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.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 10:18:13
1) Black Milk No Poison, No Paradise (Fat Beats)
2) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings)
3) RJD2 More Is Than Isn't (RJS Electrical Connection)
4) Devin The Dude One For The Road (E1 Music)
5) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
Thanks to E-Lit for the above chart and accompanying video of the Amoeba Berkeley hip-hop buyer breaking down some of the newest releases in the genre in both CD and vinyl formats. As E-Lit noted there's new vinyl in Amoeba this week of the recently released album from Oddissee, plus a vinyl version of the instrumentals of the latest Apollo Brown offering with O.C. (Trophies), and Black Milk's brand new No Poison, No Paradise. That LP release is in addition to the CD version of No Poison, No Paradise - the highly regarded Detroit artist's first album since 2010's Album Of The Year -but not his first recording in that time. The producer/MC has been quite busy over the past three years between touring, working behind the scenes as engineer, in addition to working on such other projects as the Black & Brown EP with Danny Brown, Random Axe (with Sean Price and Guilty Simpson), and Jack White's Third Man single ("Brain" b/w "Royal Mega") to name but some of his musical adventures of late. Meanwhile his own new album No Poison, No Paradise pairs his talents alongside such guests as Black Thought, Mel, Dwele, Robert Glasper, and Quelle Chris. Below is the video for the album track "Sunday's Best/Monday's Worst.
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 09:13:13
1) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
2) Big Sean Hall Of Fame (Universal)
3) Damu The Fudgemunk Spur Momento Trailer (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
4) Goodie Mob Age Against The Machine (The Right Records)
5) A$AP Ferg Trap Lord (RCA)
Thanks to E-Lit, holding it down at the Berkeley Amoeba store's hip-hop department, for the latest news in recent hip-hop arrivals at the Telegraph Ave. store via the above. new top five sales chart and the video in which he runs through many of the new CD and vinyl releases - many of them indie label releases that are not always easy to find in stores. In addition to the nationally popular Earl Sweatshirt's Doris (Columbia) and A$AP Ferg's Trap Lord - both of which I wrote about in previous weeks - other new top five entries include Big Sean's Hall Of Fame, Damu The Fudgemunk's Spur Momento Trailer (via Fat Beats and also on vinyl), and the return of Goodie Mob with the album Age Against The Machine on The Right Records. Once one of the main crews out of Atlanta’s lengendary Dungeon Family hip-hop collective, the Goodie Mob haven't done anything new as a full quartet (recording wise - they did reunite to perform) in fourteen long hip-hop years. Of course in the meantime Cee-Lo Green became a breakout bona fide pop star via his music (both solo with the huge hit "Fuck You" and with Danger Mouse as one half of Gnarls Barkley with the runaway hit "Crazy") and his TV role as a cat stroking judge on The Voice. So is the new Age Against The Machine any good you ask? I am still not 100% sure (I like it but don't love it like their earlier work) after needle dropping my way through it twice but it appears to these ears to be recorded out of a desperation (for three of the four members at least) to score a pop hit along the lines of Cee-Lo's solo work. Hence such hook driven songs as “Power” which addresses race relations. But it is at its best when it doesn't sound like it is trying to be pop but on such songs as “Special Education” and “Pinstripes.” Below is the video for the album track "I'm Set" to give you a better feel of how the comeback album by this once very unique and influential Southern group sounds.
Supreme Raw (Eddie Def + Dopestyle) "Salty The Clown!" (2012)
Collaborating as a duo for the first time DJ Eddie Def and emcee Dopestyle are currently in the midst of finishing up recording a new album project together that the two longtime Bay Area hip-hop artists have christened Supreme Raw.
And Supreme Raw pretty much sums up the vibe of this raw, no-holds-barred, lo-fi hip-hop project as witnessed in the above video for "Salty The Clown!" - the first track to be leaked off the album that is scheduled to be released by summer's end.
This, as yet untitled, new full-length is described by Eddie Def as, "grimy hip-hop, old school 90's with chopped up samples," adding of its sound that it is, "in tradition of Gang Starr, Cypress Hill, Wu Tang type beats, ya know lo-fi hip-hop."
Although the DJ/producer and the emcee are both longtime Bay Area hip-hop artists it was only two years when they first met. "I met Dopestyle at a Casual show when me and DJ Quest were performing a set with Z-Man," said Eddie Def. "I gave him some beats and he responded back and we started working on some shit." Before long they had the makings of an entire album - one that features lots of cameos (not officially announced just yet but should be of interest to fans of West Coast underground hip-hop). "His flow is unlike any other," said Eddie of Dopestyle, "What I love him is that he is a topic rapper; interesting topics too! He raps about cancer. He raps about spousal abuse. He raps about people dying; serious shit and not the typical stuff people usually rap about."
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five for week ending 02:24:12 with E-Lit
1) Lazerbeak & Edison Kill Switch LP (Fieldwerk)
We received a whole bunch of these over a week early, and sold through our entire supply of them in a matter of days! Given the extremely high quality of the product, it’s no wonder we couldn’t keep this on the shelves. Kill Switch is hip-hop production of the highest caliber, brought to you by the strongest label in instrumental hip hop Fieldwerk Recordings. Doomtree’s Lazerbeak handles side A with a surprisingly subtle approach that occasionally bursts with brilliant color, delivering his finest solo instrumental work to date. San Francisco’s own genius button-masher Edison handles side B with a much rowdier gang of beats that show off his skillful production craft, with menacing guitar jabs and gangsta bleeps that form a cohesive whole. This one’s only available on vinyl, but it does come with a digital download card that’ll get it on your computer in a matter of minutes. Highly recommended!
2) Tajai Machine Language CD (Hieroglyphics Imperium)
Souls of Mischief frontman and Hieroglyphics mainstay Tajai’s new Machine Language mixtape has naturally been doing very well in the Bay. Features fellow Hiero members Casual, Opio and A-Plus, plus a joint with The Pharcyde, all for a super cheap price of $5.98. This mix CD is just a taster of random new Tajai tracks, but should tide the Bay’s Hiero fanbase over until Tajai’s new Rap Noir album drops later this year.