Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap Up 04:10:11: Zion I & The Grouch, E-40, Wiz Khalifa, Blueprint, Odd Future, Del The Funky Homosapien + More

Posted by Billyjam, April 10, 2011 08:20pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 04:10:11


1) Zion I & The Grouch Heroes in the Healing of the Nation (Z&G Music)
 
Not surprisingly, the new Zion I & The Grouch album has become a major seller at Amoeba’s Bay Area locations. Both Zion I & The Grouch command a huge amount of respect in the local scene, largely thanks to their work ethic and the consistent quality of their recordings. They’ve garnered a lot of national attention in recent years, but the Bay continues to remain their greatest supporters.
 
2) Pharoahe Monch W.A.R (We Are Renegades) (Duck Down)

Hot on the heels of the new Zion I & The Grouch album is the latest from Pharoahe Monch, one of the more technically talented MCs in hip-hop as far as voice and cadence go, and who has released a number of great recordings solo and in his group Organized Konfusion. This new one takes Monch back to his indie roots, pitting him against an exciting cast of producers and keeping things progressive in terms of his style and approach.
 
3) Lupe Fiasco Lasers (Atlantic)
 
Holding its major selling position from last week is Lupe’s new one, which continues to receive a large amount of media attention as it walks the fine line between radio friendly pop music and conscious hip-hop.
 
4) E-40 Revenue Retrievin: Overtime Shift (EMI)
 
E-40 is another Bay Area legendwho’s always on his grind, and his recent release of two new albums in the Revenue Retrievin series seems to indicate that he’s not planning on slowing down any time soon. The Overtime Shift of the series features Bay Area favorites J-Stalin, B-Legit and The Click, as well as a guest shot from the one and only Devin the Dude.  The last time E-40 put out two albums simultaneously, they both went through individual periods of selling quickly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Revenue Retrivin': Graveyard Shift ends up on one of these lists in the near future as well.

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HIP-HOP HISTORY: TOP 15 ALBUMS & SINGLES CHARTS, MARCH 1992

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2010 01:27pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to another installment in the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History series that takes a look back at rap/hip-hop album and singles charts from previous decades. Last month's Hip-Hop History chart showcased a Top 30 Hip-Hop Singles chart from February/March 1993. This time we flashback to a year earlier, March 1992, for both a Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Chart and a Top 15 Hip-Hop Singles Chart both courtesy of The Source magazine's March '92 issue.

Considering the delayed turnaround period for magazines (from writing to actual publishing/street date) and the fact that many records stay on the charts for several weeks or even months (especially back then), you may notice that some of these March 1992 chart entries such as Ice Cube or Black Sheep were actually released in late 1991. You will also notice, as with the previous chart, which also hailed from the so-called "golden age" of hip-hop, that damn near every release on each chart is a quality one that has stood the test of time. The charts were based on a combination of sales and the tastes of the editorial staff and some of its writers (which included myself) at the time.

UMC's "One To Grow On" (Wild Pitch/EMI)


TOP 15 HIP-HOP ALBUMS CHART: MARCH 1992 (c/o The Source)

REMEMBERING LEOPOLD RECORDS. PT 1: THE AMOEBA CONNECTION

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2008 01:25pm | Post a Comment
MC Lyte stops thru Leopold Records Berkeley
Any longtime Bay Area music fan knew and loved the long gone Berkeley record store Leopold Records (circa '68 - '96), which used to be located at 2518 Durant in the block above Telegraph Ave. and down from Bowditch Street. Back in the day you could go spend lots of time (and money) as the hours slipped past and you got lost digging in their never-ending rows of music, invariably getting assistance along the way from the store's dedicated staff, who really knew their stuff and were more than happy to share that musical knowledge.

At one point, Oakland emcee Del tha Funkee Homosapien even worked at Leopold! The store, for Bay Area rap fans, was the number one destination when you wanted to get the latest hip-hop releases. The store also had many artists stop by, including MC Lyte (pictured above) and Saafir, who once did an in-store (well, technically an out-store, since it was right outside the building) at Leopold. (See video clip in the second part of this two-part Leopold Records' Amoeblog.) Scroll down below to see Joan Baez at a Leopold instore performance from 1993, singing a version of "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" that includes, much to the crowd's delight, a spot-on imitation of Bob Dylan. Michael Jackson even did made an appearance at Leopold's back in his heyday.

Leopold's many former employees went on to other music industry positions: former rap buyer Daria Kelly now works at Six Degrees Records in San Francisco. Read her Amoeblog interview recalling Leopold Records' role in the hip-hop community in Part II of this Amoeblog remembering Leopold's.
Many Amoeba Music employees also worked at Leopold's and consequently, it seems, have carried over that tradition of truly caring about the business that they are in. Amoeba Music's Karen P (in pics both above & below) is one of those people who used to be a part of Leopold's. I recently asked her if she thought there was a connection between her old place of employment and Amoeba Music. She replied: "Yes, there definitely is a connection, both philosophically and in spirit. Part of it might be that much of the beginning (and even current) Amoeba staff started at Leopold's." Karen listed some of those individuals as Mark Beaver (in B&W picture below), Craig Bishop, Lisa Loomis, Stacy Young, Roxanne (in MC Lyte pic), Barbara Ballesteros, and Lynne Brady. (Read Amoebite Lynne Brady's wonderful stream-of-consciousness rap recollections of Leopold in Part II of this Amoeblog -- to be posted tomorrow, Friday.)

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