Amoeblog

New Hip-Hop Vinyl: Apollo Brown & Skyzoo "The Easy Truth" (Mello Music Group")

Posted by Billyjam, October 30, 2016 01:22pm | Post a Comment
 Apollo Brown & Skyzoo The Easy Truth LP (Mello Music Group) [also avail on CD]

Among the new arrivals in Amoeba's hip-hop LP crates this week (10/28) is the vinyl version of the highly recommended Apollo Brown and Skyzoo collaboration The Easy Truth. album (since Sept. 30 avail on CD).  Released by Mello Music Group, with whom Apollo Brown is a resident producer, The Easy Truth  is an amazingly tight new hip-hop album that packs a lot of flavor including bringing back that old New York hip-hop, back when New York hip-hop and Nas ruled the world.  Brooklyn emcee Skyzoo's flow and engaging storytelling style, sprinkled with lots of NYC references, is perfectly complimented by the deep soul layered touch of seasoned producer Apollo Brown. We already know that the revered Detroit producer's instrumentals alone make for incredible albums. But even better is when Apollo Brown joins forces with carefully chosen emcee talents, as proven by his myriad of past collaborations up until working with Skyzoo. These have included Ghostface Killah, Ras Kass, Planet Asia, O.C., Guilty Simpson, and Verbal Kent & Redpill: the latter two with whom he records as Ugly Heroes with their latest release been the June 2016 Everything In Between LP. (also on CD). 

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Long Overdue His Time In The Spotlight, Art Rap Lyrical Master Open Mike Eagle Forges Ahead With Each Unique New Project

Posted by Billyjam, September 13, 2016 09:44pm | Post a Comment

Open Mike Eagle
, whose latest project with producer Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival (also on LP) was ceremoniously launched earlier this year with an in-store at Amoeba Hollywood is a hip-hop wordsmith who transcends the genre with his clever wordplay. More importantly he is an artist long overdue his rightful time to shine in the spotlight. Yes Open Mike Eagle is well known (and rightfully respected) in underground, alternative hip-hop circles, especially in LA where the Chicago transplant came up in hip-hop over the past decade. But he is not nearly the superstar rapper that he deserves to be. He possesses ten times more lyrical skills than the average pop rapper today.  Many say that he slowly is getting the attention he deserves, especially with the new album collaboration with Danny Brown producer Paul White. His label Mello Music Group (MMG) just recently published the accompanying music video for the pair's album track "Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)."

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Kool Keith's New Video From "Time? Astonishing!" with L'Orange, Marks Latest In MC's Long & Prolific Career

Posted by Billyjam, December 2, 2015 10:47am | Post a Comment

Following last week's memorable session sitting in with The Roots on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Kool Keith this week unveils the new music video for "The Green Ray." With atmospheric music production by L'Orange, the time travel-themed track is culled from the duo's highly recommended 2015 collaboration album Time? Astonishing! Available in both CD and vinyl/LP as well as via download formats, the Mello Music Group-released full-length has been a steady seller at Amoeba Music since it arrived in the store over the summer.  While digging in the CD and vinyl bins at Amoeba for the Kool Keith collaborative album, you'll find it's just one of numerous releases from the decades spanning the artist's prolific career. 

The ever-evolving, shape-shifting lyricist born Keith Thornton, was first introduced to most hip-hop fans via his original Bronx hip-hop crew The Ultramagnetic MCs' 1988 landmark debut album Critical Beatdown. But that was just a teaser for what was to come from this truly unique lyricist who, in addition to four albums with his crew, has unleashed a bevy of solo work with a myriad of producers and varying record labels over the past two decades. Rhyming in an out of-this-world, stream of consciousness style flow, Keith has adapted many personas and aliases over the years. His many stage personas have included Dr Octagon, Dr. Dooom, Black Elvis, and Poppa Large.

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Mr. Lif Signs Multi-Album Deal with Mello Music Group But Insists You Don't Call It A Comeback

Posted by Billyjam, October 6, 2015 11:50am | Post a Comment
Legendary Boston emcee talent Mr. Lif, who came to fame last decade via Def Jux with his sharp politically tinged lyrical assault and whom it seems we have not heard from last decade either solo or with his group The Perceptionists (with Afrobatik and DJ Fakts One), has just signed a multi-album deal with  Mello Music Group. The announcement came yesterday from the prestigious, eight year old, Arizona based label whose roster of artists released includes Oddisee, L'Orange, Open Mike Eagle, and Apollo Brown whose very recent album Grandeur is the latest release from the label, who said that the deal will include several albums over the upcoming two years 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile the artist himself, in reaction to how the average hip-hop fan assumed that he had hung up the mic for good since he had not released anything since 2009's I heard It Today, also made a statement to insist that this should not be called a comeback by the post-millennium underground hip-hop star. "I’ve been very active musically for years but I haven’t been putting records out," the Massachusetts artist born Jeffrey Haynes insisted, adding that, "I’ve been touring the world with Thievery Corporation and otherwise living in the studio, constantly making songs.” Fans, who were introduced to the artist via such now indie hip-hop classics as his 2002 EP on Def Jux I Phantom, can look forward to his first in the Mello Music Group album series in early 2016.  In the meantime the label has announced that it will be reissuing the (long out of print) 14 track, double LP I Phantom on November 27th. That underground classic from El-P's now defunct Defintiive Jux features an impressive array of artists (production and mic) joining the Boston emcee throughout including El-P, Edan, Insight, DJ Fakts One, Aesop Rock, Jean Grae, and Akrobatik. You can find Mr. Lif's previous releases on the Amoeba website. Below is the video for the track "The Sun" off 2009's and another with Thievery Corportion from 2011.
 

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week Ending 04.07.12: E-Lit, Pep Love, Phesto, Opio, De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2, & Mello Music's "Self Sacrifice"

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2012 10:30pm | Post a Comment
       


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 04:07:12


1) Pep Love Rigmarole (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

2) Opio Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

3) Phesto Dee Background Check (Hieroglyphics Imperium /Clear Label)

4) V/A Self Sacrifice (Mello Music Group)

5) De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve (Duck Down)

Shout-out to E-Lit (the man) at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for again supplying the new Top Five hip-hop chart and running down (in video above) all the exciting new hip-hop releases at Amoeba this week. So much good stuff that it's hard to keep up with it all. Leading the pack in the number position is Pep Love (one of three members of the longtime mighty Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective out of Oakland with chart entries this week) and his first solo release in over a decade (since  since 2001's Ascension) - the anticipated new full-length Rigmarole on his collective's thriving indie label the Hieroglyphics Imperium's Clear Label imprint which has also released the new joints from fellow Hiero crew (and Souls of Mischief) members Opio and Phesto (aka Phesto Dee) who have just released the albums Vultures Wisdom Vol 2 and Background Check respectfully. 

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