Amoeblog

Singer, Emcee, Spoken-Word Artist & Author Dessa is a Musical Force To Be Reckoned With

Posted by Billyjam, May 4, 2011 07:16pm | Post a Comment

She may not be a household name (at least not yet) but Midwest singer, emcee, spoken word artist & author Dessa has been garnering some high praise of late, and from some well respected quarters. NPR likened her "old-fashioned high-quality singer-songwriter" skills to that of Joni Mitchell and Rosanne Cash while the Utne Reader lauded the sole female member of the  Minneapolis Doomtree hip-hop collective as "A one-woman powerhouse...with a literary sensibility and an aversion to genre clich├ęs."

Of the artist born Maggie Wander, the Chicago Tribune wrote,  "Dessa sings, raps, rolls out rhymes like an accomplished poetry-slam veteran, thinks like the former philosophy student and published author she is, and commands the stage with the expressiveness of a performance artist."

Released early last year, her critically acclaimed debut full-length A Badly Broken Code became a staple at college radio and was a favorite with both Amoeba customers and staffers -- myself included. The aforementioned Chicago Tribune was among those to include her record in their 2010 year-end top ten albums list. The album was the artist's long anticipated follow up  to her attention grabbing 2005 introduction to the hip-hop world, the five-song Doomtree release False Hopes.  

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap Up 02:25:11: Sims, Zion I & The Grouch, E. Lit, Macsen Apollo, Erk Tha Jerk + More

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2011 03:15pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:25:11

Sims
1) Sims Bad Time Zone (Zoomtree) CD

Proud to be stocking this product and even prouder that it's moving so well. This sophomore album from Sims is an album years in the making that highlights the Doomtree rapper's progression as an MC and talented lyricist. Doomtree's central producer, Lazerbeak, handles the entirety of the album's production and delivers some of his strongest beats to date. Very highly recommended, glad a distributor was wise enough to finally pick these guys up.
 


Cee Lo Green

2)  Cee-Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra) CD

Still moving strong, Cee-Lo's latest is just another example of how Goodie Mob's brightest shining member can make an album with massive radio appeal without sacrificing his artistic integrity. Whether he's singing or rapping, Cee-Lo always brings something interesting to the table.
 





3) Awol One & Factor The Landmark (Fake Four) CD

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:07:11: Ghostface #1, David Banner's Makeover, Madchild Banned in the USA, Louie Skaggs, Sims + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2011 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:07:11


1) Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids (Def Jam)

2) Andre Nickatina & Tha Jacka My Middle Name Is Crime EP (I-Khan Distribution)

3) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

4) David Banner & 9th Wonder Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music)

5) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Universal/Motown) 

Shout out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store for supplying this week's top five chart. Since it's the first week of the new year, the chart entries are all late 2010 releases, with all but Kid Cudi and Kanye West dropping in December. Both Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah's recommended, classic soul fueled Apollo Kids (Def Jam), which I wrote about in last week's Hip-Hop Rap Up, and David Banner & 9th Wonder's Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music) each dropped on December 21st and despite their release date (a period when typically albums get lost in the holiday madness) fans have managed to discover both wonderful releases.

Ghostface Killah "Drama (feat. Joell Ortiz & The Game)"  

David Banner & 9th Wonder "Slow Down (feat. Heather Victoria)" (2010)

While on the surface the pairing of mainstream rapper/producer David Banner with less mainstream North Carolina producer 9th Wonder might seem like an unlikely match, it is not. Banner's history dates back to Crooked Lettaz, his late nineties group that preceded his major label mainstream successes with such hits as "Play" and "Like A Pimp." And with this release, on which he has wisely fully relinquished all production duties to 9th Wonder, he marks a return to his roots. Deliberately titled Death of a Pop Star, Banner has connected with the smaller scale label Entertainment One (aka e One) -- formerly Koch -- in order to maintain more creative control (something he claims he did not have with the bigger labels).

Continue reading...