Amoeblog

Blueprint Killed It at Amoeba Berkeley Instore Today

Posted by Billyjam, May 8, 2011 05:51pm | Post a Comment

  Excerpt of "So Alive" by Blueprint at Amoeba Berkeley today

Just came from Amoeba Berkeley where I got to see/hear Blueprint up close and personal. An amazing Amoeba instore set from the Columbus, Ohio emcee/singer/producer, who is one of my favorite current artists and whose new album, Adventures in Counter-Culture, is among the top five best albums of the year to date. Currently on the Family Tour with Atmosphere headlining (they played the Greek Theater in Berkeley last night), Blueprint's set is so good that he has even been upstaging the main act along the way with his unique sound -- an effortless blend of hip-hop, rock and other sounds all engagingly delivered care of a backing duo of a bass player and DJ Rare Groove plus Print's own impressive multi-instrumentation (various keyboard instruments, an effects pedal & computer manipulation).

Two weeks ago when the Family Tour stopped in New York to play the cavernous Terminal 5 venue, I caught the show and was blown away by Blueprint's set. But at that packed, sold-out NYC show I was vying for a good view of the stage stuck behind about 3,000 excited bobbing heads -- not the best scenario. In direct contrast, this afternoon at Amoeba on Telegraph I was right up front with the perfect view and sound.

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The Blueprint of Hip-Hop: Interview with Rhymesayers Producer/MC Blueprint

Posted by Billyjam, May 7, 2011 03:15pm | Post a Comment

The song "My Culture," found on Blueprint's highly recommended new album Adventures In Counter-Culture (Rhymesayers Entertainment), is one of the most accurately biting commentaries on the state of hip-hop culture today. In it, the ever-observant Columbus, Ohio producer & emcee shoots off lines at today's stereotypical rappers who "sound like broads rhymin' bout the clothes you got," warning them to "look around you. We livin' in some troublin' times"  and then rightfully observing, "So when those rappers only rap about a home or a broad [it's] coz they don't know what's happening at home or abroad."

"My Culture" is just one of the fifteen great tracks from Counter-Culture, the acclaimed artist's long overdue follow up to his last solo outing, 2005's 1988. But Blueprint, who plays Berkeley's Greek Theater tonight and Amoeba Berkeley tomorrow afternoon, May 8th, at 3pm, has been far from idle. The artist born Albert Shepard is an integral part of the Columbus music scene. As well as being signed to Rhymesayers, he is also the founder and owner of Weightless Recordings. And in addition to being an accomplished solo artist, he is also one half of the group Soul Position with producer RJD2. Additionally, he is one half of the group Greenhouse Effect alon with Illogic. Last week, when Blueprint was in New York as part of the Atmosphere-headlined Family Tour, I met up with him in a cafe to ask him about his many projects, the new album, what to expect at tomorrow's Amoeba Berkeley instore and his views on the state of the USA today. Amoeba Berkeley's E-Lit contributed some questions to this Amoeblog interview and also supplied his personal favorite Blueprint top five track list in chronological order, which appears at the end of this post.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:12:10

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2010 09:41pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:12:10

Strong Arm Steady
1) Slum Village Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 (Barak Records)

2) Slug & Murs + Aesop Rock FELT 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

3) Strong Arm Steady In Search of Stoney Jackson (Stones Throw)

4) Evil Empire/Drake It's Been A Pleasure (Urbane)

5) Young Lay Black N Dangerous (Atlantic)

That classic newly reissued Slum Village CD, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 on Barak Records, that has been a popular item at Amoeba San Francisco recently, is similarly doing well at the Berkeley Amoeba Music, where this week it is number one. Other chart entries at the Telegraph Avenue store include the Khaynree-produced 1994 release from Vallejo rapper Young Lay Black N Dangerous (this is the album that includes the killer track "Got 2 Survive" featuring Ray Luv, Mac Mall and 2Pac), the third installment in the FELT series (Slug and Murs, who teamed up with producer Aesop Rock this time out), and the Evil Empire Drake mixtape CD It's Been A Pleasure (with a very impressive guest list that includes Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne & Young Money, Usher, Young Jeezy, & Rick Ross).

AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP WEEKLY ROUND UP: 05:01:09

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2009 09:40am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 05:01:09
grouch and eligh
1) The Grouch & Eligh Go G+E! (Legendary)

2) Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap (Maybach/Poe Boy/Def Jam)

3) Aesher Roth Asleep in the Bread Aisle   (SRC/Universal)

4) DOOM Born Like This (Lex)

5) Mr. Lif I Heard It Today (Bloodbot/Traffic Ent) 

The Grouch & Eligh, who were number one at the San Francisco store last week, are also holding down the number one slot at Hollywood Amoeba this week with Say G&E!, the sometime hip-hop duo's third collaboration in a series on Legendary Music. And this past Monday (April 27th) they put on a great free in-store show at the San Francisco Amoeba. "It was awesome!," reported Amoeba's Luis from the Haight Street store. "Scarab and Very, aka Afroclassics (who recently released The Classic EP on Legendary Music), got it going when they went on first and performed for about half an hour. Then DJ Fresh (the DJ for the whole show) got busy. And then the Grouch and Eligh came on and wrecked it."

The Living Legends duo, Luis reported, did songs spanning their long respective solo and joint careers, much to the delight of the lucky in-store attendees. Songs off the new album they performed include the title track, "Say G&E!" Also doing well at each three Amoeba stores are the latest from both (MF)DOOM (Born Like This on Lex Records) and the politically charged Boston emcee Mr. Lif (I Heard It Today on Bloodbot through Traffic Entertainment).

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AMOEBLOG INTERVIEW WITH ATMOSPHERE'S SLUG

Posted by Billyjam, April 28, 2008 07:53pm | Post a Comment

Funny how time flies by. Already it is eleven long hip-hop years since Minneapolis, Minnesota hip-hop duo Atmosphere, comprised of producer Ant and emcee Slug (L-R in photo left), responsible for putting the Twin Cities firmly on the hip-hop map, dropped their debut album, 1997's Overcast!.

Last Tuesday they dropped their fifth studio album (and finest release to date): When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold on Rhymesayers Entertainment.

As you can imagine with this brand new album just dropping, both members of Atmosphere are pretty busy, caught up in their current tour which hits LA and San Francisco next week.  They will stay that way for much of the year as they promote this new release.  But in the past few days I had the opportunity to catch up with Slug, via email, to ask him about hip-hop, the new album, the word on a future Felt (with     MURS) album, and how it feels to be going strong eleven long hip-hop years later.  Did he ever envision himself being where he is now in his career?  "Ha. Yeah. I think our expiration date was somewhere in 2002 but I'm not complaining," he replied.  "I'll keep going 'til I get fired or replaced by a younger stronger, more attractive idiot."

 "Our approach musically was different.  We wanted to find a bigger but more minimal sound for this album," he says of how When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold is unlike previous Atmosphere releases, adding that,  "Lyrically, I wanted to write about other people's problems for once."  The new 15 track album (avail in two different packaged CD versions) is rich in ever-engaging, flawed character driven, tales, many tackling the issues of parenthood, like "In Her Music Box" and "Shoulda Known."  In the latter song Slug raps:

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