Amoeblog

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Too $hort's Landmark Release "Life Is....Too $hort"

Posted by Billyjam, April 29, 2014 02:45pm | Post a Comment
In true battle rap tradition the cover of Too $hort's classic late eighties album Life Is…Too $hort shows the Oakland rapper, in a now iconic photo by Oakland photographer Victor Hall, triumphantly posing over the headstone of one of his fictitious fallen rap rivals "Sucker MC John Doe" who was "Born on Stage" and "Died on Wax. Rest In Peace."   The ten track album was originally released 26 years ago and, of the close to twenty albums that the prolific, pioneering Oakland rapper born (in LA) Todd Shaw has put out over an illustrious career that dates back to the early eighties and continues up to this day, Life Is...Too Short (along with Born To Mack), remains among the most popular Too $hort albums with diehard fans who identify with the artist's notorious player/mack persona.

Released in January 1988 when he was already "Eight years on the mic and I'm not joking. Sir Too Short coming straight from Oakland," Life Is...Too Short was the rapper's fifth album and his second for Jive Records - co-released and first released via the East Bay indie Dangerous Music. Over rumbling bass-lines and predominantly slowed down BPM booming tracks, mostly produced by Al Eaton at his now legendary East Bay One Little Indian Studios, Life is..... offered up plenty of $hort Dog's trademark "nasty raps" to satisfy fans of his Richard Pryor-meets-Blowfly inspired sexually explicit rhymes  that were personified by the previous album's (Born To Mack) underground hit "Freaky Tales."  $hort continued that theme on such tracks as "Pimp Tha Hoe,"  the sexually charged "Don't Fight The Feeling" (that, along with the Dangerous Crew compilation - also via Dangerous Music - introduced the rap world to a pre "Players Club" Rappin' 4-Tay), and the self-explanatory "Cuss Words" which, not surprisingly, offered a non-stop barrage of cuss word  tales of naughty nastiness that began with $hort rapping, "To all you bitches, hoes, and all that shit. Here's another rap that I'm ready to spit. It goes like this, my name is $hort. I'm tearin shit up like never before Pimp slaps, makin snaps. Cold cash money and Too $hort raps." The song, which shocked parent groups at the time, went on to include $hort threatening to "fuck your wife" with the "your" being anyone who crossed his path.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.25.14: Top 5, New Releases with E-Lit, SF DMC Regional with DJ Cue, Blitz the Ambassador + more

Posted by Billyjam, April 25, 2014 12:54pm | Post a Comment
          


Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top 5, Week Ending 04:25:14


1) Childish Gambino   Because The Internet [Record Store Day] (LP) (Glassnote)

2) Notorious B.I.G. Life After Death [Clear Vinyl] [Record Store Day] (LP) (Atlantic)

3) J. Stalin S.i.d.-shining I (Town Thizness)

4) Various Artists Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows (Mello Music Group)

5) Nocando Jimmy the Burnout (Hellfyre Club)

As a result of the mad rush for exclusive Record Store Day releases at Amoeba Music on the incredibly busy RSD 2014 last Saturday some of those releases make up the latest Hip-Hop Top Five weekly chart from the Berkeley Amoeba store where E-Lit, in the video above, does a run down of new releases and what was popular during Record Store Day such as the vinyl version of Childish Gambino's  Because The Internet.  Other new chart entries include Bay Area homegrown talent J. Stalin's in demand new joint S.i.d.-shining I, the excellent Mello Music label compilation sampler Mandala Vol. 1: Polysonic Flows, and brand new Hellfyre Club release Jimmy the Burnout from Nocando.

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 04.18.14: Pre Record Store Day Edition

Posted by Billyjam, April 18, 2014 11:35am | Post a Comment
      

Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: Week Ending 04:18:14


1) Nas Illmatic XX (Sony Legacy) (also on LP)

2) The Alchemist & Budgie The Good Book (Landspeed)

3) Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Pinata LP (Madlib Invazion)

4) Pharoahe Monch  PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (W.A.R. Media)

5) Awol One & Gel Roc The Cloaks (Abalano Records)

Just in time for Record Store Day (tomorrow April 19th, 2014) is the special twenty year anniversary reissued vinyl version of Nas' classic April 1994 debut albumIllmatic (also on CD with bonus disc) which is this week's number one on the latest hip-hop chart at the Berkeley Amoeba store. Meanwhile number two on this brand new chart, thanks to E-Lit for the above video breakdown, is the two-disc 48 track collaborative album from The Alchemist and Budgie The Good Book on Landspeed Records which also arrived in Amoeba this Tuesday (April 15th) and, as E-Lit pointed out, is fueled by gospel samples exclusively. Another new chart entry that E-Lit is feeling a lot is The Cloaks which is the collaborative side project of Awol One and Gel Roc along with producer Awkward plus scratches by super talented DJ D-Styles.
Scroll down to end to peep the music video for the album track "Rule By Secrecy."

Continue reading...

Snoop Dogg: The Rapper We Love, Despite His Occasional Career Deviations

Posted by Billyjam, April 17, 2014 01:00pm | Post a Comment

  Sergio's Music Intervention: Snoop Dogg Please Be Gangsta Again (2010)

In honor of tonight's San Francisco concert by Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), in which he'll be "performing his classic smash hits," via music videos this Amoelbog celebrates the career highs (pun intended) of the artist formerly known as Snoop Doggy Dogg while briefly  referencing some of the career lows of the artist born Calvin Broadus via the above video. I think it can be said that most of us hold an unconditional love for Snoop Dogg. Hence why the rapper who has sold over 30 million albums to date is still popular and headlining big venues like the Regency Ballroom in SF tonight and can charge $72 for a ticket to get in, and why we as longtime fans can somehow forgive him for his numerous questionable rap career deviations.  These numerous career sidesteps by the notorious weed smoking gangsta rapper from the LBC are entertainingly addressed in the above hilarious video clip by Sergio Cilli in one of his famed Music Intervention rants on the now defunct Current TV. The piece originally aired back in 2010 around the time Snoop teamed up with Katy Perry for her mega pop hit "California Gurls" but is still funny because it is so true!

Continue reading...

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Hip-Hop Power Duo EPMD's 1988 Debut Album "Strictly Business"

Posted by Billyjam, April 15, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment
In hip-hop history 1988 was a pretty darn incredible year for landmark releases. Like 1987 it was another landmark time in the development of the genre - an era when hip-hop had shifted from its old-school second phase and had arrived into its new so-called "golden era" that would last through to 1992/1993.  A hip-hop group and album that personified this perfectly was and the power duo of EPMD and their flawless debut album Strictly Business.

Released in August of 1988 on Sleeping Bag Records Strictly Business (not to be confused with the 1991 movie of the same name with an LL Cool J song of the same name on its soundtrack) was the debut album from infamous New York hip-hop duo EPMD whose name stands for  "Erick and Parrish Making Dollars" and who are comprised of the emcee/production power pair of Erick Sermon and Parish Smith (aka PMD).  The album was reissued last year as Strictly Business 25th Year Anniversary Edition CD with five bonus tracks.

Although only ten songs in length the hip-hop styles displayed on Strictly Business - cool laid back rhymes over smooth funky beats that sampled an infectious blend of funk, soul, and rock - remain influential to this day and personify the creme de la creme of hip-hop's much celebrated "golden age" - something that EPMD kept going on their second album, Unfinished Business, the following year as well as on later releases (all in the "Business" titled series). Unlike albums of today, which tend to be smothered in guest emcees and producers, with the exception of DJ K La Boss (who added his turntablist skills to album track that bore his name), Strictly Business was purely the talents of Erick and Parish who both rapped in a similarly almost lazy-sounding, rolling, lyrical flow.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  >>  NEXT