Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:14:11: T.I., Saigon, J-Live, Steinski, Beans, Cypress Hill, NAMM + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2011 08:19pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:14:11

1) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
2) Diddy-Dirty Money Last Train To Paris (Bad Boy Records / Interscope)

3) Nicki Minaj Pink Friday (Cash Money/Universal)

4) Cee Lo Green The Lady Killer (Elektra Records)

5) T.I. No Mercy (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
Thanks to my man Burgess (of Healamonster & Tarsier fame) for this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart from the Hollywood Amoeba store that includes many of the already high-profile major releases of the past month or more. Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj, and Diddy (with his in-demand new dancefloor driven project Dirty Money) are all once again included here, as is the latest release from T.I., No Mercy on Grand Hustle via Atlantic Records,

Released on December 7th, the long overdue No Mercy is T.I.'s seventh album and his first new release T.I.since 2008's popular Paper Trail. For this release he pulled out all the stops, with guest appearances from some of today's hottest names, including Kanye, Eminem, The-Dream, Christina Aguilera, and Chris Brown, who is featured on the single "Get Back Up." Meanwhile, production duties are spread out among studio masters such as Danja, who produced "My Love" & "Knock You Down;" Dr. Luke, who produced "Magic" & "Right Round;"  and Jim Jonsin, who worked his magic on "Whatever You Like" & "Lollipop." Note that in addition to the regular version of this CD there is also a Deluxe version that offers two bonus tracks as well as special packaging.

Traditionally not as many new releases come out in January as in February, and this year is no different, with a slew of new hip-hop albums dropping next month. February 1st sees the release of DJ Revolution Presents- Malcolm & Martin Life Doesn't Frighten Me on SoulSpazm Records. The album comes hot on the heels of the trio's mixtape Malcolm and Martin Were...Criminal Minded from a few months ago which was a re-working of BDP's 1987 seminal hip-hop album. The lead single of the new album is “Movement Music.”

Now hooked up with the Bay Area's Anticon Records, Brooklyn-based hip-hop renegade Beans from the always way ahead of their time Anti-Pop Consortium, will deliver his fourth solo album End It All. It's a pretty darn tight album, with the emcee spitting a non-stop assault of engaging lyrics with always shape-shifting production from such perfect matches as Four Tet, Clark, Tobacco, Son Lux, and Interpol's Sam Fog. Every song on the 13 track CD is good but ones I've been feeling the most are the Nobody produced "Deathsweater" and In Flagranti produced "Mellow You Out," which features Tunde Saigon, Entourage, HBOAdebimpe from TV on The Radio on the song's infectious hook. The album drops on Feb 15th, the same day as the anticipated official debut album from Saigon.

Saigon is a good example of how the lines between fiction and reality can become blurred, since many first heard of him via the fictional HBO series Entourage. The character Turtle discovers a rapper named Saigon after a CD with his music was left in his car player and then Saigon appears in the fictional series. But Saigon is not some fabricated character who just appeared out of thin air on the TV show -- since 2002 he's been honing his undeniable emcee skills, releasing a non-stop series of mixtapes (The Yardfather & the Abandoned Tracks series) and street albums including 2007's Moral Of The Story, 2009's Warning Shots 2, and 2008's collaboration with Statik Selektah, All In A Day's Work. His sound is that rare breed that has total pop appeal but is also true to hip-hop's roots. Following the release of his album he has said that he may reprise his role for the final season of the HBO series. Saigon is signed to Just Blaze's Fort Knocks Entertainment and Suburban Noize Records who will be releasing, after much delay, his label debut, The Greatest Story Never Told, in mid February. He deserves to blow up big time.
J-Live's Undivided Attention EP (Triple Threat Productions) has been out for a couple of months now and is an amazing six song set that acts as a teaser for the super-gifted hip-hop artist's forthcoming full-length, S.P.T.A. (pronounced “spitta,” standing for Said Person of That Ability). My fave track is the one with Homeboy Sandman, "Fitness."

Unfortunately the second annual Dope Ass Winter Ball (DAWB), which was supposed to be happening tonight at Club Six in SF, got canceled. But fans of Dub Esquire, who was one of the acts scheduled, can see him in LA next Friday (Jan 21st) at Airliiner when the die-hard traditional B-Boy mic-talent will throw the official release party for his kick ass single "Rap Starz" featuring Dirt NastyDel the Funky Homosapien.

In SoCal this year's big NAMM convention is already underway. At this annual event, which always attracts a lot of producers/DJs/musicians/tech heads, typically all the coolest new DJ gear and technologies are unveiled well in advance of being available in the marketplace. The NAMM show 2011 is again at the Anaheim Convetnion Center. It kicked off yesterday and goes through Sunday (Jan 16th). For registration and other info click here.

It's still three months until April but tickets are now on sale for the just confirmed Cypress Hill show at the Warfield in San Francisco. The longtime ambassadors of cannabis intake will celebrate April 20th (aka 4,20) in blunted hip-hop style. Tix for the 8pm show are $42 in advance or $45 day of show. Ticket info here.

And within a couple of days of last weekend's shooting tragedy in Arizona, hip-hop cut-and-paste pioneer Steinski, whose news bite fueled "The Motorcade Sped On" 1980's recording told the tragic tale of the JFK Steinskiassassination, had laced up the "Soul Searching (Sheriff Dupnik rmx)," which similarly retells the story of last weekend's mass murder in Tuscon. It puts the whole situation into context with excellent use of samples of news sound bites. To listen to or download the track for free click here.

Brooklyn, NY bass-masters Sub Swara, whose just released new album Triggers could be filed under electronic or dub-step or hip-hop, are offering up a free download of their "Speak My Language" collaboration with NYC hip-hop legends Dead Prez via the Village Voice website. The Brooklyn, NY group, who recently played SF and whose new album features The Genie from SF, has also done an amazing new remix of Glitch Mob's "Starve The Ego, Feed The Soul," which can be found for download on their website.

Relevant Tags

Beans (4), Kanye West (39), Diddy (2), T.i. (7), Saigon (2), Beans (4), J-live (7), Homeboy Sandman (40), Steinski (8), Cypress Hill (10)