Amoeblog

Talib Kweli on Gutter Rainbows, Kanye, Prisoner of Conscious, Obama's Raw Deal, Illegal Downloading, Black Star Sequel + More

Posted by Billyjam, December 22, 2010 07:55pm | Post a Comment

I have long been a fan of Talib Kweli's -- his music (both his solo work & collaborations with Mos Def, Hi-Tek, and Madlib) and his consistent & refreshingly uplifting & positive outlook. His unwavering commitment to thought-provoking, conscious, non misogynist hip-hop in an era when that approach to the genre doesn't generally fit the criteria for lucrative success is admirable. Talib Kweli is a truly unique artist and as a high-profile hip-hop act he is an anomaly in that he safely walks that line between mainstream (including his work with Kanye West -- an artist that once opened for him) and independent hip-hop; he is well known above the radar while still maintaining the respect of the ever discerning underground hip-hop world. So when I had an opportunity to attend a listening party in New York last night for Kweli's January 2011 release, Gutter Rainbows, and to also sit down and talk with him a bit for the Amoeblog, I jumped at the chance.

Of course, Talib Kweli is no stranger to Amoeba Music. Not only has his music long been a favorite of staffers and customers alike, but he has also had some very well received Amoeba instores, including at Amoeba San Francisco along with Hi-Tek back in May of this year just as the duo (aka Reflection Eternal) was dropping the highly recommended (but generally slept on) Revolutions Per Minute. And back in August 2007 in support of his last solo album Ear Drum, he had an instore that was streamed live. Kweli put on one of the best ever live sets I've seen at Amoeba Hollywood -- as witnessed in the video below. Last year at SXSW in Austin, TX, when he was performing a showcase with Hi-Tek, Amoeblogger Smiles Davis sat down with the artist to ask him ten questions about hip-hop and his take on the genre.
  
Talib Kweli live @ Amoeba Hollywood, August 2007

Last night (December 21st) was the listening party at the bar Snap on West 14th Street in Manhattan for Gutter Rainbows (Javotti Media/3D), which will be a digital only release. The night was unlike most listening parties in that it was a more intimate event and also was technically a semi-performance for Kweli, who mingled throughout the night with fans and media folk. He Talib Kweli + Hi Tekspent the entire preview playing time of his new album, which drops January 25th, up in the DJ booth rapping along on the mic to many of the new release's 14 songs, and introducing each track, big upping its producer and giving some background history. He also fielded questions from the invited partiers (many longtime friends from Brooklyn) who packed the club and gave an update on what he's been up to.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 11:05:10: Celph Titled & Buckwild, N*E*R*D, Jneiro Jarel, Pitbull, Madlib, SF Giants, Roach Gigz, J-Live, DJ Shadow, Lil Wayne, Homeboy Sandman + More

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2010 05:05am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 11:05:10

Celph Titled & Buckwild
1) Celph Titled & Buckwild
Nineteen Ninety Now (No Sleep Recordings)

2) Madlib Medicine Show No.10-Black Soul (Stones Throw)

3) N*E*R*D Nothing (Star Trak)

4) Jneiro Jarel Fauna (Kindred Spirits)

5) Pitbull Armando (Mr. 305 Inc.)

Lots of new releases on this latest chart, care of Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store, including in the number one slot Celph Titled & Buckwild's Nineteen Ninety Now on No Sleep Recordings. It finds the perfect pairing of the famed D.I.T.C. DJ & producer Buckwild with the Florida emcee Celph Titled (of the Demigodz and Army of the Pharaohs fame) and the results are most impressive. Killer production plus lots of tasty cutting and scratching (care of Mista Sinista of X-Ecutioners) perfectly compliment Celph Titled and the other emcees (many fellow D.I.T.C. folks) that guest throughout the 16 track CD, including Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, Diamond D, Treach (Naughty By Nature), R.A. The Rugged Man, Apathy, Chino XL, and Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks. Lyrically, Celph bears it all and tells it like it is (and was), even addressing his bygone beef with Cage from a decade ago.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:06:10: Madlib's Medicine Show, The Mighty Underdogs, Oakland Faders, Foreign Legion, Blitz the Ambassador, Dana Leong, J-Dilla, APG Crew, Nappy Roots, DJ Inti + More

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2010 08:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 08:06:10

1) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

2) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

3) Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz (Stones Throw)

4) Curren$y Pilot Talk (Blu Roc, Def Jam)

5) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

Thanks to Inti at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five countdown (see video below), with many of the same current releases from the past several weeks still holding strong in sales at the Telegraph Ave. store. A prime example is The Roots' widely acclaimed latest How I Got Over (Def Jam), which is number one again this week. A new entry on the top five is the latest installment from eclectic producer Madlib -- CD number seven for month number seven (July 2010) in this unique Stones Throw twelve month Medicine Show series from the prolific LA music man. High Jazz is the name of the CD and it has already sold out at Amoeba Berkeley. The album is described as a tribute to the landmark 1976 jazz-fusion album released by Stanton Davis’s Ghetto Mysticism and as such displays another impressive musical side to the ever eclectic and progressive Madlib. Noteworthy songs on this 15 track release include a collaborative piece with jazz/hip-hop drummer/producer Karriem Riggins, who, along with Madlib, is the group Jahari Masamba Unit. Note that there is also a limited edition 3-disc vinyl version of this Medicine Show installment from Stones Throw which offers an exclusive additional 30 minutes of music. Fans of the Madlib Medicine Show series can look out for release number 8 to drop on August 24th.

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Amoeba Berkeley's Top 5 with Inti, Madlib's 420 Themed Medicine Show, J-Rocc v J-Man, Damu the Fudgemunk, Del's Funk for Free, New E40 Video + More: Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up: 05:07:10

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2010 09:12am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:07:10

Madlib
1) Madlib Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars (Stones Throw)

2) B.o.B. presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray (Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

3) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)

    E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)
                        [Tie for #3]

4) Andre Nickatina Khan! The Me Generation (I-Khan Dist)

5) J-Rocc J-Rocc v J-Man (Jazzman)

Inti's Bonus Two Pick Hits of the Week:

 
I) Hulk Hodn & Twit One + Suff Daddy Hi-Hat Club Vol. 1: Testiculo Y Uno + Hi-Hat Club Vol. 2: Suff Draft (Melting Pot Music)

II) Damu The Fudgemunk How It Should Sound Vol 1 & 2 (Redefinition Records)

Big ups to Inti at Amoeba Music Berkeley for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, appearing here in both text and video form. Sitting atop the latest chart is the fourth and latest installment in the ever diverse twelve part monthly Medicine Show series from the prolific producer Madlib. For Madlib Medicine Show #4: 420 Chalice All-Stars the mad-busy LA producer serves a mix of roots reggae beats and grooves, keeping it strictly in the ganja mode. In fact, Madlib, known for his love of the sticky icky, not only worked "420" into the title but also deliberately released this CD on the 20th day of the fourth month (aka J-Rocc v J-Man4/20) to keep in theme with a non-stop aural assault of roots rock reggae. Furthermore, Madlib oversaw the CD's accompanying 12-page booklet that includes a special supplement listing every medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles (and there are a lot!). Those who are following/collecting this Madlib Medicine Show series already know that the even-month releases (2,4,6 etc.) are mixtapes like this one while the odd numbers (1,3,5 etc.) are all original material like the Guilty Simpson (Before The Verdict) release that kick-started the series back in January and the next one, Madlib Medicine Show #5: History Of The Loop Digga, 1990-2000, which will drop later this month.

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E40, Madlib, Murs & 9th Wonder, Masta Killa, DJ Craze, Coachella, Record Store Day: Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Weekly Round Up: 04:16:10

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2010 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 04:16:10


1) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)

2) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)

3) The Young Jazz Rebels Slave Riot (Stones Throw)

4) Madlib Medicine Show 3-Beat Konducta in Africa (Stones Throw)

5) Murs & 9th Wonder Fornever (SMC Recordings)

E40, aka Forty Wata, aka E-Feezy, aka the long reigning King of Bay Rap, is riding high with his latest two-part Shifts, the pair of simultaneously released CDs Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift and Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (both on Heavy on the Grind Ent.) which for the third week in a row top the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Charts. After two weeks of riding high at the San Francisco and Hollywood charts, this week the longtime Vallejo rapper locks down the number one and two spots at Amoeba Music Berkeley. The Bay Area has always supported E40 over the past two decades, both as a solo artist and with and his extended family group The Click, although I remember back in the very early days how some hip-hop fans just couldn't get their heads around E40's Madlib Young Jazz Rebelsmost unusual rapid pace flow, peppered with his homemade language (slanguage), unlike anything anyone had heard at the time. At first, I remember, it is mainly the younger kids who really dug "Mr Flamboyant" and other early tracks from this unique wordsmith. But by the mid 90's, when 40 and The Click were signed to Jive, most everyone else had caught up with his trademark rap style. By sticking to who he is artistically, E40 has proven that the key to success is to always be yourself. By so doing you are setting the trends, not following them, and end up sticking around a lot longer.

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