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Neil Young, Equipto, Chill E.B., A Tribe Called Red, & Kalyn Heffernan Among Protesters of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

Posted by Billyjam, November 18, 2016 04:35am | Post a Comment

With the increasingly frequent number of organized protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) taking place across the nation, the number of outspoken protesters adopting the cause and taking it to the streets, online, and/or to North Dakota has similarly multiplied. Among this steadily swelling number of protesters, that culminated earlier this week with a national day of action at 300 different protests across the US, many are musicians. Hailing from varied genres and generations these include such artists as Neil Young, A Tribe Called Red, Equipto, Joan Baez, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti, Chill E.B., Buffy Saint Marie, Wheelchair Sports Camp, Indigo Girls, Dregs One, The Zotigh Singers, Raye Zaragoza, Jackson Browne, and DJ Troubleman. These are musicians who've either protested and or recorded protest music against the controversial pipeline. One high profile protester who could be added to this musician's list, considering that three decades ago he recorded a protest folk album, is Vermont senator Bernie Sanders who made a surprise appearance and speech in Washington DC during this week's (Nov 15th) national day of action.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Top 5 Charts, Music Videos, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, 2Pac, Dinco D, DuBBle-OO, Baby Bash, Lex The Hex Master

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2016 07:23pm | Post a Comment
Top 5 New Hip-Hop Albums (New CDs + Vinyl Reissues)


1: Baby Bash  Don't Panic It's Organic (Bashtown Records)

2: Lex The Hex Master Contact (Majik Ninja)

3: DuBBle-OO Next Level (Space Age Entertainment)  

4: 2Pac 2Pacalypse Now 2LP (Interscope Records)

5: The Roots Illadelph Halflife 2LP (Geffen)

 
                [NOTE: Amoeba SHIPS FREE anywhere  in USA]



Top Five Upcoming Nov 18th Hip-Hop [Pre-Order] Releases


1: A Tribe Called Quest We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records)

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Saluting Leonard Cohen [1934 - 2016]

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2016 12:39pm | Post a Comment

This past Monday (Nov. 7, 2016) influential and widely loved longtime poet/author/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen passed away, as announced last night via the Canadian artist's Facebook page. Cohen, who enjoyed a rich six decade career ending with the new You Want It Darker, was 82 years old. As of yet no exact cause of death has been issued. However a memorial at a to be announced date will take place in Los Angeles where, should the choir sing his most famous/covered song "Hallelujah," things will get most emotional. According to his family, up until the time of his death Cohen had been busy writing, and up until three years ago he had been touring/performing with his final concert in Australia in December 2013. In the time since he has done interviews, in one with the New Yorker he had said he was ready to die. In his final interview four weeks ago at a listening party for You Want It Darker at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles with KCRW's Chris Douridas he corrected that by saying, "I intend to live forever."

You Want It Darker (Columbia/Legacy) is the perfect sign off from an amazing artist, a brilliant beatuiful poet who began as a writer, was told by some his voice sucked so maybe not sing, but he did, and people loved him from the get go, and all the way up to his just released swan song, You Want It Darker. His fourteenth album, it was released three weeks ago, Amoeba reviewers called it  "a soulful exploration of life and death." In two weeks was the vinly/LP version of You Want It Darker scheduled for a Record Store Day 2016 release in two weeks time, Nov. 25th. As further noted in the review on the Amoeba page for You Want It Darker, Cohen "intones through his throaty spoken word delivery on the title track, adding, over church-choir backups and stately organ" and continuing that, "If it truly is Cohen’s last album, as he has hinted, he’s gone out on a breathtaking note with You Want it Darker." Although officially 14 albums mark Cohen's discography, his back catalog is way deeper than than, as proven by the 5 pages of Leonard Cohen releases available from Amoeba. Honoring the legacy of the great Leonard Cohen, below are a handful of music videos from his long illustrious career, one that also included many books of poetry and fiction he published before and after his music career began (still have my beat-up, well worn but treasured paperback copy of his second novel, Beautiful Losers).


A Tribe Called Quest's New (Sixth & Final) Album Arrives At The Perfect Time

Posted by Billyjam, November 11, 2016 10:25am | Post a Comment
In the wake of the emotionally draining presidential election, this week more than ever music offers the stressed citizens of this nation a much needed escape / distraction. Hence the timing of the release today of the hotly anticipated new A Tribe Called Quest album, We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records) could not be more perfect.

Besides the fact that the group, who once recorded the soothing "Stressed Out," are known for their relaxing jazzy brand of hip-hop (hence the perfect music to chill and escape to) this album [pre-order physical from Amoeba] is a landmark hip-hop release. It is the final album from a group that many believed would never record together again. We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service is A Tribe Called Quest's sixth studio album over a 26 year period dating back to their 1990 debut People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Note, despite ATCQ's continued chill vibe on the new album, lyrically it does not shy from addressing current affairs. Most notable is the new album song "We The People" (scroll all the way down to see the just released accompanying official lyric music video) with such lyrics as Q-Tip's paraphrasing of the president elect's campaign message: "You Black folks, you must go. All you Mexicans, you must go And all you poor folks, you must go Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways So all you bad folks, you must go."

Hip-Hop And The 2016 Presidential Election

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2016 05:03am | Post a Comment
Nov. 8th: Following what has to go down as the most divisive, emotionally draining and drawn out, media saturated, presidential campaign in American history, we've finally arrived at November 8th, Election Day 2016. Polls are open 7am to 8pm today in California and from 6am to 9pm in New York. Vote for whomever you believe in, but be sure to get out and vote unless you are among the demographic of early voters who've already handled their business. 

In viewing this election process from a hip-hop perspective and judging what candidate has been most associated with the musical genre, the answer seems pretty clear, starting with who it is not. It sure wouldn't be the one whose racist rhetoric inspired one of the most popular party jams of this past summer: YG featuring Nipsey Hussle's "FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)" off YG's mid June released album Still Brazy (Def Jam). Indeed from early on hip-hop seemed unlikely to side with the candidate who had built his campaign upon the relentless, yet ultimately redundant, questioning of the legitimacy of the birth place of America's "first hip-hop president."

Further Trump's campaign appearing both anti-Hispanic and anti Black Lives Matter, sure didn't give him much chance of converting diehard hip-hop followers. Nor did the lawsuit-happy Orange one's long list of litigation threats that included one against popular rapper Mac Miller. Back in 2011 Mac Miller recorded the song called "Donald Trump" (making reference to riches, nothing political) for his Best Day Ever mixtape (avail on LP) that went on to become a platinum hit and to date racked up 117 million video views. At first Donald Trump said he liked the song. But later he flip-flopped and threatened to sue the rapper (he still has not) over use of his name in the hit song. Unimpressed but inspired to fire back, Mac Miller blasted Trump back at that time. Fast forward to last December, right before the televised Republican presidential debate, Mac Miller revived his counter attack via Trump's favorite fighting ground, Twitter, by posting to his 5.75 million followers: "Please just don't elect this m**therfucker man"

Of course Mac Miller isn't the only rapper to diss Trump. Many have done so in song, especially over the past year, including The Game in the track "El Chapo" with Skrillex, off his 2015 album The Documentary 2.5 Collectors Edition, on which he rapped: "knock Donald Trump out his toupee." However it should be noted that traditionally in the pre-political days of Trump, especially the early nineties when his image was just that of rich businessman, the Donald's countless rap song mentions, that even included A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground, were all highly complimentary with his name been utilized simply to symbolize wealth.

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