Amoeblog

The Return of Dr. Octagon with 20 Year Anniversary Box Set + CA Concert Dates feat. Kool Keith, Qbert, & Dan the Automator

Posted by Billyjam, February 9, 2017 06:53pm | Post a Comment

Since the announcement yesterday of a return of veteran NYC emcee Kool Keith's Dr. Octagon alias (the alter ego he had killed off years ago) with two surprise California concert dates next month with the former Ultramagnetic MCs emcee along with the Octagon project key collaborators, producer Dan the Automator and fellow San Francisco artist DJ Qbert, there has been quite a buzz.  Tickets for the two CA dates, scheduled for March 6th and 7th at San Francisco's The Independent and Los Angeles' The Teragram Ballroom respectively, have been selling briskly with both the SF and LA dates already sold out (although tix can be still found on StubHub). The in-demand concerts, which act as a primer for the upcoming 20th anniversary, limited edition box set release of the Dr. Octagon project Dr. Octagonecologyst by Traffic and Universal, prove just how popular the mid-nineties Kool Keith alter-ego high-concept character and accompanying project remains even two decades later. Note that the forthcoming 2017 anniversary edition release will be just the latest in a series over an extended period of reissues and variations, including the popular non vocal Instrumentalyst via Octagon Beats, of the nineties Dreamworks release of the  Dr. Octagonecologyst album that was most recently reissued in 2014 by Geffen as the 2LP pressing of Dr. Octagonecologyst.

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OMCA's Black Panther Exhibit Continues Through Black History Month 2017

Posted by Billyjam, February 6, 2017 09:18pm | Post a Comment

Fittingly the Oakland Museum of California's (OMCA) 50 year anniversary retrospective on the  Black Panthers, that opened a few months back in October 2016, will continue through this month of February: Black History Month 2017.  Entitled All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 the popular exhibit's final day will be will be just a couple of days shy of the month's end on Feb. 26th when there is a special closing night party for OMCA members. If you have not already checked out this exhibit on the history of the homegrown Oakland revolutionary group you really should do so over the upcoming three weeks. Additionally be sure to read Rickey Vincent's insightful book Party Music on the Black Panthers little known house band The Lumpen who only released one record: the single “Free Bobby Now." Most likely for sale in the OMCA gift shop/book store, the 2014 published book and its author were profiled here on the Amoeblog three years ago during that year's Black History Month.  Meanwhile for their ongoing exhibit, OMCA's curators have set about presenting a balanced, fair, contemporary view of the Panther Party and "its aims to serve oppressed people and fight injustice." This they accomplish with an engaging gallery exhibit that portrays Black Panther members of both genders  with a variety of historical pieces on display. These include many very rare historical artifacts, never-before-seen photographs, first-person accounts from former Panthers, scholars, and community members, and contemporary art show how the Party continues to influence culture and activism locally, nationally, and internationally.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: New Releases, Videos, Concerts: Run The Jewels, Rah Digga, Mobb Deep, Wyclef Jean, Saul Williams, Talib Kweli

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2017 12:03pm | Post a Comment
New & Reissued Hip-Hop Releases Week of Feb 3 2017


1: Wyclef Jean J'Ouvert (Entertainment One)

2: Yung Nation Greatest Hits (Music Access)

3: Mobb Deep Murda Muzik [180 Gram Vinyl] (LP) (Music On Vinyl)

4: Muggs/Soul Assassins Muggs Presents The Soul Assassins Chapter 1 [180 Gram Vinyl] (Music On Vinyl)

5: Various Artists Slam OST LP reissue (Music On Vinyl) 

Among the new releases / arrivals into Amoeba this week include the latest from Wyclef Jean who we have not heard from, in terms of an all new recording, in seven years. But this week, care of Entertainment One, the Fugees star released J'Ouvert. The new ten song album includes such tracks as the lead single (video below) "Hendrix," "The Ring," "Lady Haiti," and "If I Was President 2016" which is a kind of sequel to his last release: 2010's autobiographical political hip-hop EP If I Were President: My Haitian Experience. You may recall how back in that same year the Haitian born, NJ raised artist had announced that he would be running for president of Haiti but soonafter was disqualified because he had not been a  permanent resident of his homeland country for the previous five years.  

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1990's Promo Pics Pt VII: Kid Capri, CB4, BPST, Umar Bin Hassan, Poizon Posse, Pinay, Herm Lewis, Natives In Black, Poohman

Posted by Billyjam, February 1, 2017 02:54pm | Post a Comment

The above Umar Bin Hassan promotional pic was taken by photographer Thi Lin-Le in 1993 for the member of the legendary The Last Poets group's solo debut album Be Bop Or Be Dead. The album, with distribution via Island Records, was released on Bill Laswell's Axiom Records. In the tradition of the revolutionary jazz poets that the artist came to fame with, considered by many to be the original rappers and a direct inspiration to hip-hop's first wave or conscious revolution rap. the ten track solo Umar Bin Hassan album was packed with powerful vocal pieces. These included  "Niggers Are Scared Of Revolution," "Malcolm," "Bum Rush,"  and "This Is Madness."   The album was the first of a series of solo recordings for the artist that included 2001's To The Last (Baraka Foundation) and Life Is Good (Stay Focused Recordings). The Umar Bin Hassan promo/publicity photo is first of several photos in this seventh installment in the ongoing 1990's Promo Pics Amoeblog series: a tribute to the artists as well as the photographers and record labels responsible for sending them out during that decade.  Artists in previous posts in this series (1990's Promo Pics Part I Part II, Part III , Part IV Part V, and Part VI) have included A Tribe Called QuestDas EFX, The Roots, George Clinton  Masta Ace Incorporated,    Jeru the Damaja and Black Sheep.  Mostly rap/hip-hop, the series includes some related genres too.

"Product of Post Watts Rebellion" LA Rapper Threat's Early 90's Promo Material Adapted Creative Mug-Shot/Rap Sheet Style

Posted by Billyjam, January 28, 2017 05:00pm | Post a Comment


The 1993 record company publicity/promo shot of LA rapper Threat above and its accompanying one-sheet bio is an addendum to the recently published 1990's Promo Pics Amoeblog Part VI (see Amoeblog post on previous page). From that same era this more detailed post focuses on just one 1990's rap/hip-hop artist promotional package.  Mailed out in ye olde pre-Internet promo days of the early nineties via snail mail from the publicity offices of Mercury / Polygram Records on behalf of Da Bomb Records, the package accompanied the CD or cassette copies (by this stage vinyl was only mailed to DJs) of the SoCal rapper's 1993 debut album Sickinnahead. Threat had already built somewhat of a rep for been down with Ice Cube and other major players (many Ice Cube affiliated) on the burgeoning West Coast G-Funk scene back then,

The record label's novel promotional approach for this Los Angeles area rapper was to make his two panel (front and side) press photo look like a police mug shot while the accompanying bio/press release was styled to look like a criminal's rap sheet: even including what looked like a paper clip over a small photo on the top left of the page. Further creating this imagery it was cleverly broken into a little sections including one headed "Non Criminal Information" noting that the artist was born in Hawthorne California and was a "product of post Watts' rebellion LA" (note how it avoided the more controversial so-called "Rodney King riots" from a year earlier) with additional information "accusing" him of "collaborating with Yo-Yo, Eazy-E, King T, Tupac and [female rapper] Nefertiti.

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