2013 LA Film Festival when Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records) will screen on both June 21st and 22nd. Via concert footage, interviews, never-before-seen archival material, and "inner-circle home video and photographs" the film traces the rich and illustrious history of the label that was founded in 1996 and in the years since has released quality material from such talents as Madlib/Quasimoto, Madvillain, James Pants, Dam-Funk, Karriem Riggins, J-Rocc, Homeboy Sandman, Quakers, Strong Arm Steady, J-Dilla, Aloe Blacc, the late great Charizma (PBW's musical partner who was killed 20 years ago) and Wolf himself - to name but some. Advance tickets and more details on the ten day (June 13 - June 23rd) LA Film Festival.
AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING FEBRUARY 8th, 2013
3) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Aftermath)
4) Fashawn Champagne & Styrofoam Cups (Fat Beats/Dirty Science)
5) Dead Prez Information Age (Varese Sarabande)
Joe Budden the popular Jersey City, New Jersey rapper, who is known for both his solo work as well as being a member of rap supergroup Slaughterhouse, and to some as a part on the VH1 TV show Love & Hip-Hop: New York, released his brand new album No Love Lost on Entertainment One this week which is in the top slot of the latest Amoeba Music hip-hop chart. Other new and recent releases in this new top five include the eternally popular Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Aftermath), the latest from Cali hip-hopper Fashawn's Champagne & Styrofoam Cups on Fat Beats/Dirty Science, and A$AP Rocky whose successful new album Long.Live. A$AP was somewhat bittersweet since on the eve of its release his always supportive father suddenly dropped dead. Also charting is the new long-awaited album from Dead Prez (Information Age) - more on it below along with such other items as BPos' alternate ending to last weekend's Super Bowl XLVII and Amoeba Berkeley's E-Lit's picks of new releases for this month.
Since Monday rumors had been circulating via Twitter and Facebook that legendary trumpeter Donald Byrd had passed away but for the past few days none of these reports of the jazz musician and educator extraordinaire's passing were confirmed and even considered some kind of cruel hoax. However today all those rumors were put to rest when confirmation of Byrd's passing was announced by the artist's nephew Alex Bugnon who said via Facebook and emails that his 80 year uncle had indeed died on Monday, February 4th, adding that for some reason other family members were trying to shroud his passing in secrecy. "I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family," wrote his nephew. So far the exact cause of death has not been made public and, note, there has been no other confirmation beyond Bugnon's of Byrd's passing.
Born Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II in Detroit, Michigan in December 1932 Donald Bryd was a one of a kind trumpeter whose work spanned several decades and genres. Byrd was known for not only for his indelible work in jazz (in a career in which he played alongside the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, and Herbie Hancock), but also in RnB, soul, and funk. And of course hip-hop fans know his work from the countless times it has been sampled. Large Professor, Organized Konfusion, Black Moon, The Pharcyde, Nas, Public Enemy, Madlib, and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien are among the many that sampled him along with fellow late great Detroit artist J Dilla was who clearly influenced by Byrd: Byrd's song "Think Twice" (below) was reworked/sampled by Dilla (whose 39th birthday would have been today) on the Welcome 2 Detroit track "Think Twice feat Dwele." Furthermore the once popular acid jazz movement heavily built upon its sound via Byrd's work. In recent decades Byrd was known as an educator lecturing at numerous institutions on music.
Stereo Boyz "RayBanz (feat. Shoua Kue)" (2012)
Detroit underground hip-hop crew the Stereo Boyz just dropped a new single/video (above) titled "RayBanz" with a vocal feature from Shoua Kue and production by Nick Speed (G-Unit) with scratches and cuts by DJ Los. "RayBanz" is the lead single off the upcoming album Carz, Clubz & Theaterz (the follow up to last year's Live from the Ghettoblaster EP) from the Michigan duo that features the two MCs Mixo (aka Applauze Beetz) and Mic Audio (aka Perfect Hell) who for close to a decade pre-Stereo Boyz were part of another Detroit group called Rhyme Asylum. Wholeheartedly embracing the DIY hip-hop ethos the Stereo Boyz have traveled round the US and also over to Europe to do a series of underground shows - all the while slowly building their rep and fan-base. I met up with the pair a few months ago when they traveled by car from Detroit to New York City to do a series of shows including one at the Bowery Poetry Club and another in the park. That (informal) park set was one of their infamous Monkey Barz cipher sessions - a true traditional hip-hop event that they hold on a weekly basis back in their hometown. See the video below of their first 2012 Monkey Barz session. For the one-off NYC Monkey Barz session the visiting Stereo Boyz headed to Union Square on a balmy Saturday afternoon with their big white boombox in tow to provide beats, and there attracted a huge crowd - many of them also emcees who joined in the freestyle session.
Michael "House Shoes" Buchanan, the noted Detroit DJ/producer & hip-hop mentor who plays a special DJ set at 2pm at Amoeba San Francisco today in celebration of his new album Let It Go (available in both CD and vinyl formats at today's Amoeba in-store in advance of Tuesdays June 19th release), has long been Detroit hip-hop's greatest ambassador. Most notably back in 1996, via his small but influential House Shoes Recordings label, he released J Dilla's (then known as Jay Dee) Unreleased EP.
House Shoes was also central in promoting a whole slew of other hip-hop artists from Detroit. This he has done over the past couple of decades both while he was living in the Motor City (he left in 2006) and since he moved to LA several years ago. In LA House Shoes was a part of the LA Fat Beats store right up to its closing events two years ago but wherever he goes, it seems he can't but rep his hometown city of Detroit which he travels back to frequently.
The long list of Detroit artists he has worked with include Guilty Simpson and Elzhi. And no doubt today's Amoeba DJ set by House Shoes will include a lot of Detroit hip-hop - many of his own productions including tracks off his brand new anticipated, long overdue debut album. Note that he also recently released the 12" EP The Time which was a hot seller at the Hollywood Amoeba store - it went straight into the top five chart the week it was released. He has also released a couple of records two years ago - one via Dublin, Ireland indie label All City (profiled on the Amoeblog here). On Tuesday next, June 19th, Tres Records will release House Shoes official debut album Let It Go and today only at Amoeba San Francisco you can purchase advance copies of the album (and get them signed) at the in-store DJ set which begins at 2pm. More details here.