Now seven years strong Zion I's annual hip-hop showcase the Hella Fresh Fest takes place this year on Halloween night in the at the Metro with a lineup that continues Zion I's Zumbi and AmpLive's tradition of presenting a rich cross section of contemporary hip-hop talent to join them in concert. In addition to Hella Fresh's tradition of showcasing the best of homegrown hip-hop (Sol, Erk tha Jerk, Bang Data) they've also booked such out of town talent as Rhymesayers' Seattle emcee Grieves, and Funk Volume's Dizzy Wright. Also on the bill will be Triple Threat DJ Vinroc while the Hella Fresh hosts will be Chris Riggins and Panama by way of Oakland duo Los Rakas who performed at Hella Fresh 2011. That Hella Fresh Fest took place at the Fillmore in San Francisco while last year's was at the DNA Lounge. But this year it will be in the place it was meant to be. With the name Hella Fresh it has to be in Oakland so it is perfect that it will be at the Metro in Oakland - and on Halloween night with live art by Haven Arts. Good news for young hip-hop fans is that the show will open those under 21. It is a 14 and over show! Below are a series of videos of the acts on this year's bill along with a highlights of last year's Hella Fresh Fest. Buy tickets here or try and win them from the Amoeblog. Audible Treats have passed along to the Amoeblog two pairs of free tickets for Hella Fresh Fest 2014. All you have to do is email me (email@example.com) by Thursday (October 23rd, 2014) at midnight (Pacific time). The names of all entrants will be printed out and from those names two will be randomly chosen. Those two winners will be contacted by Sunday October 26th to inform them that they've won. One entry per person. Must be 14 or over. Thank-you!
Hiero Day 2014 -- happening Monday, September 1st in Oakland in the blocks surrounding 95 Linden Street (Linden Street Brewery) -- may only be in its third year, but this ambitious, annual, refreshingly non-mainstream, all-ages East Bay hip-hop festival has quickly become the best Bay Area hip-hop festival of the year. Hiero Day features the extended Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective along with a slew of equally talented hip-hop friends (mostly Bay and Cali hip-hop acts) performing on three different stages throughout the day. I attended last year's Hiero Day and was so impressed with how fun and how peaceful this musically rich event was!
Hiero Day is free and all-ages with a truly indie feeling, and no nasty corporate overtones. In fact it is more like an expanded modern day continuation of the Living Legends' Unsigned & Hella Broke jams back in the day. Fittingly, Mystik Journeymen are among those on the bill at Hiero Day 2014 - a day that will attract hip-hop appreciative fans in the thousands to enjoy great music, a variety of tasty food trucks, tables selling cool hip-hop clothing, a skate contest, and (for vinyl fiends and crate diggers) the beat swap meet.
Among the brand new releases to arrive in Amoeba this week is the all killer, no filler Coalmine Records ten year anniversary release (promo video above) that showcases the creme de la creme of the past decade's output from the Brooklyn based label - all mixed together by DJ Revolution. Aptly entitled Coalmine Records Presents: Unearthed the compilation album (a double CD disc set) contains both a mixed version care of DJ Revolution, and an 'Untagged Deluxe Edition' which includes three bonus cuts. Artists featured include Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Large Professor, The Artifacts, Blu, Sean Price, Big Noyd, Skillz, Guilty Simpson, Rah Digga, El Da Senseiand Fashawn.
1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy)
2) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)
3) Iggy Azelea The New Classic (Island/Def Jam)
4) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
5) Eminem The Slim Shady LP (Interscope)
Celebrating its twenty year anniversary is Nas' flawless, classic 1994 album Illmatic which has been especially reissued by Sony Legacy for the occasion as Illmatic XX. The album, which includes such hip-hop timeless gems as "N.Y. State of Mind," "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and "The World Is Yours," by the Queensbridge emcee is this week's number one chart entry at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store, where also charting in the latest top five is another 90's rap classic: Eminem's 1999 megahit The Slim Shady LP (Interscope) which finds itself back in top sales this week at the SoCal store. Other current top five chart entries include Drake's Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money, and YG's My Krazy Life (Def Jam) which drew inspiration from various West Coast hip hop classics as Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Speaking of Dr. Dre, the famous former N.W.A. member/influential solo artist who has made a huge impact as a hip-hop producer, looks about to make his biggest (financial) mark as co-creator of the audio equipment and music-streaming service Beats Electronics known for the headphones that carry his name (Dre Beats) if the company, as has been reported over the past 24 hours, gets purchased by Apple at a reported $3.2billion price tag!
1) Freddie Gibbs, Madlib Pinata (Madlib Invazion)
2) CunninLynguists Strange Journey Volume Three (MRI)
3) 9th Wonder Jamla Is The Squad (Jamla Records/Empire Dist)
4) MindsOne & Kev Brown Pillars (Ill Adrenaline/Fat Beats)
5) Mobb Deep The Infamous Mobb Deep (Infamous Records)
Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for running down all the new hip-hop releases this week that include the latest from North Carolina super-producer 9th Wonder Jamla Is The Squad on his Jamla Records label. Jamla is the Squad is a compilation featuring the singles "Be Inspired," "No Competition" and "15 Minutes of Fame" and, in addition to Jamla acts, showcases guest features from such non-label talents as Pete Rock, Phonte, Talib Kweli, and BJ The Chicago Kid. Real good album worth picking up as is the brand new one from Maryland emcee / producer Kev Brown with MindsOne Pillars on Ill Adrenaline via Fat Beats that features such underground burners as "Equinox" (see music video below).