Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hiero Day 4 Review, Seagram Biopic, RIP Kool DJ AJ, Digg Tribute Compilation + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

"I live in the Town now. My son goes to school here," LA born emcee Bambu (pictured above) told the early afternoon audience at Hiero Day 4 this past Monday (September 7th) between songs by his political rap group Native Guns from the Imperium Stage - one of several
performance stages simultaneously featuring a rich diverse array of mostly local or Left Coast hip-hop acts. The recently relocated SoCal artist was making the point of how important Oakland had become to him personally as well as how incredibly impressive was this independent and unique urban event that he and his hip-hop group were invited to be a part of.

"No negativity," stressed Bambu gesturing out across the large scale, violence free, annual festival that would again prove the naysayers wrong in that Oakland (aka The Town) can indeed produce a peaceful,  positive, uplifting hip-hop festival with no negativity, just positivity! While the credit for this accomplishment goes to all of the participants - both on stage and off - it primarily goes to the Hieros themselves. As the event's producers, they have crafted something quite amazing out of their combined love of the culture that gave them their careers and the city that gave them their start. Indeed Hiero Day is the ultimate celebration of all things positive about Oakland, CA with the Hieroglyphics collective embodying and embracing the very essence of Oakland in 2015. Not too surprisingly then that former Mayor Jean Quan formally recognized September 3rd (9/3) as Hiero Day two years ago. However the Hieros themselves have done more to uplift The Town than any politician with a skewed agenda ever could!

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Show Recap: Diva at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 9, 2015 06:51pm | Post a Comment

diva amoeba hollywoodPhotos by Furn Zavala

Dubbed an "inter-dimensional pop star," Diva has long been one of the most intriguing figures in the L.A. post-punk and minimal wave scene. She showed up at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 8 to perform songs from her latest release, Divinity in Thee, which is full of imaginitive D.I.Y.-style electro pop gems and was just released on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw imprint Circle Star

Everything about the performance was transportative. She emerged with a bevy of dancers draped in pastel veils that made them seem like spectral brides, or a neu-age version of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. She engaged the audience in a legit meditation session, using the correct lingo and everything. To my knowledge, that was an Amoeba first. I have to admit I didn't participate or I would've ended up drooling all over the rock clearance section.  

diva divinity in thee lpAfter getting the audience in touch with their "inner divinity," as she calls it, Diva launched into a track with Indian-inspired dance and vocals, stringing together wonderful phrases like "celestial shrapnel" and "cherubim chakras" (I think) over a minimal electronic backbeat. The dancers' movements revealed shimmer in the dancers' dresses, their otherworldly appearances combining with the airy music to give off a feeling that was both alien and strangely soothing.

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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 on Monday, September 7th at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Oakland. In addition to headlining act the Hieros, whose membership boasts members such 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 across three stages that covers various eras and subgenres of hip-hop. 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 Aceyalonelegendary Oakland rap duo the Luniz; Raashan Ahmad's group formerly known as The Mission - Crown City RockersMC Eiht's legendary '90s SoCal rap group Compton's Most Wanted; hometown hip-hop heroes Foreign Legion; Rhymesayers' female emcee talent Psalm One (who 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

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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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