1) K-Def The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
2) Kevin Gates Islah (Atlantic)
3) J. Cole Forest Hills Drive Live (Roc Nation)
4) Saul Williams MartyrLoserKing (Fader) - also on LP
5) San Quinn The Fillmore Lion (Legacy Mafia)
Shout-out to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for supplying the latest top five chart that features in the top slot longtime NJ-based hip-hop producer K-Def with the two album, 33 track (on one CD disc) set The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini on Redefinition/Fat Beats. As seen in the accompanying video below of E-Lit running down these five and other new/recent releases, there is also a single album vinyl version by K-Def. Other popular new releases at the East Bay Amoeba store include longtime Fillmore district of San Francisco rapper San Quinn's latest full length The Fillmore Lion on Legacy Mafia, and Louisanna rapper (previously prolific mix tape producer) Kevin Gates' official major label debut Islah on Atlantic Records.
As anyone who knows E-Lit personally or who caught the Amoeba Berkeley staffer's Halloween-themed KALX radio show this past week can attest, the man is not just a big hip-hop fan. He also has a passion for, and good knowledge of, scary movies (especially 1980's classics of the genre) with a sizable DVD collection of scream-inducing scary films to prove the point. So to help set the tone for this Halloween, I invited E-Lit to draw up two top five lists of scary movies: an all-time favorite five plus a more modern era, recently-released scary movie top five list.
Both top five lists follow below with accompanying movie trailers and links to movie at the Amoeba online store. Or, of course, look for them on DVD or Blu-ray at the Amoeba stores. Among E-Lit's picks is the excellent Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker's directors cut includes the ending he always wanted) about an alien experiment going wrong...horribly wrong. As noted elsewhere here on Amoeba.com, Dekker's Creeps is wonderful in how it "deftly mixes all sorts of genres while simultaneously having fun with them (the college and all the leading characters are named after famous horror movie directors)."
This weekend marks the nineteenth year of Hip Hop In The Park - Berkeley's annual free, all ages, all elements inclusive, hip-hop event in Peoples Park, located behind Amoeba Berkeley. Since 1997, the Students For Hop Hop @ Cal have been presenting this always fun afternoon celebration of hip-hop culture. This year's headliner is Fashawn who has been winning over a whole wave of fans since connecting with Nas and the Queensbridge rapper's new label, Mass Appeal, on which he released the critically acclaimed The Ecology two months ago. Just in the past week, the Fresno rapper unleashed the album's second single and accompanying video, "Higher."
The Souls of Mischief along with their childhood friend and director of the engaging documentary on the Hiero crew, 'Til Infinity, Shomari Smith are all in New York City right now for the screening of the film tonight at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street as part of the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF 2015). So far, the veteran Oakland hip-hop crew have included doing an interview with Birthplace magazine, and stopping by an old friend's radio show.
1) BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah Sour Soul (Lex)
2) Fashawn The Ecology (Mass Appeal) [also avail as LP and DL]
3) THEESatisfaction EarthEE (Sub Pop)
4) Big Sean Dark Sky Paradise (Def Jam) [also a deluxe CD]
5) L'Orange After the Flowers (Mello Music)
The brand new number one hip-hop chart entry at Amoeba Music Berkeley this week (thank-you to E-Lit for providing the above top five chart) is the collaborative effort of Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood for their one-off, full-length, joint project Sour Soul on Lex Records - available for now in CD format only with a soon be released vinyl format to follow. While not billed as such, this new album could be considered the third part of a live collaborative trilogy by Ghostface since like his last two releases - last year's 36 Seasons and 2013's Twelve Reason To Die - Sour Soul is another production that finds the WU emcee rhyming with a live band. This time out it's BadBadNotGood who, as well as their own work as a trio, have previously collaborated with the likes of Danny Brown (who coincidentally appears here) and Earl Sweatshirt - although only on individual tracks, not a full length project as here with Ghostface Killah. The end result is a strong album whose standout tracks include "Mind Playing Tricks," "Tone's Rap," "Gunshowers (feat elZhi)," and “Ray Gun (feat. DOOM)” (see music video below).
1) Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$ LP (Cinematic Music)
2) Wiley Life Is A Game of Snakes & Ladders (Big Dada)
3) 88 Ultra Sirens (Ultra Glacial Recordings)
4) Freez & Mike Fry Freez's Frozen French Freys (Soul Tools)
5) Doomtree All Hands (Doomtree)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for the latest Top Five Hip-Hop chart above. Below is the accompanying video clip shot this week at the East Bay store with E-Lit running down all these and other new/recent (and reissue) hip-hop releases in both LP and CD formats that are featured at Amoeba Berkeley right when you come in the front door of the Telegraph Ave store on your right hand side. Also down below is the brand new music video from Zion I ("Juggernaut") that was filmed mostly right outside Amoeba Berkeley as well as across the street and round the back (Peoples Park) from Amoeba among some other quick shot locations.
The Bed-Stuy Brooklyn NYC artist born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott but widely known as main man of Pro Era, Joey Bada$$, as well as Malia Obama's favorite rapper, continues to sell well at Amoeba with the vinyl version of his official debut (commercial release) new album B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic Music) outselling the CD version of B4.DA.$$. And this week the artist released a new music video for "Like Me" featuring BJ the Chicago Kid that (with the refrain "fuck the police") addresses police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement (see the music video clip down below). Other new chart entries this week include UK hip-hop/grime artist Wiley's Life Is A Game of Snakes & Ladders (that is also available in LP/vinyl format as well as digital download - all care of Big Dada. The others include Doomtree's December 2014 release All Hands (Doomtree) that is also available in vinyl format, 88 Ultra Sirens (Ultra Glacial Recordings), and Freez & Mike Fry's Freez's Frozen French Freys (Soul Tools). For more background on these two releases peep the E-Lit video shot at Amoeba Music this week in which he gives some background on these acts/releases.