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Hip-Hop Top 5 [Video Version] + Vinyl / Upcoming Picks: Lil Xan, Dr. Octagon, E-40 & B-Legit, T-Nutty, Flatbush Zombies, Black Milk

Posted by Billyjam, April 8, 2018 11:47pm | Post a Comment

1: Lil Xan Total Xanarchy (Sony Music Group)

Back in 1988 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince released the hit single "Parents (Just Don't Understand)" off their album He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper (also on LP/vinyl). The song, that would inspire The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was a statement about the older generation not understanding youth culture including the then new genre of rap/hip-hop; a music typically dismissed by parents and older music fans as an annoyance and passing fad. Fast forward 30 years and things have not changed much except now the disapproving parents are hip-hop fans themselves; albeit from an earlier totally different era who hardly recognize how "their" music has mutated into its latest wave; the dreaded 'mumble rap' phase.  Epitomizing this new school of hip-hop is the equally loved/hated 21 year old rapper Lil Xan (as in Xanax, his once drug of choice, or Diego as he likes to be now called) whose debut album Total Xanarchy was released on Friday. And if his tattoos, general goofy appearance and drug induced indecipherable lyrics weren't enough to piss off parents and older rap/hip-hop heads, the fact that he dared call the revered 2Pac "boring" sealed the deal in his alienating those over a certain age. Meanwhile a young new generation seemingly love Lil Xan as proven by the 157million YouTube hits (and as many on Spotify) generated by the single/album track "Betrayed." In addition to the regular version of this song, the short (36 minutes) 16 track album also includes a "Betrayed Remix (feat. Yo Gotti and Rich the Kid)" in addition to such other tracks as "Slingshot" (another already popular track), "Tick Tock (feat. 2 Chainz)" and "The Man (feat. $teven Cannon)" (new video below) all of which most likely today's parents just won't understand.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 05:16:17: The Automator & Qbert in SF, NYC Honors Scott La Rock, New Music: P-Lo, B.o.B., Stik Figa, Quelle Chris

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2017 05:10pm | Post a Comment

Fresh off their recent Dr. Octagon 20th anniversary reunion shows with Kool Keith (note new special Get On Down 3LP reissue of Dr Octagonecologyst coming this week, May 19) the two San Francisco talents of producer Dan The Automator andDJ Qbert are back collaborating sharing a hometown bill this week at the music meets live art event RE:CREATION. A joint presentation of Thud Rumble and Euphonic Creations and powered by (the wearable tactile audio technology) SubPac, also on the bill will be Qbert's longtime collaborator and fellow Invisibl Skratch Piklz member DJ Shortkut who'll be spinning an early eve all 45's set from 8pm to 10pm. 

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Amoeba's Top 50 Favorite Albums of 2014

Posted by Billy Gil, December 29, 2014 04:24pm | Post a Comment

amoeba best of 2014

All we do at Amoeba is listen to music and talk about music. Take advantage of how nerdy we are with this comprehensive best-of list from the year, which compiles new records from the best albums of 2014 lists made by Aaron Detroit, Brad Schelden, Oliver/Matt/Jordan, Billyjam and myself (click to see invidividual lists).

 

1. FKA TwigsLP1

fka twigs lp1FKA Twigs LP1 was one of those cross-genre, unclassifiable albums that everyone seemed to love. Not only the best debut record of the year, perhaps the best, period.

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Top Ten Essential Hip-Hop Albums of 2014

Posted by Billyjam, December 16, 2014 11:13am | Post a Comment

10 Essential Hip Hop Albums of 2014

1) DJ Qbert Extraterrestria + GalaXXXian (Galactic Butt Hair Records)


Although only released digitally in 2014 following a successful Kickstarter campaign (vinyl to arrive at Amoeba in 2015), this instrumental album (Extraresstria) and its rap/emcee counterpart album (GalaXXXian) rate as my top pick(s) for the best hip-hop released in 2014. Apparently I'm not alone in thinking so; Extraterrestia is up for a possible Grammy award. The stated goal of DJ Qbert's new album, which the artist considers as a Wave Twisters Part II, is to present the sound of skratch music in the future as he sees it, or - as he said upon the release of the new project - "the time capsule response and interstellar transmission to any galactic civilization, alien or far-future human." The "Jimi Hendrix of the turntables" ably accomplishes both solo as producer/DJ as well as with such album collaborators as Kool Keith, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Dana Leong, and Chad Hugo, who (along with Tipsy) co-produce the album's best track - the soothing, dreamy, ethereal "Ascender (Agartha)."

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: History of DJ (The DMC Story Part 2)

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment
           
The History of DJ Part 2: The DMC Story (2014)

Just finished in production and finally published yesterday is the above anticipated second part/sequel to the excellent premiere in the The History of DJ and the continued story of the UK founded DMC as told by DMC founder Tony Prince - the former Radio Luxembourg DJ/founder of the British company that would become synonymous hip-hop DJ/turntablist battles - even if DMC initially (and still does) stand for Disco Mix Club. It was so named since initially it was all about the mixing end of the DJ but soon morphed into the scratch area of the DJ as is outlined in this second part of the documentary above when some participants in the contest took offense to the (then) new direction in the latter 80's that the battle was taken - upon its cue from the scratch-themed Superman battles at the annual New York City convention the New Music Seminar.  Tony Prince formed the "Disco Mix Club" in 1986 as an offshoot of his Disco Mix Club Show radio program that he began in 1981. The above second part is a great history lesson that covers a lot of ground in the history of both the DMC and of the DJ. It returns to some memorable moments such as Philly DJ Cash Money traveling to the UK in 1988 to reign supreme in the competition, 1989 DMC World champ Cutmaster Swift doing a live routine on the high profile Terry Wogan television program, and Germany's DJ David winning the world title in 1991 when, in the final dramatic 15 seconds of his six-minute routine, he wowed the judges with the ultimate body trick of palm-spinning his entire body around on top of one of his turntables. However many (justly) argued at the time that the judgement was unfair and based on his purely eye-catching, visual body trick rather than on his turntablist skills and that runner up DJ Qbert should have in fact won. But such are the debates surrounding any competition that carries as much weight as the DMC does. Upcoming in this year's DMC battles are the 2014 DMC US Finals taking place in NYC at Webster Hall on August 23rd (look for a full review of that battle here on the Amoeblog shortly after that date), followed by the 2014 DMC World Championships in London at the Forum on October 5th. Below is the video of the winning routine by last year's champion - DJ Fly from France.

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