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2014 DMC US Finals Winners: Proof That Prep For Prestigious Battle Starts At Young Age

Posted by Billyjam, August 26, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

2014 DMC US Champions Top 5 (Showcase style: six minutes each DJ)
 

1st: DJ I-Dee (Fairfax VA)

2nd: DJ Dwells (NYC)

3rd: DJ Ease (Rochester NY)
(aka
 International Ease)

4th: DJ Esquire (Brooklyn NY)

5th: Ichy the Killer (San Jose CA)

DJs I-Dee and Dwells - the winner and runner-up respectively in this year's heated 2014 DMC US Finals DJ battle presentd by Rane, that took place Saturday night at Webster Hall in New York City - are both examples that battle DJing is something that many get into at an increasingly younger age. They're also proof that the DMC is indeed as it claims to be the "most prestigious" and important competition for DJs out of the many other battles over the years - since it's the DMC that these two (like most DJs) strive towards winning, and that each have meticulously studied videos of past DMC competitions for inspiration in bettering their skills in preparing for battle. "When I first started DJing seventeen years ago, when I was ten, I picked up a whole bunch of DMC tapes," said the new US DMC battle champ DJ I-Dee in his acceptance speech for the title that will take him to the UK in October for the 2014 DMC World Championships. "My goal was accomplished ten years ago when I made the [DMC] US Finals. And everything after that has been a complete bonus," added the Fairfax VA DJ [seen in above pic c/o Arvee Eco Photography who supplied most of the photos for this review - others c/o Christie Z-Pabon of DMC/Tools of War].

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.22.14: Dilated Peoples, Souls of Mischief, DREAM Day, Independent Hip-Hop Day + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2014 06:30am | Post a Comment

Dilated Peoples "Good As Gone" (2014)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:22:14

1) Dilated Peoples Director of Photography (Rhymesayers Ent) (also on clear vinyl LP format)

2) Kendrick Lamar Good kid, m.A.A.d city [Deluxe Edition]  (Aftermath)

3)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

4) Freddie Gibbs Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

5) J-Dilla Donuts (45 box set) (Stones Throw)

At the Los Angeles Amoeba Music store this week the number one album in the latest hip-hop chart is the brand new, anticipated album from hometown heroes Dilated Peoples who return after eight long years (but don't call it a comeback!) with an incredible album.  Director of Photography on Rhymesayers Entertainment, that was also pressed up on clear vinyl LP format, is a wonderfully executed work that's all tied together with the theme of photography (see the video clip below - one in a series that the group explain the meaning behind this theme). With lots of references to hip-hop and to their hometown Directors is intricately produced with layered seductive bass-lines, bone tingling beats, and engaging rhyme flows that find Evidence and company at their finest. Well worth the wait. See video above for “Good as Gone” and check out such tracks as “Show Me the Way” featuring on the chorus Aloe Blacc. Writes the Amoeba.com reviewer: "Though it’s plenty rooted in classic hip-hop, Directors of Photography mostly avoids feeling dated with some of its more adventurous tracks. Record pops, lo-fi mics and a dark guitar lick give “Let Your Thoughts Fly Away” a terrific modern underground feel, its wicked bass comes through partway in to keep it engaging amid lyrics about “dreaming even though we’re wide awake.” And “Opinions May Vary” featuring great young hip-hop duo Gangrene is head-spinning in the best way, like riding out a bad trip and just going with it. Ditto the rest of Directors of Photography, a heavy dose of chemically altered yet classically minded hip-hop."

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: A Tale of Two Biggies (Biggie Smalls Vs. Biggy Smallz)

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2014 09:43am | Post a Comment
The tale of two Biggies is the tale of two rappers with the same name, and with one of them having to change his rap name. It dates to back to the early to mid 1990's when legendary Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records fame first arrived on the scene to some confusion among hip-hop fans at the time who were familiar with the other existing rapper named Biggy Smallz who was Thug Life and 2Pac affiliated. That Biggy started out a bit earlier in his rap career, beginning in 1991 at a young age.

Both rappers had drawn inspiration for their names from the 1975 movie Let's Do It Again and its character Biggie Smalls that was played by Calvin Lockhart. So by the time the Biggie born Christopher Wallace arrived on the rap map the other Biggy Smallz was already out there releasing hip-hop singles including 1993's "Cruisin" which, like 1994's "Nobody Rides For Free," was also produced by Johnny "J" who was also producing for 2Pac - an affiliation that he is best known for.  Reportedly it was Tupac Shakur who asked Christopher Wallace to change his name from Biggie Smalls to avoid confusion with his Thug Life buddy Biggy. Hence Christopher Wallace officially became The Notorious B.I.G. before releasing his major label debut. Although since some have suggested that it was not Pac's request for the name change but rather fear of legal copyright infringement from the producers of the Let's Do It Again movie that was the real reason for Wallace changing his name. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.15.14: G-Eazy, Shabazz Palaces, Madlib, MF Doom

Posted by Billyjam, August 15, 2014 10:51am | Post a Comment

G-Eazy "I Mean I (feat Nemo)" (2014)

Amoeba San Francisco Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart Week Ending 08:15:14

1) Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty (SubPop)

2) G-Eazy  These Things Happen (BPG)

3) Madlib Pinata Beats (Madlib Invasion)

4) MF Doom Special Herbs, Vol. 5 & 6 LP (Nature Sounds/Fat Beats)

5) JJ Doom Bookend EP (Lex Records)

The number one selling hip-hop album at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store this week is the experimental hip-hop album Lese Majesty (also available in LP format) from Shabazz Palaces who just did a very well received in-store at the Haight Street store a couple of weeks ago (July 29th) in celebration of the new album by the Seattle based group fronted by Ishmael Butler (formerly known as Butterfly with Digable Planets) and multi-instrumentalist Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire. The recently released Lese Majesty is the group's second  studio album and follow up to their critically acclaimed 2011 debut Black Up. And so far the new 18 track album, whose title is the French term for criminally insulting or offending a head of state, has been garnering rave reviews like its predecessor did including high praise from the Amoeba site which lauded the 45 minute new album for "challenging and expanding the hip-hop landscape, taking it to the moon and beyond.....like a galactic sonic roller coaster." 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.08.14: Amoeba Berkeley Chart With E-Lit, AmpLive, Wu-Tang Clan, Armand Hammer, Triple Threat DJs

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2014 12:24pm | Post a Comment
     


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 08:08:14


1) Amp Live Headphone Concerto ( Plug Research Music)

2) Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty  (SubPop) 

3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

4) Has Lo & Castle Live Like You're Dead (Mello Music Group)

5) BPos Positive Beings (One League Entertainment)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's top five chart plus his nice comprehensive run-down (see video above) of all the new and recent hip-hop arrivals at the East Bay store - in both CD and vinyl formats.  These include Armand Hammer's vinyl only Furtive Movements (Backwoodz Studioz), the brand new collaboration between Philadelphia emcee MarQ Spekt and prolific New York City producer Blockhead - JustPlayWitIt on HiPNOTT Records, and Anticon label co-founder/member Alias' new full-length Pitch Black Prism featuring fellow Anticon co-founder/former Amoebite DoseOne as guest emcee on the track "Crimson Across It." Other new arrivals include the limited edition vinyl (only 300 pressed up) House Shoes and Street Corner Music Presents: T-White The Gift Vol. 5!, and Washington DC beatmaster Damu the Fudgemunk's Public Assembly CD care of Redefinition Records and Fat Beats that was initially intended as a limited edition vinyl only release for the 2014 WFMU Record Fair. The other new / recent releases that made the top five chart entries this week
(recent Amoeba San Francisco instore performers) Shabazz Palaces' pioneering new album Lese Majesty  (again on SubPop), Madlib's Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD c/o Madlib Invasion that is also available in single volumes on vinyl (Rock Konducta Vol. 1 LP and Rock Konducta Vol. 2 LP), and the latest from the unstoppable Mello Music Group; Has Lo & Castle's Live Like You're Dead. The other two top five entries are both Bay Area (Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba San Francisco have long been highly supportive of homegrown talent): San Francisco crew  BPos's latest Positive Beings on One League Entertainment that will be featured in detail in a soon to be published feature here on the Amoeblog, and the newest release from Zion I producer Amp Live: Headphone Concerto on Plug Research Music. As he proved long ago on such productions as Rainydayz Remixes project, on which remixed Radiohead's 2008 album In Rainbows (totally reworking it and adding in such artists as Too $hort, Del, and Zion I mate Zumba, Amp Live has always musically been beyond hip-hop. And this album - his first for Plug Research - while it is hip-hop at its base still further pushes the envelope more beyond hip-hop into such other musical terrain as soul, pop, and electronic on such tracks as the cello intro'ed, pop hit sounding "Penny Nickel and Dime" featuring Anya and Prof (see video below which demonstrates the message of the song - about the influence and power of the almighty dollar).

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