1) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
2) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)
3) J. Cole Born Sinner (Columbia)
4) Mac Miller Watching Movies With The Sound Off (Rostrum Records)
5) Wale The Gifted (Atlantic)
The above new hip-hop chart from Amoeba Music Hollywood includes five albums that have also been selling well at both the Berkeley and San Francisco Amoebas and (I'm guessing) will likely remain popular albums all summer long. These include DC area rapper Wale's guest heavy new album The Gifted, Kanye West's much talked about latest full-length Yeezus, J. Cole's Born Sinner (Columbia), Mac Miller's Watching Movies With The Sound Off, and Quasimoto's Yessir, Whatever on Stones Throw which, while not brand new recordings, are new to most ears and well worth getting. As E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store noted last week, the Yessir, Whatever cover was designed as a peel-off sticker design as pictured right.
One thing is for sure, Hip Hop is not dead! Not as long as Murs and Fashawn have something to say about it. The two beloved West Coast emcees teamed up for an epic collaboration on This Generation (Duck Down Records). The album boasts excellent production from the likes of K-Salaam and Beatnik with the dynamic duo supplying many memorable moments on the mic. This is definitely a release deserving of a permanent spot in your record collection.
Not only did they give us a free in-store performance to celebrate the album back in September 2012, the emcees also collaborated with Rock The Vote to encourage young hip hop fans to register and vote.
The message was loud and clear as Murs flaunted a retro styled Rock The Vote t-shirt. A proper album release with a proper message...Hip Hop is not dead!
Check out Murs & Fashawn perform "Heartbreaks and Handcuffs" from their performance at Amoeba Hollywood. Keep an eye out for DJ Quik in the audience! Visit amoeba.com for the full performance and to check out some cool show photos from the show.
Trying to narrow down my favorite 2012 "What's In My Bag?" videos is a little bit like asking me to choose my favorite children. Each one is special and unique in its own way. But 'tis the season of "Best Of" lists, so here is my attempt at naming the top WIMBs from 2012, listed according to date posted because, really, picking 10 was hard enough.
Peanut Butter Wolf - January 3, 2012
We kicked off 2012 with a monster of a WIMB featuring DJ, producer, Stones Throw founder and Amoeba regular Peanut Butter Wolf, who had so many items he renamed the episode "What's In My Boxes." Missed some of his selections? Check out his full list here.
John Flansburgh - March 5, 2012
The guitarist and co-founder of They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh, did a "show and tell" at Amoeba Hollywood, selecting reissues by The Zombies, Blossom Dearie, and The Hollies, plus California funk by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Band. After posting the video, we found out that half of John's picks from this Amoeba trip, and other records he'd picked up while on tour, were unfortunately burned in a trailer fire. See John's full list of picks here.
As part of Amoeba's Rock the Vote effort, Murs & Fashawn and Band of Horses turned out excellent live shows at Amoeba Hollywood and across the street at Space 15 Twenty. Murs & Fashawn's energetic live show, which was streamed live for a webcast on Amoeba.com, drew a huge crowd, thanks to Living Legends member Murs’ loyal fanbase, Fashawn’s rising notoriety and their recently released collaborative album, the fine This Generation. The duo performed songs from the album, such as the uplifting “Heartbreaks & Handcuffs,” trading rhymes and pointing to one another and generally having a great time riling up an enthusiastic crowd. Murs picked up a baby at one point like a politician, remarking that there were a lot of babies in the audience, which there were, along with teenagers who shouted suggestions to Murs and clamored over one another to pick up free T-shirts they threw into the audience (one jumped on my head!). “If you’re smart, you’ll be registered to vote and to get married by the time you leave here,” Murs said at one point. “If a girl’s at our show, she’s probably pretty cool.” Later, Murs more pointedly said: “It doesn’t hurt to believe in something a little bit. Don’t be so apathetic.”
“As I got older and evolved as a person, I realized there’s a point [to voting],” Fashawn chimed in. “Today, I’m gonna register to vote.”