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Public Enemy Bring The Noise & Fight The Power in NYC Concert with DJ Kool Herc, Son of Bazerk, Cold Crush Brothers, Kendo the Almost Famous, and Blitz the Ambassador

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2010 12:48pm | Post a Comment
Pulblic Enemy
Despite the wet afternoon's non-stop downpour plus a sketchy job by the sound man for over half of the four hour event, Sunday's Public Enemy headlined show in New York City's Central Park was both inspiring and entertaining. The always outspoken Chuck D shared many insights and personally invited hip-hop creator DJ Kool Herc onto the bill, as well as genre pioneers the Cold Crush Brothers, the recently reformed group Son of Bazerk, Kendo the Almost Famous, and Brooklyn-based, Ghana-born emcee Blitz the Ambassador. Add to that a supercharged (musically & politically) set by Public Enemy (PE) with a full live band, featuring a drum solo by Flavor Flav and scratch routine by DJ Lord, that included PE ripping through a barrage of familiar hits like "Don't Believe the Hype," "Bring The Noise," and "Fight The Power" that had the rained on but happy and totally packed outdoor audience singing and dancing along every note of the way. The concert was also a celebration of 20th year anniversary of Fear of a Black Planet.

Constantly touring the world, it is not often that Public Enemy gets to play back on their home ground. "We only play New York City about every five years-- like an eclipse," noted Chuck D, adding that PE have nothing but major love for NYC. And clearly from the enthusiastic reaction of the all ages but mostly mature hip-hop audience that had packed into Central Park's SummerStage, everyone else felt similarly about the political hip-hop group from Long Island. 23 years ago they released their landmark debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show and in the years since the Chuck D led group has never stopped demonstrating their love of hip-hop or their commitment to always being outspoken against social & political ills.

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DO THE RIGHT THING, 20 SUMMERS LATER

Posted by Billyjam, August 17, 2009 05:37pm | Post a Comment
Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing ("Race Rant" scene) (1989)

I invite you to rewind two full decades, back twenty summers ago to the summer of 1989 when the hottest movie with the hottest soundtrack was Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing featuring Public Enemy's "Fight The Power." It debuted in theaters that summer and caused some controversy at the time for its do the right thingno- holds-barred portrayal of ethnic and racial tensions in the multi-ethnic (Black, Puerto Rican, Italian, Korean, white) New York borough in which the film was set.

Do The Right Thing (Lee's fourth movie) was written, produced, and directed by the ATL born, Brooklyn raised filmmaker who also acts in the film (he plays Mookie). The highly recommended film, available on DVD at Amoeba Music, is set on the hottest day of the year (kind of like the weather in NYC this week, with humid highs in the mid 90's) on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant (aka Bed-Stuy) section of Brooklyn. That day, the flames of everyone's emotions and prejudices are fanned and fanned until they finally explode into violence. The film makes the strong point that violence -- no matter how tempting to those being oppressed -- really doesn't offer any long term solutions to the problems at hand.

With a solid story line and a strong cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Samuel L Jackson (he plays the DJ at end of the "race rant" scene in clip above), Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence, and Rosie Perez (the latter two making their big screen debuts), the film struck a nerve with both critics and film-goers. It was a box office success and remains one of Lee's best movies to date. Ten years ago the United States Library of Congress deemed the film to be "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK: APRIL 14, 1988

Posted by Billyjam, April 14, 2009 08:47pm | Post a Comment
public enemy it takes a nation of millions to hold us back
On this date, April 14th, in 1988, Public Enemy (PE) released It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back on Def Jam Recordings and 21 years later it still packs the same punch as when it was first released. Widely considered the Long Island (aka Strong Island), New York group's greatest work ever, It Takes A Nation... was not only one of PE's finest moments, but hip-hop's as well. Released during the much lamented "golden" era of hip-hop, the album, which was the follow up to PE's 1987 debut Yo! Bum Rush the Show, defied the stereotypical "sophomore slump" that so many artists suffered from.

Their debut was a damn good hip-hop album but this album was jaw-droppingly amazing in every way. Production-wise, it was so richly layered and hardcore that it just grabbed you and didn't let go. And as for Chuck D's militant and thought-provoking, in-your-face revolutionary lyrical flow? Wow! It was so powerful it scared some people. But mostly it won over new fans who stil thought of rap as some fad or disposable urban pop. Combined, all the elements of Nation made up an album that was unlike anything heard in hip-hop, or any music, up to that point. I remember that summer of '88 in the Bay Area hearing it blasting everywhere I went in every type of neighborhood. I had never experienced that before!

And although It Takes A Nation... never topped the Billboard 200 (it reached #42 and it did top the less prestigious Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Album charts), its influence was greater and more far-reaching than countless better selling albums that did reach number one. Ever since, it consistantly shows up in All Time Best Album lists by artists, fans, & critics. And musically it was incredibly influential, especially at the time.  In fact, if you go back and listen to virtually every hip-hop recording from the following year or two, 1989 or 1990, you will distinctly hear Nation/PE's direct influence.

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Coachella 2009 30/30 Initiative: N.A.S.A.

Posted by Amoebite, March 27, 2009 08:19pm | Post a Comment
127 Bands, 5 Stages, 3 Days and 1 Mean Sunburn.

"Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - April 17-19th, 2009 or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Find 30 Reasons To Love a Weekend in the Desert."

- By Scott Butterworth


 

Day #11 - Artist #11 - N.A.S.A.:

Have you ever sat around with friends and posed the question, "If you could hypothetically pick any musical artists, from any time period or genre of music to create a band or musical collaboration, who would you choose?" Before my friends and I were old enough to drive and we were too broke to actually get out of the house and do something, we would gather in a friend's bedroom on a Saturday night listening to our favorite CDs and posing this timeless question to each other. I remember us being fifteen years old debating this topic vehemently, each of us thinking we were the ultimate authority on music. But the only "dream collaboration" input I can remember from the discussions of that age is being adamant about Dave Grohl on drums and Maynard James Keenan (Tool) on vocals. 

Anyone have any other ideas? How about:
David Byrne (Talking Heads), Chuck D (Public Enemy) and Z-Trip
or
Tom Waits and Kool Keith
or
Rza (Wu-Tang Clan) and John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
or
Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Ol' Dirty Bastard (Wu-Tang Clan)

Ladies and gentlemen, N.A.S.A. has done it! They've made our dreams come true. These hypothetical collaborations are now an actuality. N.A.S.A., which stands for North America South America, the creation between producers Squeek E. Clean (Los Angeles) and DJ Zegon (Brazil), accomplished these collaborations on their five-year-in-the-making debut album The Spirit of Apollo, released February 17, 2009.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 11:15:08

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2008 02:01pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:15:08
a history of violence jedi mind tricks
1) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

2) Jedi Mind Tricks A History Of Violence (Babygrande)

3) T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

4) 88 Keys Death of Adam (Decon)

5) Little Brother Seperate But Equal (Traffic)

Special thanks to Scott at Amoeba Music Hollywood, where the Look Daggers (Ikey Owens of The Mars Volta & 2Mex of Visionaries and SonGodSuns) did a great free in-store performance on Thursday evening, for this week's Top Five Hip-Hop Albums. This chart, based on sales for the past week, includes some great new albums such as hip-hop trio Jedi Mind Tricks' sixth and latest full-length A History of Violence, and Little Brother's Separate But Equal (Drama Free Version) which should not be confused with the similar (including title) release by the group originally featured by DJ Drama on a hosted mixtape. The official DJ Drama-free version contains many extra previously unreleased tracks and bonus material.

And in the top slot on this week's Top Five is the great new release from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest fame called The Renaissance. Q-Tip is currently riding high on rave reviews for both this album and his current headlining spot on the Bounce Tour. The video game tour, sponsored by 2K Sports, rolled through San Francisco two nights ago in a concert at the Mezzanine. Backing Q-Tip onstage for this show (and all of the tour) was both a full live band and a special DJ, DJ Scratch of EPMD fame. Music fanatic, Amoeba Music fan and self-described "jaded raver" Porkchop attended the SF show and was kind enough to write a review for the Amoeblog.

Porkchop's Q-Tip/Cool Kids Bounce Tour @ Mezzanine SF Review:

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