Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hiero Day 4 Review, Seagram Biopic, RIP Kool DJ AJ, Digg Tribute Compilation + more

Posted by Billyjam, September 14, 2015 11:51pm | Post a Comment

"I live in the Town now. My son goes to school here," LA born emcee Bambu (pictured above) told the early afternoon audience at Hiero Day 4 this past Monday (September 7th) between songs by his political rap group Native Guns from the Imperium Stage - one of several
performance stages simultaneously featuring a rich diverse array of mostly local or Left Coast hip-hop acts. The recently relocated SoCal artist was making the point of how important Oakland had become to him personally as well as how incredibly impressive was this independent and unique urban event that he and his hip-hop group were invited to be a part of.

"No negativity," stressed Bambu gesturing out across the large scale, violence free, annual festival that would again prove the naysayers wrong in that Oakland (aka The Town) can indeed produce a peaceful,  positive, uplifting hip-hop festival with no negativity, just positivity! While the credit for this accomplishment goes to all of the participants - both on stage and off - it primarily goes to the Hieros themselves. As the event's producers, they have crafted something quite amazing out of their combined love of the culture that gave them their careers and the city that gave them their start. Indeed Hiero Day is the ultimate celebration of all things positive about Oakland, CA with the Hieroglyphics collective embodying and embracing the very essence of Oakland in 2015. Not too surprisingly then that former Mayor Jean Quan formally recognized September 3rd (9/3) as Hiero Day two years ago. However the Hieros themselves have done more to uplift The Town than any politician with a skewed agenda ever could!

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Show Recap: Diva at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 9, 2015 06:51pm | Post a Comment

diva amoeba hollywoodPhotos by Furn Zavala

Dubbed an "inter-dimensional pop star," Diva has long been one of the most intriguing figures in the L.A. post-punk and minimal wave scene. She showed up at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 8 to perform songs from her latest release, Divinity in Thee, which is full of imaginitive D.I.Y.-style electro pop gems and was just released on Peanut Butter Wolf's Stones Throw imprint Circle Star

Everything about the performance was transportative. She emerged with a bevy of dancers draped in pastel veils that made them seem like spectral brides, or a neu-age version of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty. She engaged the audience in a legit meditation session, using the correct lingo and everything. To my knowledge, that was an Amoeba first. I have to admit I didn't participate or I would've ended up drooling all over the rock clearance section.  

diva divinity in thee lpAfter getting the audience in touch with their "inner divinity," as she calls it, Diva launched into a track with Indian-inspired dance and vocals, stringing together wonderful phrases like "celestial shrapnel" and "cherubim chakras" (I think) over a minimal electronic backbeat. The dancers' movements revealed shimmer in the dancers' dresses, their otherworldly appearances combining with the airy music to give off a feeling that was both alien and strangely soothing.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Amoeba Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart, Hiero Day 4 Preview, New Paris Video/Single From Forthcoming "Pistol Politics"

Posted by Billyjam, September 7, 2015 08:09am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5 Chart: Week Ending 09:05:15

1. Dr. Dre Compton (Aftermath/Interscope)

2. Eligh 80HRTZ (Legendary/Crowsnest)

3. The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey (Foreign Exchange Music)

4. Z-Man & Tahaj the 1rst "Flea Circus" (Solidarity)

5. Method Man The Meth Lab (Tommy Boy) (avail in LP)

Riding high off the buzz surrounding the new N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre's new album Compton  which has been selling extremely well despite some mixed reviews on the long awaited solo album (with many mic guest spots including Kendrick Lamar) from the high profile producer/ entrepreneur who first came to fame via N.W.A all those years ago.  Among the other top five chart entries from Amoeba's Berkeley store above include The Foreign Exchange Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey, Living Legends star Eligh's newest release 80HRTZ, Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man's The Meth Lab that is available from Amoeba in both CD and LP/vinyl formats, and Bay Area power duo of longtime unique emcee Z-Man (recently profiled on the Amoeblog) and producer Tahaj the First. These two Bay talents joined forces on Flea Circus that is available at the San Francisco and Berkeley Amoeba stores and is released via legendary underground San Francisco hip-hop crew Bored Stiff's prolific label Solidarity Records. Note that the SF group's main star Equipto (along with Otayo Dubb) will be among the performers at Hiero Day today - read on for more details. 

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Dam-Funk

Posted by Amoebite, August 31, 2015 05:18pm | Post a Comment

Dam Funk

Dam-Funk is a modern funk musician, vocalist, producer and DJ signed to Los Angeles-based label Stones Throw Records. A Pasadena native, Damon Riddick began his career working in the studio with artists such as Master P and and MC Eiht before remixing Baron Zen's cover of The Gap Band's "Burn Rubber" in 2007 under the Dam-Funk moniker. The remix built a buzz and soon thereafter Dam-Funk recorded two 12"s for Stones Throw, 2008's Burgundy City and Let's Take Off (Far Away). In 2009, he compiled a five-volume LP set of unreleased material called Toeachizown, which was eventually turned into a two-CD set later in the year.

Dam-Funk Invite the LightOver the course of his career, Dam-Funk has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Animal Collective, Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink, Peaking Lights and Hudson Mohawke. His album with Steve Arrington of SLAVE, Higher, and his album with Snoop Dogg, 7 Days of Funk, both came out via Stones Throw in 2013. Dam-Funk's third solo studio album and his first in six years, Invite the Light, is out this Friday, September 4 via Stones Throw.

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Knxwledge Discusses Stones Throw LP "Hud Dreems," Amoeba Crate Digging, His Church Upbringing, & Kendrick Lamar Production

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2015 11:43am | Post a Comment

Knxwledge (pronounced Knowledge) is known for such things as being a producer for Kendrick Lamar's current hit album To Pimp a Butterfly (for the track "Momma"); a regular contributor at the Low End Theory events; and, most importantly, as an incredibly prolific producer whose impressive catalog includes a long list of self-released cassettes, albums, and EPs for such labels as All City and Stones Throw. His latest album, Hud Dreems (pre-order on vinyl) was just released on Stones Throw.

The talented 26-year-old LA-based producer is a major fan of Amoeba Music and spends a lot of his spare time digging in the crates of Amoeba Hollywood for records with obscure sounds to sample. Naturally then the NJ born-and-raised producer was quite at home when he got invited to DJ a set at Amoeba Hollywood last month during Record Store Day celebrations at the Sunset Blvd. store. Around that same time I caught up with the producer to talk about making music, his new Stones Throw release, and of course crate digging at Amoeba - something he was more than happy to chat about.

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