Amoeblog

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:22:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2009 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:22:09
eminem
1) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

2) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)

3 Busta Rhymes Back On My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown)

4) Tanya Morgan Brooklynati (Interdependent Media)

5)  DOOM Born Like This (Lex Records)

Released this week, Relapse, the sixth studio album from Eminem, went straight to number one on the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop chart. And most likely this anticipated album from Slim Shady, produced by Dr Dre, willl also top most other charts this week, including Billboard's. Even though many critics have already panned the album, most saying that the once controversial Em is now attempting to stilll sound shocking and merely duplicating his old formula with a twist of Reggaton, most music fans are hungry for, or at least curious to hear what Eminem Version 2009 is all about. After all, it is the artist's first new album in five long rap years -- since he dropped Encore in 2004 -- which is a virtual eternity in the ever shapeshifting hip-hop genre. Typically, fickle rap fans move on but Eminem ain't no ordinary rapper and a lot of people want to see/hear what's new with the artist who withdrew himself from the world and became dependent on prescription drugs. 

In true Eminem tradition, his personal life -- in this case his openly admitted addiction to prescription drugs and some other issues, including, of course, his mother -- is fuel (fodder?) for his art. And drugs are certainly a prominent theme on Relapse, and not just the repeated lyrical references. The album cover spelling of the name Relapse cleverly utilizes the "Rx" symbol as used in prescriptions (Dr. Dre, naturally, is the prescribing doctor), while the cover art illustration of the artirt's head (above) is mademethodman redman up by a mosaic of thousands of pills.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 01:15:09

Posted by Billyjam, January 15, 2009 07:44pm | Post a Comment

The new year is already off to a good start with lots of exciting brand new material dropping, or about to drop, such as P.O.S. (the unique Minneapolis Rhymesayers' emcee with the punk rock past), who will be releasing his anticipated new album Never Better on Rhymesayers Entertainment in two weeks (in Amoeba Music on Feb 3rd). I have only heard snippets off of the album so far, but they sound as good as I expected. The record was reportedly entirely written by P.O.S. while in a moving car and hence, I am told, it conjures "get-away cars, racing chariots, the pursuit of sirens, and the occasional rueful nighttime drive."  I believe it based on his powerful past output.

P.O.S.'s last album, 2006's Audition, also on Rhymesayers, was one of the most innovative hip-hop albums of that year and perfectly melded the urgent energy and sonic assault of my two favorite genres, hip-hop and punk rock. Not too surprisingly, then, P.O.S. (or Stef, as they call him at the dinner table) has been invited on the Vans Warped Tour in the past, and will be on the road once again this summer for the 2009 Warped Tour. He is always a crowd favorite.

In the meantime the artist will be doing his own national solo tour starting next month in support of Never Better, with Cali dates in the first week of the tour, including a show at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill on Monday, Feb 9th and the following night, Tuesday, Feb 10th, in LA at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. Expect an Amoeblog interview with the artist that same week. Scroll down to end of article to hear Never Better's first single, "Goodbye."

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Hip-Hop Author Marcus Reeves Discusses "Somebody Scream! Rap Music's RIse To Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power"

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2008 12:24pm | Post a Comment
Marcus Reeves ("Someboday Scream!" author)
Marcus Reeves
, former editor of the the Source hip-hop magazine and contributor to such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and Vibe magazine, recently had his book Somebody Scream! (Rap Music's Rise To Prominence In The Aftershock of Black Power published by Faber and Faber Inc.

Like Jeff Chang's critically acclaimed hip-hop history Can't Stop Won't Stop, Somebody Scream likewise takes an analytical look at hip-hop -- a musical form that, like rock before it, is now all grown up and going through its own kind of mid-life crisis. Cornel West called Reeves' book "a strong  timely book for the new day in hip-hop" and he is right.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the East Coast based author to talk about his new book, Somebody Scream,  and its subject matter: hip-hop. Here is that dialog:

Amoeblog
: First up, how hard is it writing a book on a topic that is still unfolding around you as you report on its subject matter?

Marcus Reeves: Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to write because before I even started I had a beginning, a middle and an end. I’d already picked out who were the most influential rap artists—the ones who lead their particular era—strung their stories together by chapter and let the narrative unfold.Marcus Reeve's book "Somebody Scream!" And the narrative was easy because, like so many who’d watched the story of commercial rap over the last 30 years, it was also the story of my life. All the history and events that the music reflected, and I talk about in the book, were things I lived through and impacted my life. The last chapter of the book, which discusses what events shape the music now, helped capture all those moments that were still unfolding.

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4AM CRITIQUES PUBLIC'S FASCINATION WITH DECEASED POP STARS

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2008 01:49pm | Post a Comment

 
You know, James Dean is dead.
But don't worry or get upset or anything, He's been dead for a long time
But a week after he died he received more fan-mail than any other living American actor,
Which is weird right?  'cause he's dead, he's not gonna read that shit
But still, people felt inclined to write him

I think that's the first sign about what's happening with the entertainment industry today,
Especially with music:
I mean, you're gonna make more money dead, have more fame dead
And more people are going to hear your message dead, than ever would've alive. And that's weird

I mean, no one cared about Nick Drake until they put his song in that Volkswagen commercial and now everyone loves Nick Drake...
He died, man, he died poor and alone and no one gave a crap.
2Pac, Biggie, sure they were big in their lifetime but how many albums did they put out after they died...? Man that's fucked up!

Stop messing with peoples legacies like that!
Stop jumping on the bandwagon the second somebody dies and then make a movie about them.
Go out and find that music right now 'cause there are people out there right now working, living, and creating to help make this world a better place and if we don't help them now, or wait until after they're dead, what point is there to being an artist? What point, what point is there?

 Stop doin' that shit, stop ridin' shotgun for the industry and jump in the car with us cause we're going to Weinerschnitzel, then maybe later we can have some muffinz

         
- 4AM from the track "Ridin Shotgun" off the new Dopestyle 2CD set
                         The Little Happy/Fool's Pool
(Daly City Records)


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