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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: December 24th On Hollis Ave. + Other Classic Hip-Hop Holiday Raps

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2013 10:25am | Post a Comment

Run DMC "Christmas In Hollis" (1987)

Dating back to the mid 1980's many hip-hoppers have recorded Christmas/Holiday Season songs  including the Treacherous Three's "Santas Rap" from the 1984 hip-hop film Beat Street (scroll down to see video clip below), and of course the truly classic Run DMC Christmas song from 1987 that still gets much play to this day  - "Christmas In Hollis" with that memorable opening "It was December 24th on Hollis Ave in the dark when I seen a man chilling with his dog in the park."  To me what makes this Run DMC song such a perfect timeless Christmas classic is that it both managed to maintain that distinct Run DMC rap flavor but also had the perfect Christmas vibe to it. This it achieved with the bells ringing throughout and also how the track nicely worked into its urban Xmas tale such traditional Christmas song melodies as "Frosty The Snowman. The Run DMC song appeared on both the original A Very Special Christmas various artists/genres compilation and on the Profile Records all hip-hop holiday 1987 compilation Christmas Rap that also featured such rappers as Sweet Tee, King Sun, Spyder-D, and Dana Dane all busting out Christmas raps.

Rapper Cozzy: Who You Know Helps, but it Ultimately Comes Down to Talent & Hard Work

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2012 10:19am | Post a Comment
In the music business who you know helps but it isn't enough to get you ahead. You have to have substance to back it up. 20 year old Pensacola, Florida rapper Cozzy found this out when, first starting out recording hip-hop a few years ago, the burgeoning young rapper hit up his successful uncle in the rap biz - Tobin "TC" Coston who was Master P’s manager and VP & GM of his No Limit Records label - thinking his well connected relative would get him a record deal right away. But that was not the case initially.

"I have had many relatives hit me up for record deals," said TC who has turned them all down including Cozzy, at first. But he liked how consistent the young rapper was in both his work ethic and his "promising" vocal flow even though it still had a ways to go. "I told him to keep working because it was really raw. He continued to send me music and I heard something from him I liked." Then after several goes around TC heard his nephew freestyle over some popular tracks that Cozzy totally made his own. So impressed was his uncle he that he signed him to Me & Mine Entertainment; the label known for releasing (among many others) Lil’ Troy’s platinum Sitting Fat Down South. He also signed his rap crew F.B.N. (Fresh By Nature) to the label and is committed to sticking by both and developing them as artists over a long term - something you don't hear of much these days in the financially stressed & ever fickle music biz.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 08:21:09

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 06:26pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Six: 08:21:09 (c/o Luis)
Gas Mask Colony
1) Gas Mask Colony Genuine Masters of Ceremony (Gurp City)

2) The Boy Boy Young Mess Prices On My Head Vol. 2 (Click Clack Records)

3) J-Billion The Beautiful Loser (Risky Bizness Productions)

4) Kaz-Well FIsh Outta Water (Tape Vault Records)

5) Heliocentrics Fallen Angels (Now Again)

6) Slaughterhouse self-titled (E1 Entertainment)

As my man Luis @ Amoeba Music San Francisco points out in his quick run-down of the new hip-hop top six CDs of the week, two thirds are Bay Area homegrown releases, proving the Bay (and SF in particular these days) is in a most healthy and prolific state of rap creativity. In the number one chart position is Gurp City's own Gas Mask Colony with the brand new full-length Genuine Masters of Ceremony. Also repping the Bay is Messy Marv under his alias The Boy Boy Young Mess and his second installment in the mixtape series Prices On My Head (The Money On Yo Family) Vol 2 with an impressive lineup that includes guests Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Young Jeezy & Lil Webbie. Meantime, SF rap artist Kaz-Well -- self described “hip-hop geek" -- has a nice retro hip-hop feel to his brand new CD Fish Outta Water which, note, is titled exactly the same as the new release from SoCal hip-hopper Chali 2na. Great minds think alike, I guess.

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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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REPRESENTIN' THE BAY MAYN, THEN AND NOW

Posted by Billyjam, October 4, 2007 10:44pm | Post a Comment

Fillmore San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff, who came on the Bay Area scene in the early nineties but who had been out of action for some years, return with this new video with lots of shots of SF and a song that addresses the issue of media. What has always made this Frisco crew unique is that they always blurred the line between so-called "rap" and "hip-hop" -- meaning that they are street/gangsta but simultaneously distinctly hip-hop in that they love all the elements, such as graffiti -- just the way it should be. Look for Bored Stiff's releases, including their new one From The Ground Up, as well albums by individual members (inc. Equipto) at Amoeba Music. 

Meantime, below check out Fillmore, SF rappers -- JT the Bigga Figga and Rappin 4-Tay along with Master P, Dangerous Dame, Ray Luv, Lil Ric, King George and the rest of the West Coast Bad Boyz mob, in a video shot in Richmond, CA for the posse single "Peace 2 Da Streets" from the compilation album West Coast Bad Boyz: Anotha Level of the Game (No Limit 1994).