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Zeke Thomas' "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X Addresses Key Issue of The Day

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Zeke Thomas "Blackness (feat. Chuck D & Jasiri X)" (2015)

If you ever despair that comedy seems to have eclipsed music's once key role as the lead thought-provoking voice, offering insights into the news making social and political issues of the day, Zeke Thomas's vibrant new track "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X will dispell that feeling. The song and its accompanying Charlie Zwick directed video above prove that popular music can still be political and central to the national dialog.  And right now that national dialog seems to be squarely focused on the topic of race in America. It is the also the one addressed by EDM producer Zeke Thomas — the club DJ / producer / son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas on the track "Blackness" whose release could not have been more perfectly timed with its publication over the past week. On "Blackness" Thomas is joined by the always politically outspoken hip-hop voices of veteran rap revolutionary Public Enemy's Chuck D, along with contemporary political rapper (self-described "Raptivist") with some  in-your-face, social commentary. Reportedly it was longtime political activist Harry Belafonte who introduced the Thomas to both Chuck D and Jasiri X. The introduction came from his organization Sankofa that encourages "artists and performers of color to actively create art that may serve as a catalyst for positive cultural evolution" for the single that was released by Tommy Boy. My hope is that Thomas will release a hip-hop mix too. My other hope is that a new wave of political rap like when PE were at their peak 25 + years ago, with powereful outspoken songs like "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos" off the album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (video below), will make a re-emergence in popularity.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Hip Hop Icon Chuck D.

Posted by Amoebite, August 19, 2014 02:49pm | Post a Comment

Chuck D.

Before Tupac, before Notorious B.I.G., before Jay-Z or Lil Wayne, there was Chuck D! In the mid '80s, Chuck D and his group, Public Enemy, signed with the rap label Def Jam. You know, that bedroom record label that discovered little groups like the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and some thrash metal band Public Enemy It Takes a Millionsnamed Slayer. Ring a bell? With Def Jam's support and Chuck D at the helm, Public Enemy championed socially conscious rap music in America. With politically charged albums like It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet  (the latter selling 1 million copies week of release), Public Enemy remains one of the most important rap groups in history. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.18.14: Pre Record Store Day Edition

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2014 11:35am | Post a Comment
      

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 04:18:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy) (also on LP)

2) The Alchemist & Budgie The Good Book (Landspeed)

3) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)

4) Pharoahe Monch  PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media)

5) Awol One & Gel Roc The Cloaks (Abalano Records)

Just in time for Record Store Day (tomorrow April 19th, 2014) is the special twenty year anniversary reissued vinyl version of Nas' classic April 1994 debut albumIllmatic (also on CD with bonus disc) which is this week's number one on the latest hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba store. Meanwhile number two on this brand new chart, thanks to E-Lit for the above video breakdown, is the two-disc 48 track collaborative album from The Alchemist and Budgie The Good Book on Landspeed Records which also arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday (April 15th) and, as E-Lit pointed out, is fueled by gospel samples exclusively. Another new chart entry that E-Lit is feeling a lot is The Cloaks which is the collaborative side project of Awol One and Gel Roc along with producer Awkward plus scratches by super talented DJ D-Styles.
Scroll down to end to peep the music video for the album track "Rule By Secrecy."

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Recap: Record Store Day Press Conference at Amoeba Hollywood with Chuck D, John Densmore & More

Posted by Rachael McGovern, March 20, 2014 05:20pm | Post a Comment

Chuck D and John Densmore at Amoeba Music Hollywood

On Thursday, March 20 Amoeba Hollywood hosted a press conference and roundtable conversation to announce the official list of limited edition releases available exclusively at independent record stores on Record Store Day 2014 (April 19). Download Amoeba's list (.pdf) of Record Store Day titles here.

RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz kicked off the event with representatives from the city of Los Angeles. Angela Babcock, Business Development Specialist for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Tony Arranaga, Communications Director for LA City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, presented Kurtz with official plaques proclaiming April 19 Record Store Day. 

Angela Babcok, Tony Arranga, Michael Kurtz at Amoeba Hollywood

Our special guests for the roundtable included Chuck D, Record Store Day Ambassador for 2014 and co-founder of Public Enemy; John Densmore, founding member of The Doors; Marc Weinstein, co-owner of Amoeba Music; Mark Thompson, owner of Vacation Vinyl; Neil Schield, owner of Origami Vinyl; Julie Edwards of Deap Vally; and Samuel Lopez of Tapioca and the Flea.

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Record Store Day Press Conference Takes Place March 20 at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, March 12, 2014 04:45pm | Post a Comment

record store day logo

Next Thursday, March 20, at 10 a.m., Amoeba Hollywood will host a press conference to announce the list of titles for Record Store Day, which takes place April 19.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be on hand to open the event with a Record Store Day Proclamation. Following will be the announcement of titles and highlights, and a roundtable discussion with rap legend Chuck D, The Doors drummer John Densmore, local record store owners and more special guests.

Chuck D was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year for his work leading the pioneering hip-hop group Public Enemy, helping to make politically and socially conscious lyrics popular in hip-hop. Densmore, also a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, was the drummer for the classic L.A. band The Doors, and he appeared with Doors bandmates Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek in the 2012 documentary RE:GENERATION, which saw Densmore collaborate with electronic music star Skrillex.

A simultaneous RSD event will take place in London March 20, while another event will also take place that day in Nashville. The list of titles that will come out on Record Store Day will also be released the same day on www.recordstoreday.com.

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