Hip-Hop Rap Up: E-40 & Ariel Pink, Alchemist & Oh No, NYC Regional DMC Battle, Killer Mike, G.A.T.S., N.W.A Movie, SF DJ Block Party

Posted by Billyjam, May 22, 2015 07:07am | Post a Comment

E-40 with Ariel Pink? Tangerine Dream with The Alchemist and Oh No?  Yep as unlikely as both those musical pairings might sound each are exactly what you get on the recently released Welcome To Los Santos diverse collection. The album, that is also available in vinyl version, is the new Alchemist and Oh No composition done in partnership with Woody Jackson and Tangerine Dream. Welcome To Los Santos from Mass Appeal Records and Rockstar Games is a multi-genre 14 track compilation of music "based on and inspired by the original soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto V" (cover above) that includes the aformentioned E-40 track ("California") which, in addition to Ariel Pink, features also Dam-Funk. Other contributors include Killer Mike, Freddie Gibbs, Little Dragon, and Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio - to name but some. 

While ambitious in its scope, the collection is uneven in its content (too many bland pop-lite moments in lieu of more good hip-hop, for my personal taste anyway). Nonetheless the album does pack some pretty darn good stuff on there too including that aforementioned E-Feezy track, the Action Bronson/Danny Brown collaboration track ("Bad News"), and Gangrene's (that's Alchemist and Oh No side-project group) album opening track "Play It Cool" featuring Samuel T. Herring from Baltimore based band Future Islands. GTA V fans should note that Amoeba also carries the limited edition, video game soundtrack CD box collection set The Music Of Grand Auto V - released also by Mass Appeal about five months prior to when the recent Los Santos compilation dropped.

In case you missed it be sure to go back to check out Killer Mike's wonderful appearance on last week's Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO for the artist's ever excellent insights on hip-hop, politics, and current affairs including his memorable commentary on / putdown of "the character" Bill O'Reilly including his blanket statement put-down of rap/hip-hop for which O'Reilly famously blames all of society's ills upon. "Full of shit" and "more full of shit than an outhouse" is how Mike described the Fox News channel host. And that was even a few days before the ugly details of Bill O'Reilly's ongoing divorce case emerged via national news headlines.

Wearing a Run The Jewels shirt and referring to RTJ partner El-P as the "white guy in my group," Killer Mike also went on to tell the history of hip-hop and differentiate between "rap" and "hip-hop" and offer his insights on many other things during which he was never lost for words and always highly edutaining. See the full show on HBO or clips on YouTube like the one immediately below.

Kanye West has been having a bad week. He was booed at and had his performance set dramatically edited down during Sunday night's 2015 Billboard Music Awards' television broadcast when a full minute of his performance of the songs "All Day" and "Black Skinhead" (both with profanity throughout) was muted for so many curses that it added up to a total of sixty seconds of edited out. Then on top of that, as reported by the LA Times, he has been among those wealthy Californians targeted and shamed online (#DroughtShaming) for wasting water on his and his reality star wife's lush green lawn of their SoCal home.

Other big hip-hop news stories of the past week included rapper Chinx getting killed in a drive-by in Queens while driving home from doing a show in neighboring Brooklyn in what the cops are calling a premeditated hit. Funeral plans are for Tuesday, May 26th.

Meanwhile Jay-Z got lots of attention and props for something he and wife Beyonce had initially apparently done quietly without wishing to attract attention; discretely financially helping out protesters down in Baltimore a few weeks back by donating tens of thousands of dollars to go to help in the cost of bailing them out of jail.

The DMC Regional Battles continue this weekend in the Big Apple where Saturday evening May 23rd at Webster Hall the 2015 DMC NYC Regional DJ Battle takes place once again with spaces still open for turntable contestants to enter the battle - right up to the night before at midnight by emailing the DMC's Christie Z-Pabon at In addition to the battle itself, that will be hosted by Lord Finesse, will be a party rocking set by hip-hop pioneering figure / legend DJ Red Alert plus a showcase set by two time DMC world champ DJ Shiftee. The winner of the battle will go on to the US Finals in a few months also in New York with the winner of that national battle traveling over to London, England on October 4th for the DMC World DJ Championship 2015.

Judges at tomorrow's battle will include DJ Cheese, DJ Shiftee, J-Smoke, Boogie Blind, Johnny Juice, and others including myself. Hence I will have a birds eye view of the battle and will follow up here with more post-battle details after tomorrow's big battle. The event, which is open to ages 16+, takes place at Webster Hall located at 125 E. 11th St between 3rd & 4th  between 5:30pm and 10pm (sharp). No filming! Advance tix $15 or $20 at venue on day of event. See flyer above for more details or visit this DMC site where you can also get details on the ongoing Online DMC DJ  Championships whose Round 7 takes place on June 2nd. 

With this being Memorial Day weekend there's lots of shows and parties happening all extended weekend long including the Carnival San Francisco DJ Block Party that promises to be a lot of fun with an impressive line-up of local Bay Area mixmasters gracing the ones and twos over the two-day event on the stage at 22nd and Harrison streets. There will be such DJs as Mind Motion, DJ Fuze, DJ Marz, DJ Cue, Chill, and DJ Quest who will also be doing a group set - along with percussionist Albert Mathias and bassist Andrew Kushin, as part of progressive jazz/turntablist trio Live Human. The other two (non DJ mix) performers will include Dub Esquire with Mel-Yel, and Anjali Asha with Spicey Mike. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm, all ages, no cover, in the Mission District of San Francisco. See flyer above for more details.

Fans of prolific street artist GATS (Graffiti Against The System) and his trademark style seen all over the East Bay as well as various other parts of the Bay and beyond (saw one of his in Denver, CO recently) should note that his ongoing San Francisco gallery art show - shared with fellow artist Jessica Hess at Hashimoto Contemporary on Sutter Street - is closing this weekend. Sunday, May 24th, is the last day to check it out. More details here

And finally,  based on the interest and social media waves created every time a new trailer for the anticipated forthcoming N.W.A biopic - Straight Outta Compton  - scheduled to arrive in theaters on August  14th - drops it would appear that the  F. Gary Gray directed film is going to be a huge blockbuster success. See the latest trailer below that was published earlier this week.

Relevant Tags

Dj Shiftee (7), Albert Mathias (3), Sf Dj Block Party (1), Dj Quest (54), N.w.a Movie (1), G.a.t.s. (1), Killer Mike (13), Nyc Regional Dmc Battle (1), Alchemist & Oh No (1), E-40 And Ariel Pink (1), Christie Z Pabon (30), Dj Marz (7), Bill Maher (3)