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Lil Slim

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 1, 2008 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Lil Slim

Lil Slim was one of the first artists to be signed to Cash Money Records. After a series of underground classics, he parted ways with the label. A couple of years later, CMR signed a multi-million dollar deal with Universal and the label's star, Juvenile, carried the new roster to success whilst Lil Slim receded into the shadows.

Hollygrove

Lil Slim lived way out in the 17th Ward on New Orleans's western edge in Hollygrove, a small, lower middle class neighborhood that also was home to Big Boy (and later, No Limit) artist, Fiend. Representing the Apple and Eagle intersection, he brought his raps to audiences at Club 49, where he performed alongside UNLV and Soulja Slim. One day, Ziggler the Wiggler introduced them to Mannie Fresh, a young DJ from the 7th Ward who'd gained a measurable degree of local fame with rapper Gregory D. Shortly after, Lil Slim was introduced to Baby and Slim, brothers and co-owners of the fledgling Cash Money Records label. They signed Lil Slim and recorded his first album in Baby's kitchen.
The Game Is Cold
The album was The Game is Cold (1993). One highlight is "Hoes I U's 2 Sweat." Another is "Bounce Slide Ride," a Bounce classic in the vein of DJ Jimi and Juvenile's "Bounce for the Juvenile" which name-checked Juvie and echoed his taste for Reeboks and Girbaud. Lil Slim's style was sing-songy, reggae-informed, repetitive and heavy on chants -- somewhat similar to Pimp Daddy, UNLV and early Juvenile. One thing that set him apart was his exaggerated Yat accent, in which the familiar interjection "Ya heard me?" sounded like "Ya hoidz me?" Cash Money was then primarily a Bounce label and a good deal of the lyrics amounted to little more than calling out wards and projects. Expecting lyrical complexity outPowder Shop of Bounce is missing the point, however, and the album is emphatically danceable. Its Intro and Outro tracks allowed Mannie Fresh to cut snippets of Slim's already sparse prose and make them almost completely abstract.

His sophomore release, Powder Shop (1994) moved a bit more into a more narrative, Gangsta territory, creating a Gangsta/Bounce hybrid made popular by his labelmates, UNLV. Some of the highlights include "Eagle St. Bounce," "True to the Game" and "Powder Shop," the latter about a heroin operation. Like a lot of early-'90s New Orleans rap, heroin is the drug most often referenced -- which is a bit unsettling, especially when the rest of the rap world was melloThug'n & Pluggin' lil slimwing with Indo, Chronic and gin 'n' juice. I guess all that dope in the Grunge scene had to come from somewhere. Listening to it now, it's shocking how much Lil Wayne and, even more so, (Young) Turk owe to his sound.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 10:23:08

Posted by Billyjam, October 23, 2008 08:00am | Post a Comment
                                   Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:23:08

1) Jake One White Van Music (Rhymesayers)

2) Mighty Underdogs Droppin' Science Fiction (Definitive Jux)

3) MF Doom Operation Doomsday (Traffic)

4) Micheal Franti & Spearhead All Rebel Rockers (Anti)

5) Devin the Dude Landing Gear (Razor & Tie Music)

Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music San Francisco for this week's top five, which includes super talented Seattle producer Jake One and his guest-heavy (over two dozen emcees!) album White Van Music on Rhymesayers in the number one slot. Also with many guest shots, but not near as many as Jake One's record, is the Bay Area supergroup the Mighty Underdogs (Lateef the Truth Speaker, Gift of Gab, & Headnodic) and their recent Def Jux release Droppin' Science Fiction which is the number two top selling hip-hop album at the Haight Street Amoeba this week. As is the case over at the Berkeley Amoeba, the Bay Area's much loved Michael Franti and Spearhead's new album All Rebel Rockers on Anti is also selling well in the San Francisco store. Others on the hip-hop top five include Devin the Dude's Landing Gear and the MF Doom album re-release of Operation Doomsday courtesy of Traffic Entertainment. 

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 10:17:08

Posted by Billyjam, October 17, 2008 08:40am | Post a Comment

murs  Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 10:17:08

1) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)
2) Micheal Franti & Spearhead All Rebel Rockers (Anti)
3) Murs Murs for President (Warner)
4) People Under The Stairs Fun DMC (Gold Dust Media)
5) Jean Grae & 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith)
mccain tongue debate obama
Joe the Plumber vs. Joe the Butcher? All this recent talk of Joe the Plumber, including on David Letterman's great John "I screwed up" McCain interview last night, which was far more direct and revealing than the debate the previous night, got me thinking of another Joe-- late 80's/early 90's Philly hip-hop producer/remixer Joe "the Butcher" Nicolo. Joe produced such politically charged records as The Goats' "Typical American"/"Burn The Flag" record and the 1991 single/album track "Read My Lips" under the pseudonym A Thousand Points of Light, which heavily sampled and mocked then-president George H. Bush.

Joe the Butcher also produced and released the all original breaks album Butcher Beats And Breaks in 1988 on Atlantic Records (dig for it in the Amoeba crates where it shows up from time to time). Philly born producer/rbutcher beats and breaksecord executive Joe the Butcher became staff producer at Columbia Records in the 80's, doing work with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Billy Joel. But he made his real mark in hip-hop when he created the Columbia distributed Ruffhouse imprint, whose impressive roster included Cypress Hill, The Fugees, Kriss Kross, and the aforementioned (and totally slept on) hometown crew The Goats.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 07:25:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 25, 2008 09:22am | Post a Comment

HOLLYWOOD AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE:

1) Nas Untitled (Def Jam)

2) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

3) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Suga Free Smell My Finger (HMF/Warner)

5) Jean Gray + 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith/Warner)

Thanks to Scott Carlson in the hip-hop department at Amoeba Music Hollywood for this week's top selling albums chart, which includes in the number three slot the brand new release from SoCal's Suga Free, Smell My Finger, which dropped earlier this week. 

Lil Wayne's hot selling new album (#3 on Amoeba chart) has caught the attention of Abkco Music who are suing the rapper, his songwriters, and his label (Cash Money - a division of Universal) for "copyright infringement and unfair competition" over a new Lil Wayne album track that appears to heavily borrow from the Rolling Stones song "Play With Fire" which they own rights to. 

SF rapper Z-Man's group One Block Radius (the alt rock trio he is  a part of when not doing solo stuff or with his Gurp City familia) have signed to Def Jam. The Cali based One Block Radius accurately describe their unique, pop-ready sound as "Pharcyde meets Steve Winwood meets Sublime meets Outkast meets Hall and Oates" and drop their major label debut in September.

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Hip-Hop Author Marcus Reeves Discusses "Somebody Scream! Rap Music's RIse To Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power"

Posted by Billyjam, July 19, 2008 12:24pm | Post a Comment
Marcus Reeves ("Someboday Scream!" author)
Marcus Reeves
, former editor of the the Source hip-hop magazine and contributor to such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and Vibe magazine, recently had his book Somebody Scream! (Rap Music's Rise To Prominence In The Aftershock of Black Power published by Faber and Faber Inc.

Like Jeff Chang's critically acclaimed hip-hop history Can't Stop Won't Stop, Somebody Scream likewise takes an analytical look at hip-hop -- a musical form that, like rock before it, is now all grown up and going through its own kind of mid-life crisis. Cornel West called Reeves' book "a strong  timely book for the new day in hip-hop" and he is right.

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with the East Coast based author to talk about his new book, Somebody Scream,  and its subject matter: hip-hop. Here is that dialog:

Amoeblog
: First up, how hard is it writing a book on a topic that is still unfolding around you as you report on its subject matter?

Marcus Reeves: Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to write because before I even started I had a beginning, a middle and an end. I’d already picked out who were the most influential rap artists—the ones who lead their particular era—strung their stories together by chapter and let the narrative unfold.Marcus Reeve's book "Somebody Scream!" And the narrative was easy because, like so many who’d watched the story of commercial rap over the last 30 years, it was also the story of my life. All the history and events that the music reflected, and I talk about in the book, were things I lived through and impacted my life. The last chapter of the book, which discusses what events shape the music now, helped capture all those moments that were still unfolding.

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