1) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)
2) E40 Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (Heavy on the Grind Ent.)
3) The Young Jazz Rebels Slave Riot (Stones Throw)
4) Madlib Medicine Show 3-Beat Konducta in Africa (Stones Throw)
5) Murs & 9th Wonder Fornever (SMC Recordings)
E40, aka Forty Wata, aka E-Feezy, aka the long reigning King of Bay Rap, is riding high with his latest two-part Shifts, the pair of simultaneously released CDs Revenue Retrievin'- Day Shift and Revenue Retrievin'- Night Shift (both on Heavy on the Grind Ent.) which for the third week in a row top the Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Charts. After two weeks of riding high at the San Francisco and Hollywood charts, this week the longtime Vallejo rapper locks down the number one and two spots at Amoeba Music Berkeley. The Bay Area has always supported E40 over the past two decades, both as a solo artist and with and his extended family group The Click, although I remember back in the very early days how some hip-hop fans just couldn't get their heads around E40's most unusual rapid pace flow, peppered with his homemade language (slanguage), unlike anything anyone had heard at the time. At first, I remember, it is mainly the younger kids who really dug "Mr Flamboyant" and other early tracks from this unique wordsmith. But by the mid 90's, when 40 and The Click were signed to Jive, most everyone else had caught up with his trademark rap style. By sticking to who he is artistically, E40 has proven that the key to success is to always be yourself. By so doing you are setting the trends, not following them, and end up sticking around a lot longer.
The brilliant, prolific, and unstoppable producer Madlib continues to rule 2010 hip-hop (at least non-mainstream hip-hop) with two chart entries this week: installment three in his ambitious twelve part Medicine Show series (Medicine Show 3-Beat Konducta in Africa) and the just released Slave Riot on Stones Throw by Young Jazz Rebels. Young Jazz Rebels is a Madlib jazz group from the Yesterdays Universe collective and draws its inspiration from previous decades' experimental jazz. Produced and arranged by Madlib, the album Slave Riot, their debut, is described by the producer as "an avant-garde free jazz record," a style Madlib has been developing with Young Jazz Rebels since their debut on 2006's Chrome Children compilation with the track “Nino's Deed.” This 18 track release is a pretty crazy album (think along the lines of Sun Ra) that may not be every hip-hop head's cup of tea but will appeal to the true Madlib followers as well as fans of free jazz.
Together Cali emcee Murs and North Carolina producer (and DJ) 9th Wonder can do no wrong and this latest collaboration proves that. Yep, good friend of Amoeba Murs and Little Brother's 9th Wonder have teamed up yet again with the album Fornever (their fourth collaboration) on SMC Recordings which only dropped on Tuesday but is already in the Top Five. The ten track, 43 minute album, which features such guests as Sick Jacken & Uncle Chucc and Kurupt (who never upstage their hosts), includes such bangers as "Live From Roscoe's," Cigarettes & Liquor," "Asian Girl," "I Used To Love Her (Again)" which is a sort of updated version of Common's classic "I Used to Love H.E.R." and "The Lick" featuring album guest Kurupt, which follows in audio form immediately below.
There are a lot of amazing live entertainment shows and happenings going on this weekend between parties and concerts up and down Cali, the big Coachella 2010 festival in Indio, CA, the kick off of the 2010 US DMC battles in New Orleans tonight, and Record Store Day, which is being celebrated tomorrow (Saturday April 17th) by independent record stores all over the world, including, of course, at the three Amoeba Music shops. Amoeba Music Record Store Day 2010 includes Salt N Pepa's Spinderella doing a live DJ set at Amoeba Hollywood at 2pm tomorrow.
Other vinyl related highlights of Record Store Day at Amoeba include the much talked about Turntable & Vinyl Contest, where shoppers can win one of three brand new audiophile Pro-Ject-Debut III turntables along with a grip of cool, choice vinyl (including 180-gram vinyl, colored vinyl and promo-only vinyl) from such artists as Radiohead, John Coltrane, Beach Boys, Mos Def, Kanye West, Elliott Smith, and David Bowie. Good news is the contest is open until the day after Record Store Day. Enter in one of Amoeba's three stores or online.
This year's Coachella Music Festival has literally too much good stuff going on to possibly catch it all, since things happen simultaneously on various stages and tents throughout the vast Indio, CA festival location. But the good news is you will never be short of catching some excellent artist performing. The musically diverse three day festival includes such recommended acts performing today, Friday April 16, as P.O.S., Wale, Street Sweeper Social Club, DJ Lance Rock, and Jay Z. Then tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, acts include Flying Lotus (who has been on tour opening for Thom Yorke's Atoms For Peace, also performing but on Sunday at Coachella), Z-Trip, Les Claypool, Hot Chip, and DJ Craze (the former DMC champ pictured and in video above along with fellow former DMC heavyweight Klever). Then on the festival's closing day, Sunday, April 18th, the packed lineup includes De La Soul, Gorillaz, The Glitch Mob, Mayer Hawthorne, Little Boots, and Gary Numan.
Tomorrow, Saturday, April 17th, Octavius performs at the Show Cave in LA in celebration of the new album Laws, which is accurately described as capturing the artist "in a daringly raw, beats and noise and vocals only moment." Also on tomorrow's bill are Zombelle, Nathaniel Eras (performing a live score of Nosferatu), plus DJ ORO11 of Bersa Discos / Mad Decent. The Show Cave is located at 3501 Eagle Rock Blvd. LA CA 90065. Doors 9pm. $5 21+.
Heads up, crate diggers! If you are in LA on Sunday, head over to Long Beach to Veterans Stadium for what Los Angeles Magazine has labeled “The Best Flea Market in L.A." Not only that, but the Amoeba Clearance Outlet will be set up at the Long Beach Antique Show & Flea Market at space C-653. There'll be ots of great vinyl finds plus CDs and DVDs in all genres. Flea market hours are 5:30am-2pm, admission $5.00 & free parking.
And finally, I leave you with a live concert video clip that should delight Wu-Tang Clan fans. It is Masta Killa, GZA and Inspectah Deck together onstage at BB Kings in NYC rocking the Wu-Tang classic "Triumph" as featured on the new Masta Killa album Live (Gold Dust), which is available at Amoeba Music. It may not be officially be the Wu-Tang Clan but it is pretty damn close to it.