Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Native Tongues

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2015 11:45am | Post a Comment
Upon digging in the golden era hip-hop LP crates recently I uncovered an amazing album that I had not listened to in full in some time - the Jungle Brothers' 1988 debut album Straight Out The Jungle on Idlers/Warlock - that reminded me of how, upon its release, that was the record that introduced hip-hop fans like myself to the Native Tongues - as well as to Q-Tip who guested on the album tracks "Black Is Black" and "The Promo."

Centered in New York City and with direct ties to the Universal Zulu Nation, the Native Tongues were not a crew but rather a collective of different crews and acts that came together as a loose knit movement bonded by Afrocentric rooted hip-hop with uplifting lyrics focus on positivity and with a musical / production focus on jazzy grooves and eclectic samples (along with jazz, funk, and soul samples, the aforementioned Jungle Brothers album title track sampled Cameroon, Central Africa artist Manu Dibango). In addition to its leading act The Jungle Brothers (aka the JBs), the Native Tongues also included De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest (its core members), as well as such artists as Queen Latifah, Black Sheep, and Monie Love as among its many members. Other Native Tongue members - albeit to a much lesser and/or later degree of involvement - have said to have included Chi-Ali, Fu-Schnickens, The Beatnuts, Brand Nubian, Leaders of the New School, Common, and Da Bush Babees. However while these hip-hop acts continued for many years - some up until the present - the actual Native Tongues collective slowly disintegrated and became no more by the early nineties - many correctly correlating the demise of Afrocentric hip-hop with that of the Native Tongues movement. 

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Posted by Billyjam, August 29, 2009 01:24pm | Post a Comment
Napalm Clique: Unity & Trevor "Shining (Michael Jackson Hip Hop Tribute)" (2009)

Today, August 29th 2009, marks what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday. To celebrate the date and the legacy of MJ and the King of Pop's music there are numerous parties planned for this day in various cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

In LA tonight QuestLove of the mighty Roots (who killed it the one time I saw them play live at Amoeba Hollywood two years ago -- see pics here) is overseeing the Remember the TIme special MJ birthday party tonight with a three hour set along with DJs Vikter Duplaix, Rashida and Loslito at The Church in downtown LA. The party starts at 10pm and goes til 4am. 21+ $20 admission or $15 if you send an RSVP message here by 6pm. The Church is located at 606 E. 6th St. at the corner of Crocker, and one block east of San Pedro.

In San Francisco tonight at Yoshi's A-List Musiq Circle & Mohogany Events are presenting what they have dubbed "The Official Bay Area Michael Jackson Birthday Celebration" with music by Rick & Russ Show. The event is an after party for the sold out Mint Condition show also at Yoshi's.   Those with ticket stubs from that show get a $5 discount on the $10 admission tag. Doors 9:30pm. Party til 2am. Yoshi's is located at 1330 Fillmore Street. Also tonight at 9pm at The Madrone at 500 Divisidero in San Francisco there will be a screening of the new MJ tribute video above by Naplam Clique's Unity and Trevor that was directed and edited by Trevor Parham for Eklectyk Creative Media and includes the MJ eulogy speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

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Ten Questions For Amanda Diva

Posted by Smiles Davis, June 17, 2009 09:52am | Post a Comment

The first roommate I had here in LA was completely out of her mind. We’re talking a real nut. I won’t go too far into details, but I will say skydiving without a parachute would have been more pleasurable than living with that woman. Her little sister, on the other hand, who used to frequently visit from NY, was the polar opposite; she was well read, sociable, easy to please, giggled perpetually, she didn’t steal my stuff, and she found enjoyment in sharing things. One thing she shared with me was here love for a local emcee from her hometown, Amanda Diva. I was unaware of her at the time, but completely open to discovering new music. She played this track for me called “40 Emcees,” and my head spun.

It was like seeing a unicorn for the first time. It was such a breath of fresh air, since, for the most part, female emcees -- female performers, period -- at that time, had been reduced to floss, glitter and stilettos, to say the least. Not exactly my meat and potatoes. But, I digress. Amanda Diva is the TRUTH, and she comes fully equipped with a Master’s degree, bubbling personality, mad lyrical flow, wit, charm, the gift of gab and crazy talent.

Now, nearly three years after my first encounter, I see and hear Amanda Diva almost everywhere, from her show on her YouTube spot, Diva Speak TV, to here guest appearance on Q-tip’s album, to her blog, to The Roots, to Floetry. I tracked Miss Diva down to chat her up about female emcees, the First family, the Internet and her new EP Spandex, Rhymes, & Soul.

What is a diva to you?

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(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
This has been a busy week, dear readers. Lots of phone interviews, dinner parties, and soundtrack-slinging at Ye Olde Amoeba Music Hollywood.

I was gabbing with Peaches about her new album last Wednesday. It’s called I Feel Cream (release date in the U.S. is May 5) and it’s a blast! Definitely a departure from its predecessors, in that it’s more diverse in sound and moods. Peaches sings a lot more. There are moments where it sounds like the lovechild of modern R&B and older tracks by darlings of the Industrial genre, Front 242.

peaches i feel cream

Anyway, I asked her about musical influences that might surprise people (it’s already well documented that she loves hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll). This led to her gushing about Joni Mitchell, and this performance in particular, which rocked her world:

That voice! A miracle. I just can’t get enough of it…

She really is one of my favorite things in the world of music, and while not everyone shares my passion for her sound, anyone who appreciates songwriting as a craft must acknowledge that, as a writer of music and lyrics, she remains one of the greatest artists of modern pop music. She’s credited with inventing about 50 different guitar tunings, and the list of musicians who cite her as an influence – Peaches included – reads like a Who’s Who of music.


Posted by Billyjam, December 1, 2008 03:25pm | Post a Comment
 Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five
q-tip the renaissance
1) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

2) Black Milk Tronic (Fat Beats Records)

3) T.I. Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

4) Kurupt & Roscoe The Frank & Jesse James Story (Highpowered Entertainment)

5) DJ Babu Duck Season Vol. 3 (Nature Sounds)

Thanks to Marques at Amoeba Music Hollywood for this week's Top Five Hip-Hop albums chart where, as with the other two Amoeba stores, Black Milk's Tronic, DJ Babu's Duck Season Vol. 3, Q-Tip's The Renaissance, and T.I.'s Paper Trail are all selling well. Also on this new chart is the wild west themed The Frank & Jesse James Story from Kurupt along with his younger brother Roscoe, aka the James Brothers. Guests on this all West Coast rap offering include Too $hort, WC, and Daz Dillinger. Keeping in the brotherly (though not technically siblings) mode is new crew The Temper Twins. Check out the group's cool new video/song "Change It Up" below. The Twins, comprised of Jimmy Temper & Tim Temper plus Shotgun, are a new Hollywood (by way of the East Bay) group whose seeds were first sown 17 long years ago at an Oakland BBQ when mod squad people's parkthen newcomer to the local hip-hop game Sunspot "Tim Temper" Jonz, later of Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends fame, first crossed paths with Julian "Jimmy Temper" Brooks, MC and founding member of the psychedelic hip-hop pioneering duo The Mod Squad who got signed to TNT Records, and then picked up by Priority Records for a hot minute, scoring a buzz with 1992's People's Park.

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