Amoeblog

Zeke Thomas' "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X Addresses Key Issue of The Day

Posted by Billyjam, June 23, 2015 04:49pm | Post a Comment

Zeke Thomas "Blackness (feat. Chuck D & Jasiri X)" (2015)

If you ever despair that comedy seems to have eclipsed music's once key role as the lead thought-provoking voice, offering insights into the news making social and political issues of the day, Zeke Thomas's vibrant new track "Blackness" featuring Chuck D and Jasiri X will dispell that feeling. The song and its accompanying Charlie Zwick directed video above prove that popular music can still be political and central to the national dialog.  And right now that national dialog seems to be squarely focused on the topic of race in America. It is the also the one addressed by EDM producer Zeke Thomas — the club DJ / producer / son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas on the track "Blackness" whose release could not have been more perfectly timed with its publication over the past week. On "Blackness" Thomas is joined by the always politically outspoken hip-hop voices of veteran rap revolutionary Public Enemy's Chuck D, along with contemporary political rapper (self-described "Raptivist") with some  in-your-face, social commentary. Reportedly it was longtime political activist Harry Belafonte who introduced the Thomas to both Chuck D and Jasiri X. The introduction came from his organization Sankofa that encourages "artists and performers of color to actively create art that may serve as a catalyst for positive cultural evolution" for the single that was released by Tommy Boy. My hope is that Thomas will release a hip-hop mix too. My other hope is that a new wave of political rap like when PE were at their peak 25 + years ago, with powereful outspoken songs like "Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos" off the album It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (video below), will make a re-emergence in popularity.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11:22:13: E-Lit, Bun B, Death Grips, Jasiri X, Necro & Kool G Rap, Deltron 3030 + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 22, 2013 09:20am | Post a Comment
       

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week End 11:22:13


1) Bun B Trill O.G.: The Epilogue (Rap-A-Lot)
 
2) Latyrx The Second Album (Latrymid)

3) Jel Late Pass (Anticon)

4) The Godfathers Once Upon A Crime (Psycho & Logical)

5) Death Grips No Love Deep Web (Universal)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for the above latest top five chart and accompanying video of the hip-hop fan/KALX DJ/Amoeba hip-hop buyer running down the latest batch of new/recent hip-hop arrivals (CD and vinyl) into the Telegraph Avenue store where things, in terms of new 2013 releases, are slowing down to a halt now as we rapidly approach the end of the year / holiday season when traditionally only major labels release new albums while most labels wait until the new year to drop new releases if not already out by now. Of this week's new chart entries and new releases included are the return in stock of Denmark Vessey & Scud One's Cult Classics, Anticon co-founder and member of numerous groups and collabs including Themselves, and Subtle, Jel's excellent new solo album  Late Pass, and Latyrx's The Second Album (read the Amoeblog interview with Lateef and Lyrics Born I did earlier this week). Also charting this week at Amoeba are The Godfathers (not the 90's UK rock outfit of same name) - the unlikely duo of Kool G. Rap and Necro who just dropped Once Upon A Crime via Psycho & Logical, and Sacramento's in-your-face hardcore, noise-making, hip-hoppers Death Grips with their brand new No Love Deep Web album. Below is a new video from the talented pair - albeit from the also recently released Government Plates for the song "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for." 

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Jasiri X's Song & Video in Outrage Over Florida Teen Trayvon Martin's Murder

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2012 08:54pm | Post a Comment
       
 Jasiri X "Trayvon" (March 19th, 2012)

In response to the recent shooting death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin at the hands of a trigger-happy, self-appointed neighborhood watch leader named George Zimmerman who believed Martin looked "suspicious," rapper Jasiri X today released the song and video "Trayvon." The Chicago-born, Pittsburg, PA-based artist/activist recorded the song and its accompanying video in protest of and outrage over the unjust killing combined with the fact that Zimmerman, who did not deny shooting the unarmed youth, was not arrested at the scene nor has he been charged (at the time of this post) since the killing that took place over three weeks ago on February 26th.

In  "Trayvon," Jasiri X gives a detailed play by play of the events that went down three weeks ago when the 17-year-old was visiting his father for the weekend in the gated Florida community. He stepped out of his dad's house, taking a break from watching basketball on TV, to walk to the store to buy Skittles and ice tea. An excerpt of some of these lyrics follow below. In the video above you will see how the aritist also weaves in other incidents of young, black males being victimized, including that famous video footage of an unarmed Oscar Grant been shot by BART police on New Year's Day a few years ago. To get a free download of this song click here.

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