Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up 08.25.12: Top 5, Summer Park Jam, JJ Doom, LL Cool J, RTB, Nas, Humpty Hump's Head, KnowItAll's Kickstarter Drive

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
JJ Doom Guvnor (2012)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:24:12

1) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)

3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
4) DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring (Cash Money)

5) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

Thanks to Edwin in the Hip-Hop department at the Amoeba Hollywood store for this week's top five chart which includes with a bullet in the number one slot care of Lex Records  Key to the Kuffs  which is the highly recommended new album from JJ DOOM (aka the collective talents of Jneiro Jarel and DOOM along with some special guests) which is excellent from start to finish with tracks like "Winter Blues," "Banished" (the first track leaked from the album early this year), and "Guvnor' (single - see video above).  This latest MF Doom project follows in the tradition of such previous killer Doom collaborations as when Doom teamed up with Madlib as Madvillain and with Danger Mouse as DangerDoom. The 15 track new JJ DOOM project was conceived over the past twelve months while Doom was "in exile" over in London, England (something he references on the release including on "Borin' Convo" when he raps "The super villain get kicked out your country"). As well as the two main artists the album features such guests as Damon Albarn, Khujo Goodie and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. The album's distinctive cover art (above) is by Steve Powers (aka ESPO).

Elsewhere on the new Amoeba Hip-Hop chart is the brand new DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring on Cash Money, and two versions of the new 2 Chainz release on Def Jam - Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) and the regular album CD version of Based on a T.R.U. Story. On the same label is Nas' Life is Good which most people are saying is the Queensbridge emcee's best album in a while. They're right too despite all the online chatter of the past week about Nas allegedly having ghostwriters on some of his work. So what? And if people want to make a big deal out of this then they should first go after certain presidents of the United States (think George W Bush) who not only did not write their own speeches but had trouble delivering them.  Speaking of news items a lot of folks were making wise cracks about the LL Cool J story in which he intercepted a burglar in which the thieving trespasser did not come out the better of the two. Jokes included plays on LL lyrics and titles such as "Mama Said Knock  You Out" and "LL Cool J is hard as hell." In case you missed the story read the LA Times report from Thursday.

Another story making the rounds on the Interwebs over this past week is the one about Shock G (aka Humpty Hump) seeking a home for the big over-sized stage prop of the Humpty Hump head from Digital Underground's touring days (pictured right). The artist says that he cannot afford to store the item and does not wish to see it lost forever. It is available to anyone who can store it.  Read details in blog about it by Steven Hughes.

Another East Bay hip-hop artist seeking assistance from the public is League510's KnowItAll who has been busy working on his upcoming Weekend Rapstar EP for HyperSpace Music for which he has felt it necessary to launch a Kickstarter campaign to get things off the ground and is asking fans to kick in amounts as small as $10 or as large as $200. In return, KnowItAll and HyperSpace are offering fans a range of prizes and value added, including free music, T-shirts, and a chance to win a specially designed HyperSpace bicycle.

"There are millions of people just like me all over the world: part-time artists, writers, musicians, designers, dancers, techies, etc. Most of us are passionate, talented people just looking to catch a break and live out a dream," said KnowItAll in a prepared statement. Check out his Kickstarter page and check out the great lead single "Crack & Powder" on his SoundCloud page of which he said is, "a bit of social satire on how racism, police brutality, discrimination, social injustice and the efforts of the crack cocaine epidemic of the 80's still have many lingering effects on minorities, the at-risk and the disenfranchised of today." IE Reagan's America and its still felt effects.
In New York City this past Tuesday (Aug 21st) I was fortunate to attend my first Tools of War produced 2012 Summer Park Jam with some legendary DJs and hip-hop figures all doing it in the park. It was the second last in the annual summer series that travels round various NYC parks in Manhattan and the Bronx keeping a true hip-hop tradition alive and well.  A free, all ages, positive vibe event hosted by Hip-Hop legend GrandMaster Caz it was another fun afternoon into evening event with DJs spinning including Lord Finesse, Jazzy Jay, Boogie Blind, and  Chairman Mao (pictured right). There was also a slew of the culture's legends stopping through including Biz Markie who did a lil shout out on the mic. It was held at St. Nicholas Park on 135th St. and St. Nicholas Ave. in Harlem where next week's final park jam of summer 2012 will also be.  Also in the  series' Digger's Delight installments the Tuesday August 28th park jam will feature Miss Shing-a-Ling, PopMaster Fabel, Large Professor, and GrandMaster Caz as well as anyone else who might stop by - and literally that could be any figure from hip-hop history. More Summer Park Jam information.

Rock The Bells 2012 arrives in the Bay Area this weekend with two performance packed days planned at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View today and tomorrow. Among the countless acts will be Nas, Kid Cudi, ASAP Rocky, Big Daddy Kane, and Atmosphere. Full lineup and ticket details here. And to get you in the mood for Rock The Bells here is an interview with one of the main artists on the bill as well as a staple on the Amoeba Hip-Hop chart with his latest release, Nas, and a recent interview  with Complex magazine about his new album and his love for New York. 

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Nas (26), Ll Cool J (10), Jj Doom (7), Tools Of War (24), Christie Z Pabon (30), Summer Park Jam (1), Hip-hop (210), Hip Hop (93), Rap (134)