Essential Records: Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics' "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2015 09:07pm | Post a Comment

For me an essential album is one that never ages, no matter how many times I re-listen to it. It's also one I feel compelled to listen to all the way through every time - no temptation to ever skip ahead. Hence, without a second thought, I file this classic hip-hop album, which is brimming with jazzy funky grooves and irresistible rhymes, under that essential records category. A five-star release from the latter end of the genre's much-heralded golden era, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop by Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics scores on all levels: production-wise and lyrically, in addition to introducing most fans to hip-hop's long since beloved D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) crew. Formerly a member of the rap group Ultimate Force, Diamond (aka Diamond D) proved with this debut album that he not just a gifted producer but also an adept emcee. Released in 1992 on Chemistry/Mercury/PolyGram, Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop is a truly solid, all-killer, no-filler hip-hop full-length release, sporting such timeless head-bobbing tracks as the popular lead single "Best-Kept Secret," "Feel The Vibe," "Check One Two," "Fuck What You Heard,"  "Sally Got a One-Track Mind," and the title track. 

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Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Joey Bada$$, A$AP Yams, J-Dilla, Lupe Fiasco, Sadat X, Boosie Badass, Drew Dave, Too $hort, Rae Sremmurd

Posted by Billyjam, January 23, 2015 08:30am | Post a Comment

Lots of videos in this week's hip-hop rap up including KALX DJ/Amoeba Music employee at the Berkeley store E-Lit doing a nice overview of the new and recent CD and LP hip-hop (and related) releases to arrive in store lately and make up the two new top five hip-hop charts below - divided into CD and vinyl sections since there is so much more vinyl coming out these days - new and reissues like the 180 Gram reissue of Too $hort's 1980's classic Born To Mack. But first we send out our condolences to the family of A$AP Yams (pictured above and left with the A$AP crew) who died over this past weekend.

One of the founding members of New York City's very successful A$AP Mob collective it was first widely rumored via social media on Sunday that he had passed away as the result of a drug overdose. However associates of his in the collective insisted that those rumors were untrue and totally unfounded. As of now no official cause of death is known but what is known is that Yams' roommate in Brooklyn called 911 after finding laying down unconscious.

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five CD Albums Week end Jan 23 2015

1) Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic)
   (also avail in vinyl - see other chart below)

Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Video Version featuring MC Lyte & Common, Apollo Brown & Ras Kass, Kilz, Bobby Brackins, Zion I feat Sadat X etc.

Posted by Billyjam, October 24, 2014 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Zion I "Get Urs" (2014)

Above is the first of five videos in this all-video version of the weekly hip-hop rap up: "Get Urs" by Zion I and featuring an all star line up of guests including Mr. Lif, Kev Choice, Deuce Eclipse, Opio, and Sadat X. It is the brand new music video, published earlier this month, from the hard working Bay Area based duo of Zion I who, although constantly touring and recording, still find time to produce the annual Hella Fresh Fest that is happening this year at The Metro in Oakland on Halloween night. See the full Amoeblog preview here. Also just recently posted is a DL of the Vibe SquaD remix of the new Zion I song "Fresh," available here.

                                     MC Lyte "Dear John (feat. Common & 10Beats)" (2014)
Another brand new video is the latest from legendary golden era hop-hop female emcee MC Lyte who we havent heard from (album wise) in a minute. Her new track is entitled “Dear John” and features a guest spot from non other than fellow legend Common (make sure you peep his What's In My Bag? post from this week). Like so much of Lyte's work, this track and video has a message. In addition to being the first single from MC Lyte’s forthcoming album - her first studio album in 11 years that will drop in 2015 - "Dear John" is the anthem for #EducateOURMen, which is the signature scholarship initiative of MC Lyte's Hip Hop Sisters Foundation. To date, the foundation has presented two $100,000 university scholarships during the Soul Train Music Awards Red Carpet Pre-Show each year since the organization's founding. Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Faith Evans are some of the celebrities who've shown support to date.

Apollo Brown & Ras Kass "Humble Pi" (2014)
The above video is a nice preview of power duo Apollo Brown and Ras Kass - the teaming of Detroit producer with the West Coast rap legend - from the pair's collaborative album Blasphemy that will be dropping next week via Mello Music Group (that's the CD version - the vinyl will drop a couple of weeks later on November 11th). Mello Music, who have an impeccable track record, promise that the album will deliver the duo's undeniable synergy and that "their sacred writ is the same, their blasphemy for those who want to think as they nod to the rhythm. When Ras Kass crucifies supposed facts over Apollo’s beats, it’s clear he is the West Coast’s preeminent philosopher. When Apollo’s blaring suites soothe your soul, it’s an ontological fact that he ranks among the best producers in the game. With Blasphemy, the duo has delivered the truth."

Kilz - "Conceited (feat. Luke-O & Pyrex Pre$$)" (2014)
Above is the brand new video from Southwest PA producer and sometime rapper Kilz for his track "Conceited" that features guest spots from his Moola Gang Ca$h Cow$ cohorts Luke-O and Pyrex Pre$$ as they all take video viewers on a tour of Fayette County. The new underground video follows hot on the heels of the artist's popular Krak Kilz mixtape that is aptly described as "a dark, dingy, drug dealer's dream" lyrically while sonically (all production by Kilz) ranges in styles from traphouse to chilled out relax beats made for smoking weed to. Kilz has recently released a string of diverse sounding singles including "Have Some Fun" that features Mac Miller's REMember Music signees The Come Up.

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.22.13: Amoeba Top 5, Cannibal Ox, Sadat X, Kid Tsumani, Cappadonna, Sadistik + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 22, 2013 02:00pm | Post a Comment



1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City Deluxe CD (Aftermath)

2) MED, Blue, Madlib Burgundy EP (Bang Ya Head/Fat Beats)

3) A$AP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP (RCA Records)

4) Wu-Tang Clan Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers) (Loud/RCA)

5) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City CD (Aftermath)

Although first released back on October to 22nd Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.A.A.D City Deluxe CD as well as the regular CD version of his Good Kid M.A.A.D City  on Aftermath both continue to sell well and chart at the Los Angeles Amoeba Music (in the artist's hometown) as seen on the above top five from Amoeba Hollywood where the other entries include the recommended new (vinyl release)  Burgundy EP from MED, Blue, and Madlib on Bang Ya Head/Fat Beats. Additional chart entries are the ever popular new release from A$AP Rocky Long.Live.A$AP on RCA Records and the classic (but charting again) two decade strong album from the Wu-Tang Clan Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers).  Amoeba fans note that this weekend there is an 15% Off Everything on sale. This includes vinyl (lots of hip-hop) and CDs and the offer is valid through Sunday Feb 24th. When you go online to the Amoeba store apply promo code at checkout: FEB1513

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Longtime Bay Area MC Dub Esquire Talks About "Living The Struggle" And His Forthcoming Album, The Odyssey

Posted by Billyjam, August 24, 2011 02:15pm | Post a Comment

Dub Esquire "RapStarz (feat Dirt Nasty & Del the Funky Homosapien"

Dub Esquire (a.k.a. Dub Esq)
is one of those Bay Area hip-hop soldiers who has been quietly on the grind for two full decades.  Since the early '90s, the Oakland-born and bred emcee has been tirelessly putting his heart and soul into his favorite art form. He is one of those dedicated hip-hop heads who may not be known on a mainstream level but yet has been paying his proverbial dues since the early '90s when he first arrived on the scene in the long-defunct but oft-referenced underground Bay Area hip-hop group Misfitz Ov Stylz. More recently he's been getting props for his solo recordings -- recordings that often blur that division between so-called "rap" and "hip-hop" with the release of the album G-13 and the EP Rap Starz. However, soon both of these fine releases will be eclipsed when, in 2012, he drops his most ambitious project yet, his album The Odyssey with its impressive line up of guest spots that include such luminaries as The Grouch, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Sadat X.

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