Amoeblog

Top Ten Snoop Dogg Collaborations

Posted by Billyjam, September 30, 2014 03:13pm | Post a Comment
Love him or hate him you can't avoid him. Snoop Dogg is everywhere at all times it seems. Whether the Long Beach CA artist born Calvin Broadus, who began his rap career a quarter of a century ago, is in the studio or on stage somewhere Snoop Dogg is an ever present, highly visible pop culture figure.

Over the weekend he was the man of the hour as host of the big 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards. Meanwhile his studio output is a non stop laundry list of releases that boasts countless collaborations with anyone from indie rappers to pop stars. A couple of weeks ago I heard the new track he collaborated with Bay Area female vocalist Goapele on (a remix of the Oakland singer's disco-throwback styled single "Hey Boy"). Around that same time I heard excerpts from his fifth and latest in the Thats My Work mix tape series with Tha Dogg Pound (Kurupt and Daz Dillinger, along with production from DJ Drama). Then over the weekend I was reading somewhere that he recently confirmed that he's got a collaborative full length project in the works with Pharrell (with whom he has done one off tracks with before including the 2004 hit single "Drop It Like It's Hot").

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Kendrick Lamar Releases Single "i" From Upcoming Album

Posted by Billy Gil, September 23, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment

kendrick lamarThe new single from Kendrick Lamar is an upbeat ode to keeping your chin up when everything's trying to tear you down.

"How many times the city makin' me promises?" he raps over a sample of The Isley Brothers' "That Lady" before declaring "I love myself." It's a song closer in vibe to Pharrell's "Happy" than a song like his own alcoholism-laden "Swimming Pools," the lead single from his last album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. But Lamar promises in an interview with Rolling Stone that the follow-up to that album will have more tales of growing up in Compton that couldn't fit on m.A.A.d city. Sessions continue for the new album, and a release date has yet to be announced.

Speaking of m.A.A.d city, the album is enjoying neo-classic status, having been named the second best album of the 2010s by Pitchfork.

Hear "i" below:

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Return To The Classics: Organized Konfusion's 1991 Debut

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2014 06:55am | Post a Comment
organized konfusionThe years 1990 to 1993 seem to many in retrospect like a time when hip-hop was at a high point because it simply was a great time for hip-hop releases. A strong case in point would be the amazing 1991 self-titled debut from Organized Konfusion on Hollywood Basic. The Organized Konfusion album, which sadly got slept on by the mainstream upon its release 23 years ago, has been lauded and held high by hip-hop fans in the years since. The album, that was also made available in LP formats,  is truly a classic hip-hop album. And people recognized that at the time - diehard hip-hop fans and critics at least, although the larger mainstream audience didn't make it a commercial hit by any means. Interestingly though as the years goes on, this album has gained more and more accolades, meaning more listeners are going back and discovering it in retrospect.

Better late than never then those listeners are discovering the power duo of Organized Konfusion in their young days - Pharoah Monch and Prince Po. The album, which the two also produced, just focuses on the mic talents of the two members and is not weighed down with a multitude of mic guests to distract from the duo itself. The exception to the rule was guest O.C. of DITC fame who makes a cameo on the single "Fudge Pudge." Other undeniably great album tracks include "Walk Into The Sun," "Releasing Hypnotical Gases," "Audience Pleasers," "Prisoners of War," "Organized Konfusion," and the single "Who Stole My Last Piece of Chicken" (see video below).
Three years later in 1994 Organized Konfusion returned with the follow up album, Stress: The Extinction Agenda, which was another great album. Commercially it even did better than their debut but this 1991 album remains their greatest work.

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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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