Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Old School Indie Bay Area Records By Acts With Names Identical Or Similar To National Stars

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2016 07:44pm | Post a Comment
While recently digging in the 12" crates of Bay Area rap/hip-hop from the late eighties / early nineties I realized how there were a few artists with twelve inch singles at that time who had stage names similar to or exactly the same as other hip-hop artists. One of them I remembered. It was Diamond D who had releases out in late eighties and early nineties including his 1989 single "Diamond Sez." I remember this because when I interviewed DITC (Diggin In The Crates) founding member Diamond D (or technically "Diamond") he told that it was because of  the East Bay rapper that he had to change his name. That was in 1992 when the DITC producer/rapper released his classic hip-hop album Stunts, Blunts, & Hip-Hop along with his crew and under the artist name Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics. Note that Diamond D's record (on Crystal Ball Records out of Hayward) was billed as Diamond D featuring Deryck "D."

Meanwhile back in mid 1988 when Compton rapper The Game was 8 going on 9 years of age, up in the Bay Area Power Records, out of Hercules when that area code was still 415, Bay Area artist The Game released the 12" single "Savin It All For You."  Boasting a total of five different versions the 12" single was produced at Richmond's Starlight Studios which was a popular spot with Bay Area artists for many years. Of course by the time the better known artist The Game first appeared on the rap scene in the first half of the 2000's the other The Game had gone. [Note The Game's latest release is the late January four LP set The Documentary 2/2.5 LP - pictured left]

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MF DOOM's Metal Face Records Releases 2016 2LP Repressing of KMD's Storied "Black Bastards" Album

Posted by Billyjam, January 25, 2016 01:20pm | Post a Comment

New 2016 hip-hop releases at Amoeba, many of them wax represses, include the latest vinyl re-issue of KMD's ever storied and controversial album Black Bastards (aka Bl_ck B_st_rds). Intended to be the follow-up to their 1991 debut Mr. Hood on Elektra Records, this album was famously shelved by its major label in 1994 over its title and cover art. The album, that became an instant classic, did get released (and re-released) over the years since in CD and vinyl formats.  The vinyl repressings, now out of print, are not always easy to find. The new 2016 2LP version of the album distinguishes itself from previous pressings by its packaging: newly designed gate-fold pop-up album cover (above) plus an excellent 32-page booklet inside. Further, this release is care of Metal Face Records, the label owned by KMD founding member Daniel Dumile (aka widely beloved hip-hop artist MF DOOM). Essentially, this album and the events surrounding it are what shaped DOOM's whole career and his ever-intriguing persona of a masked super villain. 

Back in 1993 in his young KMD days, DOOM was known as Zev Love X.  The British-born NYC hip-hop artist and his brother DJ Subroc as the group KMD were working on their second album, which was to be a stylistic departure from their more fun, lighthearted first record. Then right before they were to finish up production on the album, DJ Subroc was killed, the pedestrian in an auto accident. He was only 20-years-old. It was devastating for DOOM who lost not just his brother but his musical partner. To make things worse, when time came for the album to be released the label said they didn't want to release it because of the cover art, the attention-grabbing "hanging sambo" art that was created by Subroc. Elektra handed the surviving brother back the master tapes for the album along with a nominal sum of money and told him they were done with him. The whole negative experience caused Dumile to spiral downward and drop out of hip-hop for a few years. Then, like a phoenix from the ashes, in 1997 Zev Love X re-emerged as MF DOOM (Metal Face Doom). As such he has become a respected prolific artist introduced to many via such collaborative projects such as Madvillain (with Madlib), DANGERDOOM (with Danger Mouse), JJ DOOM (with Jneiro Jarel), DOOMSTARKS (with Ghostface Killah), and 2014's NehruvianDOOM (with Bishop Nehru).

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Top Five Hip-Hop Cyber Monday Gift Ideas

Posted by Billyjam, November 30, 2015 11:41am | Post a Comment

Today is Cyber Monday until 11:59pm Pacific Time and Amoeba has slashed prices by 20% on items on Amoeba.com! Just enter the special CYBER20 code at checkout to receive the discount. This sale include some truly dope hip-hop records and CDs that would make both perfect holiday gifts for others and treats for oneself. Below is a top ten list of some of the best hip-hop Cyber Monday gift ideas, and all at 20% off plus free shipping in the U.S. All are classic hip-hop recordings, mostly recent re-releases in either original or newly presented packaging. They include both CD and vinyl releases that are all reduced significantly today only for Cyber Monday at Amoeba Music.    
 


1) Public Enemy's latest, recommended (13th studio) album Man Plans God Laughs + the Chuck D led crew's hits collection Fight The Power: The Collection together as a two CD set make for the perfect introduction to one of the greatest acts in hip-hop history. I cannot recommend PE's latest album Man Plans God Laughs (also available in vinyl) enough. With incredible production ? Gary G Wiz and Carl Ryder (aka Chuck D) the new album manages to capture the PE vibe of old and blend it together on the new tracks on this five star album. Meanwhile the Fight The Power: The Collection  clocks in at one hour, ten minutes with 16 tracks featuring all the classics and more. Included are "Fight The Power," "Don't Believe The Hype," "Public Enemy No. 1," "Rebel Without A Pause," "Night Of The Living Baseheads," "Louder Than A Bomb," "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos," "Burn Hollywood Burn (feat. Ice Cube)," "By The Time I Get To Arizona" and "Can't Truss It." Regularly priced at $9.98 while the new CD released by SPITdigital is $13.98 = total of $23.96 but with Cyber Monday Amoeba discount = $19.17!
 

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Saluting MF DOOM's Illustrious Career

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment
With the publication yesterday of a new video by MF DOOM in which the elusive longtime hip-hop talent promises fans a busy 2016, it's a fitting time for the Amoeblog to pay homage to the talented hip-hop emcee/producer and present a brief overview, via ten tracks (videos below), of MF DOOM's most unique and incredible career. DOOM is not just an amazing lyricist, but his career with its tragedy to triumph tale, and his whole mysterious persona, and his many collaborations aliases make him one of the most engaging characters in hip-hop history. Working backwards and starting in the present, we begin with that aforementioned new video that is entitled "DOOM - A Villainous Adventure." In it DOOM reveals his plans for a prolific upcoming new year, one that will bring "a lot of good shit." Filmed in some exotic Central American location (he shouts out "Honduras") while decked in trademark metal face mask plus sporting a "Dumile" shirt, the artist born Daniel Dumile speaks from a mountain side, and while commandeering a boat on the choppy waters. In another scene, still in metal mask, he's seen swimming underwater. Apologizing to fans for not been round so much of late (" been healing and resting up") he says that the for the MF DOOM year of 2016 he is "getting ready to fuck y’all up,” in the video that appears to be funded by the New Era hat company.

While DOOM may not have released any solo full length projects in six years he has not been idle. Proof includes a brand a couple of days earlier it is a new PRhyme (DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9") track with a feature from DOOM and Phonte too. It is culled from the forthcoming The PRhyme Deluxe Album (Dec 11th release). Up next is another 2015 Doom collaborative track: DOOMSTARKS (DOOM with Ghostface Killah) and their newest collab track "Lively Hood" whose instrumental is heard in background of the new video uploaded yesterday. Skipping over but giving a nod to last year's NehruvianDOOM, which was his collaboration with Bishop Nehru that featured DOOM's production and some rapping, it's back to DOOM's 2012 collaboration with Jneiro Jarel. Under the name JJ DOOM, they released the album Key To the Kuffs  that features the opening track "Guv'nor" below. Other classic MF DOOM collaborations included below are DANGERDOOM (with Danger Mouse) and the track "Sofa King" off 2005's The Mouse and The Mask (Lex/Epitaph), and the Madvillain (with Madlib) track "All Caps" off the 2004 Stones Throw album Madvillainy. Madlib was contributed some production for the DOOM (minus the "MF") album Born Like This. Released by Lex Records in 2009 the album, that featured such tracks as "Yessir! (feat. Raekwon)," was DOOM's last official solo studio album. There's the track "Lickupon" culled from the 2003 album Vaudeville Villain - one of two he released that year under the alias of Viktor Vaughn.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top 5 Chart, Killer Mike's Political Career Postponed, New Oakland Party "Wax Poetic"

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2015 08:14pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week End 06:19:15


1) Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2  (LP) (Mass Appeal)

2) Czarface Every Hero Needs A Villain (also in LP) Brick Records)

3) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)

4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)

5) A$AP Rocky  At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)


Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!' and available in both CD and LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels' Run The Jewels 2  that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics. 
 
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career?  Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role.  Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.


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