Take It To The Bridge, The Bay Bridge (Pre-Demolition Top Ten List)

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2015 10:32pm | Post a Comment

Following a one week postponement, this weekend the demolition of part of the old Bay Bridge is back on. Scheduled for this Saturday, November 14th, at approximately 1pm, the segment of the 77-year-old Eastern span of the Bay Bridge known as Pier E3 will be demolished. Via underwater implosion and lasting only six seconds, 400 explosives will be used to demolish a 268-foot concrete slab 165 feet in the Bay mud below. While this planned implosion of the old Bay Bridge, that was replaced back in mid-2013 with that shiny new Bay Bridge that you seem to see in every other new car commercial, may not be as dramatic as say the implosion/demolition in 1999 of San Francisco's Geneva Towers, it is still an anticipated event. Many individuals and groups are planning on viewing Saturday's implosion either in person (the Oakland side near 7th St. in West Oakland is a prime location) or online (CalTrans will stream it all live).

Fans of this upcoming event include those members of the Old Bay Bridge Demolition Facebook event page that was set up by the the San Francisco Bay Area Street Photography group.  One member of this group is longtime Bay Bridge fan and former San Francisco resident Aaron Hali who now lives in Sacramento. "I'm up here in Sac because the Bay pushed us out economically so we were not in a position to buy a house in the Bay Area," he told me of his and his wife's relocation reasons, adding that, because of the three hour round trip for a six second event, he will be among those watching the implosion stream online.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: When Bay Area Political Rapper Paris Got Dropped By His Record Label Over Content

Posted by Billyjam, September 15, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

25 years ago outspoken San Francisco rapper Paris burst onto the national rap scene with his politically charged debut single for New York's prestigious Tommy Boy Records - "The Devil Made Me Do It." (see the accompanying music video that was banned by MTV at the time). The Devil Made Me Do It was also the title of the politically charged debut album that the single was taken from by the self-described "Black Panther of hip-hop." Continuing that no-holds-barred angry rebellion rap music was Paris' follow album, Sleeping With The Enemy that was slated for a 1992 release on Tommy Boy. But then the record label suddenly dropped him from their roster.  Tommy Boy Records you see was distributed by Warner Brothers who were already getting heat and feeling pressured over Ice-T/Body Count's highly controversial 1992 song "Cop Killer."  So when they got wind of what was to be on the forthcoming Paris album (songs about killing cops - "Coffee, Donuts, & Death" as well as none other than the president himself Dubya's dad - "Bush Killa") you can bet they (and their shareholders) wanted to distance themselves as far as possible from this outspoken and out-of-control militant (in their eyes) Bay Area hip-hop artist. So they sent him packing with a nice payoff check that the artist born Oscar Jackson Jr. took to invest in his own (already established) label Scarface Records. With new offices in Oakland and a locally hired staff from the community, he released the album himself.  And in the years since - and the various distribution deals and all through his own independently owned record labels including Guerrilla Funk Recordings - Paris has not stopped nor ever once toned down his message or caved into pressure to stop speaking what he believes via his music. The latest example is recommended just released latest 2CD album Pistol Politics (also avail as download) that arrived in Amoeba last Friday, September 11th, and features the powerful, anti-police violence single "Night Of The Long Knives." The album, that will be featured here in an upcoming Amoeblog indepth interview with Paris, was the inspiration for this Hip-Hop History Amoeblog on Paris from that includes a selection of rare press and publicity clips from those early 90's years of his first two well publicized albums.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart, Hiero Day 4 Preview, New Paris Video/Single From Forthcoming "Pistol Politics"

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2015 08:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week Ending 09:05:15

1. Dr. Dre Compton (Aftermath/Interscope)

2. Eligh 80HRTZ (Legendary/Crowsnest)

3. The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey (Foreign Exchange Music)

4. Z-Man & Tahaj the 1rst "Flea Circus" (Solidarity)

5. Method Man The Meth Lab (Tommy Boy) (avail in LP)

Riding high off the buzz surrounding the new N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre's new album Compton  which has been selling extremely well despite some mixed reviews on the long awaited solo album (with many mic guest spots including Kendrick Lamar) from the high profile producer/ entrepreneur who first came to fame via N.W.A all those years ago.  Among the other top five chart entries from Amoeba's Berkeley store above include The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey, Living Legends star Eligh's newest release 80HRTZ, Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man's The Meth Lab that is available from Amoeba in both CD and LP/vinyl formats, and Bay Area power duo of longtime unique emcee Z-Man (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) and producer Tahaj the First. These two Bay talents joined forces on Flea Circus that is available at the San Francisco and Berkeley Amoeba stores and is released via legendary underground San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff's prolific label Solidarity Records. Note that the SF group's main star Equipto (along with Otayo Dubb) will be among the performers at Hiero Day today - read on for more details. 

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: July 1991 Radio Rap Chart Top 40 Proves The Golden Era Was No Joke

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2015 09:26pm | Post a Comment

With just a quick glance over the forty records included in the rap/hip-hop chart, courtesy of the defunct Gavin Report radio trade magazine from the week of July 5th 1991, it's evident that this period in the still growing urban music genre was a truly incredible time in hip-hop history with so many soon-to-be classics being recorded and released! These include singles and album tracks, all very popular to this day 24 years later, from such legendary, influential hip-hop acts as De La Soul, Gang Starr, KMD (featuring a young MF Doom), Leaders of The New School, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, EPMD, Main Source, and Brand Nubian. Also included are such hip-hop legends as Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, Ice TRodney O & Joe Cooley, Naughty By Nature, 3rd Bass, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Ice Cube protege/female rapper Yo-Yo and the late great NJ producer/rapper Tony D to name but some.

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Revolutionary Rapper Paris Announces September 11th Release Date For "Pistol Politics"

Posted by Billyjam, July 27, 2015 09:53am | Post a Comment

Never one to back down or shy aware from controversy, outspoken veteran Bay Area rapper Paris continues to stay true to both his revolutionary rap style and his core political beliefs. The controversial artist, who famously got dropped by his record label over political content early on in his career and has since stayed true to his often unpopular convictions, announced that September 11, 2015 will be the release date of his newest politically charged hip-hop album, Pistol Politics

9/11 and what it symbolizes has been a topic close to Paris's heart since the history-changing 2001 event, and one that he has openly questioned in his music, being among the few hip-hop artists to label 9/11 an inside job. On his 2003 album Sonic Jihad, which showed on its original cover art a plane crashing into the Pentagon, he featured the "truth" music track "What Would You Do" (see video below) that addressed his theories on 9/11 as well as the Illuminati's agenda, asking listeners "Would you stand up for truth? Or would you turn away too? And then what if you saw All of the things that's wrong?" 

Another funk-fueled production, the album (his eighth album since his 1990 debut The Devil Made Me Do It) was first announced seven months ago with the release of the single and video for the album track "Night of the Long Knives" that addresses police brutality, racism, and other issues (video below). It is being described by the artist as both a condemnation of society's ills and a celebration of its virtues, emphasizing themes promoting unity, progression, and community upliftment, and a "musical statement of solidarity" with a wide range of guest collaborators that include Chuck D, George Clinton, E-40, WC, Kam, Tha Eastsidaz, Dead PrezT-K.A.S.H., and The Conscious Daughters that is "a much needed united front against oppression and institutional racism in an age almost devoid of meaningful commentary in urban entertainment."

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