For those of you not fortunate enough to live within traveling distance to one of Amoeba Music's three retail stores - Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood - and to have taken advantage of Black Friday Record Store Day, today you can make up for it with Amoeba's Cyber Monday deal: 20% off everything you purchase online. Just use the special code CYBER20today, December 2nd, to get your discount.
That 20% off discount is applicable across the board on all online purchases today, including vinyl reissues such as Sly & The Family Stone's Higher.
The deal also includes 20% off on pre-orders so you can get the big discount on albums that are coming soon! These include anticipated releases such as Lady Gaga's upcoming anticipated album ARTPOP that drops on December 24th and features guest spots from Too $hort, Twista, and T.I.
Today's richly vibrant, prolific, and diverse Bay Area hip-hop scene, with thousands of artists currently making a broad range of styles, humbly began in Oakland 32 years ago back in 1981. It was early in that year when the very first Oakland rap release (also the very first known Bay Area rap release) dropped: Motorcycle Mike's single "Super Rat." The record arrived in a time when hip-hop or rap music was still considered an East Coast/New York artform that, for some odd (elitist?) reason, could not hail from the West Coast. This belief was challenged with releases like releases like Motorcyle Mike's debut 12" rap single. That record by the artist, who was also known as Motorcycle Mike Dappa, was entitled "Super Rat" and was produced by Gerald Robinson and released on the tiny indie Hodisk Records -- the label run by Nicky Moore that also released the Numonics. Born Phil Lewis and influenced by Bootsy Collinsas much as the Sugarhill Gang, Motorcycle Mike was, not surprisingly, a motorbike fanatic. Pro-Black in its message, "Super Rat" featured the early Oakland rapper drawing an analogy between the then much talked about Norwegian "super rats," who could not be killed by poison but instead got stronger, and the underdog black man in Oakland and other American urban areas who could not be kept down. Motorcycle Mike's original Oakland rap record was followed up later that same year from the East Bay city by the 12" single “Tally Ho!” on Walker Star Records from Steve Walker - an artist who would re-emerged some years later to record under the name Biscuit.
Bay Area folks can check out Oakland rapper Mistah FAB (aka Mistah F.A.B. - the Yellow Bus Ridah) plus a DJ set by Tap.10 of the Honor Roll Crew playing a free show tonight (Thursday July 25th) as part of the MGD Get Fresh Tour at the Great American Music Hall on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco - thanks to the sponsorship of an American beer company who are offering tickets to those to RSVP in advance (I.E. right now) by visiting MGD.com/getfreshtour and logging to Facebook and saying you like their beer. You can tell a lie too about liking the beer or, if by chance you never tasted it, you can at the accompanying open bar with free booze all night at tonight's event. While North Oakland rapper Mistah FAB, who was one of the key players in the Bay Area hyphy movement some years back, may not be near as hot a commodity as he once was back in the mid to late 2000's (many blame the delay in his major label national release to his fall from popularity), he is still a talented artist with a fat back-catalog of songs to draw from such as "Ghost Ride It" above or the Traxamillion produced hit he made withToo $hort"Sideshow" (below) from that same period - at the peak of the short-lived Bay Area hyphy movement. Insiders have also been tipped FAB to make a bit of a comeback with his music being included in the soundtrack to the new movie Fruitvale Station about the killing of Oscar Grant. Doors for tonight's show are 8:30pm but show up early as a line is expected to form before then. The Great American Music Hall is located at 859 O Farrell Street (near Polk) in San Francisco, CA 94109. More club info here. And to ensure admission to tonight's show RSVP here now.
2) The Uncluded (Aesop Rock + Kimya Dawson)Hokey Fright (Rhymesayers)
3) Qwel & MakerBeautiful Raw (Galapagos4 Records)
4) Sunspot Jonz and BOACSkywalkers (Outhouse Records)
5) Sole No Wising Up, No Settling Down (Black Canyon)
Thanks to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for his run down (video and chart above) on all the latest in hip-hop releases at Amoeba Music this week that include such new joints as Sunspot Jonz (Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends) who teamed up with Bay Area producer BOAC (founding member of The Earthlings along with DJ Bootleg who used to book the hip-hop shows at the defunct SF venue Maritime Hall) for his latest release Skywalkers - released on the long running Living Legends label Outhouse Records. As E-Lit notes it is a fun, all killer, no filler hip-hop release. Other new releases include the straight up hip-hop album from Qwel & MakerBeautiful Raw on Galapagos4 Records, and the much more alternative/adventurous hip-hop outing from The Uncluded: Hokey Frighton Rhymesayers Entertainment. The Uncluded is the pairing of Aesop Rock with Kimya Dawson who have worked together before this new collaborative full-length album. You may recall that Kimya Dawson made a cameo on Skelethon- the stellar solo album (following a five year gap) from Aesop Rock last summer (when he did a memorable in-store at Amoeba San Francisco), and that Aesop Rock in turn had made guest appearances on Dawson's album from the previous year Thunder Thighs. Released by Rhymesayers Entertainment it features the single "Earthquake." See the accompanying video below and you will immediately see why E-Lit describes it as like children's music in its production presentation of the 16 track album that, according to the publicity release from the label, "helps to tell the story of two people who are finding therapy through making art together."
Last Tuesday DJ Toure, DJ/producer and member of Oakland's longtime Hieroglyphicscrew, released his long-awaited solo album, Toure's Theory: Session One, which initially was expected to drop last year but due to his busy schedule got bumped back until now. The prolific artist, who in addition to working with the Hieros crew including member Casual has, over the years, produced tracks for the likes Too $hort, Freeway, Devin The Dude, Phonte, Father Dom, Beeda Weeda, The Grouch & Eligh, Goapele, E-40, and Forty Wata's rapper son Droop-E, has been down with the Hieros since day - initially joining the crew as the DJ for his (elementary school mate) Casual .
The above Dylan Freitas-D'Louhy directed electronic press kit video gives some insight into DJ Toure's rich history (coming up in Oakland upbringing with fellow Hieros (Casual, Tajai, Opio, and A-Plus) as well as some background on the new album that includes many of the aforementioned artists he's worked with including members of the Hieros - Opio, Pep Love, Del The Funky Homosapien, and Casual; plus such Bay Area artists as Too $hort (see new video below for the album track "Mind Yo Business" that also features Jacoria Marzett.), E-40, Mistah FAB, Clyde Carson, B-Legit, J. Stalin, Nio Tha Gift, and The Jacka, as well as such other guests as Philly rap star Freeway.