Hip Hop Rap Up: Action Bronson, Death Grips, J-Live, Your Old Droog, Greg Grease + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 9, 2015 10:20am | Post a Comment
                         Amoeba Music Berkeley Top Five Hip-Hop Chart April 09, 2015

1) Death Grips The Powers That B (Third Worlds) also avail in vinyl

2) Action Bronson Mr. Wonderful (Atlantic)

3) Greg Grease Born to Lurk x Forced to Work (Sound Verite)

4) Your Old Droog Your Old Droog (Your Old Droog)

5) J-Live His Own Self (Mortier)

The new Amoeba hip-hop chart number one album is The Powers That B by one of a kind NorCal group Death Grips.  The new double album (avail in both CD and vinyl formats) is the group's fourth studio album and is essentially a two-in-one LP release since it includes both the previously released June 2014 free digital download full-length Niggas on the Moon, plus the second half of the 2 album set been Jenny Death - aka Disc 2.  Now some protest that Death Grips do not qualify as "hip-hop."  E-Lit, who supplied the above current Berkeley hip-hop chart, does not. And neither do I. My feeling is that this totally unique Sacramento trio do not fall under any already established genre or sub-genre of any music and that hip-hop is as good a descriptive starting point as any other to label the band with or, as accurately labels the group's aggressive sound and crediting them with, "basically created their own genre of aggressive electro noise, Zach Hill’s wildman drumming and MC Ride’s berserk raps."

As that same review points out The Powers That B might be the last Death Grips album, since the band announced it was disbanding last year, and "accordingly, the trio plays through The Powers That B as if their lives depend on it—or, perhaps more appropriately, like they’re on a suicide mission." What I personally love and appreciate about Death Grips' sound is that they play with their heart and soul and truly feel passionately about their music.  If you are not familiar with Death Grips' sound for a nice taster peep the video immediately below for the new album track “I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States” that opens the second of the  two disc CD and will, if you let it, blow your mind. 

Death Grips "I Break Mirrors With My Face in The United States" (2015)


Action Bronson "SXSWonderful" (2015)

Talk about a long-awaited and anticipated debut major label full-length release! That is exactly what Mr. Wonderful is - the first major label album from the Queens, NY based rapper Action Bronson (aka Bam Bam) who should have dropped this album two years ago when the initial wave of hype surrounding the former gourmet chef turned rapper first swept the hip-hop scene. Although he did release last year's 7 track EP Saaab Stories  via the same label - Vice via Atlantic Records. This is a good album but diehard dedicated longtime fans of Bam Bam have criticized the new LP for not live up to the quality of his previous (non-major label) releases such as 2011's Well Done on Switchblade Music. I hear where these critics are coming from but bottom line is that it is still a strong release - from an artist whose best years have still to come.

Having seen Action Bronson in concert I can tell the guy just loves and lives and breathes hip-hop music and is always getting busy including touring tirelessly. One well received recent show was in the past few weeks at SxSW (see video above entitled "SXSWonderful'). San Francisco audiences were treated to Action Bronson this week when, on Tuesday (April 7th), he was in San Francisco doing a show at the Warfield, along with Earl Sweatshirt, Remy Banks, and DJ Alchemist, where he did songs from his new album. For Mr. Wonderful (which crate diggers will note was also the title of Fleetwood Mac's 1968 album Mr. Wonderful) Action Bronson has enlisted some top shelf producers for this major label launch including Mark Ronson, The Alchemist, 88 Keys, (longtime collaborator) Statik Selektah, and Noah "40" Shebib. Meanwhile mic guest spots include Chance the Rapper, Chauncy Sherod, Big Body Bes, and Mayhem Lauren. Tonight, Thursday April 9th, Action Bronson's current tour will stop in San Diego at the Observatory North Park Theater, on Sunday (April 12th) at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, at Belasco in LA on Wednesday (April 15th), plus two spaced-apart by a week dates at the big Coachella festival in Indio, CA (Friday, April 10th and Friday April 17th).

Other new chart entries include the justifiably hyped Coney Island emcee Your Old Droog who is currently on tour with PRhyme and whose self-released, self titled album Your Old Droog is one to look for and buy. For a taste of his flow check out the fan video below of the artist performing in Oakland. Also below is video for a track from the highly recommended new album from J-Live His Own Self  on Mortier. On the new joint the multi-talented artist, who can wreck the mic equally as well the turntables, delivers more pure hip-hop. The other new chart entry is the underground release from Greg Grease's Born to Lurk x Forced to Work on Sound Verite that E-Lit tags as "Recommended!" - for a taste of what the album has to offer peep the audio-only of the album song "Rip Van Winkle" below.

As announced in the Amoeblog preview earlier this week the 2015 DMC San Francisco Regional DJ Battle will take place this Sunday afternoon/early evening, April 12th at Brick and Mortar Music Hall in the Mission District of San Francisco. More info and tix here.

                                                    J-Live "Pay It Forward" (2015)

Your Old Droog live in Oakland (2015)

Greg Grease "Rip Van Winkle (audio only)" (2015)

Relevant Tags

Your Old Droog (7), J-live (7), Mr. Wonderful (1), Special Tech Dj (0), Action Bronson (9), 2015 Sf Regional Dmc (1), J-live (7), Dj Cue (18), Death Grips (20), Greg Grease (1)