Hip-Hop Rap Up 02:05:11: Talib Kweli, Philthy Rich, DJ Quest + More

Posted by Billyjam, February 5, 2011 09:26am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:05:11

Talib Kweli
1) Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows (101 Distributions)

2) The Jacka Flight RIsk (

3) Madlib Medicine Show #11: Low-Budget Hi-Fi Music (Stones Throw)

4) Turf Talk The Turf Sinatra Mix Tape (
5) Philthy RIch Trip N 4 Life  (Town Thizzness/LiveWire Records/SMC)

Shout-out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba for compiling this latest Hip-Hop Top Five Chart which features Talib Kweli's brand new release in the number one slot with a bullet following its release last week on 101 Distributors. But what is eyebrow raising about this CD release (arriving in a deluxe version as well as a regular CD version) is that when I interviewed the artist in late December here on the Amoeblog he clearly stated when I asked him if there would be a CD or vinyl that this album was going to be an MP3 only release: "Gutter Rainbows is going to be digital only because I'm focused on Prisoner of Conscious as a full release. Gutter Rainbows is more just for the fans," Kweli told the Amoeblog. So did he have a change of heart in the intervening six weeks and decide to issue it on CD for fans like me who still love physical copies? It doesn't appear so. Just in the past week, in an interview with MTV News' Sway Calloway, it was stated that "the rapper decided to avoid producing physical CDs." Kweli reiterated what he had told the Amoeblog:  "I'm putting out Gutter Rainbows — which is a small release — not on a CD." He did go on to say that "at a later date" he would issue a limited edition CD through Duck Down Records. But that's down the road and not on 101 Distributions through Fat Beats, as this CD release is. So what's the dealio? Luis at Amoeba said that not only is there a CD version of Gutter Rainbows now, out since Jan 25th (same day as the online release), but that a vinyl version of Gutter Rainbows is due to follow in two weeks on Feb 15th. I put a call through to the contact at Duck Down Records, who set up the recent Amoeblog interview with Kweili, but as of posting this blog no word back. Once I can determine the full story, I will report it here.

Philthy Rich "So Much Pain (feat. Rydah J Klyde, Stevie Joe & Matt Blaque)" off the Oakland artist's recommended new album Trip N 4 Life

In addition to the latest/eleventh Madlib Medicine Show installment, which is also a popular release in recent weeks at Amoeba Berkeley and Amoeba Hollywood, the other new chart entries at Amoeba SF are all homegrown Bay Area rap talent including The Jacka, Turf Talk, and Philthy Rich. As Luis at Amoeba SF so accurately noted of Oakland rapper Philthy Rich, whose Trip N 4 Life is number five this week on the new chart, "Philthy Rich and that whole Live Wire roster with guys like J Stalin, Stevie Joe, and Shady Nate are just blowing up right now." Indeed, and deservedly so. All are really talented, but perhaps more than any rapper to date Philthy Rich fully embraces and carries on, both lyrically & charismatically, the Thug Life vibe of Tupac Shakur. Fittingly, 2Pac makes a posthumous cameo on the new album on the aptly titled track "Feel'n Like Pac" that also features E-40.

Hailing from rough and tumble Seminary district in the East side of The Town (Oakland), Philthy's rich rap career got prematurely interrupted by his previous fleeting career (slanging yayo) when in 2007 he got arrested and charged for selling  cocaine, resulting in him serving a one year sentence in the county jail. And in late 2009 the artist, who gained another level of notoriety for being featured on the Discovery Channel's TV show Gang Wars (Oakland),  was sent back behind bars again for six months for having a loaded firearm. Knowing firsthand what it's like to be locked up & disabled from being able to do his music has only made Philthy more productive once out of jail and free. With a work ethic that has to be admired, Philthy has been been steady on the grind for the past few years, both building a rep through tirelessly performing and amassing a vast catalog of songs and releases from always being busy in the studio.

Along the way he has collaborated with a slew of rap talents including San Quinn, Too $hort, Yukmouth, Mistah F.A.B., The Team, Mob Figaz, The Hoodstarz, Messy Marv,  Webbie, Slim Thug, Keak Da Sneak, Young Noble, and Messy Marv and has cranked out, in a relatively short period of time, a DJ Questnon-stop series of indie CDs, DVDs, and street albums -- mostly under the radar but creating quite a buzz on the street -- with titles like Streets On Lock EP, Hood Rich, Tha Skumbagz, and PhilthyFresh. Two years ago he dropped his first official album, Funk Or Die on Town Thizzness/Live Wire Records/SMC, followed by Neighborhood Supastar on Live Wire Records/Hunid Racks/City Hall. But it is his brand new album, Trip N 4 Life, that looks set to be the one that will blow up nationally and take him to the level of recognition that he deserves.

Longtime San Francisco turntablist and Amoeba favorite DJ Quest is keeping as busy as ever between recording and touring. He tells the Amoeblog that he has just finished up a project with Eddie Def and DJ Cue, his two DJ collaborators in the famed SF turntablist crew the Bulletproof Scratch Hamsters, who came to fame in the early nineties from their performances and pioneering battle record Hamster Breaks.

For this new recording project by the famed DJ trio, Eddie Def does beats, Cue handles mixing, engineering, and production duties, while Quest takes care of the cuts. So, will it be released as Bulletproof Scratch Hamsters or Space Travelers or the Bulletproof Space Travelers -- two names that the crew had been called in the later 90's when DJ Marz and Eddie K joined the fold? "We're not sure what name it will be released as just yet," said Quest, adding, "I can say that it is done and will be out in April." Meantime, Quest is currently in the middle of a two-month West Coast tour along with Z-Man, BOAC, Equipto, and Mike Marshall. Tagged the Rappin' In The Mirror tour, last night they had a gig in Corvalis, OR. Next weekend they'll be down in SoCal. For exact dates/locations and other info on this tour visit BOAC's site MacheteVox. For more info on the artist visit DJ Quest's site.

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Dj Quest (51), Philthy Rich (3), Talib Kweli (20)