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Junk Science's Latest, A Miraculous Kind of Machine, is the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Duo's Best Album Yet

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2010 12:17pm | Post a Comment

Junk Science "Really, Man" video directed by John Ta (2010)

Everything about talented Brooklyn hip-hop duo Junk Science, who very recently released their third album A Miraculous Kind Of Machine, seems to relate back to New York City and also manages to create something new & innovative. Comprised of emcee Baje One and DJ/producer Snafu, Junk Science's last album, 2007's Gran'Dads Nerve Tonic on Embedded/Definitive Jux Records, involved them teaming up with their local Brooklyn brewery Sixpoint Craft Ales, who made a special limited edition promotional beer specifically for the rap duo. And for their latest album, released on Baje One's recently set up, Brooklyn based Modern Shark record label, they plan on releasing a series of limited edition toys to tie in with the label's output -- all made in the basement of Brooklyn emcee Tone Tank, whose next album will be released on Modern Shark in September. Meantime, the engrossing John Ta directed video (above) for the new Junk Science album track "Really, Man" reenacts the tragic interaction between one time famous NYC resident John Lennon and his deranged fan/killer Mark David Chapman. The clip was all filmed in New York City with an innovative and (happily) much less tragic spin on the outcome of that infamous meeting between artist and obsessed fan.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up - Week Ending 06:11:10: The King of Crunk, Lil Jon, is Back with a Bang! Also Plies, Yukmouth, Chali 2na, Z-Man + More

Posted by Billyjam, June 11, 2010 09:30am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 06:11:10

Lil Jon
1) Lil Jon Crunk Rock (Lil Jon/Universal Republic)

2) Yukmouth Free At Last (Smoke-A-Lot)

3) Plies Goon Affiliated (Atlantic/Slip N' Slide)

4) Chali 2Nal Fish Market (One Records)

5) Tie between two titles:

Nas + Damian Marley Distant Relatives  (Republic Univesal)
           
Reflection Eternal Revolutions Per Minute (Blacksmith/Rawkus/Warner Brothers)

After being absent from the spotlight for what seems like an eternity, Lil Jon is back with a bang! The rapper/producer and King of Crunk is known for his shouts of "OK" and "YEAH!" (something that comic Dave Chappelle had so much fun imitating back around the time period he released his last album, six years ago). He was omnipresent at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South broadcast earlier this week and his new album, Crunk Rock, released through Universal Republic on Tuesday, shot to number one on the latest Amoeba Music HIp-Hop Top Five Chart, and no doubt on other charts too.

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SF Hip-Hop Trio BPos, Who Have an Amoeba Berkeley Instore Friday, June 11th, Keep the Music Positive

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2010 02:03pm | Post a Comment
BPos "Stay Alive" from the new album The Upside (One League)

With so much popular hip-hop these days veering toward the more negative, mean mugging, and macho posturing end of the rap spectrum, it is BPos The Upsiderefreshing to encounter an alternately positive crew like the San Francisco hip-hop trio BPos, whose name literally stands for "Be Positive" and whose attitude follows suit. Their mantra is, "To be positive is not to miss the facts and see the downside -- not being blind to it, but to work toward a brighter side."

In support of their just released debut album, The Upside (One League), this Bay Area group, comprised of Goodword, D-Wiz, and DJ Johnny Venetti, are performing both tonight (Thursday, June 10th) at Element Lounge in San Francisco and tomorrow for free at 6pm at Amoeba Music Berkeley.

Earlier today I caught up with emcee Goodword of the crew to ask him if he felt that BPos was a kind of reaction to aforementioned negativity so dominant in hip-hop these days? "It's more a reaction to all the negativity in the world," he replied. "It started as a way to keep us, as individuals, grounded and focused on a goal. You know, speaking for myself, every time I see the name it reminds me of what we set out to accomplish and that acts as a guideline for me in my life outside of hip-hop. It's like no matter how much negative shit is going on around me in my everyday life, BPos reminds me that there is always something positive to take from every situation."

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Despite Omitting Cash Money and Lil Wayne + Many Other Key Southern Rap Entities, VH1's Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South Was Still a Most Entertaining Telecast

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2010 01:18pm | Post a Comment
Diddy Jermaine Dupri
The problem with having an all inclusive tag like the "Dirty South" prominently featured in the title of a big television tribute production such as the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, that premiered on the music television network two nights ago & is viewable in full on VH1.com, is that by definition certain expectations accompany such a title. One would expect a "Dirty South" honors show to recognize and represent certain key Dirty South entities such as the successful, influential Cash Money Records and its high profile star Lil Wayne. However, neither the artist nor his label were included in the night's honors. Nor were such other prominent Dirty South acts as Three 6 Mafia or Young Jeezy, to name but two most important contributors to the regional rap sub-genre. Meanwhile, both OutKast and Goodie Mob were recognized (barely), but could have been celebrated a whole lot more.

Of course, I am being picky and, perhaps unrealistic, since there is no way that a mere two-hour TV show, even one the scale of the well choreographed annual VH1 live concert presentation, could possibly include every Dirty South entity. But that's too bad, because otherwise this year's VH1 Hip-Hop Honors The Dirty South, the seventh in the annual event, was truly a top notch production as awards shows go -- especially for rap music awards, which are historically prone to such negatives as awful sounding live performances and outbreaks of violence. Nothing like that marred this fun, extremely well-paced, Silkk the Shockerexcellently executed, nicely mixed & highly entertaining event. Yeah, sure, there were a couple of off moments, like the beginning of the 2 Live Crew's set, which was not quite on beat, or Keri Hilson's cameo, which instantly proved that her voice does not match her good looks. But those were just a couple of hiccups in otherwise stellar rap show.

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NYC Summer 2010 Pt. I - Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins Installation Plays with the Virtual and the Real

Posted by Billyjam, June 7, 2010 12:43pm | Post a Comment
Terry Flaxton's In Other People's Skins installation (June 2010, NYC)

At last week's opening of In Other People's Skins (IOPS), the unique, hands-on moving images art exhibit at the cathedral of St John Divine in uptown Manhattan, one attendee found himself sub-consciously reaching out to scoop up a spoonful of food from a virtual bowl of rice and veggies. Of course, there was no actual food as he sat at this lively but deceptively surreal dinner party with a dozen other chatty guests! They all appeared seated around the intimate candlelit wooden dinner table as an overhead film projector (with sounds too) flashed filmed images of hands reaching out Terry Flaxtonfor food with chopsticks or spoons & forks in hand, all apparently eating a tasty meal, or rather, one of five meals.

"I shot five different dinner parties from above and I projected those five different dinner parties down onto a table the same size as the original dinner parties' table," IOPS' creator Terry Flaxton told me afterward. "And the intention is that people come in and sit and they touch the art because in modern art you are not allowed to touch, so one of the most important things to me is that people get to touch the art. The irony of it is that it is a completely virtual installation, so you can't touch it but it plays with the virtual and the real."

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