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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: A Tale of Two Biggies (Biggie Smalls Vs. Biggy Smallz)

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2014 09:43am | Post a Comment
The tale of two Biggies is the tale of two rappers with the same name, and with one of them having to change his rap name. It dates to back to the early to mid 1990's when legendary Brooklyn rapper Biggie Smalls of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records fame first arrived on the scene to some confusion among hip-hop fans at the time who were familiar with the other existing rapper named Biggy Smallz who was Thug Life and 2Pac affiliated. That Biggy started out a bit earlier in his rap career, beginning in 1991 at a young age.

Both rappers had drawn inspiration for their names from the 1975 movie Let's Do It Again and its character Biggie Smalls that was played by Calvin Lockhart. So by the time the Biggie born Christopher Wallace arrived on the rap map the other Biggy Smallz was already out there releasing hip-hop singles including 1993's "Cruisin" which, like 1994's "Nobody Rides For Free," was also produced by Johnny "J" who was also producing for 2Pac - an affiliation that he is best known for.  Reportedly it was Tupac Shakur who asked Christopher Wallace to change his name from Biggie Smalls to avoid confusion with his Thug Life buddy Biggy. Hence Christopher Wallace officially became The Notorious B.I.G. before releasing his major label debut. Although since some have suggested that it was not Pac's request for the name change but rather fear of legal copyright infringement from the producers of the Let's Do It Again movie that was the real reason for Wallace changing his name. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.08.14: Amoeba Berkeley Chart With E-Lit, AmpLive, Wu-Tang Clan, Armand Hammer, Triple Threat DJs

Posted by Billyjam, August 8, 2014 12:24pm | Post a Comment
     


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 08:08:14


1) Amp Live Headphone Concerto ( Plug Research Music)

2) Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty  (SubPop) 

3) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

4) Has Lo & Castle Live Like You're Dead (Mello Music Group)

5) BPos Positive Beings (One League Entertainment)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's top five chart plus his nice comprehensive run-down (see video above) of all the new and recent hip-hop arrivals at the East Bay store - in both CD and vinyl formats.  These include Armand Hammer's vinyl only Furtive Movements (Backwoodz Studioz), the brand new collaboration between Philadelphia emcee MarQ Spekt and prolific New York City producer Blockhead - JustPlayWitIt on HiPNOTT Records, and Anticon label co-founder/member Alias' new full-length Pitch Black Prism featuring fellow Anticon co-founder/former Amoebite DoseOne as guest emcee on the track "Crimson Across It." Other new arrivals include the limited edition vinyl (only 300 pressed up) House Shoes and Street Corner Music Presents: T-White The Gift Vol. 5!, and Washington DC beatmaster Damu the Fudgemunk's Public Assembly CD care of Redefinition Records and Fat Beats that was initially intended as a limited edition vinyl only release for the 2014 WFMU Record Fair. The other new / recent releases that made the top five chart entries this week
(recent Amoeba San Francisco instore performers) Shabazz Palaces' pioneering new album Lese Majesty  (again on SubPop), Madlib's Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD c/o Madlib Invasion that is also available in single volumes on vinyl (Rock Konducta Vol. 1 LP and Rock Konducta Vol. 2 LP), and the latest from the unstoppable Mello Music Group; Has Lo & Castle's Live Like You're Dead. The other two top five entries are both Bay Area (Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba San Francisco have long been highly supportive of homegrown talent): San Francisco crew  BPos's latest Positive Beings on One League Entertainment that will be featured in detail in a soon to be published feature here on the Amoeblog, and the newest release from Zion I producer Amp Live: Headphone Concerto on Plug Research Music. As he proved long ago on such productions as Rainydayz Remixes project, on which remixed Radiohead's 2008 album In Rainbows (totally reworking it and adding in such artists as Too $hort, Del, and Zion I mate Zumba, Amp Live has always musically been beyond hip-hop. And this album - his first for Plug Research - while it is hip-hop at its base still further pushes the envelope more beyond hip-hop into such other musical terrain as soul, pop, and electronic on such tracks as the cello intro'ed, pop hit sounding "Penny Nickel and Dime" featuring Anya and Prof (see video below which demonstrates the message of the song - about the influence and power of the almighty dollar).

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Gang Starr's 1991 Classic LP Step In The Arena featuring "Just To Get A Rep"

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2014 01:05pm | Post a Comment

Gang Starr "Just To Get A Rep" from the album Step Into The Arena (1991)

"Mad brothers know his name" are just a few of the well known (and oft quoted or sampled) Gang Starr lyrics rapped by the late great emcee of the legendary hip-hop duo GURU (Gifts Unlimited Rhymes Universal) over DJ Premier's killer track on "Just To Get A Rep." The song was released in February 1991 by Chrysalis/EMI as the lead single (with "Who's Gonna Take The Weight" on the filp side of the 12" single) from the duo's hip-hop classic full-length Step In The Arena that was released a few weeks earlier. Like that album the single "Just To Get A Rep" remains a hip-hop classic. And now 23 full years later it is even clearer what an important role this particular song plays in its part of hip-hop's legacy, with each phrase and rhyme from the song known by heart by every true hip-hop fan and DJs/producers who like to take snippets of it and throw it in the mix. See full song lyrics listed below along with the videos for the other Step In The Arena album tracks as the mellow, chilled out "Lovesick" whose numerous samples include Digital Underground's best known song "The Humpty Dance," the heavily politicized "Who's Gonna Take The Weight?" (my personal fave album track with "Check The Technique" in close second), and the title track itself from the album Step In The Arena that while it was technically the group's second album it was their main introduction to most hip-hop audiences at the time. 

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: April 1996 Bay Area Hip-Hop Top 50 Chart and Hip-Hop News

Posted by Billyjam, July 29, 2014 12:18pm | Post a Comment
                                 BAY AREA HIP-HOP TOP 50  Week ending April 6, 1996

Recommended Bay Area Rap Compilation from mid nineties 1) Various Artists Cell Block Compilation (Cell Block/Priority)
2) Rappin' 4-Tay Aint No Playa (Rag Top/Chrysalis)
3) Conscious Daughters Gamers (Priority)
4) 2Pac All Eyez On Me (Death Row)
5) IMP Ill Mannered Playas (In-A-Minute)
6) Mac Mall Get Right (Relativity)
7) Peanut Butter Wolf Step On Our Egos (South Paw)
8) Too $hort Gettin' It  12"  (Jive)
9) N.O.A. forilla (120)
10) The Delinquents Smooth Getaway (Dank Or Die)


11) Suga T Paper Chasin' (Sick Wid It/Jive)
12) Twisted Mind Kids Twisted Mind State (8-song demo - No Exit)
13) Lateef The Wreckoning/Latyrx (Solesides)
14) MadFace Black Attracts Heat (Corn Field)
15) Lil Gangsta P meet the lil gangsta (Erin)
16)  V/A The Dangerous Crew (Dangerous/Jive)
17) Richie Rich Half Thang (41510/Shot)
18) Milkman feat Da Goonz Reminisce (Major Music)
19) Hobo Junction E.P. (South Paw)
20) Sacred Hoop demo tape (Miasmatic)

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 07.18.14: Madlib, Z-Man, Deltron 3030, DJ Woody, Hieroglyphics, Kid Vishis, Sir Michael Rocks + more

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2014 11:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 07:11:14


1) Madlib Rock Konducta 1 & 2 CD (Madlib Invasion)

2) Madlib Rock Konducta Pt 2 (LP) (Madlib Invasion)

3)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

4) Riff Raff Neon Icon (Mad Decent)

5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal)

 
Holding down three of the five positions in the latest hip-hop chart from Amoeba Hollywood is Madlib. In the first two slots are a couple in Madlib's new ongoing Rock Konducta series (Rock Konducta Vol 1 & 2 CD and Rock Konducta Pt 2 LP) which began last year's five-track Rock Konducta 45. Note that they are available in both single volume LPs One and Two and as a double CD set (52 tracks total). An offshoot of the renowned producer's Beat Konducta series these two first full-length volumes, which are rock instrumentals (some instantly recognizable, most not as they are underground ranging from prof to psychedelia to Krautrock and beyond) all given that special Madlib treatment. Clocking in at about 40 minutes per volume with 20 plus tracks they are all totally tweaked out in Madlib's distinctive production style. IE must get material! And knowing the ever prolific producer's track record my bet is that this new Madlib series could well go on for another dozen installments. Read more on these releases on the Stones Throw website. The other Madlib entry is the 7"  picture disc single from Madlib alter-ego Quasimoto (aka Lord Quas) "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" culled in part from the album Yessir Whatever. Other chart entries this week include Riff Raff's Neon Icon care of Diplo's Mad Decent imprint, and Blu's Good To Be Home care of the major label Universal Records.  Bout time the mainstream caught up with Blu!

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