Amoeblog

The Best Albums of 2016

Posted by Amoebite, December 19, 2016 03:01pm | Post a Comment

Best of 2016

With the holiday season fast approaching and 2016 drawing to an end, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite releases for the year. Staff from all three of our stores --  in Hollywood, San Francisco, and Berkeley -- shared their picks for the year's best music and movies and told us a little about what made them so awesome. So hop in the Amoeba sleigh with us, won't you, as we go on a magical holiday journey through the early months of 2016 till now, adventuring from world music to rock 'n' roll and everything in between, savoring the most memorable works from some of our most beloved artists. (It might even give you a few swell ideas for record-shaped stocking stuffers.) 

Best of 2016 - rock

Anohni Hopelessness

ANOHNI - Hopelessness

I have been a fan of Anohni (formerly known as Antony & the Johnsons) for a long time now. She has another one of those distinctive voices that there is no confusing for someone else. Another great album produced by the amazing ANOHNI. The words in the songs are so full of emotion and power it is almost too much to handle sometimes. This album somehow feels like it is in the future. The songs are very set in the present. But the music really takes me to the future. Or at least makes me feel like we will be OK as long as we have ANOHNI to help guide us through the uncertain future. - Brad, Hollywood

Best of 2016 Hip-Hop Lists: Top 7 Lists of Albums, Female MCs, DJ Releases, Reissues, Monalisa's Top 7 Album Picks + more

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2016 01:42pm | Post a Comment
Top 7 Hip-Hop Albums of 2016 by Billy Jam


1:  A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here,... Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)

2: De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody (A.O.I. LLC) (also on 2 LP vinyl)

3: Homeboy Sandman Kindness for Weakness (also on LP) (Stones Throw)

4: E-40 The D-Boy Diary Book 1 + The D-Boy Diary Book 2,
           (Heavy On The Grind)

5: Mr. Lif Don't Look Down (also on LP) (Mello Music Group)


6: ElZhi  Lead Poison (also on LP) (Glow 365) 

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Hip-Hop Top Ten, Bay Area Shows, Mr. Lif, De La Soul, DJ Shadow, The Mekanix, Too $hort & E-40, Mistah F.A.B., Mac Dre Art Show 2 + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 8, 2016 03:13pm | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top Ten 06:08:16

1: Mr Lif Don't Look Down (Mello Music Group) (also avail on vinyl and cassette)

2: Homeboy Sandman Kindness For Weakness (Stones Throw) (LP)

3: Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid  (Rhymesayers Ent.)

4: Shabazz Palaces Live At Third Man Records (LP) (Third Man)

5: ElZhi Lead Poison (Glow 365)



6: Open Mike Eagle & Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival  (Mello Music) (LP version)

7: The Mekanix  Under The Hood (Livewire)

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Homeboy Sandman, Open Mike Eagle, ElZhi, Elucid, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Ghostface Killah

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2016 05:20pm | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top Five 05:16:16

1: Homeboy Sandman Kindness For Weakness (Stones Throw) (avail as LP)

2: Open Mike Eagle & Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival  (Mello Music) (LP version)

3: ElZhi Lead Poison (Glow 365)

4:  Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid  (Rhymesayers Ent.)

5: ELUCID Save Yourself (Backwoodz)

With so much amazing music from bygone eras in hip-hop's rich history to listen back to and/or catch up on for the first time, it's easy for hip-hop fans in 2016 to ignore all the new music being made. But to do so is to miss out on some incredible ground breaking music in the still unfolding genre. Simply put contemporary hip-hop is in an incredibly healthy state right now! This I can confirm from recently listening to a stack of new albums, mostly releases of the past few weeks such as the ones listed in the above top five list. On each the production is dope,  but it is the emcees who truly blew me away. Each effortlessly display innovative forward-thinking lyrical finesse coupled with top notch mic delivery skills. 

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Post Record Store Day Hip-Hop Rap Up: J Dilla, J. Rawls, Roots Manuva, Mr. Lif, Homeboy Sandman, Madchild + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2016 09:58pm | Post a Comment

Record Store Day 2016 (April 16th) was another popular crowd-drawing event at record stores all over the country.  Even hours before opening time Saturday morning, outside the three Amoeba locations (LA, SF & Berkeley) there were long lines of folks fiending for the doors to open to the many great RSD exclusives. All those articles we've been reading about the ever increasing number of record collectors out there proved to be true, based on the numbers that swarmed to record stores on Saturday. By 7am outside the Hollywood Amoeba on Sunset Blvd. vinyl collectors and music fans of all ages had formed a long line that snaked down Ivar Avenue and around the back parking lot, as reported here on the Amoeblog.

Similarly up in the Bay Area collectors swarmed to both Amoeba stores early in the day, as well as throughout Record Store Day. Even at 8pm Saturday evening when I stopped into the Berkeley Amoeba
store, there were still a lot of RSD shoppers crate digging in the store's various genre sections including hip-hop vinyl. Because of the fact that the DJ and records are such a central component of hip-hop music and culture, understandably Record Store Day is a very special day for hip-hop fans.  Both DJs and casual collectors of hip-hop earmark the annual date and plan ahead . As for all the hip-hop RSD 2016 releases, the most (deserved) attention-grabbing release this year was J Dilla's The Diary. The past few days I've been listening non-stop to this highly recommended sixth posthumous release from the (now) iconic Detroit hip-hop producer/emcee, and can attest that it deserves all the hype.

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