Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 11.02.12: Kendrick Lamar, P.O.S., Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Lupe Fiasco + more

Posted by Billyjam, November 2, 2012 09:23am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Hip-Hop Top Five Chart Week Ending 11:02:12

1) Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City  (Aftermath)

2) Macklemore The Heist (Macklemore LLC)

3) P.O.S. We Don't Even Live Here (Rhymesayers)

4) Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic)

5) MellowHype Numbers (Columbia/3 Ent)

This latest hip-hop top five chart from the San Francisco Amoeba store includes many of the same new releases that have been selling well in recent weeks at both the Berkeley and Hollywood Amoeba stores including Odd Future spinoff MellowHype Numbers , Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 - the sequel to the Chicago emcee's 2006 debut Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor, and Kendrick Lamar's universally popular major label debut Good Kid M.A.A.D City   on his mentor Dr. Dre's Aftermath label via Interscope. The album, which looks set to bring Compton back to the center of the rap map, is not only extremely popular at each of the Amoeba stores where it went straight to number one since its recent release but also across the nation. It debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop and rap albums charts, and at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart (Taylor Swift's latest mega-hit Red edged it out for the number one pop chart position).

But what is truly so phenomenal about Kendrick Lamar's runaway success is that the 25-year-old hip-hop artist is still a virtual unknown to many music fans. I have seen countless online posts on Facebook or Twitter from folks who wonder aloud things like "Who is this guy?" or "Why is everyone talking about Kendrick Lamar? Those are very justified questions too since Lamar truly did arrive out of (almost) nowhere. But the truth is that beyond his enviable connections with Dr. Dre, who has a track record for having the Midas touch with new unknown rappers, the artist has not been idle. Lamar has been working hard at not just building his mic skills but also his fan base via things like July 2011's critically acclaimed album Section.80. Released by the indie label Top Dawg Entertainment that album built steam via word-of-mouth and the use of social media and other online avenues; all of which helped pave the way for the new album.  And Good Kid M.A.A.D City has not only been a commercial success but also a critical one garnering rave reviews all over. Complex magazine called it "a record that conveys the paradox of premature disillusionment, but isn’t satisfied with the usual way these stories are told. It’s a thoughtfully dense, intricate articulation of maturity from the perspective of a young man who seems preternaturally self-aware and conflicte" while Spin magazine, their review labelled Lamar, "a fucking amazing rapper. On a purely technical level, he might be the best of his generation, and it’s awe-inspiring to hear him bend such complicated cadences without even breaking a sweat. He loosely strings tongue twisters." Meanwhile the Guardian UK praised Lamar for his "greatest gift is his ability to pull the listener inside the action while retaining an alienated detachment." The album Good Kid M.A.A.D City   is available from Amoeba in regular CD version, Deluxe CD version (with five additional tracks), and an LP/vinyl version. For more on the artist visit his official website, and immediately below is a cool freestyle that Lamar did a couple of days ago for Halloween at radio station K104

Kendrick Lamar's Halloween Freestyle (Oct 31 2012)

Sort of similar to the way that Kendrick Lamar seemed to appear out of nowhere so too has Seattle emcee Macklemore, who works closely with producer/collaborator Ryan Lewis, also became an overnight sensation after years of slowly but surely developing a devoted fan base for songs like last year's hit  "Wings," which was an excellent statement on consumerism. Fans and also critics have been closely watching Macklemore and earlier this year he got a feature on the cover of XXL’s Freshman Class of 2012. Then a few months ago Macklemore and Ryan's hilariously entertaining video for "Thrift Shop (feat Wanz)" (see below) went viral, racking up over 12 million YouTube hits to date.

                              Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Thrift Shop (feat Wanz)" (2012)

As reported here on the Amoeblog two weeks ago Mid West emcee and Doomtree hip-hop collective star P.O.S., whose new album We Don't Even Live Here on Rhymesayers  Entertainment is number 3 on the new Amoeba San Francisco Hip-Hop chart, had to cancel his national tour supporting his musically eclectic new album even before it was released due to doctors telling P.O.S. the sobering news that he has to get  have a kidney transplant - a health issue he has been coping with his whole life. Down below is the music video for the new album track "Get Down" featuring Mike Mictlan and with the sick opening lyrics, "Lungs like smoke stacks: young black terror attack, hair on their neck raised, scarin' them back, keepin' my Kerouac first rate."

Among the many hip-hop events jumping off in the Bay Area this weekend is Sunday afternoon's Bay Area Freshmen 10 live cypher with such rappers as Lil Rue, Kreayshawn, Young Gully, and Damey. If you cannot make the session, happening at Brick & Mortar on Mission in San Francisco from 1pm to 6pm on November 4th and with DJ Amen spinning, you will be able to catch it later as it is being filmed by the On The Rooforganizers.

P.O.S "Get Down (feat. Mike Mictlan)" (2012)

Relevant Tags

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (4), P.o.s. (7), Kendrick Lamar (58), Lupe Fiasco (6), Bay Area Freshmen 10 Cypher (1)