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The Ten Most Noteworthy Collaborations on E-40’s The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 & Book 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2016 07:55pm | Post a Comment

E-40, D-Boy Diary: Book 1-- By doubleay

Vallejo’s E-40 is a man of many titles. 40 Fonzarelli, 40 Water, and "the tycoon known as Charlie Hustle" are only a few of his dozen or so monikers, but the truest of his titles undoubtedly has to be "The Ambassador of the Bay."

The prolific MC is a forefather of West Coast hip-hop, and his extensive discography and boundless accolades have essentially deemed him the epitome of Bay Area rap. 40 brought Bay Area’s unique sound and style to the rest of the world and if any artist wanted to get a piece of the Bay Area scene, they’d have to go through 40 Belafonte to get it. While many other hip-hop legends have comfortably taken their seat among the ranks of rap’s hall of fame, E-40 has never slowed down nor declined in relevance. Many rap veterans may feel threatened by break-through up-and-comers, but in 40’s case it is quite the opposite. In fact, one of the most admirable things about E-40 is the interest he takes in young artists. While continually progressing his own career, 40 has always put on and supported rising talent new to the industry. E-40’s incomparable stature and experience, met with his kindhearted tendency to promote up-and-comers, truly warrants the title "Ambassador of the Bay."

E-40, D-Boy Diary: Book 2After 27 solo albums, E-40 is back with a new double LP that totally embodies The Ambassador’s ability to cater to his people, both young and old. The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 & Book 2 are each 22 tracks in total, featuring a star-studded track list of stand out OG’s to young bucks. The project has over 40 features, including everything from legends both native and foreign to the Bay Area to fresh up-and-comers with little to no fame or coverage. Few albums have ever had a unique and substantial list of collaborators successfully cater to a wide audience such as this. In an effort to bring some clarity to the depth of this all-ages showcase of a project, I took it upon myself to highlight the most notable features on the double LP.

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New Hip-Hop Vinyl: Sammus "Pieces In Space" (Don Giovanni Records)

Posted by Billyjam, October 31, 2016 07:30pm | Post a Comment
              Sammus Pieces In Space LP (Don Giovanni Records) [also avail on CD]

Among the new hip-hop albums on LP/vinyl to arrive into Amoeba this past Friday (10/28) is the recommended Pieces In Space LP (also avail on CD] by supertalented new hip-hopper Sammus. Released by Don Giovanni Records the powerful new album features select guest spots from such artists as Open Mike Eagle, Homeboy Sandman, and Jean Grae who join the Ithaca, NY rapper/producer and PhD student on the 12 song release. A student in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University, Sammus (born Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo), manages to find time outside her studies (and gaming) to do shows and record some of the most intelligent and insightful, powerful new hip-hop music out there. While  Pieces In Space is Sammus first big time release with national distribution in place, she's been recording for several years now via Bandcamp and self released limited run CDs and all under the hip-hop subgenre known as nerdcore. Scroll down to see videos both off the new album and from the past four years. As we well know, hip-hop has always been a gender-unbalanced genre. But when further broken into specific hip-hop/rap subgenres, such as nerdcore, that unbalanced ratio of female to male artists is even greater. Hence why Sammus and her new album Pieces In Space is such a welcome addition to hip-hop. Generally nerdcore artists tends to be male and white, while Sammus is an African American woman. She is not the first or the only one but is among the small number of females in the hip-hop subgenre's decade and a half history. Shubzilla is a current example as is MC Random, while retired artist and the self-proclaimed female nerdcore pioneer MC Router was another.

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Thizz Nation Reissues Mac Dre’s "Ronald Dregan - Dreganomics" and "Genie of the Lamp"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 27, 2016 03:29pm | Post a Comment

Mac Dre, Dreganomics-- By doubleay

Two LP’s from the deceased Bay Area rap pioneer, Mac Dre, receive vinyl reissues.

A list of famed Bay Area hip-hop acts typically includes artists along the lines of E-40, B-Legit, Too $hort, or MC Hammer. While renowned for the success of their music careers, none of them have inspired and influenced hip-hop in the way Vallejo’s Mac Dre has. Born in 1970, Mac Dre established himself among California rap phenomena like Tupac Shakur, NWA, Warren G, and the aforementioned Bay Area veterans in the early '90s. The unique sound, style, and story-telling heard in his music met with his prison-taught business savvy, led him to conquer the Bay Area rap scene, but it was his unapologetic dedication to remain true to himself that propelled him to establish himself beyond.

Mac Dre - “California Livin’” (1993)

Although he suffered a tragically premature death in November of 2004, Mac Dre’s imprint in hip-hop is undeniable. The frenetically rambunctious style of hyphy music and the iconic concept of thizz, which has gone so far beyond a street term for ecstasy, are both well credited to Mac Dre. The off-kilter flows and uniquely original production heard on his dozens of releases have gone on to influence any Bay Area rapper to have taken a stab at the craft in the last two decades. Beyond those he has inspired musically, his Thizz Entertainment label has become an archetypal business model for doing more than simply selling music, packaging it along with branding, merchandising, and media.

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Eclectic, Non-Commercial, Listener Supported, UC Berkeley Radio Station KALX 90.7FM Currently Holding Its Fall Fundraiser

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2016 05:32pm | Post a Comment
Casual radio listeners, conditioned to judging a station's format by whatever they hear upon first tuning in, sure must be dumbfounded if they ever stumble upon KALX at 90.7FM on their radio dial. Because at any given time you never know what kind of music you might hear on the eclectic, non-commercial, UC Berkeley listener sponsored radio station, currently holding their Fall Fundraiser.  For example in one freeform music hour over this past weekend the diverse music mix shifted through varying genres, decades and BPMs. Tracks off such new albums as De La Soul's recommended hip-hop release and the Anonymous Nobody...(also on LP) and LA rock-cellist Helen Money's (Alison Chesley) Become Zero on Thrill Jockey  got played alongside such previous era releases as the 2002 album Thought for Food (Tomlab) by "folktronic" duo The Books, and the early 1970's pop rock, doobie themed hit "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley. And it all flowed together perfectly thanks to the DJ on the air: Alisa, Queen of the Cowbell. It was the final hour of the always excellent and enlightening longtime KALX DJ's biweekly, Friday night, 9:30pm to midnight, slot that she alternates with Berkestir. Both are among the volunteer roster of gifted DJs on the East Bay radio station that has long championed eclecticism in its programming.

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Mackned Seeks to Conquer Beyond the Digital Sphere with his Debut Album "Born Rich"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 18, 2016 08:18pm | Post a Comment

Mackned-- By doubleay

Seattle-based artist Mackned has been making waves in the digital realm of underground hip-hop for several years and is now looking to extend his reach with the release of his debut album, Born Rich. The duality of Mackned’s rapping and vocal capabilities have garnered his digital releases tens of thousands of views, generating a ton of buzz in the underground scene. The multifaceted artist’s dynamic vocals and songwriting skills present a substantial depth to his music that is often not heard in other artists’ works in underground rap music. A talent to be reckoned with, Mackned typically has his hands on all aspects of his music. Whether writing, rapping, singing, or producing, he’s constantly working to create. Both his countless solo releases and stand out collaborations with his Thraxxhouse group have driven him to connect with reputable rappers along the likes of Chief Keef, Larry June, and Nacho Picasso, and producers Ryan Hemsworth and Tommy Kruise. After making a name for himself in the digital underground, Mackned seeks to conquer beyond with his album debut. To find out more about Born Rich and the man behind the project, I interviewed Mackned.

Amoeblog: Tell me about your debut album, Born Rich. Who were you working with and where were you recording?

Mackned: Well, I was working with Flavr Blue. I had a lot of homies in the studio with me help writing and it was all just so organic. A lot of the album was recorded in NYC which made it brazy. Besides myself, my go-to engineer is Parker Joe who is one of the trio Flavr Blue. There were a couple features on there including my big homies up in Canada and some others. Keyboard Kid co-produced the track “Born Rich” on the album, which I thought was cool seeing how he’s in my group Thraxxhouse.

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