Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 08.22.14: Dilated Peoples, Souls of Mischief, DREAM Day, Independent Hip-Hop Day + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 22, 2014 06:30am | Post a Comment

Dilated Peoples "Good As Gone" (2014)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:22:14

1) Dilated Peoples Director of Photography (Rhymesayers Ent) (also on clear vinyl LP format)

2) Kendrick Lamar Good kid, m.A.A.d city [Deluxe Edition]  (Aftermath)

3)  Quasimoto "Planned Attack" / Talkin' Shit" [Picture Disc] (7") (Stones Throw)

4) Freddie Gibbs Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

5) J-Dilla Donuts (45 box set) (Stones Throw)

At the Los Angeles Amoeba Music store this week the number one album in the latest hip-hop chart is the brand new, anticipated album from hometown heroes Dilated Peoples who return after eight long years (but don't call it a comeback!) with an incredible album.  Director of Photography on Rhymesayers Entertainment, that was also pressed up on clear vinyl LP format, is a wonderfully executed work that's all tied together with the theme of photography (see the video clip below - one in a series that the group explain the meaning behind this theme). With lots of references to hip-hop and to their hometown Directors is intricately produced with layered seductive bass-lines, bone tingling beats, and engaging rhyme flows that find Evidence and company at their finest. Well worth the wait. See video above for “Good as Gone” and check out such tracks as “Show Me the Way” featuring on the chorus Aloe Blacc. Writes the Amoeba.com reviewer: "Though it’s plenty rooted in classic hip-hop, Directors of Photography mostly avoids feeling dated with some of its more adventurous tracks. Record pops, lo-fi mics and a dark guitar lick give “Let Your Thoughts Fly Away” a terrific modern underground feel, its wicked bass comes through partway in to keep it engaging amid lyrics about “dreaming even though we’re wide awake.” And “Opinions May Vary” featuring great young hip-hop duo Gangrene is head-spinning in the best way, like riding out a bad trip and just going with it. Ditto the rest of Directors of Photography, a heavy dose of chemically altered yet classically minded hip-hop."

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.14.14: Top 5, Qbert Galaxxxian Review, 206 Zulu, ILLEST DJ/B-Boy Battles, Valentine's Day Rap + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2014 07:07pm | Post a Comment


The photo above (as all other pics of show by James Mak of Joysco Studio for the Amoeblog) was taken last night at the Mezzanine in San Francisco with DJ Qbert joined by emcee A-Plus (Souls of Mischief) - one of the several artists that would join the DJ/producer throughout his hour long set that featured artists who appear alongside him on his soon to drop new album Galaxxxian (the rap counterpart to his other new album the instrumental Extraterrestria).  Others included emcees  P.E.A.C.E.  (Freestyle Fellowship), Bambu, Z-Man, and Unity, producer Dan The Automator, and "scratch guitarist" The Genie who like most of the night's guests had collaborated with Qbert. The night, which kicked off at 9pm with a nice hip-hop set from DJ Hard Rich from Thud Rumble, also featured individual sets from P.E.A.C.E. and Bambu (whose 20 minute solo set featured Jus Jones as his DJ), two incredible sets from Qbert's longtime friend collaborator and fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) member DJ Shortkut  who killed it with richly diverse sets that ranged from electro fueled new hip-hop to golden era classics, reggae and new UK garage, plus some nice beat juggling and scratching - including an impromptu quick session with Qbert.

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 20 Year Anniversary of Souls' 93 Til Infinity Celebrated With New Documentary By Shomari Smith

Posted by Billyjam, September 10, 2013 01:48pm | Post a Comment
       

Fittingly on the eve of the recent Hiero Day and in Oakland, the premiere preview screening of Til Infinity took place at the New Parkway Theater. Capturing a significant moment midway in hip-hop's history and a critical time in the early life of Hiero collective quartet the Souls Of Mischief the Shomari Smith directed documentary 'Til Infinity takes an in-depth look back to twenty years ago to when the Souls Of Mischief  (Tajai, Phesto D, A-Plus, Opio) released their acclaimed debut album, the 1993 hip-hop classic 93 ‘Til infinity.  Oakland born and raised filmmaker Smith, who grew up with the Hieros, presents an inside intimate look at his subject that another documentary maker may not have been privy to. From childhood stories by the many members of the Hieroglyphics collective to track by track detail of every song on the 93 'Til album, plus insights and input from a wide variety of hip-hop artists and industry folk Smith's film is both a history of the Hieros and a play by play of every detail of a hip-hop classic album that bookmarked the end of hip-hop's so-called golden era and the beginning of a new (non mob/street/player/gangsta) era in Bay Area hip-hop. Many of Smith's interviews were conducted while traveling across the country on tour with the group and the artists they met along the way such as Redman, Phife Dawg, Rakaa Iriscience, Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), and Snoop (Lion) Dogg.

As one of the many industry folk interviewed in the documentary I was among the lucky ones to get invited to last weekend's premiere screening. (I had produced a SoulBeat TV show dedicated to the Hieros back in September of 1993 upon the Souls' 93 release - portions of which are interspersed throughout the new doc). After the midday screening finished at New Parkway  on 24th Street attendees moved over to the Rock Steady on San Pablo at 18th for the after party / photo exhibit (Phesto and Shomari Smith's Souls tour photos). It was outside that venue, a part of the New Parish, that I conducted the above video interview with Shomari Smith. At the recently relocated New Parkway (which looks great by the way) Shomari addressed the audience that, along with all of the Souls and most of the Hieros, included such film interveiwees as Lyrics Born, Equipto, and Dante Ross.  "It's been an amazing journey," stressed Smith of the film that took two years to make. Like most good pieces of art the film took on its own direction and vibe based on the material Smith culled in the seemingly endless hours of interviews he conducted. The documentary clocked in at two hours he but before the screening Smith promised that the time would "go by quickly" (it did) adding how what the audience was about to view was "the directors cut" since due to licensing and other factors the film will have to go through another round of editing down and a series of alterations. 

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Oakland Filmmaker Shomari Smith Making Documentary About Souls Of Mischief's "93 'Til Infinity"

Posted by Billyjam, October 22, 2012 01:40pm | Post a Comment

Teaser for the in-production documentary on Souls Of Mischief's
93 'Til Infinity

The above trailer/teaser for the ongoing production of the documentary about the Souls of Mischief's album 93 'Til Infinity offers a nice taste of what's to come with the 2013 release of this in-depth documentary on the famed Hieroglyphics crew's landmark 1993 debut album. "I've conducted over 50 interviews with notable emcees, producers and DJs for this project," said Oakland filmmaker/lifelong Souls fan Shomari Smith who is still busily working on this film which will be a must-see for Hiero fans. For the documentary, in addition to interviewing the entire Hiero Crew, Smith has also interviewed such folks as A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg (fellow Jive Records label-mate back at that time in the early 90's), Dante Ross (the highly respected A&R rep who signed Del and was involved with the Hieros development in their early years), and former KMEL DJ Sway (among the local Bay Area radio DJs to promote the Souls early on in their career). 

"The film is scheduled for release in September of 2013, exactly 20 years from the original release date for the album," director Shomari Smith told me last week noting that, "This documentary will show the Souls as you have never seen them before. They are discussing their early creative process while making the legendary demo. They share personal stories about each album track. They discuss the single “93 'Til infinity” and it’s longevity, and they talk about going independent and moving forward into the future." Indeed the Souls and the other Hieros (Del, Casual, Extra Prolific, etc.), who all got dropped by their respective labels all before they had an opportunity to fully shine, were among the early wave of hip-hop online pioneers in the mid nineties to adapt to the Internet as a means of distribution of their music.

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DJ Woody's Excellent New Video Mix Shows His Love of '90's Hip-Hop & Pop Culture

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2012 10:03am | Post a Comment
          

           Big Phat 90's Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.

DJ Woody  is an amazingly gifted DJ who works in both audio and  video formats - and expertly in each. The UK DJ, who came to fame as an accomplished battle DJ (ITF, DMC, Vestax), not only impressively utilizes the the video scratch/mix format in the hip-hop DJ turntable tradition but this this gifted guy manages to take it  to a whole other next level. This skill he instantly demonstrates in his latest mind-blowing audio/video production above, Big Phat 90's Mixtape which is a pleasing flashback to the highlights (hip-hop and pop culture) of that bygone decade's years with many featured tracks from the first part of the decade - aka the latter half of hip-hop's much heralded Golden Era.

The instantly engaging, brand new, intricately assembled 45-minute, audio visual production is made in "video mixtape" format and, as such, is equally enjoyable to just listen to or watch and listen. Big Phat 90's Mixtape is also the 35 year DJ's salute to his favorite decade: the 1990's - hip-hop and beyond.  Fresh back in the UK from some doing some gigs in Russia over the weekend I caught up with the British talent born Lee Woodbine to ask him a few questions on hip-hop in the 90's,  and also what went into making this impressive video music mix.

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