2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part III

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2012 05:07am | Post a Comment

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.

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"Push Girls" Needs to Push Back! By Guest Amoeblogger Leroy Moore

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment
As a Black, disabled, community activist, journalist and lover of disability and music history, I’m always sitting on my hands when mainstream media gets on the disability wagon or more like it picks out the flavor of the year / month / day, or minute. As a columnist of Illin-N-Chillin on Poor Magazine and founder of Krip-Hop Nation (an international project of Hip-Hop and other musicians with disabilities), I have written about movies, artists, and journalists who write, act, and sing about disability and many times it has been from non-disabled artists. On the other side you have what I call “Me Too Media,” where people with disabilities in lead roles lack any politics or anything that is representative of the vast disability community. This happens just to get two seconds of bling bling or because the media can’t handle it and have control over what is produced.

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.

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Latest Krip-Hop Compilation Addresses Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2012 09:09am | Post a Comment

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.

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Metaphor for Starting Over A Fitting Title for Krip-Hop Act Kounterclockwise's New Album "Daylight Savings Time"

Posted by Billyjam, December 20, 2011 07:20pm | Post a Comment
Kounterclockwise "Open" (2011)
Kounterclockwise may have been considered hip-hop since the duo, the married couple comprised of Deacon Burns from Cleveland, OH and Kaya Rogue from New York City, first formed a decade ago. But it is only in more recent times that they have also been simultaneously considered a krip-hop act.

Headed by Berkeley, CA's  Leroy Moore, the krip-hop movement, tagged Krip-Hop Nation, is a loose knit global collective of hip-hop artists with disabilities. As outlined in the two in-depth Amoeblogs on the krip-hop movement earlier this year, that featured an interview with Leroy Moore, some krip-hop artists are born with disabilities while others sustain them later in life. In the case of Kounterclockwise it was the latter.

For the duo, who had spent most of their earlier career working behind the scenes in production capacity for others including their production work with DJ Swamp and Yela Wolf but only recently released their own album, this occurred four years ago when Deacon Burns had a very serious accident that at first looked like it would signal the end of Kounterclockwise forever. On November 17, 2007 Burns got into an accident in Ohio in which he broke five vertebrae, several ribs, collapsed both lungs, and had a hairline neck fracture. This resulted in him suffering a severe spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis of both legs and has restricted him to use of a wheelchair to get around. But rather than be defeated and allow this tragedy to halt his life and his love of music, Burns has slowly rehabilitated himself and recently returned fully to making music.

Amoeblog Black History Month Series Salutes Leroy Moore & the Krip-Hop Nation, Pt II

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2011 11:41pm | Post a Comment
Leroy Moore

This is the second part in the Amoeblog Black History Month salute to the Krip-Hop Nation and its founder, Leroy Moore, who attentively oversees the day to day operations of this umbrella organization for hip-hop artists with disabilities worldwide. As noted in the first Amoeblog installment, this New York born, Berkeley, CA based artist/activist has cerebral palsy, which significantly affects both his speech and his mobility but he nonetheless displays a work ethic that would put most to shame. Simply put, the guy never stops striving in his efforts to push forth the Krip-Hop Nation as well as all the other causes and organizations, including Sins Invalid, that he is constantly involved in. Two weekends ago, for example, he was busy with the a two-part series of literary & performance arts themed Black History Month Krip-Hop Nation events in San Francisco at Modern Times bookstore and at the main San Francisco Public Library which, despite torrential rain hitting the region that week and affecting attendance, still managed to be a successful series with an informative and empowering message for disabled artists of color, and for those who support them.

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