Amoeblog

Bay Area Artist Mochipet Will Make Dinner for Winner of Unique Cover Art Contest

Posted by Billyjam, January 12, 2011 12:00pm | Post a Comment


Mochipet,
the always innovative San Francisco electronic music artist and head of prolific Bay Area indie label Daly City Records, came up with a novel idea for getting the cover art for his next single "Whompa-Saurus-Sex." He is holding a Have Mochipet Make you Dinner! contest in which whomever makes the artwork chosen for the new single (listen to it here) can either have the artist come over and cook them dinner or lunch, or have Mochipet go to their house and DJ their party, or else have the artist send them a purple custom made dino suit (his trademark outfit to perform in) so that they can make their own Mochi themed Dino Party!

Earlier this week I caught up with Mochipet, who was interviewed on the Amoeblog a few years ago, to ask him about this contest, which he just launched in conjunction with the small netlabel Peppermill.  "I've always wanted to do a cover contest but never really knew how until I came up with this concept," he told me. "I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something fun. And I wanted to do something personal. And what's more personal than cooking for someone? Right? I honestly love to cook but never get a chance to so this is a good chance for me to get out the utensils and go to town!"

"If the winner chooses to have me DJ their house party I will not take requests. If what they want are requests then I will happily hand them an iPod and tell em to go to town. They don't need me for that," he said with a laugh. Note that the DJing and dinner making part of the contest are only available if Mochipet comes to the winner's town on tour or is based in the Bay Area. Listen to the song that the cover art will be for here. For complete contest details click here and then you can click here to get officially registered via Peppermill.

Bobby Robinson (Enjoy Records), R.I.P.

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2011 03:17pm | Post a Comment

Bobby Robinson, the founder of one of the earliest record labels to release hip-hop music, Enjoy Records, died over the weekend at age 93. Robinson, who also ran the famous 125th Street Harlem, NY record store Bobby's Happy House from the late 1940's up until a few years ago, oversaw the Enjoy Records label out of the same upper Manhattan location from the early 60's through to the end of the 80's.

Through this pioneering label, where he initially released music by blues, soul, and R&B artists (he is credited with discovering Gladys Knight & The Pips), he moved into hip-hop by the end of the 70's. Hip-hop artists signed and released by Robinson include such formative-years figures as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Funky Four + One More, The Treacherous Three, and Spoonie G (his nephew). In 1979 Enjoy Records released the 12" single by Funky Four + One More, “Rappin’ And Rockin’ The House,” and the classic “Superrappin’" 12" single by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five who soon after would get scooped up by Sugar Hill Records. And although Enjoy Records closed as a Enjoy Recordslabel in 1987, Robinson kept his famous central Harlem Bobby’s Happy House record store open until three years ago when he got evicted -- to much public outrage -- another victim of the economy.

As Dan Charnas, author of the recently published hip-hop history book, The Big Payback, wrote of Robinson and his famous record store: "Anyone who had been there in the past decade could tell you, [it] had a stream of visitors throughout the day, but nobody ever seemed to buy anything. The display cases were filled with rows of dusty, ancient CDs and cassette tapes. Folks were really coming to see Robinson: tourists from Europe on pilgrimage, neighbors and local characters stopping by between errands, old friends like Paul Winley checking on Bobby. Sometimes, like me, they’d wait for him. Bobby Robinson would usually saunter in mid-day — and what an entrance he would make. At 90, he was always clean, always sharp — usually in a bright-colored suit jacket that contrasted with his long, straight, shock-white hair. He walked slow, turned gradually, and sat tentatively. But when he looked at you, you almost felt zapped. A lot of life and light in those eyes."
 

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:07:11: Ghostface #1, David Banner's Makeover, Madchild Banned in the USA, Louie Skaggs, Sims + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2011 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:07:11


1) Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids (Def Jam)

2) Andre Nickatina & Tha Jacka My Middle Name Is Crime EP (I-Khan Distribution)

3) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

4) David Banner & 9th Wonder Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music)

5) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Universal/Motown) 

Shout out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store for supplying this week's top five chart. Since it's the first week of the new year, the chart entries are all late 2010 releases, with all but Kid Cudi and Kanye West dropping in December. Both Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah's recommended, classic soul fueled Apollo Kids (Def Jam), which I wrote about in last week's Hip-Hop Rap Up, and David Banner & 9th Wonder's Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music) each dropped on December 21st and despite their release date (a period when typically albums get lost in the holiday madness) fans have managed to discover both wonderful releases.

Ghostface Killah "Drama (feat. Joell Ortiz & The Game)"  

David Banner & 9th Wonder "Slow Down (feat. Heather Victoria)" (2010)

While on the surface the pairing of mainstream rapper/producer David Banner with less mainstream North Carolina producer 9th Wonder might seem like an unlikely match, it is not. Banner's history dates back to Crooked Lettaz, his late nineties group that preceded his major label mainstream successes with such hits as "Play" and "Like A Pimp." And with this release, on which he has wisely fully relinquished all production duties to 9th Wonder, he marks a return to his roots. Deliberately titled Death of a Pop Star, Banner has connected with the smaller scale label Entertainment One (aka e One) -- formerly Koch -- in order to maintain more creative control (something he claims he did not have with the bigger labels).

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1979 NYC Gang Culture Documentary 80 Blocks From Tiffany's Offers Rare Insight Into Bygone Era

Posted by Billyjam, January 5, 2011 04:40pm | Post a Comment

Gary Weis
' 1979 film 80 Blocks From Tiffany's, which was just released on DVD, offers a rare and intimate glimpse into a gritty bygone era in New York City's history. This was a time when street gangs (or "clubs," as their members called them) like the notorious Savage Skulls and the Savage Nomads ruled the tough South Bronx section of NYC. 

The engaging documentary may only date back 32 years but, in terms of cultural differences, it seems like an eternity ago -- back when the Bronx was, as Weis told me in a recent telephone interview, "A whole different time and place. It was kind of like Dresden when I filmed there."80 blocks from tiffanys

Indeed, the South Bronx captured in 80 Blocks is the rubble-strewn, bombed out looking, New York City that ranked as one of the poorest areas in the nation back in '79. In fact, it was such a rundown, destitute place that both Presidents Carter and Reagan traveled there for photo ops to exemplify the most striking symbol they could find of urban decay in America. It was also the time and place when the subways were covered in graffiti and when a new music and culture called hip-hop was taking root in the "Boogie Down" Bronx, with hip-hop offering an alternative to gang culture to many in those formative years of the culture.

And it is this aspect of the film that has attracted so many to 80 Blocks From Tiffany's, since the film contains rare footage that has been reused in countless other films about that same period in NYC history such as Shan Nicholson's Rubble Kings and Travis Senger's White Lines and The Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug. "80 Blocks is the best documentation of the Bronx during the late 70's right before the gang culture started to fade away," Senger told me via email. He says the film acted as both an influence and a key source of content for his own film about the early days of a Bronx hip-hop club.

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Gerry Rafferty, RIP

Posted by Billyjam, January 4, 2011 01:37pm | Post a Comment

Gerry Rafferty
Scottish born pop/rock singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty died today (January 4th) following a long illness triggered by a kidney failure. He was 63 and best known for his 1978 international mega hit "Baker Street" (video above) from his album City To City, as well as for the 1972 hit "Stuck in the Middle" (video below) by Stealers Wheel, the folk-rock band he formed with childhood Joe Egan. The band was considered, in the early seventies, to be a UK version of CSNY and their biggest hit ("Stuck") was a staple on AOR radio for many years, its popularity further fueled thanks to Quentin Tarantino's use of it in his movie Reservoir Dogs. In all Rafferty released a total of nine solo albums, his last one being 2000's Life Goes On.

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