The photo above (as all other pics of show by James Mak of Joysco Studio for the Amoeblog) was taken last night at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with DJ Qbert joined by emcee A-Plus (Souls of Mischief) - one of the several artists that would join the DJ/producer throughout his hour long set that featured artists who appear alongside him on his soon to drop new album Galaxxxian (the rap counterpart to his other new album the instrumental Extraterrestria). Others included emcees P.E.A.C.E. (Freestyle Fellowship), Bambu, Z-Man, and Unity, producer Dan The Automator, and "scratch guitarist" The Genie who like most of the night's guests had collaborated with Qbert. The night, which kicked off at 9pm with a nice hip-hop set from DJ Hard Rich from Thud Rumble, also featured individual sets from P.E.A.C.E. and Bambu (whose 20 minute solo set featured Jus Jones as his DJ), two incredible sets from Qbert's longtime friend collaborator and fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) member DJ Shortkut who killed it with richly diverse sets that ranged from electro fueled new hip-hop to golden era classics, reggae and new UK garage, plus some nice beat juggling and scratching - including an impromptu quick session with Qbert.
Some are calling tonight's star-studded hip-hop show at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with West Coast underground hip-hop icons DJ Qbert, Dan The Automator, P.E.A.C.E., DJ Shortkut, and Bambu - a comeback or (due to the first two listed acts) a kind of a Dr. Octagon two-thirds part reunion (referencing the landmark 1996 Bay Area produced Dr. Octagonecologyst album produced by The Automator, featuring Qbert, and re-catapulting its microphone star Kool Keith to post Ultramagetnic MC's solo fame). But to paraphrase the lyrics of that well worn LL Cool J song; don't call it a comeback, they've been here before. In fact they never went away. Sure there was a long gap between Dan The Automator's Deltron 3030 projects (his 2000 collab with Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Kid Koala that only enjoyed a sequel last year) and an even wider one between Qbert's last official album (1998's Wave Twisters) and his soon-to-drop 2014 two-album set Extraterrestria and GalaXXXian for which tonight's concert is a special pre-release party/concert for.
Childish Gambino "3005" (from Because the Internet - his number one album at Amoeba)
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five for Week Ending January 31 2014
1) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)
2) Dam-Funk & Snoopzilla 7 Days of Funk (Stones Throw)
3) Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2 (Interscope)
4) Dom Kennedy Get Home Safely (The Other Peoples Money Co.)
5) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
Shout out to Ervin at Amoeba Hollywood for this week's hip-hop chart that reflects the best sellers at the SoCal store and pretty much repeats last week's chart from the store. Meanwhile a brand new release not on this chart but selling well and likely to be on next week's chart is the The Step Brothers' Lord Steppington on Rhymesayers Entertainment (CD & 2 LP vinyl) that is really an amazing album. I have listened to it repeatedly over the past week and each listen hear some new part due to its intricately layered production - thanks to the endlessly talented duo of The Alchemist and Evidence who make up the Step Brothers and are joined by a excellently chosen group of guest emcees throughout the 14 tracks including Oh No ("Draw Something") and Styles P ("No Hesitation").
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 12:07:12
1) Black C Still Ruthless (Rightway)
2) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Aftermath)
3) E40 & Too $hort History: Mob Music (Heavy On The Grindl)
4) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis The Heist (Macklemore LLC)
5) Wu-Block Wu-Block (Entertainment One)
Thanks to Michelle at the Haight Street store for the above latest Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five chart which features in the number one slot the brand new release from longtime hometown rap hero Black C of RBL Posse fame whose new solo album is Still Ruthless on Rightway Productions. As you know RBL Posse, who hailed from the Hunters Point district of San Francisco, released some popular rap albums back in the nineties including their 1992 debut A Lesson To Be Learned on In-A-Minute featuring the hit and future dank anthem "Don't Gimme No Bammer" (Black C's brand new video below for the new album track "I Smoke" is a kind of sequel to that classic even referencing its lyrics), and RBL Posse's second album Ruthless By Law" on In-A-Minute in 1994. Their next album, An Eye For An Eye on Big Beat came out in 1997, a year after Black C's partner in rhyme Mr Cee was shot and killed in cold blood on New Year's Day 1996.
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five for week ending 02:24:12 with E-Lit
1) Lazerbeak & Edison Kill Switch LP (Fieldwerk)
We received a whole bunch of these over a week early, and sold through our entire supply of them in a matter of days! Given the extremely high quality of the product, it’s no wonder we couldn’t keep this on the shelves. Kill Switch is hip-hop production of the highest caliber, brought to you by the strongest label in instrumental hip hop Fieldwerk Recordings. Doomtree’s Lazerbeak handles side A with a surprisingly subtle approach that occasionally bursts with brilliant color, delivering his finest solo instrumental work to date. San Francisco’s own genius button-masher Edison handles side B with a much rowdier gang of beats that show off his skillful production craft, with menacing guitar jabs and gangsta bleeps that form a cohesive whole. This one’s only available on vinyl, but it does come with a digital download card that’ll get it on your computer in a matter of minutes. Highly recommended!
2) Tajai Machine Language CD (Hieroglyphics Imperium)
Souls of Mischief frontman and Hieroglyphics mainstay Tajai’s new Machine Language mixtape has naturally been doing very well in the Bay. Features fellow Hiero members Casual, Opio and A-Plus, plus a joint with The Pharcyde, all for a super cheap price of $5.98. This mix CD is just a taster of random new Tajai tracks, but should tide the Bay’s Hiero fanbase over until Tajai’s new Rap Noir album drops later this year.