Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:05:11: Wu-Tang, Teeko, San Quinn, MellowHype, Elzhi, Mista B, DMC, Buck 65, Tragedy

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2011 01:13pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:05:11

1) Wu-Tang Legendary Weapons (Entertainment One Music)

2) Teeko Light Up the Darkness (Mellow Orange)

3. elZHi  Elmatic (2 DopeBoyz)

4) San Quinn Can't Take the Ghetto Out A Niigga (Prominent House Records)

5) MellowHype Blackenedwhite (Fat Possum Records)

The Wu-Tang's anticipated latest, Legendary Weapons, dropped last week and since has shot to the number one position on the latest Amoeba Music San Francisco hip-hop chart, which comes courtesy of Luis at the Haight Street store. So is it a great album and does it live up to the Wu-Tang (formerly Wu-Tang Clan) legacy? Yes and no. No it doesn't top 36 Chambers - but then nothing will ever surpass that timeless, pitch-perfect, hip-hop masterpiece that the Shaolin crew burst onto the scene with eighteen long years ago. But yes it is a really strong hip-hop album from the Wu who, even though they appear here minus the major player Genius/GZA and the lesser Wu warrior Masta Killa, still deliver a kick ass album with Legendary Weapons whose production is handled by the production trio of Fizzy Womack, Noah Rubin, and Andrew Kelley who keep true to the RZA formula (RZA is credited as the "executive producer" which I assume means he popped into the studio here and there to look over the trio's shoulders and make sure they delivered that unique WU flavor.)  As well as the RZA on board for this release are Wu-Tang core members Ghostface, Raekwon, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, and U-God as well as cameos from a variety of talents including AZ, M.O.P., Termanology, Trife Diesel, and Killa Sin. Below is a sample track from the album; "Never Feel The Pain," that features Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Tre Williams.

Continue reading...

Elzhi Pays Tribute To Nas Classic

Posted by Billyjam, June 8, 2011 11:00am | Post a Comment

Elzhi "It Ain't Hard to Tell" (from Elmatic, 2011)


While you cannot repeat the greatness of a hip-hop classic verbatim, you sure can pay homage to it. Case in point is the fantastic new Elizhi tribute to Nas' timeless "It Ain't Hard To Tell" from the hip-hop legend's critically acclaimed 1994 debut album Illmatic. The inspired tribute track by the underrated gifted Detroit emcee Elzhi (video above directed by Michael Castelaz) appears on his new 10-track mixtape CD Elmatic which, in conjunction with XXL magazine is available for free download here. It was produced entirely by Will Sessions with guest spots from both Illmatic beatmaker Pete Rock and Detroit rapper Royce da 5’9” (who this month will be dropping the Eminem collab Bad Meets Evil's Hell The Sequel EP on Shady Records)

It is now 20 years since Nas first appeared on record when in 1991, then known as Nasty Nas, the teenaged MC made a memorable cameo on Main Source's single "Live At The BBQ." from the album Breaking Atoms. The following year he made another great guest spot on 3rd Bass' MC Serch's "Back To The Grill Again" single. Serch became Nas' manager and was instrumental in him signing with Columbia Records and hence in launching the career of one of hip-hop's greatest lyricists. The single "Halftime" from Serch's soundtrack for the 1992 movie Zebrahead was Nas' official solo debut. The song would also appear on Nas' debut album Illmatic which would not be released until two years later, in 1994.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap Up 03:19:11: Lupe, Talib, Raekwon, Blu, Elzhi, Moe Green, De La Soul, Skratchpad, Bootsy Collins + More

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2011 06:25am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:19:11

1) Lupe Fiasco Lasers (Atlantic) CD

Love him or hate him, Lupe Fiasco’s new one was last week’s best seller by far, selling out the first day we received it and steadily moving units since. Lasers has apparently been disowned by Lupe himself in interviews, which is somewhat of a testament to his testy personality, but he’s clearly tapped into a special realm of the pop music spectrum if he can appeal to Top 40 crowds and seasoned rap listeners alike.

2) Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows (3D/Javotti Media) CD

Back in stock! I wrote up a bit on this one the other week, but it was out of stock for a sec and now that it’s back on the shelves it’s moving quick. Talib Kweli’s latest is his first independently released solo project in a minute, boasting production from the likes of Oh No, Marco Polo, S1, and Khrysis amongst others. Gutter Rainbows is one crafted for Talib’s long-time fans for sure.

3) Blu Amnesia (Nature Sounds) 10”

New limited 10” single from everybody’s favorite new school West Coast MC, Blu. Taken from his upcoming full length HerFavoriteColour, which was released as a download a while back but is now newly remastered and available to the DJs on wax. The title track and two additional songs on this 10” highlight not only Blu’s natural flow, but also his interesting lo-fi soulful production. Limited and smooth as hell.

Continue reading...

AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 09:06:08

Posted by Billyjam, September 6, 2008 09:00am | Post a Comment
young jeezy
Amoeba Music San Francisco Top FIve 09:06:08


1) Young Jeezy The Recession (Def Jam)

2) The Game LAX (Geffen/Interscope)

3) eLZhi Preface (Fat Beats)

4) The Jacka & Lee Majors The Gobots (Million Dollar Dream)

5) Arabian Prince Innovative Life: The Anthology: 1984 - 1989 (Stones Throw)

Thanks to Luis in the hip-hop section at Amoeba Music, San Francisco for this week's Top Five chart. The top slot belongs to the brand new release from Young Jeezy, The Recession, which hit Amoeba shelves on Tuesday this week. This is the third Jeezy album, following 2005's Lets Get It: Thug Motivation 101 and 2006's The Inspiration. Although the title The Recession might imply that the record would be all about the US economy (interest rates/foreclosures etc.), it only very, very briefly tackles the US economy at large. Instead, it concentrates more specifically on hood economics, i.e., drug dealing. Hence, The Recession, over some great beats, is brimming with (yawn) street tales of making cash and selling 'caine and the glorified day-to-day trials and tribulations of a gangsta. 

"All I got to my name is two bricks and one felony," raps Atlanta native Jeezy in his famous husky voiced, dirty south flow on the track "Crazy World" -- one of many detailing the struggles of the hustler lifestyle which, personally, I find tired and played out at this stage in the game. I mean is Young Jeezy keeping really real and rapping about his life as it really, or is he just trying to sell the most CDs? Does Jeezy really have to slang drugs on the corner after all his success in the rap music biz? Or is he just fronting by making up these played-out, over-romanticized drug dealing tales, geared for the target gullible white rap consumer? This is music manufactured for the wallet more than from the heart. With that said, I did enjoy most of the production, athe game LAXnd also the album's few guests, including NaS, who upstaged his host here. I guess it's not so much the topic of gangsta but more in how an artist retells a story we've heard a million times already.

Continue reading...

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

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2008 07:00am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC HOLLYWOOD HIP-HOP TOP FIVE 08:15:08
Elzhi
1)  eLZhi Preface (Fat Beats)

2) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

3) NaS Untitled (Def Jam)

4) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

5) Zo! & Tigallo Love the 80's (Hall of Justus Records)


This week's number one seller at the Amoeba Music Hollywood store is the brand new release from longtime bubbling-under Detroit emcee eLZhi (pronounced Els-Eye), who made his introduction to most in the hip-hop world a few years back when he joined Slum Village. Consequently, he has been keepin' active, between touring and appearing here and there on others' releases doing guest shots, including on many records from his Motor City hometown. Many of the Amoeba Hollywood shoppers who made Preface number one this week had no doubt obtained copies earlier this year of elZhi's Europass, his limited edition independently pressed-up CD/ download-able collection, which has won the talented emcee worthy praise from many quarters and also included "Motown 25." But it is the brand new Fat Beats issued Preface that will put eLZhi permanently and deservedly in the hip-hop history annals.
 
Stylistically, eLZhi is a gifted storytelling emcee whose delivery harks back to the more golden age of hip-hop (even the records scratched in are from that classic era in the genre, such as KRS-One) with tales of the hard knock life he has led coming up in Detroit. For samples off the new album and other recordings check out eLZhi MySpace, where you'll hear such great album tracks as "Motown 25," featuring Royce Da 5' 9" and "The Leak" featuring Ayah. Other guests on this recommended new album include A.B., Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Fatt Father, Danny Brown, Fat Ray, Phat Kat, and Fes Roc.

Continue reading...