Hip-Hop Rap Up: Amoeba Top Five, K-Def, San Quinn, Saul Williams, Kevin Gates, K-Def

Posted by Billyjam, February 15, 2016 03:07pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:15:16

1) K-Def The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
2) Kevin Gates Islah (Atlantic)

3) J. Cole Forest Hills Drive Live (Roc Nation)

4) Saul Williams MartyrLoserKing (Fader) - also on LP

5) San Quinn The Fillmore Lion (Legacy Mafia)

Shout-out to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for supplying the latest top five chart that features in the top slot longtime NJ-based hip-hop producer K-Def with the two album, 33 track (on one CD disc) set The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini on Redefinition/Fat Beats.  As seen in the accompanying video below of E-Lit running down these five and other new/recent releases, there is also a single album vinyl version by K-Def.  Other popular new releases at the East Bay Amoeba store include longtime Fillmore district of San Francisco rapper San Quinn's latest full length The Fillmore Lion on Legacy Mafia, and Louisanna rapper (previously prolific mix tape producer) Kevin Gates' official major label debut Islah on Atlantic Records

Also selling very well at each of the three Amoeba is the latest (live) version of J. Cole's hugely popular and critically acclaimed 2015 best selling album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (also available on vinyl/LP). (Note: 2014 was released in December 2014.)  As pointed out by E-Lit in the video clip below, traditionally (and for good reason) live hip-hop albums are not too common. The reason being is that they usually fall flat and appear inferior to hip-hopper's studio recordings, and consequently don't sell well. However J.Cole manages to shake that negative stereotype with his recommended new Forest Hills Drive Live. Recorded live in Fayetteville, NC, the new album includes tight live versions of near all of the original album's tracks in addition to including the artist's previous hit “Nobody’s Perfect” found on his 2011 release Cole World: The Sideline Story.

The other new chart entry is from longtime poet/wordsmith/actor Saul Williams and friend of Amoeba. Williams did an Amoeba What's In My Bag segment (see below) in 2008 and a recent Amoeba Hollywood in-store set in support of his newest release, MartyrLoserKing.  Released by Fader in both CD and LP versions (and available as a signed CD), the Amoeba review wrote about the new release, in part, as such: "Williams himself personally described the album as 'connecting the dots between the Arab Spring, the Civil Rights Movement and now' with a fiery and sharp delivery that slams your ears, a complete 180 from his previous dancier album, Volcanic Sunlight. The album's single, 'Burundi,' is angrily bitter in its furious depiction of an endlessly problematic world with economic issues, empty technological advancements, cruel treatment of young black men by authority figures, and unethical repression of entire groups of people. Warpaint's Emily Kokal supplies a strange harmonic background against the powerful track that adds a beauty to an otherwise tough song...This is our gospel music for a world that always feels on fire; a sonic cataclysm that's something to move to and live by."

The 'Invisible' Protagonist in Saul Williams' "MartyrLoserKing" (2016)

J.Cole "Love Yourz" (from

Kevin Gates "2 Phones" (from 2016 album
Islah on Atlantic)

San Quinn "The Fillmore Lion" (2016)

K-Def "Gotta Get Away ft. Damu The Fudgemunk & AG " (2016)

E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley (2016)

Relevant Tags

Islah (1), J.cole (2), New Hip-hop (8), Kendrick Lamar (58), E-lit (45), Kalx (20), Amoeba Music (73), Legacy Mafia (1), San Quinn (15), Kevin Gates (3)