Zion I's Zumbi and Locksmith Join Forces For Full-Length Project

Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2015 03:32pm | Post a Comment

Zion I x Locksmith  "Culture Freedom" (2015)

Two Bay Area hip-hop heavyweights - Zion I's Zumbi and East Bay emcee talent Locksmith who came to fame as one half of The Frontline - have combined forces to record a full-length collaborative project that, when released later this year, will feature the lead single "Culture Freedom" for which, earlier this month, they published the accompanying video above. In it the duo spit memorable verses in footage taken from the wrap-up weeks of their recently completed Rapture tour. "We decided to shoot the 'Culture Freedom' video while on tour because we wanted to capture the energy of just being in the moment and grindin.' I wasn't tripping off of a deep concept, it's more about the way we live than trying to present some glamorized version of ourselves. Plus, we're from the Bay Area, so being in snow just adds an exotic element in our minds," noted Zumbi of the winter-as-backdrop music video. As reported here on the Amoeblog earlier this year AmpLive (Zion's longtime super-gifted producer) and Zumbi (the MC) decided to amicably go their separate ways but that Zumbi would maintain the name Zion I - hence why Zumbi's Locksmith collaborative project is being billed under Zion I.

Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Joey Bada$$, Zion I, 88 Ultra, Freez & Mike Fry, Doomtree, E-Lit

Posted by Billyjam, February 13, 2015 10:01am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending Feb 13 2015

1) Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$ LP (Cinematic Music)

2) Wiley Life Is A Game of Snakes & Ladders (Big Dada)

3) 88 Ultra Sirens (Ultra Glacial Recordings)

4) Freez & Mike Fry Freez's Frozen French Freys (Soul Tools)

5) Doomtree All Hands (Doomtree)

Thanks to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for the latest Top Five Hip-Hop chart above. Below is the accompanying video clip shot this week at the East Bay store with E-Lit running down all these and other new/recent (and reissue) hip-hop releases in both LP and CD formats that are featured at Amoeba Berkeley right when you come in the front door of the Telegraph Ave store on your right hand side. Also down below is the brand new music video from Zion I ("Juggernaut") that was filmed mostly right outside Amoeba Berkeley as well as across the street and round the back (Peoples Park) from Amoeba among some other quick shot locations.

The Bed-Stuy Brooklyn NYC artist born Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott but widely known as main man of Pro Era, Joey Bada$$, as well as Malia Obama's favorite rapper, continues to sell well at Amoeba with the vinyl version of his official debut (commercial release) new album B4.DA.$$ (Cinematic Music) outselling the CD version of B4.DA.$$. And this week the artist released a new music video for "Like Me" featuring BJ the Chicago Kid that (with the refrain "fuck the police") addresses police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement (see the music video clip down below). Other new chart entries this week include UK hip-hop/grime artist Wiley's Life Is A Game of Snakes & Ladders (that is also available in LP/vinyl format as well as digital download - all care of Big Dada. The others include Doomtree's December 2014 release All Hands (Doomtree) that is also available in vinyl format, 88 Ultra Sirens (Ultra Glacial Recordings), and Freez & Mike Fry's Freez's Frozen French Freys (Soul Tools). For more background on these two releases peep the E-Lit video shot at Amoeba Music this week in which he gives some background on these acts/releases.

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Endless Canvas' SPECIAL DELIVERY East Bay Art Exhibit Was Great While It Lasted

Posted by Billyjam, October 1, 2012 05:35pm | Post a Comment

If one dollar had been donated for every photo taken at the Berkeley warehouse street art exhibit Endless Canvas' SPECIAL DELIVERY enough money could have been generated to purchase the warehouse building that housed this wonderful, temporary grassroots art exhibit and to keep it open indefinitely - not just in pop-up form. The exhibit ended its all-too-short 3 weekend run yesterday with another extremely well attended day of photo-happy street art fans. For many the temporary nature of SPECIAL DELIVERY  only added to the vibrancy of this exhibit of revered but disposable art - and another reason to document it.

I stopped by yesterday - Sunday September 30th, the sixth and final day - to be simply blown away by the wonderful art on display. About a 100 pieces by such local artists as Swampy and Plant Trees graced near every available corner of this cavernous, two-level 36,000 square-foot abandoned warehouse space down on Fourth Street near Gilman.

Anyone I know who attended this event, like David Ford who worked at it or E-Lit from Amoeba Berkeley who patiently lined up on the very packed opening weekend three weeks ago, were equally impressed by SPECIAL DELIVERY - from the caliber of the art on display to the perfect location of the exhibit. Berkeley's Carbon Warehouse – down near the railway tracks at 1350 4th Street - is a funky and raw building with only natural light. (Hence the darkened, shadowy, shuttered downstairs art area takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to).

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