First in a series, this is a selection of mid 90's hip-hop publicity / promo photos (all black and white) sent out by record labels to print media, radio and television.The labels that sent them out these press packages in the years 1994 and 1995 included MCA, Mercury, Profile, Priority, WRAP/Ichiban, and such Relativity distributed labels as Ruthless and Lifestyles.The ten artists featured range from the iconic such as the Beastie Boys to the lesser known hip-hop acts as female rapper K-Nock whose 1994 album on WRAP Records Escape From Quad City was her only album released. Hence the publicity photo for her and the press release/bio that accompanied it was likely the only ones made for this artist. Also noteworthy is that the mid 1990's was a still a (pre digital download) period when the music industry was in a healthy state with ample extra dollars to put into promotion and publicity. Not only did record labels, both major and independent, send out advance promo CDs/records/tapes/videos but they were typically accompanied by nicely presented press packages: stylized folders with one or more professionally staged, glossy publicity photos, along with an in-depth bio and artist press clippings.
Yet another lost to cancer! Today Clarence Reid, the man known to music fans as Blowfly (aka the original dirty rapper), passed away from terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He had been diagnosed a few years ago but not too many people knew about it until this past week when his musical collaborator Tom Bowker announced how Reid had just entered hospice care in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and that he was not expected to survive much longer in his battle against cancer.
Again today it was Bowker, via social media, who announced Blowfly's death, writing how "Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room." In his original message to the late artist's fans, he thanked those who in 2014 had rallied their financial support and helped save Blowfly from losing his house and by so doing "kept his last days comfortable." He also noted how Blowfly had been making one final album ("his best album since the early 80s") that he called "a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time." Entitled 77 Rusty Trombones, it is scheduled to be released next month and will be the artist's follow-up to 2012's Black In The Sack.
From L.A. and S.F.’s garage rock scenes to Compton’s blossoming rap artists, California artists represented well in 2014. Here are 25 of our favorites from the year, in alphabetical order.
On Worship the Sun, L.A.’s Allah-Las get some dirt on their boots by scuzzing up their sunny surf-garage sound with some rattling guitar solos, stonery grooves (“Buffalo Nickel”) and head-spinning psych-rock tunes (“501-405”).
Cherry Glazerr had the debut record of the year for Burger Records, moving unstoppably on the strength of its garage riffs and singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy’s teenage caterwaul.
1) DJ Quik The Midnight Life (Mad Science)
2) Logic Under Pressure (Def Jam) also avail as LP
3) Diabolic Fightin' Words (WarHorse Records) - also avail as LP
4) YG My Krazy Life (Def Jam)
5) Blu Good To Be Home (Universal) also avail as LP
The above top five chart from the Hollywood Amoeba Music store reflects the top sellers of the past week which are not always necessarily new releases. Case in point are both YG's My Krazy Life from March of this year, and (to a degree) the Blu album Good To Be Home featuring production by Bombay and not by Exile this time - with whom their previously released collaborative Below The Heavens LP continues to sell well. The Blu chart entry originally came out six months ago via the indie Nature Sounds (who along with Fat Beats issued the LP version of the full-length) but has now been re-released by Universal. Have not heard the Universal version but hopefully the major label remastered the original which most agree was "shitty" sounding - and I quote countless fans of the artist himself as stating this. And the super gifted LA emcee has lots of fans - especially in his hometown where he always gets a lot of love.