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Run The Jewels Announce Tour & Tracklist For "RTJ2" On Nas' Mass Appeal Records

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2014 01:31pm | Post a Comment

Run The Jewels - the super talented hip-hop power duo of El-P and Killer Mike - has just announced new tour dates along with track listings,  contributing guests, and artwork details for their forthcoming  sophomore release. With cover art almost the same as last year's self-titled debut on Fool's Gold (only in a different color), the new album on Nas' new Mass Appeal Records is  slated for release on October 28th. Aptly titled RTJ2, the album will feature guest spots by Zack de la Rocha, Travis Barker, Diane Coffee, and BOOTS (note this is not Boots Riley of The Coup but BOOTS the sometimes BeyoncĂ© collaborator).

The Run The Jewels has been attracting attention of late for their impressive recent tour sets, including a stop in the Bay Area last month at Outside Lands and the previous month in New York at the Governors Ball. They've also been garnering attention with new audiences care of Killer Mike's recent guest appearance on CNN, speaking out on the grander implications of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson (see video below).

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 05.16.14: Coalmine Records 10 Year Anniversary, Nas, The Legion, Zion I in Concert + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2014 11:08am | Post a Comment
      
 

Among the brand new releases to arrive in Amoeba this week is the all killer, no filler Coalmine Records ten year anniversary release (promo video above) that showcases the creme de la creme of the past decade's output from the Brooklyn based label - all mixed together by DJ Revolution. Aptly entitled Coalmine Records Presents: Unearthed  the compilation album (a double CD disc set) contains both a mixed version care of DJ Revolution, and an 'Untagged Deluxe Edition' which includes three bonus cuts. Artists featured include Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Large Professor, The Artifacts, Blu, Sean Price, Big Noyd, Skillz, Guilty Simpson, Rah Digga, El Da Senseiand Fashawn.

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Looking Back To 90's East Coast Hip-Hop Via Music Videos c/o DJ Shortkut

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment
       

      SK-90's HIP HOP video mixtape from Shortkut on Vimeo.

Today's Hip Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog installment comes courtesy of West Coast DJ legend, turntablist extraordinaire DJ Shortkut (Beat Junkies, Triple Threat, Invisibl Skratch Piklz) who, in addition to regularly spinning a richly diverse mix of music in clubs all over the world, also does video mixing as in the above jaw-dropping 48 minute hip-hop mix. For the above mix, in which the accomplished DJ scratches and blends and mixes on video just as he would on audio only, DJ Shortkut focuses on the golden era period - primarily (but not exclusively) early to mid 90's NYC hip-hop - showcasing such hip-hop talents as the late great Big L, Gang Starr, Da Youngstas, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Nas, KRS-One, and Common.

And what does Shortkut see as the one major difference between hip-hop videos back then and the ones being produced nowadays? "
Videos then were on some hip-hop, not rap shit," he replied without missing a beat. Since Shortkut regularly incorporates videos, like the ones in his Vimeo video mix above, when out in the clubs I wondered if club-goers/hip-hop fans often get so disrtracted by the cool visuals of these classic videos that they forget to dance? No he assured me, adding, "Thats why on my rider I make it mandatory to have the screen directly in back of me so they can put the two together." Before letting him go, I asked the hardworking DJ Shortkut of the golden era videos/songs in his above mix, which ones were his personal top three faves?

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 20 Years Ago Nas Released His Landmark Debut: Illmatic

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2014 12:51pm | Post a Comment

EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for Nas' Illmatic album (1994)

As we head into the second week of 2014 it just dawned on me that 1994 is now a full twenty years ago which means that it is now officially the 20 year anniversary of when Nas unleashed his landmark debut full-length LP Illmatic - the groundbreaking album that would change the face of hip-hop (especially East Coast) for some time to come.

What is especially impressive is that Nas was only 20 years of age when this record, packed with references to the Queensbridge projects in which he grew up, was released and was only 19 when he recorded the album - even younger if you include "Halftime" which was recorded and released two years earlier for the Zebrahead soundtrack in 1992 when he was still known as Nasty Nas. (Note that the "Halftime" 12" was reissued by Columbia Records for last year's Record Store Day and that Illmatic was reissued, with a bonus CD, for its 10 year anniversary).

While Illmatic may not have been the biggest selling rap album of the 90's it was perhaps the most universally critically acclaimed record with the Source magazine (back when it was still revered as 'the bible of hip-hop') bestowing its prestigious, highest rating of five mics. But beyond critical or commercial acclaim Illmatic as a recorded work stands truly stands the test of time - hence why so many artists have since paid homage to it (EG: Elzhi's 2011 release Elmatic) and why the album is held up as the blueprint for a truly classic hip-hop release (But is this the new Illmatic? is a common question posed when an artist drops a quality release). Not only is Illmatic the Queensbridge, NY emcee's own finest work but it also considered by most tastemakers as one of the quintessential 1990's hip hop releases. When it was released in April 1994 it was unlike anything else up to that point in time. Furthermore it was instrumental in shaping the New York hip-hop sound from that point forward.

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Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up 08.25.12: Top 5, Summer Park Jam, JJ Doom, LL Cool J, RTB, Nas, Humpty Hump's Head, KnowItAll's Kickstarter Drive

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
JJ Doom Guvnor (2012)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:24:12

1) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)

3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
4) DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring (Cash Money)

5) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

Thanks to Edwin in the Hip-Hop department at the Amoeba Hollywood store for this week's top five chart which includes with a bullet in the number one slot care of Lex Records  Key to the Kuffs  which is the highly recommended new album from JJ DOOM (aka the collective talents of Jneiro Jarel and DOOM along with some special guests) which is excellent from start to finish with tracks like "Winter Blues," "Banished" (the first track leaked from the album early this year), and "Guvnor' (single - see video above).  This latest MF Doom project follows in the tradition of such previous killer Doom collaborations as when Doom teamed up with Madlib as Madvillain and with Danger Mouse as DangerDoom. The 15 track new JJ DOOM project was conceived over the past twelve months while Doom was "in exile" over in London, England (something he references on the release including on "Borin' Convo" when he raps "The super villain get kicked out your country"). As well as the two main artists the album features such guests as Damon Albarn, Khujo Goodie and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. The album's distinctive cover art (above) is by Steve Powers (aka ESPO).

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