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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Number One Hip-Hop Singles of 1990

Posted by Billyjam, March 24, 2015 09:31pm | Post a Comment
The following list of number one hip-hop singles from 25 years ago is based on a combination of sales and radio airplay and comes care of Billboard magazine who calculated the initially published charts throughout 1990 in the weekly music magazine. Some were culled from albums released in 1989 but all singles charted in '90 with Salt-N-Pepa's "Expression" (remembered by many by its repeated catchy hook "express yourself") holding down the number one slot for the longest at eight consecutive weeks from mid January through mid March that year. Meanwhile Candyman's pop rap single "Knockin' Boots" spent five weeks at number one. Interestingly Vanilla Ice's ever-popular mega hit "Ice Ice Baby" only spent one week at number one on the hip-hop charts in 1990. However it soon crossed over to the separate pop singles chart where it enjoyed much more success going to number one for 13 weeks. The East Bay based, Tommy Boy act Digital Underground's biggest hit single of their career "The Humpty Dance" was number one for five straight weeks beginning on St. Patrick's Day, 1990. BDP artist D-Nice's "They Call Me D-Nice" spent four weeks at number one as did "We're All In The Same Gang" by the appropriately named West Coast Rap All-Stars, featuring Ice-T, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Young MC, Digital Underground, MC Hammer, King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Michel'le, Tone-Loc, and Above The Law's Cold 187um & KMG, which spent a month at number starting on July 21st. Meanwhile Ice Cube, with his debut solo post N.W.A. single "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" from the album of the same name, spent three straight weeks at number one beginning on June 9th, 1990 - but never had an official video made for it.  Most of the others spent one or two weeks at number one. For exact number of corresponding weeks at number one to individual hip-hop single see number in brackets following title of song, all below in video format in chronological order of release as singles.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Berner, Boots Riley, Kanye West, DJ Cutso, Kool Keith + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2015 10:05am | Post a Comment
New releases to Amoeba this past week include the EP 20 Lights (Bern One Entertainment) by the numero uno Bay Area weed ambassador Berner whose prolific output disproves that old belief that weed makes you lazy (his last release - the album Drugstore Cowboy - dropped just three short months ago).  Included on this new joint (pun intended) guest heavy, seven song CD are collaborations with such fellow dank-loving talents as Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Smiggz, The Jacka, and Mac Dre (the latter two Bay Area greats no longer with us - rest in peace).  Also new this week is the vinyl version of Sour Soul by BadBadNotGood backing Ghostface Killah that was released on CD a month ago. This explicit new vinyl version, that is care of Lex Records, comes complete with a digital download card.  is available in regular  the two download-only smoked and chopped 8Ball & MJG albums Comin Out Hard and On The Outside Looking In remix projects by Green Thumb that feature Dirty South rap tracks each given that hella slowed down and extended remix treatment.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Diamond District Redux, Lyrics Born, SxSW, Kosha Dillz, Global Local, Krush Groove, + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 13, 2015 05:05am | Post a Comment
New hip-hop releases to arrive into Amoeba this week include Diamond District's March On Washington Redux album that is an updated all remix version of their 2014 album March On Washington. The new CD from the power trio self-described as the “D.C. Voltron” and comprised of emcees Oddisee, yU and Uptown XO, again care of from the label that can do no wrong Mello Music, features non-stop remixes of all 13 tracks including such bangers as L'Orange's remix of "The Backup," the Diamond D remix of "Erything," and the Large Pro remix of "Working Weekends." Meanwhile Diamond District member/Prince George’s County, Maryland native Oddisee has just announced that he will be releasing a new solo album entitled The Good Fight. The album, which will arrive in Amoeba on May 5th again care of Mello Music has been described as a record that will remind you that it’s music before it’s hip-hop. For a preview taste of what it will sound like you can stream the first single, "That's Love," via SoundCloud.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 1988, The Year Considered By Many As Hip-Hop's Greatest

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2015 03:00pm | Post a Comment

For this week's Hip-Hop History installment we rewind back to wonderfully vibrant year of 1988. It was a time when hip-hop still constantly growing, with exciting sounding new artists constantly unfurling new lyrical and musical sounds. To me '88 was part of the third wave of hip-hop - with the first wave being the (original) old school artists of the 70's/early 80's, who were eclipsed earlier in the 80's by Run-D.M.C. who ushered in the "new school" - but who themselves in turn were eclipsed by this newer third wave of hip-hop. It often seemed (and more so in retrospect) that every record released in '88 was a good record. Of course, as with any music in any time period, there were hip-hop duds released in '88 too. However overall it is fair to say that 1988 had a larger percentage of quality, diverse-sounding, influential, and timeless hip-hop releases than many other years in the genre's four-decade history. And no wonder; it was part of the time frame known as the "golden era" of hip-hop that is widely considered to be the artistic pinnacle of the art form.   I think part of the reason for this, along with the lyrical aspect of the artform still being relatively young and still being explored by new emcees like Rakim, was the fact that sampling was at its creative peak. Remember this was in the period before the infamous 1991 landmark Gilbert O Sullivan vs Biz Markie copyright case that essentially brought an end to free range sampling, and would end up in hip-hop being a little less adventurous sounding due to all the restrictions placed on it regarding sampling.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesday: 1986, The Year Run-D.M.C. Raised Hell And Helped Rap Crossover

Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2015 03:03am | Post a Comment

When they arrived on the hip-hop scene in the early 1980's Run-D.M.C. distinguished themselves as the leaders of the new school of rap music. This claim by the Hollis, Queens, NY trio comprised of Joseph "Run" Simmons, Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, and Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell was truly justified by the unique group who would be perhaps the most influential group of the genre with their hardcore rap sound. With 1984's self-titled debut on Profile Records and its follow-up; 1985's King of Rock, Run DMC were already hugely popular with fans of the then still burgeoning hip-hop music genre but it was 1986's Raising Hell  their third album that proved to be their breakthrough, crossover release. Raising Hell won them a whole wave of new fans - many of whom up until this point had dismissed rap as mere novelty and  passing fad in pop music. Run DMC's updated rock/rap version of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" deserves  much of the credit for breaking Run DMC (and rap/hip-hop along with it) into the mainstream. The conversion of the average mid eighties hard rock fan, who up to this stage was still resistant to rap because they saw it as a derivative of the then stigmatized genre of disco, went to Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith who joined on them on both the record and in the influential music video of "Walk This Way." The result was an inspired updated rap rendition of an already great rock song.

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