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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 09.27.13: Amoeba Top 5, Terrace Martin's "3ChordFold," Jay-Z and Kanye's Ranting Distracts From The Music

Posted by Billyjam, September 27, 2013 09:23am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Top Five Week Ending 09: 27:13


1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)

2) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)

3) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)

4) Terrace Martin 3ChordFold (Empire Dist.)

5) A$AP Ferg Trap Lord (RCA)


As he makes headlines this week over his humorless Twitter rants against Jimmy Kimmel's jokes,  Kanye West's latest album Yeezus on Def Jam continues to sell well at Amoeba. Undoubtedly a most talented artist Kanye is at his best when he sticks to simply making music or overseeing his GOOD (Getting Out Our Dreams) music label. Personally I prefer when artists stick to simply making music and not making war with fellow artists as seems to be increasingly more common these days with examples including rapper turned savvy entrepreneur Jay-Z whose acclaimed latest/twelfth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail on Def Jam is still charting at Amoeba nearly three full months since it arrived in the store. Jay-Z's recent verbal feud targets have included Harry Belafonte (who last month accused Hov of not being active enough in uplifting his race) and more recently Yoko Ono who he raps negatively about in a verse on the new (soon to drop) Justin Timberlake album The 20/20 Experience #2 that arrives in Amoeba early next week (read story here). In olden days feuds between artists would inspire creative response battle rap records. Nowadays they typically result in negative, nasty, name calling, Twitter rants.  I miss the old days!

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Fakin' The Funk: Bait Rap Cases in which Cops Create Fake Rap Businesses to Entrap Criminals

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2012 08:45am | Post a Comment
No doubt you're aware of Bait Car - the engaging popular reality TV show on the truTV channel that follows, via tiny hidden video cameras, the exploits of opportunist car thieves who can't pass up the temptation of an empty unlocked car with its engine idling & keys clearly in the ignition crying out "Steal Me!" Of course, as the show's title implies, it is merely bait laid out by police as part of an elaborate entrapment scheme. This entrapment approach as a means of catching "bad guys" has become increasingly more common by law enforcement agencies in recent years. Examples include the NYPD entrapment scheme in which the cops planted "drunks" asleep on subway benches apparently with their wallets or purses open to thieves. Another example that, like Bait Car made for good reality TV, was the predator entrapment practice that would become popular Chris Hansen hosted TV show To Catch A Predator. Two recent cases of entrapment, that would have made for some interesting TV viewing, are two specific cases by law enforcement that are stranger than fiction and each involved rap music as bait.  The two cases, both highly complex and involving approximately one year each, took place in Washington DC and in the UK one and four months ago respectively.  

As reported by several news and hip-hop outlets last month in Washington DC cops along with ATF agents wound up an intricate one year undercover sting operation that entailed agents posing as “music industry insiders” running a "fictional rap label" and amounted to authorities  making numerous arrests and confiscating over $7.2 million in drugs and 161 weapons. The DC sting, which began in November 2010 and went to great lengths to ensure results, involved D.C. police creating the Manic Enterprisess studio in Northeast Washington, even going so far as to create for the fictional label the fictional rap artist Richie Valdez. (Note that unfortunately - and oddly - no images or music reviews or website links seem to exist of this fake rapper.)  Next, reportedly, agents then told the underground world and black market that they were seeking to purchase weapons and drugs which resulted in money, drugs, and weapons: 161 firearms including a rocket launcher, 29 assault weapons, 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 21 pounds of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, 24 pounds of marijuana, and undisclosed amounts of heroin and ecstasy.

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HIP-HOP HISTORY: TOP 30 RAP SINGLES CHART, FEB/MAR 1993

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2010 08:00pm | Post a Comment
Black Moon
The following Top 30 Hip-Hop Singles chart from February/March 1993, which was originally compiled and published by long defunct East Coast hip-hop zine One Nut Network, was put together based on rap singles' airplay on both college hip-hop radio shows and commercial radio mix shows at the time. The time was early 1993, considered by most as the tail end of hip-hop's much celebrated and oft lamented so-called "golden age" or "golden era," when, it seemed, every new hip-hop release was a noteworthy (and worth owning) release. And while that belief may not be 100% correct, it is, as the following chart indicates, pretty darn close to the truth.

By just eye-balling the 30 singles on the Feb/March 1993 chart below, many of which, including Black Moon, Dr Dre, Young Black Teenagers, and Ice Cube, got released towards the end of 1992 but still had airplay into the first quarter of 1993, you can tell a lot about the status of hip-hop at the time and where it stood in its historical development. For example, many of the acts most associated with the aforementioned "golden age" of hip-hop were represented here, including Kool G Rap ("Ill Street Blues"), Gang Starr ["Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)"], Brand Nubian ("Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down"), Diamond D ("Sally Got A One Track Mind"), Naughty By Nature ("Hip Hop Hooray"), and Lords of the Underground ("Funky Child") -- each of which happened to be East Coast (NY or NJ) acts.

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"BAD BAR BEHAVIOR" LEADS TO BAN ON CURSING & PROFANE MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2008 05:45am | Post a Comment

Did you catch that small but significant news item from a couple of days ago about the Missouri town of St. Charles where, it appears, they are about to pass a bill that would ban swearing in bars?

It's for real, and the decision about this new bill, which will be made on Monday (Jan 14th), extends beyond just cussing. It also is hoping to outlaw table-dancing, drinking contests and profane music (meaning, I guess, most new popular rap).

Reportedly the St. Charles city officials insist that the bill is "needed" in order to "keep rowdy crowds under control because the historic downtown area gets a little too lively on some nights." Richard Velt, the St. Charles councilman responsible for this new proposed bill, said that he decided to push it through after hearing numerous complaints about "bad bar behavior." 

And he reasons that, if passed, it would allow local police some rules to enforce when things get "too rowdy." (READ: now cops will have even more leeway to abuse their powers). Thankfully some individuals in this town are speaking out. These include restaurant/bar owner Marc Rousseau who said that it's a violation of a person's rights. On the topic of the music playlist, he said: "We're dealing with adults here once again and I don't think it's the city's job or the government's job to determine what we can and cannot play in our restaurant."

A town meeting to discuss the proposal, which would essentially ban indecent, profane or obscene language, songs, entertainment and literature at bars in St. Charles, is scheduled for this coming Monday January 14th. I bet it will be well attended and publicized. Check back here for any updates.