Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.04.12: Doomtree @ Amoeba Berkeley, Lushlife, Pep Love, Raleigh Moncrief, Homeboy Sandman, Gangrene, DJ Solomon, Azeem, and more

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2012 11:35am | Post a Comment
Jamoeblog Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 02:04:12

1) Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon)

2) Lushlife Plateau Vision LP (Western Vinyl)

3) Homeboy Sandman Subject Matter (Stones Throw)

4) Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( Legendary Music/Live Up/Traffic)

5) Wiley Evolve Or Be Extinct (Big Dada)

For a change from the usual sales-based Amoeba weekly hip-hop chart this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart is my own personal favorite brand new and soon to drop hip-hop releases. Topping the chart is the amazing Oh No and The Alchemist group Gangrene's third and latest collaboration Vodka and Ayahuasca on Decon. Also here is the recent Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( which gets better and better with repeated listens and the brand new Wiley
album Evolve Or Be Extinct - a double CD on Big Dada which will appeal equally to grime and hip-hop heads. Not out yet but worthy of mention It is the forthcoming Lushlife album Plateau  Vision LP, which will be released in mid April on Western Vinyl, and is sure to propel to mainstream visibility the South Philly producer/emcee/musician who made waves last year with the much buzzed about mixtape No More Golden Days. As with that mixtape, which was an actual cassette tape, this new CD album blends mid 90's underground NY hip-hop flavor with Dilla/Madlib type production values. This is the sort of well produced album that will make you want to also track down the instrumental version. It's pure pleasure to listen to and Lushlife's flow is a treat to listen to. He is also joined by several well chosen guests throughout the 11 track album including Styles P, Canadian rapper Shad, Heems of Das Racist, and ex-Titus Andronicus garage rocker Andrew Cedermark who joins him on the album track "The Romance of the Telescope." My personal favorite tracks are the throwback eigthies/nineties sounding "Anthem" and the opening "Magnolia" which, over a dreamy hypnotic backdrop and a series of well chosen samples, finds Lushlife rapping about such things as graffiti and Coney Island. This is already making its way to becoming one of my year end top albums.

Equally amazing but totally different type of hip-hop is one-of-a-kind Queens, NY emcee Homeboy Sandman who has been putting it down for several years now but finally has found the perfect outlet for his unique flow - LA's Stones Throw Records who will soon release his EP Subject Matter which captures Homeboy Sandman's crazy creative stream-of-consciousness sounding flow. This release, especially songs like the progressive "The Miracle" which melodically appears to break all the rules of catchy hip-hop, should win Homeboy Sandman the type of recognition that he deserves. The six song EP will soon be released on CD and vinyl by Stones Throw

If, like me, you were unable to attend last week's anticipated Amoeba Berkeley in-store by midwest hip-hop collective Doomtree here is a review for the Amoeblog by the East Bay Amoeba store's E Lit who reports that, "Doomtree oomtree's in-store at Amoeba Berkeley was an excellent opportunity for fans and friends of the crew to come out and experience them in an intimate setting, with a fair turn out of serious hip hop heads from different walks of the Bay.  Their performance ran late due to their second van reaching Berkeley later than expected, but this prompted a friendly Q&A session with Lazerbeak, Dessa and Cecil Otter beforehand that gave fans an opportunity to pose all sorts of funny personal questions.  Sims was unfortunately absent due to some biz he had to handle in Minneapolis that night, but P.O.S, Mictlan and Paper Tiger eventually arrived and the six Minnesotans kicked a couple of songs from their new one "No Kings," including two of their best track "Bolt Cutter" and "Little Mercy."  They stuck around afterwards to chat, sign things, and take pictures with fans like the humble and friendly pack of talented musicians they are.

Amoeba Berkeley offered a nice smaller setting to get a taste of the Doomtree clique in, but the group's show at Slim's the next night was definitely the full course meal.  Great turn out, killer opening set
from 2Mex, and one of the best Doomtree group performances I've seen to date.  Sims was present and accounted for at this one and him and Dessa were just murdering every one of their verses, covering both
newer Doomtree material and older fan favorites.  P.O.S debuted some crazy new songs from his upcoming album, including an all-out dance number that had the crew going wild and a slower grimier track about "Fuckin Up Yo' Shit."  Tremendous set all around, check out the "No Kings" tour when it hits your neck of the woods!" Thanks E Lit!

As reported here on Wednesday morning this week when the news broke Don Cornelius died - reportedly of self-inflicted gun wounds. And since then there has been an outpouring of shared grief by so many folks who grew up on Soul Train - the influential TV show that Cornelius both created and hosted for many years. There have been TV and radio tributes as well as numerous articles (print and online) written about Cornelius' cultural impact including an excellent one by Michael A Gonzales for Complex titled Love, Peace, and Hair Grease: Remembering Soul Train's Don Cornelius in which the Beastie Boys' Ad-Rock is quoted as saying that, "The two biggest influences of the '70s were Don Cornelius and Bruce Lee."

Less publicized but no less tragic was the passing of Bay Area DJ Solomon who was killed in a car crash over in Thailand earlier this week. The 34 year old DJ, whose real name was Solomon Khan, was perhaps best known for been a frequent mixmaster/turntablist performer at the Golden State Warriors' home games. Immediately below is a video of the DJ from several years ago doing a turntable routine at one of a Warriors vs Seattle Supersonics game.

Also below are some other videos including one with Homeboy Sandman talking to CurrentHipHop about his aforementioned forthcoming Stones Throw release, the new song "DMT" by Creme De La Ultra featuring Azeem, Pep Love of the Hieroglyphics brand new "Can't Nobody Do It Like Us," and Raleigh Moncrief's "Don't Shoot" - the latter two which have some more information on them below also.

DJ Solomon (2006)

Homeboy Sandman talks about "Subject Matter" to CurrentHipHop

Creme De La Ultra "DMT" (2012)

Pep Love "Can't Nobody Do It Like Us" (2012)

Above is the brand new video by Pep Love of the long-running East Bay Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective. It is for the song "Can't Nobody Do It Like Us" which is taken off his forthcoming, long overdue album (eleven years since his last solo full-length Ascension) titled Rigmarole which will arrive in Amoeba Music on March 6th. For some more insight on this album, to be released by Hiero Imperium, check this recent Amoeblog.


                                   Raleigh Moncrief - "Don't Shoot" from anticon. on Vimeo.

Raleigh Moncrief's "Don't Shoot" is the above brand new Miko Revereza directed "Don't Shoot" video  from Sacramento based producer and vocalist Raleigh Moncrief's latest album Watered Lawn on Anticon which if you don't have already comes recommended and has been getting most favorable reviews since it was released a couple of months back. Up until now Moncrief has been quietly working behind the scenes for several years. For more info check out the recent Amoeblog on him.

Relevant Tags

Rap (134), Hip Hop (94), Hip-hop (217), E Lit (8), Doomtree (9), Pep Love (10), Hieroglyphics (0), Stones Throw (28), Raleigh Moncrief (2), Homeboy Sandman (41), Don Cornelius (4), Michael A Gonzales (2), Azeem (15), Creme De La Ultra (2), Dj Solomon (1), Bay Area Hip Hop (4)