Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five: 01:09:09
1) Keak da Sneak & San Quinn
Welcome To Scokland (Ehustl)
2) San Quinn From A Boy To A
3) E40 The Ball Street Journal
(Sic Wid It/Warner)
4) Common Universal Mind Control (Geffen)
5) Messy Marv Draped Up &
Chipped Out 3 (Scalen)
Thanks to Luis at Amoeba Music Sam Francisco for not only providing the Amoeblog with this first hip-hop top five of 2009 but also for being instrumental, through his dedication to local music as hip-hop buyer at the Haight St. store, in the healthy representation of Bay Area hip-hop on this weekly chart. Four of the five new album entries, including the king of the Bay E40 and his latest The Ball Street Journal, are homegrown rap recordings. Only Chicago's Common (and his December 9th release Universal Mind Control) hails from beyond the Yay Area. The number one seller is the hands-across-the-bridge (Bay Bridge) collaboration, appropriately titled Welcome To Scokland, between two of the Bay's best longtime rap acts, Oakland's Keak da Sneak (who recently dropped his own new solo album, Defied, and who will be interviewed in an upcoming Amoeblog) and prolific San Francisco rapper San Quinn.
So prolific is San Quinn, who started his career back when he was barely in his teens (he is now 30), that he once earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for racking up more guest spots or "features" on other artists' releases than any other rapper. "I've done over 3000 features," the Fillmore rapper told me when I talked to him last, a couple of months ago. In fact he had done so many guest features that he could hardly remember even half of the artists he worked with over the years. Then there are all of San Quinn's solo releases, including his latest, From A Boy To A Man, which holds down the number one top selling spot this week. Another Bay Area artist who is quite prolific is Messy Marv, coincidentally San Quinn's cousin and former friend. The two cousins, who once were real tight and even recorded together, have famously had a beef going for a while now, which only seems to help fuel sales and interest in both acts.
For Messy Marv's latest and number five on the chart, the third installment in his ongoing Draped Up & Chipped Out series, he ranges in style from straight up Bay Area/West Coast mob style to some more hyphy sounding tracks with a gang of guests (Bay Area & beyond) joining him, including Keak da Sneak (who is obviously cool with both feuding cousins), Mistah F.A.B., Yukmouth, P.S.D. the Drivah, Capone, Noreaga, Dem Hoodstarz, and numerous others.
If you are in the Bay Area this weekend there is an amazing party jumping off at Club Six (60 6th St. in SF) tomorrow (Sat. Jan 10th) in celebration of the release of the new issue of acclaimed SF based art mag Juxtapoz that you really should attend. The only problem (and it is a good one) with this diverse night of quality music is that there is way too much good stuff going on simultaneously in the downtown SF club's three rooms to be able to realistically catch it all. In the basement the performers lined up, mostly in the instrumental hip-hop beat driven school (formerly known as trip-hop), include the two super-talented LA producers/DJs The Gaslamp Killer and Nosa Thingj who will also be doing a live set on KPFK 90.7FM radio in LA at 11PM tonight, Friday January 9th.
Meanwhile back at Club Six tomorrow night performing in the same lower level space of the club will be both Free the Robots and The Flying Skulls. At the same time in the club's Dark Room, the schedule offers non-stop reggae in a roots stylee with the soulful Fantan Mojah headlining, plus sets by Ninja Ford, Chezidek, and Rebs. Then in the main (White Room) space is electro legend Egyptian Lover, who has really been busy over the past couple of years back on the scene, recording new material in his classic style, and touring non-stop both in the US and abroad. The man is a legend and still rocks it. For the $10 advance or $15 at the door admission, seeing this LA legend alone makes the price worth it. Also on the same stage as Egyptian Lover are Who Cares, BPOS, and Morale.
At the same venue tonight (1/9) is another great lineup, more in the straight-up hip-hop vein with a political slant, the Yes We Can party is presented by Backspin Productions and Rock Steady Crew with legendary Rock Steady Crew member, longtime B-Boy (and host of B-Boy the Playstation game) Crazy Legs, who will be celebrating his birthday tonight. Also in the house will be fellow Rock Steady Crew member DJ Tony Touch. Other DJs on the ones and twos tonight will be West Coast Rock Steady crew/Triple Threat DJ Apollo, DV One, Jus Jones, and hip-hop historian and longtime radio/sometime club DJ Davey D.
The night, which is hosted by Fran Boogie, is a benefit for the San Francisco Food Bank and those who attend are asked to donate two canned goods along with their $5 admission or else pay the (still reasonable) $10 admission. More info on this, tomorrow's, and other events at Club Six.
Speaking of B-Boying, on Sunday Jan. 11th MTV will be screening two B-Boy documentaries, Inside The Circle and Planet B-Boy, which are both award-winning films. Inside The Circle (see trailer below) is a coming-of-age tale that tells the story of two talented B-Boys, Josh and Omar, former best friends who become rivals when they join competing dance crews, and all the outside forces that they battle, including Josh's problems with the law and Omar's struggle to do what he loves despite the objections of his traditional Mexican-American father.
Meanwhile Planet B-Boy takes an international look at this worldwide phenomenon as it tells the tales of B-Boys in different corners of the globe struggling to follow their dreams. The players include an American dancer in Las Vegas who is striving for his big break, a Korean B-Boy seeking his father's approval, and a pre-teen B-Boy in France who has to confront his family's racism. All of these individuals' paths finally cross in Germany at the Battle of the Year final where crews from 18 nations fiercely battle for the world title.
If you have never been to a B-Boy battle (they can be exhilirating jaw-dropping events to watch) or especially if you already have, I recommend you check out these documentaries. In addition to being shown on TV, both of these films are also available on DVD (with bonus features) and should be easily located at Amoeba, but ask for assistance if you cannot find them.
Inside The Circle trailer
Sacramento rapper Anerae "X-Raided" Brown, who has been behind bars since before his 1992 debut album Psycho Active (Black Market) was released, reports on what's up with him from Pleasant Valley State Prison (if ever there was an oxymoron: "Pleasant" and "Prison" in the same name!) where he is currently incarcerated. Brown, a genuinely good & hard working person whom I have become well acquainted with since the early nineties, does more creative positive things from behind bars than the average person, blessed with all the advantages of freedom, manages to accomplish without any restrictions.
Besides recording entire albums from behind bars over the years (including his forthcoming Filthy Rich-produced, City Hall Records-distributed brand new album Eternally Unforgiven, slated for an April release), he also runs his own label (Bloc Star Entertainment) and his taskes include acting as A&R and overseeing all the business aspects such setting up distribution deals.
Two of the recent X-Raided Presents projects on Bloc Star were the At All Costs CD 20/20 Vision and From the Block to the Booth by E. Meanwhile, frequent collaborator Loki did a project with Cognito titled Street Legal that will be released by X-Raided. X-Raided also signed a rap cat named J3, aka Johnny the 3rd, aka Johnny 3, whose project is still in the works (hence the uncertainty of his final rap tag). Be sure to check back here for updates on X-Raided and his label, including an indepth Amoeblog interview with the incarcerated rapper next month. If you would like to reach out to the brother, who appreciates hearing from NorCal rap fans, his mailing address is:
Anerae "X-Raided" Brown
Pleasant Valley State Prison
PO Box 8501
Coalinga, CA 93210
PO Box 8501
Coalinga, CA 93210
X-Raided - "Incarceraided"
And finally, if you live in California, unless you have been under a rock the past week, you are already well aware of exactly who Oscar Grant is and what his name represents. He is the 22 year old black Hayward man and father of a 4 year old who was shot and killed in the wee hours of New Year's Day in the Fruitvale BART station by BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who resigned two days ago.
You also have most likely seen the shocking amateur video footage taken by cell phones that have surfaced of the shooting, as well seeing footage of both Wednesday night's and last night's protests in Oakland, which both got way out-of-control, resulting in many numerous arrests and local independent businesses and private property being damaged, all ultimately distracting from the real issue at hand.
You may also have recognized the name of the lawyer representing the family of the slain BART passenger. He is John L. Burris, a legal specialist in police violence and discrimination by police against blacks and minorities. He literally wrote the book on the topic, the acclaimed BLACK Vs. BLUE: Let's End the Conflict between Police and Minorities. For the past thirty years he has worked in the area of plaintiff's civil rights and has also appeared as a legal analyst on Fox, MSNBC, Court TV, CNN and many local Bay Area television and radio stations, offering his expertise.
But Burris' name should be familiar to Bay Area music fans, since in past years he has represented both Tupac Shakur and Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone!, also in cases of "black vs. blue." Harris, who earned his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall, and his MBA from UC Berkeley Graduate School of Business, also represented Rodney King. In the current case, the family of Oscar Grant are suing BART for $25 million.