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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.18.14: Pre Record Store Day Edition

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2014 11:35am | Post a Comment
      

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 04:18:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy) (also on LP)

2) The Alchemist & Budgie The Good Book (Landspeed)

3) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)

4) Pharoahe Monch  PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media)

5) Awol One & Gel Roc The Cloaks (Abalano Records)

Just in time for Record Store Day (tomorrow April 19th, 2014) is the special twenty year anniversary reissued vinyl version of Nas' classic April 1994 debut albumIllmatic (also on CD with bonus disc) which is this week's number one on the latest hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba store. Meanwhile number two on this brand new chart, thanks to E-Lit for the above video breakdown, is the two-disc 48 track collaborative album from The Alchemist and Budgie The Good Book on Landspeed Records which also arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday (April 15th) and, as E-Lit pointed out, is fueled by gospel samples exclusively. Another new chart entry that E-Lit is feeling a lot is The Cloaks which is the collaborative side project of Awol One and Gel Roc along with producer Awkward plus scratches by super talented DJ D-Styles.
Scroll down to end to peep the music video for the album track "Rule By Secrecy."

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Snoop Dogg: The Rapper We Love, Despite His Occasional Career Deviations

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

  Sergio's Music Intervention: Snoop Dogg Please Be Gangsta Again (2010)

In honor of tonight's San Francisco concert by Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), in which he'll be "performing his classic smash hits," via music videos this Amoelbog celebrates the career highs (pun intended) of the artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg while briefly  referencing some of the career lows of the artist born Calvin Broadus via the above video. I think it can be said that most of us hold an unconditional love for Snoop Dogg. Hence why the rapper who has sold over 30 million albums to date is still popular and headlining big venues like the Regency Ballroom in SF tonight and can charge $72 for a ticket to get in, and why we as longtime fans can somehow forgive him for his numerous questionable rap career deviations.  These numerous career sidesteps by the notorious weed smoking gangsta rapper from the LBC are entertainingly addressed in the above hilarious video clip by Sergio Cilli in one of his famed Music Intervention rants on the now defunct Current TV. The piece originally aired back in 2010 around the time Snoop teamed up with Katy Perry for her mega pop hit "California Gurls" but is still funny because it is so true!

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Hip-Hop Power Duo EPMD's 1988 Debut Album "Strictly Business"

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment
In hip-hop history 1988 was a pretty darn incredible year for landmark releases. Like 1987 it was another landmark time in the development of the genre - an era when hip-hop had shifted from its old-school second phase and had arrived into its new so-called "golden era" that would last through to 1992/1993.  A hip-hop group and album that personified this perfectly was and the power duo of EPMD and their flawless debut album Strictly Business.

Released in August of 1988 on Sleeping Bag Records Strictly Business (not to be confused with the 1991 movie of the same name with an LL Cool J song of the same name on its soundtrack) was the debut album from infamous New York hip-hop duo EPMD whose name stands for  "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars" and who are comprised of the emcee/production power pair of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith (aka PMD).  The album was reissued last year as Strictly Business 25th Year Anniversary Edition CD with five bonus tracks.

Although only ten songs in length the hip-hop styles displayed on Strictly Business - cool laid back rhymes over smooth funky beats that sampled an infectious blend of funk, soul, and rock - remain influential to this day and personify the creme de la creme of hip-hop's much celebrated "golden age" - something that EPMD kept going on their second album, Unfinished Business, the following year as well as on later releases (all in the "Business" titled series). Unlike albums of today, which tend to be smothered in guest emcees and producers, with the exception of DJ K La Boss (who added his turntablist skills to album track that bore his name), Strictly Business was purely the talents of Erick and Parish who both rapped in a similarly almost lazy-sounding, rolling, lyrical flow.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, 25 Years Later

Posted by Billyjam, April 1, 2014 09:25am | Post a Comment
beastie boys paul's boutiqueHard to believe that it is already a quarter of a century since the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique was initially released, and five years since the 2009 20th anniversary deluxe reissue of that landmark second Beastie Boys album. Paul's Boutique, while widely considered the group's greatest recording, was initially considered a (commercial) flop by its label, Capitol Records, back in '89 cut to its lackluster sales in comparison to its predecessor. In fact so disappointing to Capitol were sales that, following a huge initial hype / marketing campaign, they completely stopped promoting the album. Many rap fans, drawn to group by the hits on their Rick Rubin produced 1986 Def Jam debut mega-hit album Licensed To Ill, were disappointed too. But true hip-hop fans saw/heard the brilliance of Paul's Boutique that was a distinct departure from Licensed To Ill.

Instead of Rick Rubin handling production on this sophomore release, which demanded repeated listens to fully appreciate its depth and brilliant nuances, was produced in good part by the Dust Brothers and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn over an extended period of time to ensure it came out just right and to the liking of members Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch.  It did, and sure while it may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill (still a great album too) Paul's Boutique was a far greater quality recording and one that truly stands the test of time as proven by such tracks as "High Plains Drifter," "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun," "Car Thief," "Shadrach," and "Get On The Mic." No wonder then that over the years it grew in popularity (and sales),  is regularly included high up on music lists' best albums of all time, and was reissued on its 20th anniversary.
 
Re-released five years ago to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the 2009 reissue of the LP reissue version was on 180 gram vinyl, in a nice two-sided, four-panel gate-fold sleeve - that revised the very original expensive gatefold pressing of the album. The 2009 reissue also included a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary on the album that was so close to the Beasties' hearts. For instance the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in reference to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punk rockers about to morph into full time hip-hoppers.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 03.28.14: Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, YG, JJ Doom, L'orange, Demrick, Young Gully + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 28, 2014 10:30am | Post a Comment

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Shame (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)" (off
Pinata)


Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 03:28:14

1) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

3) ScHoolboy Q Oxymoron (Interscope)

4) JJ Doom Bookend EP (Lex Records)

5) Rick Ross Mastermind (Maybach / Def Jam)

The new number one hip-hop album at Amoeba Hollywood this week is the recently released (March 18th) collaborative album  Pinata (also available on LP/vinyl format) from the power duo of Madlib teaming up with Freddie Gibbs. Released through Madlib's Madlib Invazion label this one hour,  seventeen track, hip-hop tour-de-force also features some very well-chosen guests (new school and old school) that perfectly compliment the pair including Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, BJ The Chicago Kid, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Mac Miller, and Odd Future's Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt. Another new album featuring numerous guest collaborators is the number two chart entry this week from popular new rapper YG whose just released debut on Pu$haz Ink via Def Jam My Krazy Life features such big name guests as Drake, Young Jeezy, Kendrick Lamar, and Ty Dolla $ign along with his longtime producer DJ Mustard. Scroll down below to see the video for YG with DJ  Mustard's "Left, Right" off the new album. Another new chart entry is the recent (vinyl picture disc DP) Bookend EP from JJ Doom (the duo of DOOM - aka MF Doom, and producer Jneiro Jarel) on Lex Records.

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