1) Blu & Exile Below The Heavens Re-Issue (Sound In Color)
2) Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol)
3) Tyler the Creator Goblin (XL Recordings)
4) Blu Her Favorite Colo(u)r (Nature Sounds)
5) Neek The Exotic Still On The Hustle (Fatbeats)
Two of the top five on this week's hip-hop chart are from LA emcee / producer Blu and both new chart entries are actually reissues from the artist, who is now signed to Warner Brothers and busy working on his major label debut, due out later this year. The 30 minute remastered Her Favorite Colo(u)r, care of Brooklyn's Nature Sounds, was formerly a free mixtape, and is now being released officially for the first time. The other is a reissue of the long out of print acclaimed collaboration of Blu with Exile, Below The Heavens. This 2007 release was the artist's first full length album and was widely acclaimed by many as one of the best hip-hop albums not just of its year but of the decade. In fact, so in demand was the album that since it went out-of-print, much sought after copies sold on eBay for $100 to $200 a pop. Obviously, the new reissue is considerably cheaper, but be forewarned, it is a limited edition pressing, so get yours now before it's too late.
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 05:27:11
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 11:05:10
1) Celph Titled & Buckwild
Nineteen Ninety Now (No Sleep Recordings)
2) Madlib Medicine Show No.10-Black Soul (Stones Throw)
3) N*E*R*D Nothing (Star Trak)
4) Jneiro Jarel Fauna (Kindred Spirits)
5) Pitbull Armando (Mr. 305 Inc.)
Lots of new releases on this latest chart, care of Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store, including in the number one slot Celph Titled & Buckwild's Nineteen Ninety Now on No Sleep Recordings. It finds the perfect pairing of the famed D.I.T.C. DJ & producer Buckwild with the Florida emcee Celph Titled (of the Demigodz and Army of the Pharaohs fame) and the results are most impressive. Killer production plus lots of tasty cutting and scratching (care of Mista Sinista of X-Ecutioners) perfectly compliment Celph Titled and the other emcees (many fellow D.I.T.C. folks) that guest throughout the 16 track CD, including Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, Diamond D, Treach (Naughty By Nature), R.A. The Rugged Man, Apathy, Chino XL, and Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks. Lyrically, Celph bears it all and tells it like it is (and was), even addressing his bygone beef with Cage from a decade ago.
2009 was another good year for Bay Area rap/hip-hop, with a string of new releases dropping over the past twelve months, including the thirty four full-length releases listed below. Appearing in no particular order, these choices are based mainly on releases culled from the Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop charts compiled by Luis at the Haight Street store over the past year. Not every single Bay Area hip-hop release is included here (feel free to nominate any worthy omissions in the comments below), but many of them are, and they give a good sense of the vibrant Bay Area music scene for the year of 2009.
Three albums appeared on early 2009 Amoeba Hip-Hop charts but did not make the list below since they technically were each 2008 releases (released late last year): E40's The Ball Street Journal, released on Sic Wid It and distributed through Warner Brothers; San Quinn's From A Boy To A Man (SMC/Fontana); and Keak da Sneak & San Quinn's Welcome To Scokland on Ehustl, which combined the best of "the Sco" (San Francisco) with the "O" (Oakland) on an album that was extremely popular in the Bay in '09.
North Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B. may not have released a new solo album in 2009 but he did pop up on countless other artists' releases over the past year, including most recently on The Grouch's just released Three Eyes Off The Time. Mistah F.A.B appears on the CD track "Already" with hella popular Fresno emcee Fashawn. F.A.B. also appeared on Fashawn's critically & commercially acclaimed official debut album, following a string of mixtapes, Boy Meets World on Loud, which was a hit at all three Amoebas. Mistah F.A.B. also released joint full-length projects in 2009 with both the Alchemist and Glasses Malone, with whom he unleashed The Sideshow CD.
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 06:05:09
1) J Dilla Jay Stay Paid (Nature Sounds)
2) Eminem Relapse (Shady/Aftemath/Interscope)
3) Marco Polo & Torae Double Barrel (Duck Down)
4) Method Man & Redman Blackout! 2 (Def Jam)
5) AZ Legendary (Real Talk)
This week's top five hip-hop chart from Amoeba Music Hollywood, courtesy of Ray at the Sunset Ave. store, has many of the same brand new hip-hop releases that were also charting high at Amoeba Music San Francisco last week, including Eminem, Marco Polo & Torae, Method Man & Redman, and J Dilla.
For the second week in a row the great new album from the late, great Detroit hip-hop producer, also known as Jay Dee, Jay Stay Paid on Nature Sounds is number one at Amoeba. And deservedly so, since this new release, which is overseen production wise by Pete Rock, unveils new beats by the late artist plus matches his music with a variety of other artists including his own younger brother Illa J.
The other new chart entry is the album Legendary from legendary emcee AZ, who's been putting it down since the early nineties and who first came to fame in 1994 when he made a cameo on "Life's A Bitch" on the Nas album Illmatic (he was the only guest to grace that landmark hip-hop album). He released his debut, Do Or Die (EMI), in 1995.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 03:26:09
1) Brother Ali The Truth Is Here (Rhymesayers)
2) Zion I The TakeOver (Gold Dust Media)
3) Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique (Capitol/Reissue)
4) V/A Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers! (Soul Jazz)
5) K'NAAN Troubadour (A&M/Octone Records)
Thanks to Tunde at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for this week's hip-hop top five chart. All of the same five titles are likewise selling very well at all the Amoeba stores. On the list is Bay Area duo Zion I's critically acclaimed sixth release The TakeOver; the wonderful Soul Jazz female rap retrospective Fly Girls! B-Boys Beware: Revenge Of The Super Female Rappers!; the Rhymesayers collective's Brother Ali's tight new CD/DVD set The Truth Is Here; Somalian artist K'NAAN, who plays at Winter Music Conference this weekend (details below); and the reissue of the Beastie Boys' landmark hip-hop album Paul's Boutique.
Recently re-released to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of its initial 1989 release, the reissue of the Beatie Boys' acclaimed Paul's Boutique by Capitol Records comes in both CD and vinyl versions. The LP reissue version is on 180 gram vinyl, which comes in a two-sided, four-panel gatefold sleeve. It also includes a digital download card to access bonus audio band commentary. The album, which was produced by the Dust Brothers and recorded in both Los Angeles and Brooklyn, may not have been as commercially successful as Licensed To Ill, but it 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."
Meanwhile, the track "59 Chrystie Street" was titled in a nod to an early residence of the Beastie Boys, back earlier in the 80's when they were young punkers about to morph into fulltime hip-hoppers. That early collective living/recording space address in the Lower East Side of Manhattan was what Mike D once described in an interview as "a floor in this Chinese Sweatshop building on Chrystie Street."