Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.09.14: Iggy Azelea, Nas, Drake, Eminem, YG, Dre's Beat$, PUTS, Zion I, Premier & Jakk Frost + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 9, 2014 08:57am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 05:09:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy)

2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

3) Iggy Azelea The New Classic (Island/Def Jam)

4) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)

5) Eminem The Slim Shady LP (Interscope)

Celebrating its twenty year anniversary is Nas' flawless, classic 1994 album Illmatic which has been especially reissued by Sony Legacy for the occasion as  Illmatic XX. The album, which includes such hip-hop timeless gems as "N.Y. State of Mind," "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and "The World Is Yours," by the Queensbridge emcee is this week's number one chart entry at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store, where also charting in the latest top five is another 90's rap classic: Eminem's 1999 megahit The Slim Shady LP (Interscope) which finds itself back in top sales this week at the SoCal store. Other current top five chart entries include Drake's Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money, and YG's My Krazy Life (Def Jam) which drew inspiration from various West Coast hip hop classics as Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Speaking of Dr. Dre, the famous former N.W.A. member/influential solo artist who has made a huge impact as a hip-hop producer, looks about to make his biggest (financial) mark as co-creator of the audio equipment and music-streaming service Beats Electronics known for the headphones that carry his name (Dre Beats) if the company, as has been reported over the past 24 hours, gets purchased by Apple at a reported $3.2billion price tag!

Continue reading...

Happy 40th Birthday Hip-Hop - Today Big Concert In Central Park With Founding Father Kool Herc and Other Icons Of The Culture

Posted by Billyjam, August 10, 2013 10:43am | Post a Comment

Rapido - The History Of Hip Hop Part 1

Today, August 10th 2013, the 40th birthday of hip-hop - the culture born in the Boogie Down Bronx four full decades ago by Jamaican born, Bronx raised (from age 12 on) DJ Kool Herc - is being celebrated in New York City. (Note however that, according to Kool Herc the officially recognized founding father of hip-hop, that August 11th is the actual date that it all began but all summer in NYC including at 5Pointz hip-hop is enjoying a 40th birthday celebration with weekly events including one tomorrow - the actual birthday, August 11th). 

But today is the big hip-hop birthday bash when Kool Herc and many other icons will be celebrating this momentous occasion in a concert starting in about an hour here in NYC at Central Park's Summerstage.(near 72nd Street). Other hip-hop icons on the bill will include Grand Wizzard Theodore, Kool DJ Red Alert, Marley Marl, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Premier, Roxanne Shante, and more. I am heading up there now and (provided I get into this sure to be well attended free show) will report on it here in the Amoeblog in the coming days. More concert info, that runs till 7pm EST, in flyer left or online here.
 
Meantime above and below are a series of "History Of Hip-Hop" video clips that honor the culture comprised of DJing, MCing, B-boying, and graffiti/writing that so many people, myself included, love with all our collective hip-hop hearts. Interestingly they were all made by non American producers - indeed like with jazz and blues before it hip-hop as an incredibly important culture gets the least respect in its homeland. Hip-Hop Central Park Summerstage.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 06.09.12: E-Lit, Big K.R.I.T., Curren$y, Casual, The Jacka, Premier & Pete Rock, & more

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2012 10:06am | Post a Comment
           

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Chart Week Ending 06:09:12

1) Big K.R.I.T. Live From The Underground (Island/Def Jam)

2) Curren$y The Stoned Immaculate (Warner Brothers)

3) Casual He Still Think He Raw (Hieroglyphics Imperium)

4) The Jacka The Sentence ( Siccness)

5)  El-P Cancer4Cure (Fat Possum)

As outlined in both the chart and accompanying video above with E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley, the new number one on the Amoeba Hip-Hop chart is the major label Def Jam/Island debut from the phenomenally popular Southern mic wrecker Big K.R.I.T. Live From The Underground. The arrival of this guest heavy album, including the surprise guest spot by blues legend BB King, follows hot on the heels of a series of mixture reissues such as Return of 4Eva from the Mississippi MC that fans can't seem to get enough of. Another artist that commands a diehard following is prolific Bay Area rapper The Jacka who returns to the Amoeba chart this week with The Sentence, which as E-Lit notes, is the final/third part of his ongoing rap trilogy. 

Continue reading...

Two Years After his Death, GURU of Gang Starr's Legacy Lives On

Posted by Billyjam, April 19, 2012 10:39am | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Code of The Streets" (from
Hard To Earn, 1994)


It was on this date exactly two years ago (April 19, 2010) that hip-hop icon, emcee GURU of hip-hop golden era legendary duo Gang Starr (with DJ Premier) died succumbing to a year long battle with cancer combined with a serious heart attack from a month earlier.  The name of the super-gifted and highly influential MC, born Keith Elam and who was only 43 when he passed in April 2010, appropriately stood for "Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal" which perfectly summed up the artist. GURU will always be remembered most for his Gang Starr recordings. Yes he did a lot of other work with artists over the years including the ambitious Jazzmatazz series with Branford Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Roy Ayers and Ronny Jordan but it is his Gang Starr recordings/catalog that will forever remain in the hearts & heads of music fans and the general hip-hop consciousness.

There have been, over the years, countless club nights whose names have been taken directly from GURU lyrics, and/or Gang Starr song/album titles. Dave Paul of BOMB Hip Hop once had a party called Step In The Arena. Additionally GURU's fondness for confrontational, battle style lyrics were tailor-made for DJs to utilize in battle scenarios. As UK DJ/producer Pete Sasqwax so accurately noted today on this sad anniversary, "So many quotables & without him, how different DJ battles would've been over the years. I believe there was a significant period of time whereby it was mandatory to use a Guru dis in your DMC [DJ battle] routine otherwise you would automatically fail to progress." Above and below are videos to some of my personal all time fave Gang Starr cuts. Rest in peace GURU - your music keeps you alive forever!

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  >>  NEXT