Premiering today on YouTube and here on the Amoeblog (above) is Forever-Land: the Jim Lujan made full-length, animated film starring Kounterclockwise that has the distinction of being the first single hand drawn, animated, Sci-Fi film based on location in Cleveland, Ohio. The 56 minute movie is also the first one to feature a disabled hip-hop "inter-galactic animated hero" in a wheelchair. Billed as "a hidden dimension where strange characters, creatures, and lands exist under the iron harsh rule of Infinitus…destroyer of all things funky" Forever-Land is an inspirational tale by the animation filmmaker Lujan with a lot of input from Kounterclockwise whose two members co-wrote the script with the filmmaker. The movie's 17 track soundtrack was co-produced by Lujan wtih Kounterclockwise's Deacon Burns.
Featured here on the Amoeblog back in late 2011, when they released their album Daylight Savings Time, the group that identifies as both "Krip-Hop" and "alternative punk hop" Kounterclockwise is the Cleveland Heights based duo comprised of Deacon Burns and Kaya "Rouge" Carine Gabriel (read their Amoeblog interview/profile here). Meanwhile underground animation filmmaker Jim Lujan's resume includes such works as Freakdaddy, Spike and Mike, Sanjourno Must Die (popular on YouTube animation channel RugBurn). He is currently working on the feature film Revengeance alongside renowned independent animator Bill Plympton, and with music by Kounterclockwise. Uploaded two days ago as a private invite only YouTube stream Forever-Land is as of today (March 11th) available to the general public to view on Lujan's YouTube site with links from such select sites as here. For more background on the film frequent Amoeblog contributor and founder of Krip-Hop Nation, Berkeley CA based author/activist Leroy Moore caught up with filmmaker Jim Lujan and Kaya and Deacon of Kounterclockwise to interview them for the Amoeblog. His insightful conversation with these three talented individuals follows immediately below the Jim Lujan produced Kounterclockwise "Whip" video.
1) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
2) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
3) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
4) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
5) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)
Since its release last week, Drake's latest full-length offering, Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money Records, has rocketed to the number one position on the latest Amoeba Hip-Hop Chart at the Hollywood store, where it even edges out recent month chart staples from the likes of Kanye West (Yeezus) and Jay-Z (Magna Carta Holy Grail) - the latter of whom makes a cameo on this latest from Drake. The Amoeba.com review gives this new Drake release (the artist's third studio album in as many years) a two thumbs up rating, calling it "some of his best material yet" and claims that the album "features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet." Of the Canadian-born artist's current status (one that draws a lot of criticism over such issues as his background as former child television star. Over the past week, Kendrick Lamar labelled him a "sensitive rapper."), "Drake’s got little left to prove. If the haters provide fuel for his fire, haters keep hatin’ cause Nothing Was the Same is a beautiful smackdown." Indeed when it comes to competition Drake is a clear all around winner in terms of popularity with music buyers. As well as topping the latest Amoeba chart, he also went to number one with a bullet on the Billboard album chart, selling a reported 658,000 units in its first week.
Krip-hop crew Kounterclockwise, comprised of husband and wife Kaya Carine Gabriel and Deacon Burns who were interviewed here on the Amoeblog about a year ago, have just released their latest music video. For the duo's engaging track "Outside The Lines" the music video is animated and directed by Jim Lujan and features Deacon spitting such attention-grabbing, emotionally charged lyrics as: "I'm at the bottom of the great black pit covered in piss and shit, can't do a damn thing about it except call out to Kaya, drowning in fire water, but i can't breath without it. When you're a never was, hard to remember what it was that made you want to do music. I'm being punished for my habits but I can't control what I inherit. I feel like a hobbit trying to get to Mordor in a fuckin wheelchair, i can't make it. I'm form without content, only content when i'm wasted nothing but abuse and substance. I'm giving you my two-week notice, emotional sickness life makes me nauseous. I feel so useless like the dick on a full-blown paraplegic, life's a bitch!" The MidWest based Kounterclockwise will be in the Bay Area next month for the Krip-Hop Nation Bay Area mini tour. More instant info, and also here on the Amoeblog at that time.
Profiling and police brutality are topics very close to the hearts of those that contributed to the just released Police Brutality Profiling Mixtape - the new CD compilation of krip-hop artists that is now available at Amoeba Berkeley and will soon be in stock at Amoeba San Francisco. The new pro civil rights compilation is a joint production of 5th Battalion Entertainment in Los Angeles and the Berkeley based Krip-Hop Nation that is headed by Leroy Moore who has been interviewed here on the Amoeblog in the past.
Krip Hop Nation links hip-hop artists with disabilities around the globe and to date, under Moore's direction, has produced several previous compilations of krip-hop artists. But this one one is the first to thematically tackle the topic of the (mostly unspoken) often unhealthy treatment of people of color with disabilities at the hands of police. Moore says that discrimination by police, as well as violence, are all too common and hence the inspiration to put together this new collection. Album collaborator DJ Quad, who is a part of 5th Battalion in LA, is a person with a disability who frequently falls victim to profiling. A Latino who is confined to a wheelchair, DJ Quad (his name is inspired by quadriplegic) has had many unnecessary run-ins with the law that he explains on the new CD in both a spoken word track and a music track.