Amoeblog

Thinking of Dilla on 10-Year Anniversary

Posted by Billyjam, February 10, 2016 08:32pm | Post a Comment


"One of the most important musicians of our time. When we think of John Coltrane,
Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder
, and Marvin Gaye,
J Dilla will be going down along that history line of greatness!" 
- Common  (XXL Magazine)

Ten years ago today exactly the world lost hip-hop production genius J Dilla. Also an emcee, the artist was born James Dewitt Yancey and was also known as Jay Dee.  He died on February 10th, 2006 at the age of 32  following a battle with lupus. But even on his sickbed he worked on music, a lot of it for the album Donuts (Stones Throw) that was released just three days before his tragic passing. The quote above by Common, who was roomies with Dilla after he moved from Detroit to LA in 2004, is typical of the type of reverence Dilla receives from his peers. Similarly to Common, Madlib also made a Dilla/Coltrane cross reference. "Dilla was like a Coltrane," said MadLib who had collaborated with him as JayLib. "When Coltrane was there, everybody tried to follow what he did. And when he died mothafuckers didn't know what to do," said MadLib in the documentary Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records

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New 'What's In My Bag?' Episode with Flea and Amy-Jo Albany

Posted by Amoebite, February 1, 2016 06:54pm | Post a Comment

Flea Amy-Jo Albany What's In My Bag?

You probably know Flea as the bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. But you may not know him as an actor or jazz aficionado or the co-founder of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization dedicated to music education for kids. In 2014, Flea executive-produced and co-starred in the film adaptation of Amy-Jo Albany's memoir, Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood, about life with her father, jazz pianist Joe Albany. The biopic stars John Hawkes, Glenn Close, and Elle Fanning, and its soundtrack features jazz greats such as Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, and Joe Albany himself.

Flea and Amy-Jo recently visited Amoeba Hollywood for a DJ set and soundtrack signing. They took time to talk with our "What's In My Bag?" cameras and to surprise each other with a few selections. In this episode they talk about falling in love with Bach, Bowie's ability to interpret songs, and the transcendent power of J Dilla.

Watch the full episode below to see the rest of their picks:

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Producer Mr. Scruff

Posted by Amoebite, July 7, 2015 06:05pm | Post a Comment

Mr. Scruff

Mr. Scruff, the musical project of Mancunian DJ/producer Andy Carthy, burst onto the scene in the mid-Mr Scruff'90s with the release of several 12" singles for Pleasure Music. His biggest hit-to-date came via the release of his 1999 debut full-length, Keep It Unreal, which features the single "Get a Move On," an upbeat swing-styled number based around "Bird's Lament (In Memory of Charlie Parker)" by Moondog and featuring a sample from Shifty Henry's "Hyping Woman Blues." His official followup, Trouser Jazz, appeared in 2002. Two years later Scruff released his first ever DJ mix album, Keep It Solid Steel Volume 1. He has released albums steadily over the past decade, with 2014's Friendly Bacteria showcasing the constant evolution of his sound. Scruff is also known for his marathon DJ sessions, hand-drawn live visuals and album art, and his tea company, Make Us a Brew. 

Mr. Scruff recently visited Amoeba Hollywood rocking a really dope J Dilla (RIP) t-shirt, a small indication that he goes deep in the crates when digging for vinyl. He definitely found some classic gems in this episode of What's In My Bag?. Scruff first finds the early '80s modern soul album One Way Love Affair by Sadane. He often collects these records and hands them out as gifts to friends. A longtime fan of the Celluloid label, Scruff picks their newly released compilation, Haiti Goes Latin, which is a great album for any lover of World/Latin music. Watch the full episode below to see all his picks:

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top 5 Chart, Killer Mike's Political Career Postponed, New Oakland Party "Wax Poetic"

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2015 08:14pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week End 06:19:15


1) Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2  (LP) (Mass Appeal)

2) Czarface Every Hero Needs A Villain (also in LP) Brick Records)

3) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)

4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)

5) A$AP Rocky  At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)


Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!' and available in both CD and LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels' Run The Jewels 2  that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics. 
 
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career?  Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role.  Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.


Pete Rock Readies To Release PeteStrumentals 2

Posted by Billyjam, May 10, 2015 06:00pm | Post a Comment

Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock, who originally came to fame in the early '90s via the power duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth, will release  PeteStrumentals 2 next month via Mello Music Group. It is the long-awaited sequel to the 2001 BBE Records release PeteStrumentals, which compiled beat-driven compositions recorded over the previous decade.

The NY-born producer has just unleashed the music video for the album track "Cosmic Slop." The video captures the producer alone in a room, lost in the music as he creates magic with his MPC. "The video just gives you a lil' knowledge on the vibes I was feeling when I was making the track," said Pete Rock who did a memorable performance and interview at Amoeba Hollywood in 2008. He described the track as a beat he designed for creating the feeling of "cruising down the highway on a very nice day or night in the summertime seeing all kinda people outside enjoying themselves!"

Considering that the late great J Dilla credited Pete Rock as his key influence it only seems fitting that the 20 track Petestrumentals 2 features a  touching requiem to Detroit's favorite son via the touching song “Dilla Bounce (R.I.P)” in which Pete Rock pays tribute to his prodigy. Petestrumentals 2 will arrive in Amoeba Music on June 23rd in both CD and vinyl formats. In addition to the brand new "Cosmic Slop" video below is Pete Rock & CL Smooth's hip-hop classic "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" off 1992's Mecca and The Soul Brother.

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