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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: Amoeba Top Five, K-Def, San Quinn, Saul Williams, Kevin Gates, K-Def

Posted by Billyjam, February 15, 2016 03:07pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:15:16
 


1) K-Def The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
 
2) Kevin Gates Islah (Atlantic)

3) J. Cole Forest Hills Drive Live (Roc Nation)

4) Saul Williams MartyrLoserKing (Fader) - also on LP

5) San Quinn The Fillmore Lion (Legacy Mafia)

Shout-out to E-Lit at Amoeba Berkeley for supplying the latest top five chart that features in the top slot longtime NJ-based hip-hop producer K-Def with the two album, 33 track (on one CD disc) set The Way It Was / The Unpredictable Gemini on Redefinition/Fat Beats.  As seen in the accompanying video below of E-Lit running down these five and other new/recent releases, there is also a single album vinyl version by K-Def.  Other popular new releases at the East Bay Amoeba store include longtime Fillmore district of San Francisco rapper San Quinn's latest full length The Fillmore Lion on Legacy Mafia, and Louisanna rapper (previously prolific mix tape producer) Kevin Gates' official major label debut Islah on Atlantic Records

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E-Lit's Scary Movie Guide: Top Five 1980's Classics + Top Five Modern Scary Movies

Posted by Billyjam, October 29, 2015 11:02pm | Post a Comment

As anyone who knows E-Lit personally or who caught the Amoeba Berkeley staffer's Halloween-themed KALX radio show this past week can attest, the man is not just a big hip-hop fan. He also has a passion for, and good knowledge of, scary movies (especially 1980's classics of the genre) with a sizable DVD collection of scream-inducing scary films to prove the point. So to help set the tone for this Halloween, I invited E-Lit to draw up two top five lists of scary movies: an all-time favorite five plus a more modern era, recently-released scary movie top five list.

Both top five lists follow below with accompanying movie trailers and links to movie at the Amoeba online store. Or, of course, look for them on DVD or Blu-ray at the Amoeba stores. Among E-Lit's picks is the excellent Night of the Creeps (Fred Dekker's directors cut includes the ending he always wanted) about an alien experiment going wrong...horribly wrong. As noted elsewhere here on Amoeba.com, Dekker's Creeps is wonderful in how it "deftly mixes all sorts of genres while simultaneously having fun with them (the college and all the leading characters are named after famous horror movie directors)."

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hip Hop In The Park, Souls of Mischief in NYC, Top 5, E-Lit's New Releases, Amoeba Converse Exhibit + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 09:05am | Post a Comment

This weekend marks the nineteenth year of Hip Hop In The Park - Berkeley's annual free, all ages, all elements inclusive, hip-hop event in Peoples Park, located behind Amoeba Berkeley. Since 1997, the Students For Hop Hop @ Cal have been presenting this always fun afternoon celebration of hip-hop culture. This year's headliner is Fashawn who has been winning over a whole wave of fans since connecting with Nas and the Queensbridge rapper's new label,  Mass Appeal, on which he released the critically acclaimed The Ecology two months ago. Just in the past week, the Fresno rapper unleashed the album's second single and accompanying video, "Higher."

The Souls of Mischief along with their childhood friend and director of the engaging documentary on the Hiero crew, 'Til Infinity, Shomari Smith are all in New York City right now for the screening of the film tonight at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street as part of the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF 2015). So far, the veteran Oakland hip-hop crew have included doing an interview with Birthplace magazine, and stopping by an old friend's radio show. 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah, Big Sean, THEESatisfaction, Fashawn, Churchward Pub DJ Battle + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2015 07:00pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5 Week ending 02:27:15


1) BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah Sour Soul (Lex)

2) Fashawn The Ecology (Mass Appeal) [also avail as LP and DL]

3) THEESatisfaction EarthEE (Sub Pop)

4) Big Sean Dark Sky Paradise (Def Jam) [
also a deluxe CD]

5) L'Orange After the Flowers (Mello Music)

The brand new number one hip-hop chart entry at Amoeba Music Berkeley this week (thank-you to E-Lit for providing the above top five chart) is the collaborative effort of Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood for their one-off, full-length, joint project Sour Soul on Lex Records - available for now in CD format only with a soon be released vinyl format to follow. While not billed as such, this new album could be considered the third part of a live collaborative trilogy by Ghostface since like his last two releases - last year's 36 Seasons and 2013's Twelve Reason To Die - Sour Soul is another production that finds the WU emcee rhyming with a live band. This time out it's BadBadNotGood who, as well as their own work as a trio, have previously collaborated with the likes of Danny Brown (who coincidentally appears here) and Earl Sweatshirt - although only on individual tracks, not a full length project as here with Ghostface Killah. The end result is a strong album whose standout tracks include "Mind Playing Tricks," "Tone's Rap," "Gunshowers (feat elZhi)," and “Ray Gun (feat. DOOM)” (see music video below).

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