Aceyalone Lives For His Art As Proven By Last Night's Brooklyn Concert By The LA Hip-Hop Legend

Posted by Billyjam, July 28, 2013 02:45pm | Post a Comment
"I feel like I'm at the Good Life," the clearly happy Aceyalone complimented his audience during last night's fun concert at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory. Despite the fact that most in attendance at the Saturday night Williamsburg show would have been only toddlers or pre-teens when the legendary West Coast emcee and Project Blowed co-founder was putting it down at the short-lived but influential Good Life Cafe in South Central Los Angeles didn't seem to matter one bit. They all obviously understood the reference made by this revered hip-hop lyrical force known for his pivotal role in the early LA underground hip-hop scene, his membership of the hip-hop groups Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat and The A-Team, and the prolific artist's impressive solo catalog of recordings including the brand new album Leanin' On Slick (Decon Records on both CD and LP) that he and album producer BIONIK, who backed him on stage last night, included some songs from in their all-too-short but energetic set that featured mostly abbreviated versions of songs.

In addition to the title track of Leanin' On Slick Aceyalone and BIONIK, who drummed live as well as dropping beats and sound effects and providing backing vocals, ran through some other select album tracks from this soulful funky new album including "Workin' Man's Blues" (that features Cee Lo Green) plus a variety of other songs. These included treating the New York audience to a couple of brand new, unreleased, never performed live tracks that were atypical of Ace's work to date: more on the contemporary bass-heavy tip with more simplified lyrics, and complete with trap-style drum patterns and booty-shaking rhythms. Of Leanin' On Slick (the great cover of which above was photographed on a recent trip to Cuba where the video for the title track - below - was filmed) the artist said, "It is a part of a series that I am continuing throughout my career." Aceyalone told me this when I met him the day before the concert at WFMU radio in New Jersey where we chatted both on the air and off about such things as his beginnings in hip-hop in LA at a time when gangsta rap was the predominant flavor of the genre. "Heavy gang culture in the 80's" influenced a lot of the LA rap around the time," he told me of the early days of Freestyle Fellowship and Project Blowed. "But we always tried to keep it artistic with the jazz and reggae influence and of course the funk. That was a part of our focus; to not be so cliche as to be what everyone expects of West Coast - at the time"

As for The Good Life Cafe Aceyalone enthused, "Oh man the intensity there just climaxed from the moment it started all the way up to the top when it kinda exploded." Of the legendary open mic sessions he recalled how, "We started there the first week and it just kinda went on and on and on. It got better and better. The competition got better. And before you knew it record execs started coming down there. Hundreds of people were packing the place. And it only last for three and a half, maybe four years. And if you really want to see a history of it, there's a movie out called This Is The Life" he said recommending the Ava DuVernay directed 2008 documentary.

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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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Babe's & Ricky's Inn - Blues and Soul Food On A Monday Night

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 26, 2007 11:38am | Post a Comment

Babe’s & Ricky’s
on a Monday night is something that everyone should experience. Owner Laura Mae Gross, or Mama, as many call her, greets you at the door. At eighty- seven years old, she is still at the club every night. The eight-dollar cover gets you a free soul food dinner and all night Blues, including a brief set by Mickey Champion.

My first Babe’s & Ricky’s experience was last Monday. I got there early to walk around Leimart Park. I didn’t see the late night chess matches that once went on into the wee hours of the night. There used to be these intense chess matches just outside the legendary 5th Street Dick’s. I hadn’t seen them the last few times I been to Leimart Park. I passed by Project Blowed and The World Stage, both closed for the night. All these locations mentioned are known promoting culture, creativity and improvisation in the black community. Leimart Park is the place you need to be to improve your musical and word skills, with multiple Blues, Hip-Hop, Poetry and Jazz open mic sessions.

Babe’s & Ricky’s has a varied selection of beers, from New Castle to Ole English Malt Liquor. I noticed they had Guinness and I wondered if anyone had the nuts to make their own Black Eight at the bar. For those who don’t know, a Black Eight is a concoction of Ole 8 and Guinness, a throwback to my youth often done as a tribute to Tha Alkaholiks. (…Oooh don't I sound great when I down a black eighth, my style is much hotter than the enchilada plate...) I thought about doing it for a sec, then thought against it, as it’s a long drive from Leimart Park back to Cypress Park.

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