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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.24.12: E Lit's Top Five, Hiero's Pep Love + Tajai, Fist Fam's Weekend Cult Release Party, Busdriver, Curren$y, Gangrene, The Promise, The Sessions San Francisco + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2012 06:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five for week ending 02:24:12 with E-Lit


1) Lazerbeak & Edison Kill Switch LP (Fieldwerk)

We received a whole bunch of these over a week early, and sold through our entire supply of them in a matter of days!  Given the extremely high quality of the product, it’s no wonder we couldn’t keep this on the shelves. Kill Switch is hip-hop production of the highest caliber, brought to you by the strongest label in instrumental hip hop Fieldwerk Recordings.  Doomtree’s Lazerbeak handles side A with a surprisingly subtle approach that occasionally bursts with brilliant color, delivering his finest solo instrumental work to date.  San Francisco’s own genius button-masher Edison handles side B with a much rowdier gang of beats that show off his skillful production craft, with menacing guitar jabs and gangsta bleeps that form a cohesive whole.  This one’s only available on vinyl, but it does come with a digital download card that’ll get it on your computer in a matter of minutes.  Highly recommended!


2) Tajai Machine Language CD (Hieroglyphics Imperium)

Souls of Mischief frontman and Hieroglyphics mainstay Tajai’s new Machine Language mixtape has naturally been doing very well in the Bay.  Features fellow Hiero members Casual, Opio and A-Plus, plus a joint with The Pharcyde, all for a super cheap price of $5.98.  This mix CD is just a taster of random new Tajai tracks, but should tide the Bay’s Hiero fanbase over until Tajai’s new Rap Noir album drops later this year.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:08:10: Ski Beatz, Michael Franti, Motion Man, Ice Cube, Pharoahe Monch, Chuck D, The Pack, Louder Than A Bomb, B.A.R.T. @ ATL's A3C + More

Posted by Billyjam, October 8, 2010 05:05am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:08:10

Michael Franti
1) Michael Franti The Sound of Sunshine (Capitol)

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

3) TIE: 
  Ski Beatz
24 Hour Karate School (Def Jam)
  Curren$y Pilot Talk (Def Jam)

4) Ice Cube I Am The West (Lench Mob Records)

5) Black Milk Album of the Year (Fat Beats)

Michael Franti & Spearhead, who last month produced and headlined their 12th annual Power To The Peaceful Festival in San Francisco, shot to number one on the new Amoeba Hip-Hop Top Five chart at the Berkeley store with The Sound of Silence on Capitol Records. Nationally, the new album, which is the group's seventh album to date, also did well, debuting at #17 on the Billboard album chart and making it the highest chart entry yet for the Oakland, CA artist and his group. This latest debut even surpassed the debut of 2008’s All Rebel Rockers, which came in at #39. On The Sound of Sunshine Franti and crew reunite with Sly & Robbie in Jamaica for parts of the new album. Even though it is charting on the hip-hop album list, the record is really a lot less hip-hop and a lot more of that upbeat, hook-driven, positive-message, sunshine-y (pun intended) reggae that has helped Franti win over so many fans around the globe. The album's title track follows.

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 07:17:09

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2009 01:05pm | Post a Comment
Mista B
Recently ran into Mista B at Amoeba Music San Francisco (as pictured left) as the famed turntablist and member of SF's 4OneFunk crew (with Teeko, B.Cause, Max Kane) was dropping off copies of his tight new independently released CD SonicSoulSpace.

This latest production by  Mista B comes hot on the heels of his collaborative mix CD with fellow 4OneFunk'er B.Cause titled Record Haterz. That ol skool Bay Area rap mix dug deep in the vinyl crates to deliver a flawless mix punctuated by forgotten gems by such bygone Bay rap greats as Totally  Insane, 415 (feat. RIchie RIch), and 11/5.

Mista B will be flying out to New York in a couple of weeks to represent the Bay Area in the 2009 DMC US Finals Battle - the legendary DJ battle where skilled turntablists from all over, usually with endless hours upon hours of practice, converge in a heated battle that only last minutes but whose results go down in the history books forever. This will be Mista B's fifth time to enter a DMC battle.  "I have mixed feelings upon competing again. Usually, DJs compete just once and [then] they're done.  For me, it's not just about the competition but it's about sharing this so called art of turntabilism," he told me. "I feel that DJ battles are one of very few platforms to showcase the art.  So with me, I still practice because I like to work on my craft, my skill if you will.  Specifically beat juggling for me.  I don't do it to be better than the next guy, but to be better than what I was yesterday and to show how graceful sounding this art is" Always pushing himself to improve and to innovate the SF who has been honing his diligently DJ'ng since 1993, told me that.  "I took a class in college and a professor came up with the concept, "sound art." That concept stuck with me since so I like to consider what I do "turntable sound art."  So now I just look for a medium to showcase the art.  So here I am again, competing on a high level versus the country's best DJs, The DMC USA Finals again."

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AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP (JULY 4th WEEKEND)

Posted by Billyjam, July 3, 2009 11:30am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:03:09
The Jacka
1) The Jacka Tear Gas (SMC)

2) Big Rich Heart of the City (3 Story Muzik)

3) Raashan Amhad Soul Power (Crown City Rockers)

4) Wu Tang Chamber Music (KR Urban/KOCH)

5) Dead Prez + DJ Green Lantern Pulse Of The People (Turn Off The Radio Vol. 3) (IMG)

Thanks to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart, which is  60% homegrown Bay Area talent this week, including the number this week at the Haight Street store: The Jacka and his latest full-length, Tear Gas. The album from the Mob Figaz member is doing well on the Billboard charts too. It debuted at #4 on the music trade magazine's Rap Charts, #12 on the R&B Charts, #13 on the Indie Charts, and at #93 on the Top 200 albums chart, 

With studio assistance from a dozen different producers, this follow up to The Jacka's popular 2008 mixtape, The Street Album, is the hard working Oakland-born/Pittsburg-raised rap artist's most diverse sounding release to date. Tear Gas features mic guests from far beyond the Bay, including Houston's Devin The Dude and Philly's Freeway. Of course, the Mob Figaz member is also joined by some of his Raashan AhmadYay Area peeps such as Mistah F.A.B., Andre Nickatina, and Zion I. Converted to Islam, The Jacka lets his faith be known on the album via lyrics such as "in Allah we trust, I try to purify my heart, because I’m a slave to my thoughts. I’m a monster out here, because I change when it’s dark" in the song "They Don't Know," on which he is joined by Freeway, who is a fellow Muslim.

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KUTMASTA KURT INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, March 31, 2009 06:20am | Post a Comment
kutmasta kurt
Kutmasta Kurt
is the ever- active Los Angeles based producer, turntablist/DJ, and label owner of Threshold Recordings. The Bay Area transplant, who started out at KZSU radio and who released his first record twenty years ago, is best known for his longtime collaborations with such artists as Kool Keith and Motion Man with whom he  worked jointly on the Masters of Illusion project and also individually on numerous other projects. 

Kutmasta Kurt embarks on the Dr. Dooom Vs. Dr. Octagon tour this week with former Ultramagnetic MCs frontman  Kool Keith. The two artists have worked on such projects as Dr. Dooom and Dr. Octagon as well as such Kool Keith albums as Sex Style, Diesel Truckers, and Matthew. Kutmasta Kurt also produced the Ultra (Kool Keith + fellow former Ultramagnetic MC Tim Dog) album Big Time in 1996.

Additionally he occassionally dons a long fake beard (see pic left) and morphs into his fun Funky Redneck alter-ego. As such he released the 2004 album RedNeck Games, whose original name had to be changed due to pressure from the Olympics Committee.

I recently caught up with Kurt to ask him about this run in with the Olympics folks and the reaction his Funky Redneck persona typically generates, his illustrious recording career, the status of his record label in these digital downloading times, his favorite recording equipment, and his earliiest hip-hop memories.

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