Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: December 24th On Hollis Ave. + Other Classic Hip-Hop Holiday Raps

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2013 10:25am | Post a Comment

Run DMC "Christmas In Hollis" (1987)

Dating back to the mid 1980's many hip-hoppers have recorded Christmas/Holiday Season songs  including the Treacherous Three's "Santas Rap" from the 1984 hip-hop film Beat Street (scroll down to see video clip below), and of course the truly classic Run DMC Christmas song from 1987 that still gets much play to this day  - "Christmas In Hollis" with that memorable opening "It was December 24th on Hollis Ave in the dark when I seen a man chilling with his dog in the park."  To me what makes this Run DMC song such a perfect timeless Christmas classic is that it both managed to maintain that distinct Run DMC rap flavor but also had the perfect Christmas vibe to it. This it achieved with the bells ringing throughout and also how the track nicely worked into its urban Xmas tale such traditional Christmas song melodies as "Frosty The Snowman. The Run DMC song appeared on both the original A Very Special Christmas various artists/genres compilation and on the Profile Records all hip-hop holiday 1987 compilation Christmas Rap that also featured such rappers as Sweet Tee, King Sun, Spyder-D, and Dana Dane all busting out Christmas raps.

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #51: Free Times Square Concert/CBGB Fest, John Lennon Art Exhibit, Banksy Whitewashed

Posted by Billyjam, October 9, 2013 01:01pm | Post a Comment

A lot of really good stuff happening in New York City this week (where the autumn weather has finally arrived) including the big annual CBGB Music and Film Festival that kicked off last night and runs through Sunday (October 8-13) with the highlight being the big (free) concert in Times Square all day Saturday (10am to 7pm, Oct 12th) on three different stages will be performances from such artists as My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, and the Wallflowers. The week long Festival, that just began last year, gives the long-running annual CMJ conference (coming up next week in New York) a run for its money. The six day event includes a wide variety of seminars and workshops, concerts and showcases by hundreds of new and established musical acts of all genres, plus a hundred film screenings including, most fittingly, a premiere screening of the brand new film about and titled CBGB, that Amoeba Music recently gave away Hollywood premiere screening tickets to, starring Alan Rickman and featuring a killer soundtrack that includes Dead Boys, MC5, Television, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, and Wayne County & The Electric Chairswas released yesterday and is directly available from Amoeba.

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The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Run DMC's Darryl "DMC" McDaniels Both Get Into Making Comic Books

Posted by Billyjam, July 15, 2013 05:53pm | Post a Comment
The Flaming Lip's frontman Wayne Coyne will be among those comic book creators contributing to  Comic-Com 2013 later this week. Coyne's new adult-themed comic book The Sun Is Sick will be unveiled at the ever popular annual event that takes place at the San Diego Convention Center Thursday through Sunday this week (July 18th - 21st). The Sun Is Sick, which is the multi-media artist's first ever comic book, is a forty-page, limited print run edition, adult comic that is sized 6 ½" x 8 ½" in "full-color psychedelic fantasy in classic comic book form" according to its maker. Before it goes on sale Thursday at Comic Con it will be previewed online by  Paste Magazine who will sneak preview it a day earlier (July 17th) on their site with a feature by Coyne on the making of his work. After Comic Con the comic book will be sold exclusively on the Lips' website. Coyne and his band are currently on tour in support of their recommended new album The Terror that arrived in Amoeba in mid April. Tonight (7/15) they play Wallingford, CT at the Oakdale Theatre and tomorrow they play Pittsburgh, PA's Stage AE with Spiritualized as support act for both shows. Their next advertised California date is July 31st when the Flaming Lips play Costa Mesa's Pacific Amphitheatre. However their website and their label promise "additional West Coast tour dates" to be announced shortly and advise keeping an eye on the Flaming Lips website for future details on this.

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Happy Hip-Hop Holidayz

Posted by Billyjam, December 25, 2012 02:28am | Post a Comment
For this holiday occasion here are four hip-hop Christmas songs/videos to celebrate the day. Two of them are old school 1980's flashbacks: Run DMC's 1987 Christmas classic (of all genres) "Christmas In Hollis," and the and "Santa's Rap" from the 1984 hip-hop movie Beat Street by The Treacherous Three and Doug E. Fresh. Note that is not the album version but the original film version of the song and hence a little more explicit (better too).

Meanwhile the two new 2012 Christmas rap/hip-hop songs, which are both a bit more cynical than their 80's rap predecessors are from Duck Down Music's Sean Price (the animated "How Sean Price Stole Christmas") and KRS-One (featuring Mad Lion and  Shinehead) and the great new song/video "Holiday Gift Style." Happy Hip-Hop Holidayz!



KRS-One, Mad Lion, Shinehead "Holiday Gift Style" (2012)


Run DMC "Christmas In Hollis" (1987)

Black History Month Leap Year Review: the Good, the Sad & the Bizarre

Posted by Billyjam, March 2, 2012 11:40am | Post a Comment

Among the "good" of this year's Black History Month was Robert Glasper's excellent
Black Radio album on Blue Note released Feb 28th, 2012


Maybe it's because this is a leap year that Black History Month 2012, which ended two days ago, seemed a little out of whack. Or maybe it was because it was a Black History Month that started on a really bad note when, on the morning of Feb 1st, the tragic news that Don Cornelius of Soul Train fame had taken his own life was the first thing we were to read about. That was bad enough but this tragic news came hot on the heels of the world losing a string of other black music/cultural icons, including in just the preceding two weeks both Etta James and JImmy Castor.  And then, of course, ten days later, on the eve of the Grammys, the whole world was taken aback with the shocking news that Whitney Houston had died at age 48. Not exactly a great time to joyously celebrate black history!

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