Amoeblog

More Additions to Rock The Bells 2012

Posted by Billyjam, July 31, 2012 10:18am | Post a Comment
The organizers of the 2012  Rock The Bells summer festival series have just announced some new additions to this year's stops on the traveling three city, 2-day hip-hop fest. These include DMX (left) and Eve who have now been added to the Bay Area stop, August 25 & 26 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, and Slaughterhouse, French Montana + Red Café, Chief Keef, and Tinie Tempah all been added to the sole East Coast date at Holmdel New Jersey on September 1st & 2nd. Meanwhile for the opening festival tour dates, August 18th and 19th, at the San Bernardino NOS Events Center, the star-studded line-up will now include KRS-One, Xzibit, Hieroglyphics, El-P, Killer Mike, Kid Ink, Machine Gun Kelly, Casey Veggies, I Self Devine, Chief Keef, and Slim da Mobster. The long list of artists for this tour, see flyer down below,  also include such acts as Nas, Rza, Slick Rick, Salt N Pepa, Atmosphere, Mix Master Mike, Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, Asap Rocky and Action Bronson.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.24.12: E Lit's Top Five, Hiero's Pep Love + Tajai, Fist Fam's Weekend Cult Release Party, Busdriver, Curren$y, Gangrene, The Promise, The Sessions San Francisco + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2012 06:10am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five for week ending 02:24:12 with E-Lit


1) Lazerbeak & Edison Kill Switch LP (Fieldwerk)

We received a whole bunch of these over a week early, and sold through our entire supply of them in a matter of days!  Given the extremely high quality of the product, it’s no wonder we couldn’t keep this on the shelves. Kill Switch is hip-hop production of the highest caliber, brought to you by the strongest label in instrumental hip hop Fieldwerk Recordings.  Doomtree’s Lazerbeak handles side A with a surprisingly subtle approach that occasionally bursts with brilliant color, delivering his finest solo instrumental work to date.  San Francisco’s own genius button-masher Edison handles side B with a much rowdier gang of beats that show off his skillful production craft, with menacing guitar jabs and gangsta bleeps that form a cohesive whole.  This one’s only available on vinyl, but it does come with a digital download card that’ll get it on your computer in a matter of minutes.  Highly recommended!


2) Tajai Machine Language CD (Hieroglyphics Imperium)

Souls of Mischief frontman and Hieroglyphics mainstay Tajai’s new Machine Language mixtape has naturally been doing very well in the Bay.  Features fellow Hiero members Casual, Opio and A-Plus, plus a joint with The Pharcyde, all for a super cheap price of $5.98.  This mix CD is just a taster of random new Tajai tracks, but should tide the Bay’s Hiero fanbase over until Tajai’s new Rap Noir album drops later this year.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 02.04.12: Doomtree @ Amoeba Berkeley, Lushlife, Pep Love, Raleigh Moncrief, Homeboy Sandman, Gangrene, DJ Solomon, Azeem, and more

Posted by Billyjam, February 4, 2012 11:35am | Post a Comment
Jamoeblog Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 02:04:12

1) Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon)

2) Lushlife Plateau Vision LP (Western Vinyl)

3) Homeboy Sandman Subject Matter (Stones Throw)

4) Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( Legendary Music/Live Up/Traffic)

5) Wiley Evolve Or Be Extinct (Big Dada)

For a change from the usual sales-based Amoeba weekly hip-hop chart this week's Hip-Hop Top Five Chart is my own personal favorite brand new and soon to drop hip-hop releases. Topping the chart is the amazing Oh No and The Alchemist group Gangrene's third and latest collaboration Vodka and Ayahuasca on Decon. Also here is the recent Eligh & Amp Live Therapy At 3 ( which gets better and better with repeated listens and the brand new Wiley
album Evolve Or Be Extinct - a double CD on Big Dada which will appeal equally to grime and hip-hop heads. Not out yet but worthy of mention It is the forthcoming Lushlife album Plateau  Vision LP, which will be released in mid April on Western Vinyl, and is sure to propel to mainstream visibility the South Philly producer/emcee/musician who made waves last year with the much buzzed about mixtape No More Golden Days. As with that mixtape, which was an actual cassette tape, this new CD album blends mid 90's underground NY hip-hop flavor with Dilla/Madlib type production values. This is the sort of well produced album that will make you want to also track down the instrumental version. It's pure pleasure to listen to and Lushlife's flow is a treat to listen to. He is also joined by several well chosen guests throughout the 11 track album including Styles P, Canadian rapper Shad, Heems of Das Racist, and ex-Titus Andronicus garage rocker Andrew Cedermark who joins him on the album track "The Romance of the Telescope." My personal favorite tracks are the throwback eigthies/nineties sounding "Anthem" and the opening "Magnolia" which, over a dreamy hypnotic backdrop and a series of well chosen samples, finds Lushlife rapping about such things as graffiti and Coney Island. This is already making its way to becoming one of my year end top albums.

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Hieroglyphics founding member Pep Love's new album as much "Therapy" as Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, January 9, 2012 11:15am | Post a Comment

2012 looks like it is going to be another great year for hip-hop especially Bay Area hip-hop with forthcoming releases from both new and established acts. These include the first solo release in over a decade from Pep Love of Oakland's long running Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective who will drop his anticipated new full-length Rigmarole via the Hiero Emporium on March 6th. 

The album, which is the first solo release (he has recorded stuff with his Hiero crew and others including respectively Casual and Zion I) from the Mississippi born East Bay emcee since 2001's Ascension, was described by the artist as therapeutic, coming to his aid at a challenging time in his personal life.

"[Rigmarole] was recorded during a time in my life when the music I was making was one of the few things that was actually working. It was therapy; it made me feel better. So there was a lot of learning, personal growth, and healing that continues to this very day. I was focused on where I was headed as a human being more than as a rapper or recording artist," he said of the new album's recording process, adding that, "In the process, I reinvented myself as an artist and discovered my love for what I do."


The therapeutic theme is evident in the album's lyrics too with the song "Reflections," which is produced by Unjust, examining his own life and where it is at  nowadays while in the lyrics of the track "Runaway Slave" the 37 year old emcee wears his heart on his sleeve and expresses how he sees his own personal mental/creative development as an individual who has been in the ever challenging rap music industry for so long.

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Casual Chats About "The Hierophant," His Two Decades in Hip-Hop, His Famous Battle With Saafir + More

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2011 12:25pm | Post a Comment

"A Hierophant is a person who deciphers arcane knowledge. On this album Casual's wordplay demands your attention while his vocabulary inspires thought," is the accurate description of the word Hierphant that inspired the title of talented longtime Oakland emcee (and high profile Hieroglyphics member) Casual's highly recommended new album The Hierophant - according to the official website for the artist's latest release in a career spanning almost two full decades - releasing his debut album Fear Itself back in 1994 following hot on the heels of his much acclaimed, most impressive cameo appearances on albums by fellow Hieros Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Souls of Mischief.
This 14 track brand new album, which will soon be out on CD and available at Amoeba but currently is available only as a digital release, is released jointly by F.B.M.G. (Fat Boy Music Group) and Hieroglyphics Imperium.  The album has that distinction of sounding new while simultaneously giving a refreshing throwback 90's Hieroglyphics vibe - thanks in great part to killer production by fellow Hiero DJ Toure who perfectly compliments Casual's flow - resulting in an album that will appeal equally to both longtime Casual & Hieroglyphics fans as well as new fans just now catching up on this mostly under-the-radar hip-hop talent. 


                                 
Casual "You Like That" from The Hierophant (2011) 


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