Among the brand new releases to arrive at Amoeba this past week is Words Paint Pictures by Rapper Big Pooh care of Mello Music Group who continue their flawless streak of releasing hip-hop that matters amidst so much pablum out there. This 9 track release features a bunch of collaborators including Ras Kass, Erik Blakk Soul Keith, Marv One, Apollo Brown who did production for the lead single/video (below) "Augmentation," and super producer L'Orange who does a remix of said track "Augmentation." Fellow fans of L'Orange, who I am a major fan of and last interviewed here on the Amoeblog in May 2014 around the time he dropped his amazing Orchid Days - also via Mello Music, will rejoice to know that he is soon to unleash another album. Unlike Orchid Days when he paired up with various emcees this time he will collaborate with just one mic wrecker, the Chicago wordsmith Jeremiah Jae (who many may know from the Dirty Collections 7" single series he has released via Warp Records) with whom L'Orange recorded the upcoming The Night Took Us In Like Family that will be arriving in Amoeba on April 21st.
Hot on the heels of his collaborative album with Stik Figa (The City Under The City) talented prolific producer L'Orange now returns just six months later with more of his refreshingly unique sound: the highly recommended The Orchid Days that was released last month and that, like City, comes via the high caliber indie label Mello Music Group. "Two and a half years ago I got out a piece of paper and wrote down every single thing I wanted to do in the next year and at the very bottom of it I wrote Mello Music Group," the artist told me of finding his ideal label home after self-releasing some free albums digitally. "This is where I have seen myself for a long time and it is definitely an honor to be counted among the roster." His brand new Mello Music release The Orchid Days features carefully selected guest vocalists, (including Blu, Homeboy Sandman, and Billy Woods) on just 7 of its 19 tracks allowing the Nashville based producer to fully stretch and flex his trademark, hypnotically dreamy production style - while interweaving just the right amount of vocal guests to perfectly compliment his (and their) styles - all the while subtly moving the album's storyline along. The Orchid Days storyline is the story of love - finding love, falling in love, and then losing it and missing it - a story told via random soundbites expertly assembled - to the backdrop of an old world mood crafted by building layer upon layer of dreamy jazzy grooves from digging deep into really old jazz records with flutters of dramatically engaging soundbites/samples (handpicked over time by L'Orange) from old black and white movies, along with, often static sounding, classic old radio broadcasts. These samples along with the mood created by the musical backdrop tell a story that strongly hint that there was some specific romantic figure in L'Orange's life that inspired The Orchid Days. So I asked the artist was there a specific girl in mind as he recorded the album? "Of course there's a girl. I'm a poet," he replied adding. "Since that's not a satisfying answer I'll tell you something I haven't told anyone yet- she's on the album cover." [above left]
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Shame (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)" (off Pinata)
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 03:28:14
1) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)
2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)
3) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)
4) JJ Doom Bookend EP (Lex Records)
5) Rick Ross Mastermind (Maybach / Def Jam)
The new number one hip-hop album at Amoeba Hollywood this week is the recently released (March 18th) collaborative album Pinata (also available on LP/vinyl format) from the power duo of Madlib teaming up with Freddie Gibbs. Released through Madlib's Madlib Invazion label this one hour, seventeen track, hip-hop tour-de-force also features some very well-chosen guests (new school and old school) that perfectly compliment the pair including Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, BJ The Chicago Kid, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Mac Miller, and Odd Future's Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt. Another new album featuring numerous guest collaborators is the number two chart entry this week from popular new rapper YG whose just released debut on Pu$haz Ink via Def Jam My Krazy Life features such big name guests as Drake, Young Jeezy, Kendrick Lamar, and Ty Dolla $ign along with his longtime producer DJ Mustard. Scroll down below to see the video for YG with DJ Mustard's "Left, Right" off the new album. Another new chart entry is the recent (vinyl picture disc DP) Bookend EP from JJ Doom (the duo of DOOM - aka MF Doom, and producer Jneiro Jarel) on Lex Records.