Amoeblog

sOuL, Woodstock, and Headnodic Team Up To Pay Tribute To Gil Scott-Heron

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2013 09:00am | Post a Comment
         

Oakland emcee sOul recently teamed up with fellow Oaklanders Crown City Rockers members Woodstock and Headnodic to write and record a tribute to the influential late great Gil Scott-Heron. Simply titled “Gil Scott Tribute” the song was recorded in one take (captured in the video above - a video blog session recording with Headnodic who mixed the track) and features Woodstock playing the beat live on his MPC and sampling Gil Scott Heron's “We Almost Lost Detroit” (off Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's 1977 album Bridges) as well as recreating previous hip-hop interpretations of the original sample. Intricate stuff, and it works nicely too, with sOul on the mic spitting socio-political commentary along personal life monologue.

The song was recorded simply as a tribute to Gil Scott Heron and is not for sale but available as a free download here. Gil Scott Heron, who died at age 62 in May 2011, has been called the "godfather of rap" - a term he himself dismissed, preferring to label himself a "bluesologist." After the artist's sudden death a couple of years ago Chuck D of Public Enemy saluted Scott-Heron as a highly influential figure saying, in a heartfelt tribute to the man, that, "We do what we do and how we do because of you!" I agree with Chuck D as to the impact on hip-hop and music in general that Gil Scott Heron has made.

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Let Fury Have the Hour, Documentary on Music & Activism, at Balboa Theater 1/18 - 1/24.

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 30, 2012 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Antonino D'Ambrosio's documentary Let Fury Have the Hour opens at the Balboa Theatre (3630 Balboa Let Fury Have the Hour St., San Francisco) on January 18th, 2013. It's a one-week-only exclusive engagement, so you won't want to miss it! Plus, opening night features a live performance by Sean Hayes and a Q&A with Hayes and director Antonino D'Ambrosio after the 7:15pm show. The following night's screening (Saturday, Jan 19th) features a Q&A with director Antonino D'Ambrosio and Boots Riley after the 7:15pm show.

Featuring interviews with Shepard Fairey, Chuck D, John Sayles, Lewis Black, Eve Ensler, Tom Morello, Ian MacKaye, Billy Bragg, Edwidge Danticat, and Suheir Hamma, Let Fury Have the Hour is a charged journey into the heart of the creative counter-culture in 2012. In a time of global challenges, big questions and by-the-numbers politics, this upbeat, outspoken film tracks the story of the artists, writers, thinkers, and musicians who have gone underground to re-imagine the world.

Writer/director Antonino D'Ambrosio unites 50 powerful, of-the-moment voices who share personal and powerful tales of how they transformed anger and angst into provocative art and ideas. Mix-mastered with historical footage, animation, and performances, D’Ambrosio presents a visceral portrait of a generation looking to re-jigger a system that has failed to address the most pressing problems of our times . . . or human potential.

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Ice T Well Prepared For Critiques of his "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap" Documentary at UK Premiere

Posted by Billyjam, July 24, 2012 07:07am | Post a Comment


Ice T
's critically acclaimed, independently produced, hip-hop history documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, which opened in the States last month, just opened here in Europe on Friday last. The evening before (July 19) there were a series of premiere screenings in London and other select European cities including Dublin, Ireland when I caught it at the IFI (Irish Film Institute) where the film was followed immediately by a Q+A & concert performance via live satellite from London's Hammersmith Apollo. There Ice T, along with Melle Mel, Chuck D, and Raekwon were all in town for the UK debut. During this Q+A from the audience (a tough crowd) Ice T fielded most of the questions in which he spent a fair amount of time in defense of his great film: something he was well able to handle.

But first the movie which I had heard and read all about and was most anxious to view. I thought it was really excellent; especially on the big screen with the film's ample use of panoramic aerial views of NYC, LA, and Detroit, all lovingly shot in breathtaking widescreen at various times of the day from helicopter, that nicely broke up the dialog segments of  the documentary.

Sure the film didn't have all my favorite rappers in it but it was not my film, it was Ice T's. And as the OG (original gangsta) turned rapper, turned actor, turned filmmaker - stated before the film was even screened at Sundance earlier this year; he was not trying to represent all things rap (especially the bling & swag elements) but rather simply focus on the art of the rapper / emcee, and from his own personal perspective. This he did in loving detail, casually catching up with old friends in the rap game, and having them spit a verse or two from their own or other rapper's favorite rhymes, and share a little insight on how they approach their craft. In all 47 artists made the final cut including such talents as Afrika Bambaataa, Rakim, Raekwon, Ice Cube, Chuck D, Snoop Dog, Kool Keith, KRS-One, Eminem, Q-Tip, Chino XL, Grandmaster Caz, and Melle Mel - the latter two getting perhaps the most shine and props in the film. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 07.20.12: Top 5, Psycho Realm, Aesop Rock, Nas, Public Enemy, Kyle Rapps, QBert + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 20, 2012 06:06am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 07:20:12


1) J Dilla Rebirth of Detroit (Yancey Music Group)

2) Psycho Realm Presents Sick Jacken & Cyni In Terror Tapes 2 (Mb Recordings)

3) Nicki Ninaj Pink Friday Roman Reloaded (Cash Money)

4) The Pharcyde Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde [Expanded Edition] (Delicious Vinyl)

5) Aesop Rock Skelethon (Rhyemsayers Ent.)

Thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera at the Hollywood Amoeba store for this latest Hip-Hop Top Five chart that includes such new or recent releases as J Dilla's posthumous, emcee guest heavy Rebirth of Detroit, Psycho Realm's Presents Sick Jacken & Cyni In Terror Tapes 2 - Sick Jacken with Street Platoon artist Cynik which is another, refreshingly hardcore rap presentation from the no-holds-barred Psycho Realm who never fail to disappoint (check out down below the party-hard video for the album track "I'm Gone" Recordings), and
Aesop Rock's Skelethon just released by Rhyemsayers Entertainment - his killer return that, as witnessed by the turnout & crowd reaction at his Amoeba San Francisco in-store earlier this week is a universally crowd favorite.

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Black History Month Leap Year Review: the Good, the Sad & the Bizarre

Posted by Billyjam, March 2, 2012 11:40am | Post a Comment

Among the "good" of this year's Black History Month was Robert Glasper's excellent
Black Radio album on Blue Note released Feb 28th, 2012


Maybe it's because this is a leap year that Black History Month 2012, which ended two days ago, seemed a little out of whack. Or maybe it was because it was a Black History Month that started on a really bad note when, on the morning of Feb 1st, the tragic news that Don Cornelius of Soul Train fame had taken his own life was the first thing we were to read about. That was bad enough but this tragic news came hot on the heels of the world losing a string of other black music/cultural icons, including in just the preceding two weeks both Etta James and JImmy Castor.  And then, of course, ten days later, on the eve of the Grammys, the whole world was taken aback with the shocking news that Whitney Houston had died at age 48. Not exactly a great time to joyously celebrate black history!

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