1) DJ Qbert - Extraterrestria + GalaXXXian (Galactic Butt Hair Records)
Although only released digitally in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter campaign (vinyl to arrive at Amoeba in 2015), this instrumental album (Extraresstria) and its rap/emcee counterpart album (GalaXXXian) rate as my top pick(s) for the best hip-hop released in 2014. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking so; Extraterrestia is up for a possible Grammy award. The stated goal of DJ Qbert's new album, which the artist considers as a Wave Twisters Part II, is to present the sound of skratch music in the future as he sees it, or - as he said upon the release of the new project - "the time capsule response and interstellar transmission to any galactic civilization, alien or far-future human." The "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables" ably accomplishes both solo as producer/DJ as well as with such album collaborators as Kool Keith, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Dana Leong, and Chad Hugo, who (along with Tipsy) co-produce the album's best track - the soothing, dreamy, ethereal "Ascender (Agartha)."
Hip-Hop Top Ten 10:17:2014
1) Homeboy Sandman Hallways (Stones Throw)
2) Dilated Peoples Directors Of Photography (Rhymesayers)
3) Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark self titled (Delicious Vinyl)
4) Souls of Mischief There Is Only Now (Linear Labs)
5) Busdriver Perfect Hair (also in LP format) (Big Dada)
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:12:14
1) Jeezy Seen It All: The Autobiography (Def Jam)
2) Wiz Khalifa Blacc Hollywood [Deluxe Edition] (Atlantic)
3) Dilated Peoples Directors of Photography (Rhymesayers)
4) Madlib Rock Konducta (Madlib Invazion)
5) Childish Gambino Because The Internet (Glassnote)
Southern rap icon Young Jeezy who is now known as simply Jeezy went straight to the number slot on the latest Amoeba Hollywood hip-hop chart, as well as on the latest Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with his brand new twelve track Def Jam release Seen It All: The Autobiography. Also released in a Deluxe CD version, that sports three bonus tracks, the album finds the rapper serving up more of his self-described "diarrhea flow." Jay-Z, who joins Jeezy on the lead single track "Seen It All," is among the several guests who collaborate on Seen It All. The others include Rick Ross, Akon, Game, Lil Boosie, and Future. The music video for the album track "Me Ok" appears down below, as does the music video for "KK" featuring Project Pat and Juicy J by weed fan Wiz Khalifa off his new joint Blacc Hollywood [Deluxe] on Atlantic that is this week's number two chart entry. Along with Madlib's Rock Konducta and Childish Gambino's Because The Internet, the other chart entry this week is the highly recommended new Dilated Peoples album Directors of Photography which is not just a five-star album (not one bad song on here) but is also nicely packaged with a whole set of polaroid like pictures with info on the back of each. Also below is the just produced video for the current L'orange album track "I Need You (feat. Blu)" Other videos below include the brand new ones from new group Band of Broken Puppets' (Azeem + Ancient Astronauts) fun rocking track "When Bruce Willis Had Hair," and Oakland's now major label duo Los Rakas ("We Dem Rakas (Hola)"). Speaking of Bay Area based artists and new music videos San Francisco rap crew BPos will be shooting their new video for "Party Mardigra" tomorrow, Saturday September 13th at 8pm, at the corner of Ashby and California (one block up from Sacramento) in Berkeley. It is also a potluck BBQ - or rather a "Pos Luck" BBQ so bring some eats to throw on the grill. Also happening in the Bay tomorrow is a tribute concert to late great Cougnut - the much beloved old school local rapper who tragically was killed in a car accident thirteen years ago on his way home from a fishing weekend. The memorial concert party will include performances from Equipto, Michael Marshall, Cellski, Black C, Baldhead Rick, Shag Nasty, and TC. 9pm at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco. $10. 18+ More info.
BPos "Higher" from Positive Beings (One League Entertainment, 2014)
Bay Area hip-hop crew BPos live up to their name of BPos [be positive] with their latest release Positive Beings which has been selling well at the two Bay Area Amoeba stores since its recent release. The new album, whose theme is all about choosing the positive path in life and working towards living life a positive human being -rather than a negative one. It is the expanding San Francisco based hip-hop's crew (now five members strong) fifth full-length release, featuring new member female rapper/vocalist Gyrl Ab'Strakt.
Their strongest to date it is once again released via their own indie label One League Entertainment. Positive Beings is BPos' first ablum in two years and the first release since their critically acclaimed Pos Tapes: The Album. In addition to its overriding theme of positivity that the album delivers the new release is also constructed like a radio broadcast from a fictional station with mic breaks (drops) throughout from longtime Bay Area hip-hop DJs like Kevvy Kev and this Amoeblogger. The group say that anyone who even casually listens to their new album, which since its recent release has also been garnering airplay across the country, will hear its message loud and clear- that "We are all positive beings." This week I caught up with the BPos' Goodword to have him give the Amoeblog some more insights into his group's latest release that includes a hidden track featuring none other than Masta Ace and others.
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Chart Week Ending 11:29:13
1) Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Interscope)
2) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
3) Dom Kennedy Get Home Safely (The Other Peoples Money Co.)
4) Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city (Aftermath)
5) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings)
This week's hip-hop top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store confirms something that I had mentioned in my recent year end/best of 2013 in hip-hop Amoeblog about how several 2012 releases, most notably Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city album that originally dropped 13 months ago back in October of last year, have been carrying over and keep re-charting this year due to a steady continued interest in these popular albums. Other chart entries this week include other albums that likely will have long shelf lives too such as, the current number one on both the Billboard albums chart and at Amoeba, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP2, and Drake's Nothing Was The Same. The other two chart entries are the Dan The Automator produced Deltron 3030 Event II that also comes in an instrumental version and Dom Kennedy Get Home Safely which is doing real well at the LA emcee's hometown Amoeba branch. The album from the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles raised artist, who since he started out just five years ago with his first mixtape (25th Hour) has steadily risen in popularity and demand (by fans and other artists who want to collaborate with him) is truly the feel-good rap recording of the year and proof that we will be hearing a lot more from Dom Kennedy in 2014 and beyond. Other recent hip-hop releases at Amoeba that have been in demand include Greenhouse (Blueprint & Illogic)'s Bend But Don't Break on Weightless Recordings, the dope Stones Throw Records "rap" release from Jon Wayne Rap Album One, and Anticon co-founder/producer/MC Jel's Late Pass on Anticon.