Amoeblog

Hip-Hop Rap Up 10:06:17: Reissues & New Releases (LP, CD, cassette), News inc. DMC World Results, Cookie Turntable Technology

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2017 12:31pm | Post a Comment
 

Previewed here on the Amoeblog was the 2017 DMC World Champions, last weekend's big international turntablist competition that featured USA representatives DJ Perly and DJ Dwells who each proudly repped their nation but did not win titles in their respective fields. Instead the 2017 DMC World DJ Final was won by DJ Rena from Japan who is only twelve years of age but possesses the experienced moves of a DJ twice his age. That win makes the preteen the youngest ever DMC World Champion. Meanwhile in the separate battle for the Supremacy title, another Japanese contestant,  DJ Yukichi won the battle for 2017 DMC World Supremacy. Congratulations to them both and to all of the participating battle DJs who traveled to London last weekend for the event.
 
In other hip-hop news, Fat Joe was among those artists who selflessly lent support to the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico by flying a plane down to the island (on loan from Jay-Z) to personally help victims with needed supplies. LL Cool J is among the 19 artists nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: five to seven of which will be chosen to be inducted later this year. The Bay Area lost an important figure last Sunday with the sudden passing of Stephanie Orneles, better known as DJ Stef. The universally beloved longtime Bay Area hip-hop DJ/writer/historian's death was attributed to a heart attack. Look for a more detailed report (inc. a rare interview with the late DJ) in an upcoming Amoeblog.  Former Digital Underground manager Sleuth Pro has been making the rounds lately including stopping by KPOO radio in promotion of his acclaimed newly published memoir: Hip-Hop Tales: From Humpty Dance to Blondie Locks (The Golden Years: 1987-2002).

CASSETTE TAPE RELEASES OF THE WEEK

 
Kid Capri Live At The Building 1990 (No Sleep/Fat Beats)

Controversial New President Sparks Hip-Hop's Newest Subgenre: Anti-Trump Rap

Posted by Billyjam, January 24, 2017 02:59pm | Post a Comment


To say that the newly inaugurated commander in chief is a less than popular figure with most hip-hop artists would be an understatement. So disliked by the hip-hop community at large is the reality TV star turned politician that he inspired a new subgenre of hip-hop: anti-Trump rap. Any newly elected president would have faced a challenge taking over office from America's "first hip-hop president" but Trump's divisive presidential campaign, that included his dissing and dismissing of the entire genre for being just "talking" and "lewd" (his response to Jay-Z and Beyonce's Hillary rally performance immediately before the election) reinforced an already negative view of the man among most hip-hoppers. Not only on his very day of inauguration earlier this week did a prominent hip-hop artist Joey Bada$$ release an anti-Trump rap: "Land of the Free" with lyrics including the line “Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over," but long before he even took office negative songs were being written and recorded about Trump. Indeed in this unprecedented occurrence in the history of the American tradition of presidential protest music (EG: anti George W. Bush hip-hop and anti-Reagan punk rock),  long before Trump had even been nominated as the Republican candidate the new wave of protest music against him had already taken root.

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Hip-Hop And The 2016 Presidential Election

Posted by Billyjam, November 8, 2016 05:03am | Post a Comment
Nov. 8th: Following what has to go down as the most divisive, emotionally draining and drawn out, media saturated, presidential campaign in American history, we've finally arrived at November 8th, Election Day 2016. Polls are open 7am to 8pm today in California and from 6am to 9pm in New York. Vote for whomever you believe in, but be sure to get out and vote unless you are among the demographic of early voters who've already handled their business. 

In viewing this election process from a hip-hop perspective and judging what candidate has been most associated with the musical genre, the answer seems pretty clear, starting with who it is not. It sure wouldn't be the one whose racist rhetoric inspired one of the most popular party jams of this past summer: YG featuring Nipsey Hussle's "FDT (Fuck Donald Trump)" off YG's mid June released album Still Brazy (Def Jam). Indeed from early on hip-hop seemed unlikely to side with the candidate who had built his campaign upon the relentless, yet ultimately redundant, questioning of the legitimacy of the birth place of America's "first hip-hop president."

Further Trump's campaign appearing both anti-Hispanic and anti Black Lives Matter, sure didn't give him much chance of converting diehard hip-hop followers. Nor did the lawsuit-happy Orange one's long list of litigation threats that included one against popular rapper Mac Miller. Back in 2011 Mac Miller recorded the song called "Donald Trump" (making reference to riches, nothing political) for his Best Day Ever mixtape (avail on LP) that went on to become a platinum hit and to date racked up 117 million video views. At first Donald Trump said he liked the song. But later he flip-flopped and threatened to sue the rapper (he still has not) over use of his name in the hit song. Unimpressed but inspired to fire back, Mac Miller blasted Trump back at that time. Fast forward to last December, right before the televised Republican presidential debate, Mac Miller revived his counter attack via Trump's favorite fighting ground, Twitter, by posting to his 5.75 million followers: "Please just don't elect this m**therfucker man"

Of course Mac Miller isn't the only rapper to diss Trump. Many have done so in song, especially over the past year, including The Game in the track "El Chapo" with Skrillex, off his 2015 album The Documentary 2.5 Collectors Edition, on which he rapped: "knock Donald Trump out his toupee." However it should be noted that traditionally in the pre-political days of Trump, especially the early nineties when his image was just that of rich businessman, the Donald's countless rap song mentions, that even included A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground, were all highly complimentary with his name been utilized simply to symbolize wealth.

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Happy 46th Birthday Jay Z + "December 4th" The Grey Album vs. The Black Album versions

Posted by Billyjam, December 4, 2015 09:09am | Post a Comment

Certain dates just stick in your head: birthdays, anniversaries, favorite album release dates, and songs about specific dates. "December 4th" by Jay Z is a good example for me. Titled after the rapper-turned-super-successful-entrepreneur's 1969 birth date (Happy 46th birthday, Hov!) today's date, December 4th,  for me is forever intertwined with that Jay Z song.  But it is not the original version of "December 4th" off the artist's 2003 release, The Black Album (avail in CD and LP, formats) that comes to mind. That track, which was understandably overshadowed by such other album cuts as "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," and "Change Clothes (feat. Pharrell)," is totally eclipsed by the far superior remix of the song that Danger Mouse unleashed the following year off his bootleg hit album The Grey Album. 

As you may recall, that universally popular 2004 album expertly melded Jay Z's Black Album A-Capella version with sampled and looped portions of The Beatles 1969 self-titled double LP commonly known as The White Album. The Grey Album, although never legal because of all the unauthorized samples, would win fans the world over and go on to top countless critics' year-end best album lists for 2004. Indeed the album was a game changer for both the (until then) virtually unknown hip-hop producer as well as for the mash-up genre itself. Danger Mouse accomplished what some of Jay Z's own producers could not in bringing out the very best in the emcee's lyrics and rhyme flow. The Just Blaze-produced "December 4th" was a perfect example. Danger Mouse's totally different production of the song, while simpler and musically much sparser, elevated it from a throwaway, forgettable track to immediately commanding one. It made listeners want to hang onto every word uttered by Jay Z (and his mom who is featured talking in the song) in the engaging autobiographical tale.

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He's Got 88 Hits From The Past Year But Only 7 Minutes To Mix Them In A Mega-Mashup

Posted by Billyjam, November 28, 2014 01:29pm | Post a Comment


Once again #AnDyWuMUSICLAND has produced his audio/video mashup megamix of many of the most notable pop hits of the past year. Billed as best of 2014 it is technically songs released from November 2013 up until recently (this way he gets a head start on those who wait til December 31st to do their best of the year mixes). The 88 song megamix, whose playlist is detailed below in alphabetical order by artist, includes many artists with more than one hit such as Ariana Grande with two ("Break Free" and "Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea)," Iggy Azalea, who also guests on Jennifer Lopez's sole entry "Booty," herself as artist has three hits ("Fancy (feat. Charli XCX)," "Work," and "Black Widow (feat. Rita Ora)"). [This week a deluxe edition LP version of her hit album The New Classic  arrived in Amoeba.] Meanwhile Katy Perry has a total of five hits on the above megamix that include "Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J)," "Unconditionally," "Birthday,"  "This is How We Do," and "Walking On Air" - culled from her late 2013 release Prism. Beyonce's self-titled 2014 album also rendered a string of hits including the duet with her husband - "Drunk In Love (feat Jay-Z)." Some have commented on this year's mix saying that it is not quite as good as last year's but if so, the onus is not on AnDy Wu musicland, who did an excellent job once again, but rather perhaps on the quality of pop music in 2014.

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