Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 10.19.12: K'Nann, Prince Paul, Rapsody, B-Pos, Mos Def + Mannie Fresh, Homeboy Sandman + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2012 12:37pm | Post a Comment
       
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley overviews new Hip-Hop releases of the week ending 10:19:2012


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 10:19:12


1) K'Naan Country, God Or The Girl (Octane/A&M)

2) Zion I Shadow Boxing (Live Up Records)

3) Macklemore The Heist (Macklemore, LLC.)

4) Prince Paul & DJ P. Forreal Negroes On Ice (The Red Lion Group)

5) Rapsody The Idea of Beautiful (Jamla Records)

Thanks to the ever knowledgeable, hip-hop loving E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for taking time to do a run down of all the new and recent hip-hop releases at Amoeba both vinyl and CD. In the new top five chart the number seller is the brand new K'Naan Country, God Or The Girl on Octone/A&M. "Love is harder than war. I’ve had the chance to write about my experiences in a difficult and violent life. But when the suffering and the pain is something that comes from within me, it’s harder to react and to write about that," said the Somali Canadian multi-talent of the new album's content which features the lead pop-rap single that dropped several months back, "Is There Anybody Out There?" and features Nelly Furtado (see below). On Country, God Or The Girl is the internationally popular artist's attempt to, he says, address "the internal wars, rather than the external ones, which I'd been preoccupied with on my previous albums."

Other releases on the new chart include the ever-popular Seattle, WA rapper Macklemore, who earned many new fans c/o his recent viral video for "Thrift Shop," legendary producer Prince Paul teaming up with DJ P. Forreal, and North Carolina female emcee Rapsody with her most impressive official debut The Idea of Beautiful on Jamla Records. The album on which she displays a sick flow again begs the age old question in hip-hop: how come there are still such a small ratio of female rappers to male rappers? Oakland duo Zion I's newest album, which is their eight to date, continues to sell as the pair of Zumbi and Amp Live continue their current tour. Other excellent new/recent releases include Homeboy Sandman's First of A Living Breed on Stones Throw (see video below for new album track "Not Really"), and the brand album which drops next week from Rhymesayers artist P.O.S. We Don't Even Live Here which takes hip-hop into whole new territory. Note the CD comes with real nice packaging with a great booklet with some strange but intriguing photo art.

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Homeboy Sandman Interview

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2012 10:07am | Post a Comment

As Homeboy Sandman ably displayed as guest writer for the Huffington Post last week (Attack of the Clones: How Lack of Topical Diversity is Killing Hip Hop and Its Listeners), in which the articulate hip-hop artist discussed the state of rap today, the NYC school teacher turned emcee is not your stereotypical pop rapper obsessed with fame and material things. This fact is further evident on the thought-provoking lyrics throughout Homeboy Sandman's recently released 14 track album First of A Living Breed which is the third of three Stones Throw Records releases (preceded by the two EPs Chimera and Subject Matter) released this year by the prolific artist who is currently on tour with Brother Ali. They play the Fillmore in San Francisco on October 25th, the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on October 26th, at El Rey in LA on Oct 27th, and at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara on October 28th. A couple of months before heading out on the road I caught up with Homeboy Sandman at his East Village apartment to talk about the new album and the state of the world today.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #2: Homeboy Sandman, DUMBO, Experi-MENTAL, Film shoots, Dylan's NY, + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 3, 2012 12:53pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to both installment number two of New York State of Mind (the new weekly Amoeblog series that is a condensed NYC music/entertainment-report-meets-budget-travel-guide) and, more importantly, to the new and improved Amoeba website. As you no doubt already noticed this week here at Amoeba.com, there has been a major overhaul of the website with a whole new look and features in place. One key Amoeba.com addition is the new Amoeba digital download store,  where you can download music in high quality MP3, M4A (ALAC), and WAV formats. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: 09.21.12: E-Lit, Kanye West, Murder Dog, Homeboy Sandman, DJ Shadow, DMC World Championships + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 21, 2012 08:38am | Post a Comment
             

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:21:12

1) Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam)

2) Casual Respect Game Or Expect Flames (Nature Sounds)

3) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

4)  Homeboy Sandman First of a Living Breed (Stones Throw)

5) Brother Ali Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Thanks again to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the latest lowdown on all the new hip-hop releases via the above video clip in which he runs through all the new CD and vinyl releases for this week. And a good week it is! New releases include Brother Ali on Rhymesayers with the album Mourning In America & Dreaming In Color that comes with production by Jake One, and Homeboy Sandman (who I will be interviewing here on the Amoeblog in a couple of weeks) on Stones Throw with the album First of a Living Breed that follows two EPs from the prolific NYC artist currently on tour with Brother Ali (they will play the Fillmore in SF on Oct 25th). Other new releases in the store include the brand new Kanye West along with his G.O.O.D. Music crew who finally dropped their awaited first compilation album  Good Music Cruel Summer (note its title includes Summer - not Fall). The 12-track album features along with Kanye such artists as Big Sean, Pusha T, Common, Kid Cudi, Cyhi the Prynce, John Legend, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, 2 Chainz, Raekwon, and Marsha Ambrosius. Of the new album Amoeba.com wrote, "like Watch the Throne, his full-album collaboration with Jay-Z, it’s also a chance to loosen up without having to fully shoulder the expectation set by his solo output (and his ego). …..The non-Kanye songs have their appeal, as well, as on the appropriately faded sounding “Higher,” featuring The-Dream; and the fun, hard-hitting “Sin City,” featuring a pack of artists, including John Legend, singing and rapping over a big beat and sheets of synthesizer. West can’t help be the star of his own show, though, coming back in with what can only be described as a megaballad: 'The One.'"

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.04.12: Doomtree @ Amoeba Berkeley, Lushlife, Pep Love, Raleigh Moncrief, Homeboy Sandman, Gangrene, DJ Solomon, Azeem, and more

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2012 11:35am | Post a Comment
Jamoeblog Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 02:04:12

1) Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon)

2) Lushlife Plateau Vision LP (Western Vinyl)

3) Homeboy Sandman Subject Matter (Stones Throw)

4) Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( Legendary Music/Live Up/Traffic)

5) Wiley Evolve Or Be Extinct (Big Dada)

For a change from the usual sales-based Amoeba weekly hip-hop chart this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart is my own personal favorite brand new and soon to drop hip-hop releases. Topping the chart is the amazing Oh No and The Alchemist group Gangrene's third and latest collaboration Vodka and Ayahuasca on Decon. Also here is the recent Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( which gets better and better with repeated listens and the brand new Wiley
album Evolve Or Be Extinct - a double CD on Big Dada which will appeal equally to grime and hip-hop heads. Not out yet but worthy of mention It is the forthcoming Lushlife album Plateau  Vision LP, which will be released in mid April on Western Vinyl, and is sure to propel to mainstream visibility the South Philly producer/emcee/musician who made waves last year with the much buzzed about mixtape No More Golden Days. As with that mixtape, which was an actual cassette tape, this new CD album blends mid 90's underground NY hip-hop flavor with Dilla/Madlib type production values. This is the sort of well produced album that will make you want to also track down the instrumental version. It's pure pleasure to listen to and Lushlife's flow is a treat to listen to. He is also joined by several well chosen guests throughout the 11 track album including Styles P, Canadian rapper Shad, Heems of Das Racist, and ex-Titus Andronicus garage rocker Andrew Cedermark who joins him on the album track "The Romance of the Telescope." My personal favorite tracks are the throwback eigthies/nineties sounding "Anthem" and the opening "Magnolia" which, over a dreamy hypnotic backdrop and a series of well chosen samples, finds Lushlife rapping about such things as graffiti and Coney Island. This is already making its way to becoming one of my year end top albums.

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