Amoeblog

Hiero Day 2015 Lineup To Include Alkaholiks, Domo Genesis, Aceyalone, The Coup, Cali Agents, Luniz, CMW, HBK, Zion I, & Equipto

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2015 07:50am | Post a Comment


The folks at Oakland's Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective have announced the anticipated lineup for this year's Hiero Day that does not disappoint and happens in two weekends on Monday September 7th at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Oakland. In addition to headlining act the Hieros, whose membership boasts  such members as Souls of Mischief, Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual and DJ Toure, this year's amazing Hiero Day 2015 lineup will feature 45 diverse acts (over three stages) that covers various eras and subgenres of hip-hop that is sure to please any hip-hop fan. This impressive lineup will include Tha Alkaholiks who arrived on the hip-hop scene the same time as the Hieros, Odd Future's Domo Genesis, Cali Agents (Rasco and Planet Asia), Stones Throw founder DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf, Boots Riley's legendary Oakland political hip-hop soldiers The Coup, Freestyle Fellowship's super-gifted emcee Aceyalone, legendary Oakland rap duo the Luniz, Raashan Ahmad's group formerly known as The Mission - Crown City Rockers, MC Eiht's legendary 90's SoCal rap group Compton's Most Wanted, hometown hip-hop heroes Foreign Legion, Rhymesayers' female emcee talent Psalm One who had changed her name for a minute in recent years, Zion I, Phat Kat & Guilty Simpson, Equipto & Otayo Dubb, HBK members Kool John, P-Lo, and Jay Ant in separate sets, and hyphy era stars The Team

When Hiero Day began in 2012, at a location in the Uptown area of Oakland near the New Parish, the naysayers cynically said that it would not last past year one - it being a big rap event in Oakland and free to anyone and everyone, it would have to self-implode they predicted. But thankfully those negative predictions were totally wrong as proven by the continuance of this wonderful all-day celebration of hip-hop music that, in addition to the mulit-faceted Hiero crew, showcases a rich variety of hip-hop with a focus on Bay Area and West Coast, and is now celebrating its fourth year. Not only that but Hiero Day, which after outgrowing its original year one street festival space moved over to its current ideal location - on a stretch of 3rd Street roughly midway between West Oakland BART and Jack London Square - has gotten bigger and better each year. More impressive is that Hiero Day 4 is all ages event for the community! One small change however this year is that it is no longer a totally free event but, due to mounting costs on producing such a large scale event, there is now a minimal ticket cost of $10 - $20 with advance tickets online.  Among the many DJs spinning at Hiero Day 2015 will be Beat Junkies/The Visionaries star DJ Rhettmatic, (former Amoebite/Oakland Faders co-founder) DJ PlaturnSake One of Local 1200 crew, (friend of Amoeba) House Shoes, D Sharp, and Kevvy Kev with on stage hosts including Chuy Gomez and Chris RIggins. To secure advance tix for Hiero Day 2015 click here. Below is a nice video overview of last year's Hiero Day 2014 by General Hydroponics.

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Knxwledge Discusses Stones Throw LP "Hud Dreems," Amoeba Crate Digging, His Church Upbringing, & Kendrick Lamar Production

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2015 11:43am | Post a Comment



Knxwledge (pronounced Knowledge) is known for such things as being a producer for Kendrick Lamar's current hit album To Pimp a Butterfly (for the track "Momma"); a regular contributor at the Low End Theory events; and, most importantly, as an incredibly prolific producer whose impressive catalog includes a long list of self-released cassettes, albums, and EPs for such labels as All City and Stones Throw. His latest album, Hud Dreems (pre-order on vinyl) was just released on Stones Throw.

The talented 26-year-old LA-based producer is a major fan of Amoeba Music and spends a lot of his spare time digging in the crates of Amoeba Hollywood for records with obscure sounds to sample. Naturally then the NJ born-and-raised producer was quite at home when he got invited to DJ a set at Amoeba Hollywood last month during Record Store Day celebrations at the Sunset Blvd. store. Around that same time I caught up with the producer to talk about making music, his new Stones Throw release, and of course crate digging at Amoeba - something he was more than happy to chat about.

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Digging Deep In The Crates Of Latest Record Collection Acquisition By Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2015 05:12am | Post a Comment


As a music fan and lifelong record collector, I love the opportunity to join Amoeba buyers when they travel to check out large privately-owned record collections to potentially scoop up and get onto the shelves at Amoeba Music's three stores. For me, flipping through record collections is always fun. I get a kick out of looking at album covers, spotting records that I already know and/or own, along with ones I have never seen nor heard of. Such was the case earlier this week  when I joined Amoeba Marc just outside of New York City to check out a moderate sized record collection consisting of mostly LPs from the '70's through the early '90's and ranging in genres. Our job was to check out the collection to see if it had records Amoeba customers would want (it did) and then to pack it up and ship it back safely (there's an art to shipping large quantities of records without them encountering any damage) to Amoeba's Hollywood store where they will begin making their way into the vinyl isles within a week. 

The first record collection buy for Amoeba that I was a part of was a few years back in Queens, NY when we packed and shipped a 30,000 unit (mostly vinyl) collection cross country back to Cali. That was a large collection but not compared to one that Amoeba Marc and crew shipped from Ohio earlier this year. That one numbered 80,000 records, which is a lot to pack and ship. In comparison, this latest collection acquired by Amoeba was relatively modest in scale. It numbered 3,200 12" records (90% albums with the balance in 12" singles) and around 750 7" singles, plus a short stack of 10" singles/EPs. That' a little over three quarters of a ton in weight; something I learned from Peanut Butter Wolf who released the 2001 album My Vinyl Weighs A Ton. That album's title, he informed me in a previous Amoeblog on this topic, was based on not just a play on words of the famous Public Enemy album but also his personal experience when he had to move and determine the weight of his vinyl for the trucking company.  4,000 LPs = 1 ton. The U-Haul "small" size box (the best size box for record packing/shipping) holds approx 100 albums and weighs approx 60 lbs.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 1988, The Year Considered By Many As Hip-Hop's Greatest

Posted by Billyjam, March 10, 2015 03:00pm | Post a Comment

For this week's Hip-Hop History installment we rewind back to wonderfully vibrant year of 1988. It was a time when hip-hop still constantly growing, with exciting sounding new artists constantly unfurling new lyrical and musical sounds. To me '88 was part of the third wave of hip-hop - with the first wave being the (original) old school artists of the 70's/early 80's, who were eclipsed earlier in the 80's by Run-D.M.C. who ushered in the "new school" - but who themselves in turn were eclipsed by this newer third wave of hip-hop. It often seemed (and more so in retrospect) that every record released in '88 was a good record. Of course, as with any music in any time period, there were hip-hop duds released in '88 too. However overall it is fair to say that 1988 had a larger percentage of quality, diverse-sounding, influential, and timeless hip-hop releases than many other years in the genre's four-decade history. And no wonder; it was part of the time frame known as the "golden era" of hip-hop that is widely considered to be the artistic pinnacle of the art form.   I think part of the reason for this, along with the lyrical aspect of the artform still being relatively young and still being explored by new emcees like Rakim, was the fact that sampling was at its creative peak. Remember this was in the period before the infamous 1991 landmark Gilbert O Sullivan vs Biz Markie copyright case that essentially brought an end to free range sampling, and would end up in hip-hop being a little less adventurous sounding due to all the restrictions placed on it regarding sampling.

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Dub Club's Tom Chasteen Discusses New Release: "Natural Numbers In Dub" on Stones Throw

Posted by Billyjam, November 26, 2014 10:10am | Post a Comment
Recently the ever prolific and consistently diverse Peanut Butter Wolf headed Stones Throw Records label unleashed yet another great release: Natural Numbers' dub reggae Natural Numbers In Dub. The excellent album joins the label's reggae dub catalog that also includes such other Dub Club related releases as Gappy Ranks Meets Dub Club that was released earlier this month, This  Generation Dub (the Tom Chasteen remix of The Lions) from June, and the Dub Club presented compilation Meaning of Dub LP, featuring such artists as Tippa Irie, Josey Wales, and Dub Club, that Stones Throw released back in August.

Natural Numbers' Natural Numbers In Dub, which features members from Wilco and Mazzy Star, is the newest solo production from the same hard-working, highly revered Tom Chasteen from the ongoing party Dub Club in LA at The Echoplex - happening tonight (November 26th - see flyer below or click here for details). With the lead single "Dub and Blind" the full-length, ten track dub album follows a series of other Chateen produced dub releases under the Dub Club name. For this latest project by the skilled producer Chasteen pushes the envelope by stretching the musical boundaries beyond the usual reggae dub flavor and incorporating such other elements as Middle Eastern, African, and even some country music into his mix.

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