collaborated many times including on the 2012 album History: Mob Music, E-40 defies is another anomaly in the notoriously fickle rap world where careers are lucky to last past a couple of hit albums, the artist displays unusual longevity. While most artists begin their careers with a bang and then trail off, both 40 and $hort somehow continue to beat the odds and get more popular with time. In May of this year for example the RIAA certified his 2015 national hit single "Choices" as a Gold Record. And already the aforementioned single "Slappin' (feat. Nef The Pharaoh and D.R.A.M.)" has garnered over 1.1 million views on its official YouTube channel. See the "Slappin'" video below along with some other classics from E-40's long and illustrious career plus the full track listing for the two new albums. And be sure to pick up the two new E-40 albums when they arrive into Amoeba Music next month on November 18th, 2016.

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1995 African American Youth Town Hall Meeting in San Jose with Youth Speakers, City Officials, guests E-40, JT, & Herm Lewis

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2016 07:45am | Post a Comment



































"Brothas and sistas...The time is now" read a flyer for the February 1995 African American youth town hall meeting in San Jose that was called in response to rising concern within the community over varying issues (see flyer above). Hosted by Davey D (then of KMEL) the town hall meeting, that included city officials and youth speakers, took place at the South Bay city's Emmanuel Baptist Church. The event also featured  Bay Area hip-hop artists E-40, JT The Bigga Figga, and Herm Lewis who were invited as guest speakers. At the time of the event, E-40's single "One Luv" had been out a few weeks. The Vallejo gamespitter's anticipated second solo album, that included the lead single, In a Major Way (Sick WId It/Jive) would drop a few weeks later on March 14th, 1995.  The sequel to 1993's Federal, the new E-40 album would also feature such standout tracks as the second single "Sprinkle Me" featuring his sister Suga T, and Bay Area rap posse track "Dusted 'n' Disgusted" with 2Pac, Mac Mall, and Spice 1 all making cameos.  Meanwhile, JT The Bigga Figga was winding up the recording of his third album, Dwellin' in tha Labb, which he fully produced, that would be released in October of that year on his Get Low Recordz, Priority Records, and Straight Out Tha Labb Entertainment.

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Amoeblog Interview with DJ Fuze on DJ History, Digital Underground, Raw Fusion, 2Pac, Dave Chappelle + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 6, 2016 10:28pm | Post a Comment


Digital Underground was not merely an amazing funk fueled hip-hop crew out of the Bay. They were also the pranksters of hip-hop. D.U. member DJ Fuze recalls what may have been their best public prank from back in the day on a visit to New York City. It was one of the times they played the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem. "Hosted by Mark Curry, during the Amateur Night part, we came out with bags over our heads as The Unknown Rappers. We got booed and Sandman started pulling us away. Then the curtains opened revealing Digital Underground band to a huge applause, followed by a great performance of "Kiss You Back" and later "No Nose Job." We basically beat the Apollo crowd at their own game," Fuze told the Amoeblog recently when we caught up with the longtime Bay Area (East Coast transplant) hip-hop producer and turntable artist.

The Syracuse NY DJ born David Elliot is known for a myriad of associations and projects over the past three decades but most notably for his membership of both Digital Underground and related duo Raw Fusion with fellow D.U. member Money B. In addition to his membership of D.U. and Raw Fusion, Fuze, who is a trained chef as well as turntablist, is also known for his production and performance DJ work with such artists as fellow Bay Area hip-hop acts The Luniz, Dru Down, and comedian Dave Chappelle with whom he has done a ton of shows over the years (since Chappelle left his TV show). Fuze just did 15 shows with Chappelle in Chicago. He opens for him at the Punch Line in SF tomorrow (Jan 7).  Bay Area clubbers know DJ Fuze for his eclectic solo DJ sets including his residency at Oakland's SomaR bar in the Uptown district where he spins African amongst other styles. 

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Remembering San Francisco MC African Identity

Posted by Billyjam, September 16, 2015 02:26pm | Post a Comment

Late last night Pam the Funkstress posted a sad social media update to her Instagram and Facebook pages with the news that fellow veteran Bay Area hip-hop artist African Identity, who rose to fame in the early nineties with his firebrand mic skills and hardcore political hybrid style, had died yesterday, September 15th, 2015. In addition to her update, including noting how she had just seen him in the past month, Pam posted the above photo of the late great artist for whom no cause of death has yet been announced. The Fillmore, San Francisco emcee named Hunafa, but known to most as African Identity and sometimes as just Identity, will be remembered for such releases as Ransom Note and You Won’t Come To My Funeral. By the time his debut album You Won’t Come To My Funeral was released in 1995 the microphone master was already a respected mainstay on the healthy 1990's Bay Area hip-hop scene - ever since arriving with a bang in 1992 with his acclaimed single, “Let’s Get It On (Pullin That Trigger).”
 
 

In the capacities of hip-hop journalist, radio DJ, and concert producer I worked directly with African Identity on numerous occasions throughout the decade of the nineties and always knew him to be both a good person and most talented (albeit largely underrated) artist, especially when it came to flexing his freestyle skills. In the first half of that decade I would have him as a regular guest on my KUSF hip-hop radio show on the USF campus, not far from where he lived. I remember how listeners really appreciated his improv rhyme skills and how they nominated him as the “number 1 Bay Area freestyler" on the now defunct San Francisco radio station. Meantime over at KMEL African Identity had been nominated as the first runner up in their heated Battle Of The Rappers. With a now eerie sounding reference to his own funeral, the San Francisco artist's debut album, You Won't Come to My Funeral, was a largely slept-on, talent-packed Bay Area hip-hop gem. It featured an impressive roster of his peers as guests that included Pam the Funkstress' group The Coup, Del tha Funke Homosapien (who also did some production), the GLP's JT Tha Bigga Figga, and D-Moe, Shock G of Digital Underground, Young Woo, Psycho Gangsta, Double D, Cisco The Frisco Mack, Blackbook, and Screwface. Produced mostly by Nick Peace but with some additional studio work by Del and J-Mack, the album defined both the Bay Area sound at the time as well as that of the artist himself. In the period right before its mid-nineties release he summed up the richly diverse 14 track album as “enlightening, tantalizing, sensational, provocative, political, Afro-centric, Euro-centric, it’s everything that we are....”.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Del Promotes Hieros & Freestyles in Rare January 1993 KUSF Clip

Posted by Billyjam, September 8, 2015 11:45pm | Post a Comment

Inspired by Hiero Day, I just digitized and uploaded this old short interview and freestyle from Del who was the Hiero crew's lead ambassador back then. Del, who also created that instantly identifiable Hiero logo, introduced most hip-hop ears to the Hieros via his 1991 album I Wish My Brother George Was Here single "Mistadobalina" 12" B-side only track "Burnt" that featured members of the then unknown Oakland extended hip-hop crew, the Hieroglyphics. In this January 10th, 1993 interview the Oakland artist born Teren Delvon Jones takes the shine off himself and makes a point of giving mad love to his fellow crew members by plugging the 1993 debut album releases from both the Hieros' Souls of Mischief and Casual. Note that this was at a time when really not too many knew much about the Heiroglyphics hip-hop collective, who they all were, nor ever guessed how important they would go on to become two plus decades later. It was also fitting and prophetic that Del would focus so much on those two fellow Hiero albums by both Casual and the Souls since, combined with his post-cousin Ice Cube produced (read totally different sounding), they would define the sound of the so-called Hiero Golden Age.

Originally aired on KUSF during a blunted hip-hop special I produced, I invited Del because I knew he liked to smoke and he could play some exclusive tracks from his forthcoming second album No Need For Alarm. But more than promoting his own album that was expected to drop in the coming few months (it did not finally get released by Elektra until late November of that year), Del was more interested in talking about the Souls and Casual whose forthcoming releases he was clearly excited about. In mentioning the '93 Souls debut album '93 Til Infinity, he said it would be out in the coming few months when in fact it did not get released for another eight full months in September of 1993. Meanwhile the Casual album would be released in 1993 in turned out. It was not until the following year, 1994, when Jive would release Casual's debut album Fear Itself. In the brief clip you will hear Del, who I introduced as Del tha Funkee Homosapien (note later spelling would be Del the Funky Homosapien), say how his name is Del and "the group is tha Funkee Homosapien." He then goes on to spread Hiero love and spit a great freestyle. Hear below.

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