Amoeblog

New Hip-Hop inc Top 5: Mac Miller, Marlowe, Blockhead, Blu & Shafiq Husayn, Sims, Fat Albert Einstein, A.G., Funky DL, Fugees, etc.

Posted by Billyjam, August 4, 2018 02:02pm | Post a Comment
In addition to the new hip-hop album releases in the Top Five below are such other new/recent arrivals to Amoeba as the Fugees vinyl release from Sony Legacy; Refugee Camp: Bootleg Versions LP. As its title implies this is a collection of alternative bootleg versions of tracks by the Fugees (aka Refugee Camp)   including "Ready Or Not [Clark Kent/Django Remix]" and "Nappy Heads [Mad Spider Mix]. Another Sony Legacy trip down memory lane is their 2LP/vinyl reissue of Nas' 1999 album Nastradamus 2LP/vinyl reissue.

New releases on vinyl this week include Fat Albert Einstein's 2U4U LPJake Najor's 7" DJ/producer tailored Dirty Money Breaks on Common Good Records, and Minneapolis artist Sims' Arteria Verite LP. That brand new album by the Doomtree crew member is also available on CD

Additional hip-hop new arrivals at Amoeba from the past couple of weeks include Curren$y & Harry Fraud's The Marina EP (also on vinyl/LP),  Freeway's Think Free,  and Jarren Benton's Yuck Fou. Recent vinyl releases include Knxwledge's Stones Throw 7"  "Gladwemet," a 3LP blue vinyl pressing of Damu The Fudgemeunk's Vignettes, and the super-duo Marlowe's (Solemn Brigham & L'Orange) self-titled album on Mello Music Group, Marlowe LP (more on this amazing album in an upcoming Amoblog interview with the artists).


1: Mac Miller Swimming (pre-order 2LP/vinyl)  (Warner Brothers) 

Following a tumultuous stretch in the public eye earlier this year, including his breakup with Ariana Grande and getting a DUI for a hit-and-run, rapper/singer Mac Miller is back with his anticipated 
album Swimming. His fifth full-length release, it is the follow up the artist's acclaimed 2016 album TheDevine Feminine (avail on vinyl/2LP).  While production-wise the 13 track album is a lush synth-drenched affair, lyrically the album offers the 26 year old artist a cathartic opportunity to bear his soul and face such demons as depression and paranoia, all the while coming to terms with where he is at this juncture in his life.

billy woods, Who Plays Amoeba Berkeley Today @ 2pm, Typifies Current Wave of Underexposed High Caliber Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2017 08:40am | Post a Comment

I've said it before but it bears repeating, especially in the case of underground Brooklyn, NY based hip-hop artist billy woods who plays Amoeba Berkeley at 2pm today in support of his brand new album Known Unknowns. Far too frequently the most amazingly talented hip-hop artists of today are the ones we hear the least about. Which is why so many longtime fans of the genre are constantly heard moaning about how "hip-hop sucks these days with nothing but auto-tuned mumble rappers cranking out lyrically shallow, hook driven rap that's presented as hip-hop and is just crap rap. Not like in my day." Wrong! But correct if you only go on the stuff that you hear on the commercial radio, or that makes the Grammys, or that pops up on your (sponsored) social media feeds. Just dig a little deeper and in 2017 you'll discover more quality hip-hop been made than in any previous time in the development of the Bronx born street art. These under the radar producers and emcees and DJs, who are content to craft quality music and not concerned with chasing commercial acceptance, truly transcend that unfair (but understandable) stereotype of modern day rap all being crap.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 05 05 17: Vinyl + Video Version: Homeboy Sandman, Onra, Brother Ali, Dilated Peoples, & Blockhead

Posted by Billyjam, May 5, 2017 10:53am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top 5: 05: 05: 2017


1: Homeboy Sandman Veins LP  (Stones Throw/Fat Beats)

2: Onra Chinoiseries 3 (also avail on vinylLP) (All City Records)

3: Brother Ali All The Beauty In This Whole Life (also avail on vinylLP) (Rhymesayers Ent)

4: Dilated Peoples The Platform LP (Get On Down)

5: Blockhead Uncle Tony's Coloring Book LP (Young Heavy Souls)

Number one new release this week, out today May 5th 2017 (happy Cinco De Mayo!) is the latest from the always amazing Homeboy Sandman: Veins LP  via Stones Throw / Fat Beats.  The vinyl only (so far) album features such killer tracks as the advance songs "Bamboo" and "Clarity" (see both music videos below). And while the ten song Veins album may only clock in at just over 24 minutes in length, as I have stated here before, Homeboy Sandman's unique intricate deep rhymes pack more clever thought-provoking lyrics  into one song than the average contemporary hip-hop artist manages to do in an entire album!

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Illogic & Blockhead Discuss Their Brand New Album "Capture The Sun" (Man Bites Dog)

Posted by Billyjam, April 16, 2013 08:03am | Post a Comment

Columbus, Ohio poet/emcee Illogic and New York City producer Blockhead, who first collaborated back in 2000, recently teamed up again to record two EPs and their first full length album project together - the TK via Man Bites Dog release Capture The Sun which arrives in Amoeba Music today. The 16 track album is an all killer, no filler hip-hop release that finds these two talented artists at their best with select special features from such artists as Slug (of Atmosphere), Blueprint, and Abstract Rude. I recently caught up with both Blockhead and Illogic to chop it up with them about the new album that I learned is dedicated to Illogic's grandmother who, he told me, passed away just a few weeks ago after battling cancer for the past few years. "Even before that [though] I was planning on dedicating this record to her because the whole album title and the concept is inspired by something she would always tell me. And that is that your dreams that are delayed are not denied. And that is something I try to impart to my family as well; just to go after their dreams and no matter how long it takes that they can always achieve them. And that is something that my family has imparted in me as well," said the father of three sons who holds family dear to his heart. In fact his mother, who when he was just a little kid used to give him the  dictionary to study, has being perhaps the most influential person in his life as an artist. "My mom is an interesting person," shared the emcee/poet. "She was a black nationalist in college. She studied Islam. She was very intellectual. And I actually learned to speak French before I could speak English. She always made sure that I understood the power of language and the power of words. And that is something to this day that I am grateful for because here I am: Illogic the rapper, the writer, the poet. And that is mainly because of what my mother instilled in me at a young age."

"With the concept for Capture The Sun Blockhead was the perfect producer for what I was trying to accomplish," said Illogic noting that what has always attracted him to Blockhead's production style is his meticulous attention to detail. "He will take a two-second part of a song and put it into a beat. And he will take a whole bunch of those; two, five, ten second parts and create a complete backdrop of something completely beautiful that you have never heard before…..he just makes a symphony out of everything that he does!" 

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INTERVIEW WITH BLOCKHEAD ABOUT NEW ALBUM, THE MUSIC SCENE

Posted by Billyjam, January 25, 2010 01:26pm | Post a Comment
Blockhead The Music Scene
Back in the second half of the nineties, following a short-lived, unsuccessful turn at being a rapper, New York City native Blockhead turned his creative focus to producing hip-hop music. At first he worked for emcee Aesop Rock, and later for many other artists. He simultaneously began producing and releasing his own music as a solo artist for such labels as Mush and Ninja Tune.

Just recently the artist released his fourth album on Ninja Tune, The Music Scene, which he half jokingly describes on his MySpace as "the tears that fall from your emo face on to your laptop. or nordic flute music with a hip hop edge...either or... "but which is actually a recommended rich and engaging collage of sounds that utilizes literally hundreds of sound sources. I caught up with Blockhead to talk about his new album, what went into making it, and the meaning behind its title.

Amoeblog: The cover art of the new album The Music Scene, done by your friend & fellow producer Omega One, shows a futuristic deserted New York City overrun by wild animals. Is there a distinct correlation between that specific imagery and the album's theme?

Blockhead: Yeah, it just shows New York as this barren wasteland being overrun by animals. And that is kind of how I view the music scene at this point. It's a very simple metaphor. Like if you think about New York City and what it once was. I am a native New Yorker. I grew up downtown and to see what has happened to my neighborhood, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's just become something different. And the music scene is pretty much in the same boat. It was once this thriving place where people could be creative. But now if you are creative it is really not for you because it is not going to happen for you on a level like it used to. There was a time when ugly singers could be famous, when people would just get by on their talent but now it's like you have to have a market plan and it's depressing.
Blockhead
Amoeblog: Listening to the layers of sounds and samples and beat changes and overall intricate production that went into The Music Scene, it sounds like you put a lot of time and energy into producing this album. Did you?

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