Killer Mike, seen above with the Vermont senator whom he endorsed and has done a series of appearances and interviews with, may be the most visible hip-hop supporter of Democratic presidential runner Bernie Sanders. But the politically and socially conscious Run The Jewels emcee is not alone when it comes to hip-hop (and rock) artists who have shown support for the 74-year-old Vermont senator whose polls routinely show a large following among both young and minority voters. No wonder since Sanders routinely addresses topics that directly effect or at loudly resonate with the members of these oft ignored demographics. These include slashing the escalating high cost of college tuition, demilitarizing police departments across the US, remedying the uneven ratio of young black and Latino men incarcerated, rescheduling weed from a class A drug, and going after the (currently) entitled so-called 1% by making Wall Street accountable for its central role in the 2008 financial crash.
Other hip-hop artists to publicly put support behind Bernie include Berkeley's Lil B (The BasedGod), Stretch Armstrong, and Z-Trip, who 8 years ago had endorsed Barack Obama, doing some speech remixes and teaming up with Shepard Fairey (another Bernie supporter). Scarface of Geto Boys fame believes in Bernie as does fellow Southern rap pioneer Bun B of UGK (RIP Pimp C). The Trill creator told the Miami New Times this week that Sanders gets his endorsement for being transparent. Some note Sanders' track record dating back to his college days when he fought for housing equality in Chicago.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week End 11:22:13
1) Bun B Trill O.G.: The Epilogue (Rap-A-Lot)
2) Latyrx The Second Album (Latrymid)
3) Jel Late Pass (Anticon)
4) The Godfathers Once Upon A Crime (Psycho & Logical)
5) Death Grips No Love Deep Web (Universal)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the above latest top five chart and accompanying video of the hip-hop fan/KALX DJ/Amoeba hip-hop buyer running down the latest batch of new/recent hip-hop arrivals (CD and vinyl) into the Telegraph Avenue store where things, in terms of new 2013 releases, are slowing down to a halt now as we rapidly approach the end of the year / holiday season when traditionally only major labels release new albums while most labels wait until the new year to drop new releases if not already out by now. Of this week's new chart entries and new releases included are the return in stock of Denmark Vessey & Scud One's Cult Classics, Anticon co-founder and member of numerous groups and collabs including Themselves, and Subtle, Jel's excellent new solo album Late Pass, and Latyrx's The Second Album (read the Amoeblog interview with Lateef and Lyrics Born I did earlier this week). Also charting this week at Amoeba are The Godfathers (not the 90's UK rock outfit of same name) - the unlikely duo of Kool G. Rap and Necro who just dropped Once Upon A Crime via Psycho & Logical, and Sacramento's in-your-face hardcore, noise-making, hip-hoppers Death Grips with their brand new No Love Deep Web album. Below is a new video from the talented pair - albeit from the also recently released Government Plates for the song "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for."
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:13:10
1) Exile Am/Fm (Traffic)
2) Bun B Trill O.G. (Rap A Lot)
3) Slum Village Villa Manifesto (E1 Entertainment)
4) Trek Life Everything Changed Nothing (Mello Music)
5) Messy Marv Thizz City (SMC)
In continuing the theme of his wonderful solo release from last year, Radio, Exile delivers this week's number one album at Amoeba, the brand new AM/FM, which is actually culled from that 2009 release. By reworking and remixing elements of Radio the talented Los Angeles producer born Aleksander Manfredi, who many came to know as one half of the emcee/producer duo of Blu & Exile, has crafted a whole new twenty one track album. In fact some of the tracks on AM/FM sound completely new with nary a trace of the earlier album's sound to them. And while Radio was more of an instrumental album (with the occasional vocal sample off the radio) showcasing Exile's studio chops with little other distraction, AM/FM shines more light on the mic wreckers. These include many of his compadres such as Blu (check out a track featuring Blu, "Love Line," below), Alchemist, The Grouch & Eligh, Evidence, and Aloe Blacc (with whom he formed his first group, Emanon). Standout tracks include the the Shafiq Husayn remix of "It's Coming Down," "Mega Mix" featuring Fashawn, Big Tone, and ADaD, and the DJ Day remix of "In Love." In addition to AM/FM, I would recommend tracking down both Radio and Exile's 2006 album Dirty Science.
AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD
HIP-HOP TOP FIVE (6.5.08)
Then What Happened? (BBE)
When Life Gives You Lemons, You
Turn That Shit Into Gold (Rhymesayers)
3) Gnarls Barkley
The Odd Couple (Atlantic)
Fight With Tools (Universal Republic)
5) Lil Wayne
Lil Weezy-Ana Vol. 1 (Noiseland)
If ever a hip-hop release deserved to do well it is the highly recommended new J-Live album, Then What Happened? on BBE, which is this week's number one release on the Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart (thanks Marques Newson). The album, the artist's fourth and featuring some guest shots including Chali 2na and Posdanous, is also doing well this week at the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoeba Music stores.
What is most amazing about this under-appreciated hip-hop artist is that he is not just a great emcee but he is also a gifted producer and DJ. See the clip of him above, live in Amsterdam, simultaneously rapping on the mic and cutting up on the ones and twos. Impressive stuff! J-Live's rich style is both respectful and inspired by the genre's golden-era past while still sounding new and pushing forward. Just back from some shows in Europe, he currently is in Atlanta, with East Coast shows lined up but unfortunately no Cali dates locked down in the immediate future. You can expect an Amoeblog interview with J-Live sometime over the next couple of weeks.