Amoeblog

Best of 2019 Hip-Hop Part 1: Top Five Billboard Albums + Top Five Amoeba Albums

Posted by Billyjam, December 29, 2019 04:36am | Post a Comment


This first part in the Amoeblog Best of 2019 Hip-Hop contains two objectively compiled top five hip-hop albums charts based primarily on sales; the Amoeba 2019 Top 5 Hip-Hop Albums Chart and the Billboard 2019 Top 5 Hip-Hop Albums Chart. The former is based on sales of albums at the Amoeba Hollywood store over the past year while the latter is culled from the recently published Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. That multi-genre chart is based primarily on national sales both at retail and of digital sales of albums. However since it reflects all album sales over the past year, that in addition to 2019 releases also includes a large number of previous year titles that continued to sell significantly into this year.

Most of these carry-over titles (but not all due to certain technicalities such as specific timelines of an album being released digitally in'18 and physically in '19) have been omitted to focus on the top selling 2019 released hip-hop albums. Included in the many carry-over 2018 released albums were Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys and Drake’s Scorpion (also on 2LP) albums that ranked #5 and #6 respectively on the 2019 Top 200 Billboard Album chart thereby outselling most 2019 album titles of all genres. [Note that the non hip-hop album, Billie Eilish’s  When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (also on yellow colored LP/vinyl) that was the overall top selling album of the year].

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Final Round in 2019 DMC US Regional Battle Series, Exemplified High Level DJ Skills & Evolvement of Regionals in DMC History

Posted by Billyjam, June 19, 2019 08:13pm | Post a Comment

The final US 2019 DMC Regional DJ Battle in advance of the upcoming 2019 DMC US Finals, that was held recently in the Bay Area, exemplified two major points. First it demonstrated just how much the level of turntablism skills has steadily risen over the decades in the prestigious long running DJ battle organization that formed way back in the (pre-digital era) 1980's. Secondly the 2019 DMC Bay Area Regional, held at the Uptown in Oakland on May 26th (where the 2019 DMC US Scratch Finals were also held), spotlighted the progressive changes to the meaning of “Regional” DMC DJ battles; in an age when air travel has become relatively cheap and competitors are hungrier than ever for a chance to qualify for a coveted slot in the DMC US Finals; happening September 8th 2019 in Denver CO.

Traditionally limited to competitors from corresponding geographic regions, the modern era US DMC Regionals have a distinctly more national flavor as they routinely feature out of state competitors alongside local turntable talent.

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Ice Cube + N.W.A's MC Ren & DJ Yella To Co-Headline Treasure Island Music Fest (Oct 16/17) for Last Year on Island [+ Sigur Rós]

Posted by Billyjam, June 15, 2016 09:51am | Post a Comment

Looking like an almost N.W.A reunion (sans Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E), Ice Cube "featuring"  MC Ren and DJ Yella at this October's Treasure Island Music Festival has been generating a buzz among hip-hop fans in the Bay Area since the lineup announcement yesterday. The tenth and final San Francisco Bay island located music festival on October 16 & 17, the festival will feature co-headliner Sigur Rós. Many rap fans have taken to social media to project their thoughts/hopes for the Cube & co. set. Some have suggested that the anticipated performance by the star rapper-turned-actor along with his two former N.W.A rap crew mates could result in an N.W.A reunion of sorts. All it would take would be to arrange for Dr. Dre to fly into town to join his former Compton rap crew and arrange for that hologram of Eazy-E that was premiered at Rock The Bells three years ago. See video below of that 2013 performance by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony featuring the life like hologram of the late Eazy-E plus Yella onstage.

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"No One Can Do It Better" than The D.O.C. As Reminded By "Expanded Edition" of 1989 Dr. Dre Produced West Coast Rap Landmark

Posted by Billyjam, June 5, 2016 09:30am | Post a Comment

  The D.O.C. No One Can Do It Better (Expanded Edition)
               
Among the releases to arrive at Amoeba Music this week is the newly reissued version of a West Coast hip-hop staple: No One Can Do It Better (Expanded Edition) by The D.O.C. This must-have hip-hop classic, originally released back in 1989 on Ruthless Records and executive produced by Eazy-E, is truly a landmark West Coast Rap album. Coming at a time when N.W.A. were at their career peak and reigned supreme (Ice Cube was still in the group) the album featured the definitive production of Dr. Dre which perfectly complimented the dope flow of this extended family member of N.W.A. Oft overlooked and not given near the same level as props as some of his fellow Golden Era emcees, the Texas born to Compton transplant hip-hop artist was a superbly talented lyrical master of his genre with a unique and commanding style of rapping, coupled with excellent rhyme writing skills.



The D.O.C. "It's Funky Enough" from No One Can Do It Better (Expanded Edition)

Sadly his career as rap vocalist (read more detailed early in following paragraphs) would be cut prematurely short due to an auto accident that destroyed his vocal chords. This late 80's solo debut album of his, that would not have a follow up until the middle of the next decade, offered so many  great songs like the well worn single "It's A Funky Enough" that defined the West Coast golden era sound. In years since "It's Funky Enough" has been commissioned to appear in such games as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Madden NFL 2005 and True Crime: Streets of LA. In addition to the emcee's flow, credit for this album goes to his producer Dr. Dre who was on fire at this time. This newly released Expanded Edition of No One Can Do It Better record comes via Real Gone Music, the label that reissued the album on LP back in April for Record Store Day 2016. On this new CD version you get seven additional tracks including remixes and some instrumentals. There's an Acappella as well as an instrumental of the artist's best known hit single, "It's Funky Enough." The remixes include "The D.O.C. And The Doctor (Noisy Mix)," "The Formula (Funky FM Mix)" and "Mind Blowin' (Remix)." The remaining two bonus tracks are "Somethingtabumpinyacar" and an instrumental of the album single "The Formula."

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The 50 Best Albums of 2015

Posted by Billy Gil, December 18, 2015 07:40pm | Post a Comment

1. Tame Impala - Currents

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shifts gears a bit for his third album, drawing as much from ’80s soul and disco as he has from prog-rock and psychedelia. Though such a change could threaten to derail a good thing, Parker is the consummate perfectionist, and Currents’ various strands are braided together without a hair out of place. Opener “Let It Happen” builds from a proggish uphill chug into a psychedelic freakout and finally hits its stride with a silky disco beat. “Eventually” relies on rock dynamics but uses fat synthesizers to achieve its booming changes. And a tune like crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better” seems to marry all of Parker’s influences into a perfect amalgam, calling to mind everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine. Through it all, Parker is the same chill knob-twiddler he’s always been, but he’s come out of his shell a bit more—it takes confidence to command a song like “’Cause I’m a Man,” which gloriously oozes ’70s cheese, akin to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” or 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love.” From the get-go, Parker himself seems to be reflecting on the change—“Something’s trying to get out/And it’s never been closer,” he sings on “Let It Happen.” It’s confirmed by the time we get to “Yes I’m Changing,” ostensibly a breakup ballad but it seems more pointedly about an introvert accepting accidental stardom (“Curse indulgence and despise the fame/There’s a world out there and it's calling my name”). This lyrical theme, the sense that Parker is coming into his own as not only a songwriter and performer but human being, gives Currents a unity that even the superb Lonerism didn’t have. In every way, Currents is a complete triumph, both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.

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