Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Top 5 Chart, Killer Mike's Political Career Postponed, New Oakland Party "Wax Poetic"

Posted by Billyjam, June 20, 2015 08:14pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week End 06:19:15

1) Run The Jewels Run The Jewels 2  (LP) (Mass Appeal)

2) Czarface Every Hero Needs A Villain (also in LP) Brick Records)

3) Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath)

4) Slum Village Yes! (also in LP) (Nestra Music Group)

5) A$AP Rocky  At.Long.Last.A$AP (RCA)

Thanks to Daniel at the Amoeba Hollywood store for the current week's top five hip-hop album chart (CD and vinyl) that includes the brand new anticipated releases from A$AP Rocky (At.Long.Last.A$AP), and the second comic book-inspired Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric project Czarface's new Every Hero Needs A Villain, which features the sick lead single "Ka-Bang!" with MF DOOM and "The Great" (see new music video below). Also under new hip-hop releases is the just released eighth studio album from late J Dilla's group Slum Village. Entitled Yes!' and available in both CD and LP, this recommended guest-heavy album from the Detroit group features such collaborators as De La Soul and Phife Dawg. The latest hip-hop top five chart also includes two not-so-new albums that are still in demand at Amoeba Hollywood. These are Kendrick Lamar's much heralded album To Pimp A Butterfly that's been out since March and Run The Jewels' Run The Jewels 2  that first arrived in Amoeba back in November, when El-P and Killer Mike dropped their long awaited second collaborative full-length. It's timely too that Run The Jewels 2 is back in the number one slot since one of its creators has been in the news this past week due to his near official entry into politics. 
It almost happened! For a minute it looked like Killer Mike might land a job in political office in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Anyone who has read his excellent op-eds or who has heard him speak, including on Real Time with Bill Maher, knows he would have been a refreshingly welcome voice in political office. Exactly what Killer Mike had in his sights was the state rep for Atlanta’s District 55. Guilty of tax, wire, and mail fraud charges, the disgraced and resigned Tyrone Brooks was vacating his seat in a hurry, so Mike saw it and thought to himself, why not go for it. He Instagrammed about it before the June 16th deadline but then afterwards posted a follow up to say he found out that is ineligible for this year's election. He said that he does plan to run for office in the future. He will do it too, I bet, and he is so made for the job. Always informed and engaging on current topics including all angels on race in America, education, the prison complex, militant cops, and the politics behind it all, he's got a good handle on the most important things in need of vital change in America today. I wonder if he had actually landed the political office, would he have found himself getting frustrated with the political system itself? And what about Run The Jewels and his music career?  Hopefully he would become a hip-hop politician by continuing his hip-hop career while assuming his political role.  Meantime, for a refresher on how Killer Mike really feels about Ronald Reagan as president, check out the animated music video for the R.A.P. Music (also avail in vinyl) track "Reagan" off his amazing solo release via Williams Street from 2012.

Hiero Day 2014 Artists Preview

Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2014 11:20pm | Post a Comment

Hiero Day 2014 -- happening Monday, September 1st in Oakland in the blocks surrounding 95 Linden Street (Linden Street Brewery) -- may only be in its third year, but this ambitious, annual, refreshingly non-mainstream, all-ages East Bay hip-hop festival has quickly become the best Bay Area hip-hop festival of the year. Hiero Day features the extended Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective along with a slew of equally talented hip-hop friends (mostly Bay and Cali hip-hop acts) performing on three different stages throughout the day.   I attended last year's Hiero Day and was so impressed with how fun and how peaceful this musically rich event was!

Hiero Day is free and all-ages with a truly indie feeling, and no nasty corporate overtones. In fact it is more like an expanded modern day continuation of the Living Legends' Unsigned & Hella Broke jams back in the day. Fittingly, Mystik Journeymen are among those on the bill at Hiero Day 2014 - a day that will attract hip-hop appreciative fans in the thousands to enjoy great music, a variety of tasty food trucks, tables selling cool hip-hop clothing, a skate contest, and (for vinyl fiends and crate diggers) the beat swap meet.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 06.28.13: Wale, Dessa, Quasimoto, Evidence, E-Lit, Skrip, De La Soul, Blunt Club Oakland + more

Posted by Billyjam, June 28, 2013 11:19am | Post a Comment
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley with new Hip-Hop for week ending June 28, 2013

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 06:28:13

1) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

2) Dessa The Parts of Speech (Doomtree)

3) Wale The Gifted (Atlantic)

4) The White Mandingos The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me (Ingrooves/Fat Beats)

5) Quasimoto Yessir, Whatever (Stones Throw)

 Thanks again this week go out to my man E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for both providing the new Top Five Hip-Hop chart for Amoeba Berkeley and the video breakdown (also above) of the latest hip-hop releases (CD and vinyl) to arrive into Amoeba over the past week. Scroll down to see accompanying/corresponding videos for many of these new chart entries and new releases referenced by E-Lit including Dessa ("Call Off Your Ghost" from The Parts of Speech on Doomtree), Quasimoto ("Youngblood" off of  Yessir, Whatever on Stones Throw), Wale's "Bad" featuring Tiara Thomas from The Gifted on Atlantic), and The White Mandingos' "Mandingo Rally" off The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me on Ingrooves/Fat Beats. Also below is brand new video from Skrip for the new song "Stop It" of which the artist said, “Music was made for more than perpetuating negativity, and if you’ve got the gift you don’t need to try to copy anyone else; give people a breath of fresh air," adding that, "Music with a meaning is what lacks in popular Hip Hop, and “Stop It” is bound to step on some toes-deservedly.” Yes indeedy! Scroll down to see this and the other new music videos - plus the EPK (electronic press kit) for the classic from De La Soul taken off their (recently reissued on double vinyl) Prince Paul produced golden era hip-hop album 3 Feet High & Rising. (also re-reissued on CD)

In Oakland tonight there's a lot of shows and parties happening including the premiere East Bay presentation of (Arizona founded) Blunt Club Oakland at hot new Oakland spot The Legionnaire Saloon (Telegraph near 22nd) with DJs Saurus, Max Kane, Platurn, Teeko, Pickster plus Pep Love (Hieros) and Foreign Legion both performing (FL's Prozack Turner is one of the new club owners). There will also be art on display by Dump La Rock and Griffin and the new East Bay monthly party will be hosted by The Night Clubber Lang. 21+ more info here. Meanwhile about 18 blocks down towards Oakland's Jack London Square on Broadway near 3rd/4th Streets at The Night Light will be Aztlan Nation alum DJ Delgado spinning party music with friends from early evening late into the night. Starting at 5pm and going non-stop until 2am there is no cover for this night of an eclectic mix of hip-hop, various schools of reggae, funk, breaks and beats - all billed as the Fresh Jamz Friday party. 21+ More info here.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 04.07.12: E-Lit, Pep Love, Phesto, Opio, De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2, & Mello Music's "Self Sacrifice"

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2012 10:30pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 04:07:12

1) Pep Love Rigmarole (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

2) Opio Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

3) Phesto Dee Background Check (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

4) V/A Self Sacrifice (Mello Music Group)

5) De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve (Duck Down)

Shout-out to E-Lit (the man) at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for again supplying the new Top Five hip-hop chart and running down (in video above) all the exciting new hip-hop releases at Amoeba this week. So much good stuff that it's hard to keep up with it all. Leading the pack in the number position is Pep Love (one of three members of the longtime mighty Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective out of Oakland with chart entries this week) and his first solo release in over a decade (since  since 2001's Ascension) - the anticipated new full-length Rigmarole on his collective's thriving indie label the Hieroglyphics Imperium's Clear Label imprint which has also released the new joints from fellow Hiero crew (and Souls of Mischief) members Opio and Phesto (aka Phesto Dee) who have just released the albums Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 and Background Check respectfully. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.24.12: E Lit's Top Five, Hiero's Pep Love + Tajai, Fist Fam's Weekend Cult Release Party, Busdriver, Curren$y, Gangrene, The Promise, The Sessions San Francisco + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2012 06:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five for week ending 02:24:12 with E-Lit

1) Lazerbeak & Edison Kill Switch LP (Fieldwerk)

We received a whole bunch of these over a week early, and sold through our entire supply of them in a matter of days!  Given the extremely high quality of the product, it’s no wonder we couldn’t keep this on the shelves. Kill Switch is hip-hop production of the highest caliber, brought to you by the strongest label in instrumental hip hop Fieldwerk Recordings.  Doomtree’s Lazerbeak handles side A with a surprisingly subtle approach that occasionally bursts with brilliant color, delivering his finest solo instrumental work to date.  San Francisco’s own genius button-masher Edison handles side B with a much rowdier gang of beats that show off his skillful production craft, with menacing guitar jabs and gangsta bleeps that form a cohesive whole.  This one’s only available on vinyl, but it does come with a digital download card that’ll get it on your computer in a matter of minutes.  Highly recommended!

2) Tajai Machine Language CD (Hieroglyphics Imperium)

Souls of Mischief frontman and Hieroglyphics mainstay Tajai’s new Machine Language mixtape has naturally been doing very well in the Bay.  Features fellow Hiero members Casual, Opio and A-Plus, plus a joint with The Pharcyde, all for a super cheap price of $5.98.  This mix CD is just a taster of random new Tajai tracks, but should tide the Bay’s Hiero fanbase over until Tajai’s new Rap Noir album drops later this year.

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