Amoeblog

Much Love For The Bay in the Big Apple Thanks To Andre Nickatina and Zion I & The Grouch

Posted by Billyjam, April 26, 2011 04:09pm | Post a Comment

Bay Area hip-hop got much love in the Big Apple over this past weekend when both Andre Nickatina and Zion I & The Grouch (aka Z&G), who headlined concerts at NYC's Highline Ballroom and Knitting Factory respectively, had the packed venues loudly & appreciatively showing much love for the Bay Area.

Sunday night at the Highline, in Manhattan's Chelsea district, longtime San Francisco rapper Andre Nickatina stopped the music and led the packed house in a back-and-forth chant of "Mac Dre, Mac Dre." Throughout the rest of the excellent show, for which up-and-coming SF rapper Roach Gigz opened, he had the supercharged audience (many donning SF Giants hats) singing along to the lyrics of songs such as "Killa Whale." Two nights earlier over in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zion I & The Grouch similarly had the packed Knitting Factory crowd (many clearly Bay Area transplants) singing along in unison to the Zion I Bay Area hip-hop anthem "The Bay."

"It's like being at a rap show in San Francisco," enthused one Andre Nicatina fan Sunday night in New York as the artist formerly known as Dre Dog launched into one of his newer songs, the title track of his recent album My Middle Name is Crime, a collaborative full-length with The Jacka (with the absent Jacka's verses played back on tape).

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Interview with Zumbi of Zion I About Oakland Duo's Forthcoming Album Atomic Clock + Free Download of new Zion I Track

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2010 08:00am | Post a Comment
Zion I Atomic Clock
Yesterday super-talented, longtime Oakland hip-hop group Zion I headed out on the road for the beginning of an intensive two-month tour in support of their soon-to- drop new album Atomic Clock on Gold Dust Media which will be arriving in Amoeba Music on its November 9th release date.  To download an advance free copy of the new album track "Many Stylez" featuring Rebulution (with whom they are out on tour with)_ click here. Yesterday while en route to the airport for the kickoff of the intensive Zion I tour (approx 40 dates over the next eight weeks).

I caught up with the hard working duo's emcee Zumbi to ask him about his and musical partner/producer Amp Live's latest album, which is their seventh full-length. I wondered how lyrically Atomic Clock is different from past Zion I releases, in particular their last album, The Takeover (Gold Dust), that dropped back in early 2009. "It's different from The Takeover because on The Takeover it was, I would say, a very conscientious process, like revising a lot of the record. Like I wrote [the song] "Antenna" about four or five Zion I The Takeovertimes. There was just a lot of thought about every aspect of that record, like editing little phrasing and a lot of hook editing over and over again, just different phases of redoing the songs," he recalled.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: 12:24:09

Posted by Billyjam, December 24, 2009 03:01pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Ten: 12:24:09
the grouch three eyes off the time
1) The Grouch Three Eyes Off the Time (Legendary Music)

2) Souls of Mischief Montezuma's Revenge (Clear Label)

3) BlakRoc Blakroc  (V2/Cooperative)

4) Messy Marv & Berner Blow (Bern One Ent.)

5) Clipse Til the Casket Drops (SONY)

6) Messy Marv Highly Aggressive (Click Clack Records)

7) Snoop Dogg Malice N Wonderland (Priority/EMI)

8) Young Money We Are Young Money (Cash Money/Universal)

big boy young mess9) Gucci Mane The State vs. Radric Davis (Warner Bros/Asylum)

10) Timbaland Shock Value II (Blackground Records)

The Grouch from the Living Legends crew is back with a banger that went straight to number one on this week's Hip-Hop Top Ten from the Amoeba Music San Francisco store. Thanks to Luis for the chart. Titled Three Eyes Off The Time on Legendary Music, this latest release from The Grouch talks about a variety of subjects, including love in the digital age, which is explored in "The Dangers Of Online Dating." He also continues topics such as fatherhood, explored previously by the emcee on Show You The World. That album, with The Grouch pictured on the cover with his daughter on his shoulder, was released last year. And the profilic emcee, who a few years ago teamed up with Zion I to record an entire album (2006's Heroes In The City Of Dope) has not been idle. Earlier this year, along with Eligh, he released the great collaborative album Say G&E! Unfortunately, Eligh doesn't appear on Three Eyes Off The Time, but others do. Rankin Scroo and Marty James appear on the tracks "Daddy's Home" and "Make Em Think," respectively. And Fashawn and Mistah FAB both cameo on the track "Already," which is only available on this CD version of the album.

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BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP (W)RAP UP: 07:18:08

Posted by Billyjam, July 18, 2008 08:31am | Post a Comment
AMOEBA MUSIC SAN FRANCISCO HIP-HOP TOP FIVE 07:18:08

1) Lil Wayne Tha Carter III (Cash Money/Universal)

2) Messy Marv Hustlas Motivation Mixtape

3) Jean Gray + 9th Wonder Jeanius (Blacksmith/Warner)

4) Immortal Technique The 3rd World (Viper)

5) Nas Untitled (Def Jam)


This week's number one seller at the Amoeba Music San Francisco store should come as lil surprise. It was Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne, which, despite advance leaks and rampant downloading of its tracks, still managed to sell big numbers (by today's music industry standards) and hit the number one spot on countless charts (both airplay & sales) from Billboard (3 weeks straight @ #1) to KMEL toFillmore, San Francisco rapper Messy Marv Amoeba etc. Luis in the hip-hop department at the Haight Street Amoeba, who kindly supplied this week's Hip-Hop Top Five, said that Bay Area music buyers love Lil Wayne just as much as national audiences (especially considering the historic Bay Area/Dirty South connections), but that their dedication to Bay Area rap/hip-hop, including this week's chart's number two album, is unbridled.

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BILLY JAM'S HIP-HOP ROUND UP (4/25/08): CHARTS, NEWS, VIDEOS

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2008 08:18am | Post a Comment

A quick glance at this week's Hip-Hop Top Five charts (all below) from the Berkeley, San Francisco, & Hollywood Amoeba Music locations (thanks respectively to Tunde, Luis, & Marques Newson) further proves what I've been feeling all along this year: that hip-hop is in one of the most exciting and healthiest states that it's been in for a minute. To my ears, nearly every new hip-hop full-length release dropping these days is quality shit. Sure, there's a few lemons here and there, but mostly new 2008 hip-hop is more likely to be on hit than sound like shit.

Another glance at these new rap charts also reveals that hip-hop has arrived at perhaps its most richly diverse stage in its 30 plus years.  It's as if in 2008 hip-hop has all grown up, multiplied, and gone forth and conquered the world (of music) with a wide range of sounds all qualifying as hip-hop today.  From the stripped down, style of Minneapolis' Atmosphere, to the bouncy hip-hop of the Bay Area's Lyrics Born (pictured above) with its funk foundation, to the trippy sounding Danger Mouse-produced new Gnarls Barkley, to the straight-up hard turntable hip-hop beats and cuts of DJ Quest, to the twisted soulful, ten-track, mostly instrumental,  grooves of the new one from the late J-Dilla -- a hell of a lot of musical territory is being covered under the hip-hop umbrella of '08.

HIP-HOP TOP FIVE @ AMOEBA MUSIC BERKELEY

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