Amoeblog

PARIS UNLEASHES NEW ALBUM ACID REFLEX & TALKS TO AMOEBLOG

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2008 08:00am | Post a Comment
paris acid reflex
Yesterday (Oct 28th), with exactly one week to go before the most crucial presidential election in recent American history and at a time when the nation is in its worst economic state in many long decades, emcee Paris' new album Acid Reflex (Guerrilla Funk - Fontana - Universal) arrived in Amoeba Music and other stores across this troubled nation.

For the ever-politically outspoken Bay Area hip-hop artist, whose two-decade long career has been a series of confrontations with the establishment, the timing seems perfect to unleash this lyrically charged new album, the latest in a series of incendiary releases that include the post 9/11 Sonic Jihad and the 1992 album Sleeping With The Enemy, featuring the highly controversial song "Bush Killa" which resulted in him getting him booted off the Warner Brothers distributed Tommy Boy Records at the time.

The new Paris album, Acid Reflex, which tackles just about every issue and problem facing America today, is not only (in my opinion) the best, most lyrically engaging album of this year, but it is also one that parisharks back to a forgotten time in hip-hop when the genre was rich with high-profile artists who used the medium as a platform for social and political debate. I recently sat down with Paris to talk about the state of hip-hop today & his history as an artist, his label Guerrilla Funk, the economy, next week's election, and other issues addressed in the new album Acid Reflex, including the current trend in America of scapegoating immigrants.  Here's what he had to say.

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Too $hort to receive VH1 hip-hop honors tongiht

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2008 03:42pm | Post a Comment

Veteran Bay Area rapper Too $hort will be one of five artists honored today during music television station VH1's Hip-Hop Honors, for his contributions to the art form of hip-hop. The LA born/Oakland rapper can be credited (blamed?) for embeddng the B word into hip-hop's vocab. The show, which airs tonight (Monday Oct 6th) on the cable channel, was taped this past Thursday in New York CIty when Too $hort flew out to NYC for the big award/performance taping at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

Besides $hort Dog, the others lined up to receive awards on tonight''s broadcast are De La Soul, Slick Rick, Cypress Hill, and Naughty By Nature. All five honorees will perform. So will many others, including Wyclef Jean, Lil Jon, Big Boi, Ghostface Killah, Bun B, Q-Tip, MC Lyte, Biz Markie, Busta Rhymes, Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Fat Joe, Cee-Lo, EPMD, Mack 10, Jim Jones, Estelle, rock-rappers Gym Class Heroes, Juelz Santana,  Scarface, and Kid Rock. 

The latter two are expected on-stage during Too $hort's performance. Remember that it was Too $hort who was one of the earliest believers in the artist Kid Rock. He collaborated with young unknown white DJ turned rapper back in 1990, long before anyone really knew of Kid Rock. Around that same time, $hort was also instrumental in getting the unknown artist added to the Straight From The Underground Tour bill that featured Yo Yo, Ice Cube, D Nice, and Too $hort.

Also appearing on tonight's hip-hop all star VH1 broadcast, to be hosted by Tracy Morgan, will be Luther Campbell and musician /actress Queen Latifah, who did a great job over the weekend on Saturday Night Live's parody of last week's vice-presidential debate in which she played moderator Gwen Ifill opposite Tina Fey's spot-on Sarah Palin and Jason Sudeikis' take on Joe Biden.

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Senegalese Film

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 5, 2008 01:08am | Post a Comment




During the Colonial era, cinematic images of Africa and its people were entirely the work of Western filmmakers. The Tarzan movies, African Queen, King Solomon's Mines and others were usually filmed on soundstages half a world away from Africa and made little to no effort toward authenticity, instead trading in exoticism aimed primarily at exploiting Western tastes.



Senegal gained its independence from France in 1960. Like most West African countries, Senegal is highly diverse. The Wolof, Peul, Halpulaaren, Serer, Lebou, Jola, Mandinka, Moors, Soninke and Bassari are all long established in the country. There are also substantial populations of French, Mauritanians, Lebanese and Vietnamese. Three years after independence, the first Senegalese film was made by Ousmane Sembene titled L'empire sonhrai, which would set the standards for a uniquely African cinematic language that would establish Senegal as the capital of African Cinema.



*****

THE FILMMAKERS


OUSMANE SEMBENE 
 

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Hot Boy Ronald -- toot it up!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 25, 2008 01:34pm | Post a Comment
I was watching the Argentina vs Nigeria game the other night and started fiending for some N.O. Bounce. Before long I was searching for some Hot Boy Ronald and I stumbled on this fan video that made me lose it.

But let me back up a little bit first. Hot Boy Ronald is a 9th Ward Bounce artist who's collaborated with Choppa, Juvenile and others. Some of his certified bangers have included "Shake it like a oink" and "Walk like Ronald." The latter is on Bounce Back (2005 - King's Ent.). Looks like he's got a new record called Bottom of the Map. I tried to do a little background on him but Wikipedia's got nothing. Allmusic's got nothing. His own myspace doesn't have a bio (although it's got more bells and whistles than the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics). At that point it becomes a cold case.

As with any Bounce hit, popularity isn't measured in terms of CD sales, but how many youtube videos people post of themselves dancing to your song.

First up you've got Ashley in San Antonio sort of lethargically doing the "Walk like Ronald" with some enormous slippers on.


And then you've got Christina and friends. Um... still a little rough.


Mark, Nick and Stacy are a bit better. But the image quality will screw with your eyes.

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Bernie Mac Has Passed Away

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 9, 2008 04:31pm | Post a Comment


I try to refrain from blogging too much about the passing of entertainers, lest I come off like a buzzard, but Bernie Mac was an inspiration to me and many others and I can't let his loss just pass without mention. He was my favorite living comedian and I'll miss his humor.



I always loved his attitude toward children- a mixture of disdain and violent justice. He reminded me a lot of two other late greats, W.C. Fields and Robin Harris (whose character in House Party was shown to be Bernie Mac's brother in the third installment.)



Just like me, he was raised by a single mother who died when he was sixteen. He then moved to Tampa, just as I did. Unlike me, he started getting small roles in films, beginning with Who's the Man? in 1993. In 2000 he appeared in The Original Kings of Comedy, which I mainly watched for Ced the Entertainer. I ended up being blown away by Bernie Mac, though, literally rolling on the floor with laughter at his routine. Next to D.L. Hughley's familiar, cliched "black people are like this, white people are like that" schtick and Steve Harvey's G-rated advice, Bernie Mac shone (despite being really dark).

In 2001, he got his own show. The Bernie Mac Show, like few other comedies, was fairly unique (for network TV) in that it didn't have a damned laugh track, leaving the viewer to figure out what was funny. Whilst toned down from his stage act, he showed he could still usually be funny even without profanity or punching kids in the throat.



He often played irritable characters, easy to anger, and often getting the bested by the source of his annoyance. Sometimes it was hard to tell where the fictional Mac ended and the real Bernie began. I watched him once on Leno. Being a clueless dolt, Leno criticized Mac for his immaculate pedicure. Bernie seemed genuinely puzzled and annoyed by Leno's teasing that getting your nails done is something bizarre for a man. Bernie just kept saying, "Don't go there" to the clueless host. What kind of tool thinks having gross hands is manly? Bernie said he felt sorry for the ex-Doritos shill's wife. I thought it was classic.

Last year, on Letterman, he announced his attention to retire after 30 years. He completed shooting The Whole Truth, Nothing but the Truth, So Help Me Mac. He told Letterman, "I'm going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know."

Mac suffered from sarciudisus, a type of lung disease. A week ago he was hospitalized. According to his publicist, he died today from complications arising from pneumonia. He was only 50.  

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