Posted by Billyjam, August 27, 2008 06:55am | Post a Comment
                                       JAMOEBLOG HIP-HOP TOP TEN: 08:27:08                                             

1) Homeboy Sandman "Opium" (Homeboy Sandman)

2) NaS feat Eban Thomas "You Can't Stop Me Now" (Def Jam)

3) Lee "Scratch" Perry  "$hine" (Narnack Records)

4) The High Decibels "Miss Cindy" (Rolling Jack)

5) Paris "Don't Stop the Movement" (Guerrila Funk)

6) Murs "Can It Be" (Warner)

7) Double Dee & Steinski "Lesson 3" (Illegal Art)

8) Foreign Legion "Come To The City" (Hunger Strike)

9) DJ Spinna "The Spirit of '94" (Colt 45)

10) The Bug "Freak Freak" (Ninja Tune)

The number one on this week's Jamoeblog Hip-Hop Top Ten (a subjective song-based chart) is from up-and-coming Queens, NY emcee talent Homeboy Sandman, whose totally unique flow and style is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise overcrowded sea of cookie cutter rappers. So far only available through his website, as well as at a few select East Coast record stores, Homeboy Sandman's self-released debut CD Actual Factual Pterodactyl offers up hip-hop like you've never heard before, with great songs such as the slow-mo flow of "Opium" or the funny uptempo rapid fire delivery of "Food Glorious Food" which draws its hook from the Oliver! soundtrack.

The antithesis of gangsta Homeboy Sandman (a school teacher by profession) literally keeps it real in an ever-engaging observant flow that often comes off like a freestyle. Not surprisingly, the emcee is an amazing freestyler and will flex his lyrical skills at the drop of a hat. It is only a matter of time before Homeboy Sandman, who is a tireless self-promoter, gets his music more widely distributed and hence available to Amoeba shoppers. Meantime, peep his MySpace.

With his graduation from the indies to the majors, LA emcee Murs is getting a big push from his new label, Warner Brothers, who are banking on his forthcoming major label debut, the 9th Wonder produced Murs For President, to push him into rap superstar status. The label has already begun heavily pre-promoting the deliberately scheduled September 30th release by the Living Legends member (and longtime friend of Amoeba Music), giving it an election-themed push, saying that the emcee is "running for the position of Hip-Hop President" and noting how he "champions social equality, racial unity and economic empowerment." "Can It Be" is the advance single from the album that also includes such other tracks as “Lookin’ Fly” and “Science,” which offers up a condensed history of blacks in America and its history's correlation to hip-hop’s evolution.

Ever envelope-pushing reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, who has been taking music into new       Lee "Scratch" Perry directions for over 40 years now, shows no sign of letting up and has just released a powerful new album in collaboration with (of all people) Andrew W.K., who he crossed paths with at the SxSW music conference a couple of years ago. The outcome of that chance meeting is the new album (the artist's 54th album!) entitled Repentance on Narnack Records that Andrew W.K. not only produced but also contributed music (drums, keyboards, bass, & vocals) to on most of the album's dozen tracks. Other contributors to this recommended new album include Moby and Chris Stein of Blondie fame.  And the good news is that  there will be a Lee "Scratch" Perry & Andrew W.K. Amoeba Hollywood instore performance next  Wednesday, September 3rd at 7PM.

Another reggae flavored current Top Ten entry, "Freak Freak," is from UK artist The Bug off the new recommended Ninja Tune full length London  Zoo.
The High DecibelsThen there's the catchy, raw blues-guitar driven "Miss Cindy" from new Oakland hip-hop duo The High Decibels, comprised of longtime Bay Area slam poet Duke Johnson and guitarist KC Booker who channels some mean blues flavor licks.. The track can be found on both the High Decibels self-titled debut EP and LP -- which also features some nice scratching by DJ Gordo Cabeza. Another East Bay act on the chart is Foreign Legion, comprised of emcees Marc Stretch and Prozack Turner (who now claim Los Angeles as their base) Their Oakland themed track, with references to Too $hort and The Luniz, "Come To The City" (featuring DJ Ray on the cuts since DJ Design is no longer with the group), is taken off their six-song EP The Secret Knock on Hunger Strike which has been out since March but is only now starting to get any kind of exposure.

About to drop is Paris' new album Acid Reflex, featuring two versions of "Don't Stop The Movement,"  Paris Acid Reflex plus 13 other tracks. The album on the artist's Guerrilla Funk label hits Amoeba's shelves on September 9th and around that time check back here for an interview with the ever-controversial, politically charged Bay Area artist whose been stirring shit up since 1990 when the video to his popular single "The Devil Made Me Do It" got banned by MTV.

Another Top Ten entry is the 45 seven inch single "The Spirit of '94" from longtime NYC DJ Spinna who I greatly admire for never locking himself into just one strict genre. Instead he produces (and spins) quality beats and breaks-based music that covers house, hip-hop and beyond.

And finally, I leave you with a brand new video for Double Dee & Steinski's classic 1980's pioneering hip-hop cut'n'paste masterpiece "Lesson 3." The song is found on Steinski's highly recommended recent release: the career long retrospective on Illegal Art (the folks who also put out Girl Talk), entitled Steinski: What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective. Meanwhile, the incredibly well made new accompanying video is produced by Galway, Ireland Steinski fan & video remixer Wuggy. And if you missed it first time around, go back now and read the Amoeblog interview with Steinski about the new retrospective.


Relevant Tags

Steinski (8), Homeboy Sandman (37), Murs (28), Paris (22), High Decibels (5), Wuggy (1)