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.
This is the third and final part in the 2012 Year End Best of Hip-Hop Amoeblogs in which I do my personal top ten albums of the year, plus some other highlights of the past twelve months in hip-hop music and culture. This is all from one person's perspective and includes some losses of 2012 like Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys who had been battling cancer since 2009 and passed on at the young age of 47. MCA joined the ranks of such other hip-hoppers as Camu Tao who also died from cancer. Coincidentally, 2012 was the year that Bay Area graffiti fan Sonae Ponce produced the Graffiti Against Cancer event. Within a week of MCA's passing, BK rapper Tone Tank recorded a great tribute to the Beatie Boy (with cool accompanying logo - left) based on the Beasties' "Shake your Rump."
Overall in 2012, we gained much more than we lost with such things as a resurgence in the art of the skratch DJ. Best evidence of the Return of the DJ in 2012? The return of the DMC DJ battle to San Francisco and releases such turntablists as DJ Needlz and DJ Moschops (who also raps). Also in 2012 artists began to specialize more in their own respective niches. These included Oh No's guest heavy tribute album to Dolemite, Ohnomite (Traffic Entertainment). In 2012 some of the best labels making music included Mello Music and Stones Throw.
Taking what I’ve said above, when the Sundance Channel network's Push Girls first appeared on my Google Alerts long before the show came out, I was worried because it was under the mainstream media cloud that does not have a good record of representing disability issues. That shaped my assumptions way before it came out. I have to say, I don’t have cable and, like so many people with disabilities, I can’t afford living in reality television. Today mainstream media likes to play in other’s shoes without the real life issues, like the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. I saw only the first episode of Push Girls because it was on the Internet for free for a very short time, so I can only talk about my short contact with Auti Angel, one of the Push Girls way before the show, the pre-media frame around the show, and the time before the first episode.
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.