Amoeblog

Controversial New President Sparks Hip-Hop's Newest Subgenre: Anti-Trump Rap

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2017 02:59pm | Post a Comment


To say that the newly inaugurated commander in chief is a less than popular figure with most hip-hop artists would be an understatement. So disliked by the hip-hop community at large is the reality TV star turned politician that he inspired a new subgenre of hip-hop: anti-Trump rap. Any newly elected president would have faced a challenge taking over office from America's "first hip-hop president" but Trump's divisive presidential campaign, that included his dissing and dismissing of the entire genre for being just "talking" and "lewd" (his response to Jay-Z and Beyonce's Hillary rally performance immediately before the election) reinforced an already negative view of the man among most hip-hoppers. Not only on his very day of inauguration earlier this week did a prominent hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ release an anti-Trump rap: "Land of the Free" with lyrics including the line “Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over," but long before he even took office negative songs were being written and recorded about Trump. Indeed in this unprecedented occurrence in the history of the American tradition of presidential protest music (EG: anti George W. Bush hip-hop and anti-Reagan punk rock),  long before Trump had even been nominated as the Republican candidate the new wave of protest music against him had already taken root.

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1990's Promo Pics Pt VI: Andre Nickatina, Mack 10, 11/5, George Clinton, Above The Law, Erykah Badu, Red Hot Chili Peppers, DJ Quik

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2017 08:40am | Post a Comment


The above Andre NIckatina promo pic was taken by Bay Area photographer Timi D.... in 1998 for both the artist formerly known as Dre Dog's Fillmoe Coleman company and for long defunct label DogDay Records who that year released the longtime prolific San Francisco rapper's album Raven In My Eyes.  The promo/publicity photo is one of ten photos in this sixth installment of the 1990's Promo Pics Amoeblog series. The series is a tribute to artists as well as the photographers and record labels responsible for sending them out at the time. The previous posts in this series (1990's Promo Pics Part I Part II, Part III , Part IV and Part V)  included such artists as Das EFX, The RootsMasta Ace Incorporated and Black Sheep.  In addition to the usual rap artist pictures, this latest installment also includes a few non hip-hop artists.

Renewed Relevancy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Speeches & The Music They Inspired

Posted by Billyjam, January 16, 2017 02:11pm | Post a Comment
Martin Luther King Jr.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"
- MLK

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." - MLK


These two above famous American history quotes, each from the same speech from 54 years ago, take on a renewed relevancy in January 2017 on this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the current uncertain political climate. No doubt the 1963 March On Washington, at which MLK gave his famous speech to a sea of peaceful protesters, will be in the minds of those participating in this weeks Women's March on Washington.

Taking place on Saturday January 21st 2017, the post inauguration day protest organizers announced that, due to the swelling number of confirmed participants, that they are now expecting 200,000 people at this weekend's march which is the same number that marched back in 1963 when MLK spoke. Similarly with the 1963 March on Washington, which King stressed was about equality for all, the message of the Women's March is about rights for all with the motto is "The RIse of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation."

At Amoeba's three stores you'll find various collections of speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. And / or visit the online store's Martin Luther King Jr. section where you'll find such collections as In Search Of Freedom (9 track CD includes "I Have A Dream" and "Police Brutality Will Backfire"), the Wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr.  2 CD set, and The Martin Luther King Jr Tapes that is another collection that includes the historic "I Have A Dream" speech from August 28th, 1963. Also found at Amoeba are artists who either dedicated music to the legacy of MLK or artists who sampled his speeches in their music. Besides the content of his speeches, as a great orator who spoke in perfect rhythm, makes for a perfect speechmaker to sample over beats.

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Remembering Experimental Music Artist and Amoeba Music Family Member: Jim Kaiser

Posted by Billyjam, January 11, 2017 11:55pm | Post a Comment

Recently a dark cloud has been hanging over Amoeba Music Berkeley since the sad news of the passing of longtime Amoeba family member Jim Kaiser who died last week at age 46. Experimental music fanatic, talented  and ever creative experimental music artist, and universally beloved guy Jim, who moved west to the Bay two decades ago, had worked at Amoeba Berkeley since 1997. In the years since he made quite an impression on those he met. "He was an incredibly special human being. [That's] why so so so many of us are in mourning," said Gregory Scharpen who performed with Jim in Thomas Carnacki, one of a few local experimental ensembles Jim had been a member of. Among those who worked alongside him at the Telegraph Ave. record store was Amoeba Music co-owner Marc Weinstein who today recalled how, "Jim was at once an uncompromising artist and a sweetheart of the highest order; everybody loved him. As a buyer at the front counter for over 15 years, he got to know a huge percentage of our customers. And as our experimental music buyer and expert, he was an unparalleled resource for people interested in unusual sounds. We will all miss him greatly."

Former Amoeba Berkeley employee Sam Lefebvre wrote an insightful and touching tribute to Jim in the current East Bay Express. Under the heading Jim Kaiser: Eccentric Champion Of Incredibly Strange Music Dies At 46 the article, which you can read here, noted how Jim's various experimental instruments included playing a bicycle wheel ("lithely bowed contact-mic'd bicycle spokes to absorbing effect") and how he had released limited edition solo recordings such as Blood Has Taste and Swept Through & Nullified on mini CD format via the Oakland Petit Mal label. In the comments of that EBX piece Steve Cain, an old friend of the artist's from his Kansas City days, wrote how: "He was the guy at the record store that could get me anything I wanted. Always a kind soul, almost always had a smile, even when things were rough. …He was a unique soul, one the world will miss." Below and above are a series of photos of Jim, courtesy of Amoeba's Lori Katz, taken in the store and at a bunch of different Amoeba events over the years with various co-workers and friends. Rest in peace Jim Kaiser.
 

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Legendary West Coast Rap Producer DJ Crazy Toones (WC and the Maad Circle) Dead at Age 45 Following Heart Attack

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2017 07:54pm | Post a Comment

Legendary West Coast producer / DJ Crazy Toones passed away earlier today from a heart attack as confirmed by several sources including Ice Cube. The artist born Lamar Dupré Calhoun, who was the brother and collaborator of WC (WC and the Maad Circle and Westside Connection) came to national fame initially via his membership of WC and the Maad Circle (along with Coolio, Chilly Chill, Big Gee, Sir Jinx, and his sibling WC). Crazy Toones had additionally worked with such other key 90's West Coast hip-hop figures as Kurupt, Mack 10, Daz Dillinger, Coolio, MC Ren, and Xzibit. But the DJ/turntablist and producer was perhaps most associated with both WC and  Ice Cube and Cube's Lench Mob Records whom he and his brother worked extensively with. Further the talented turntablist was Ice Cube's tour DJ in recent years.

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