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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.28.14: New Releases, Swampkat (RIP), Too $hort Bowling, DMC 2014, Qbert in NYC, Ras Kass in San Jose

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2014 12:28pm | Post a Comment
    

Shout out to E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for running down, in the above video, all the new and recent hip-hop releases to arrive at Amoeba lately in both CD and vinyl formats including Open Mike Eagle's Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes(on vinyl) and As Is on CD by longtime prolific Bay Area hip-hop soldier White Mic of Bored Stiff fame who, as E-Lit notes, also has a forthcoming release - a previous collaboration with Z-Man - now coming on vinyl. All of the releases showcased by E-Lit above can be found at Amoeba Music in the three retail stores (Berkeley, San Francisco, and Hollywood) and in most, but not all, cases online at the Amoeba.com store.

Hip-hop concerts, parties, and events from the Bay to LA and beyond in the week ahead include Too $hort doing a most worthwhile charity event that offers fans a chance to go both bowling and into the studio with the godfather of Bay Area rap while simultaneously helping out the East Oakland self-described multi-service community transformation hub Youth UpRising that Short has long been involved in.  The ongoing Too $hort Charity Buzz auction fund drive, that offers the final winner "one hour of recording time in the state of the art music studio at Youth UpRising, a 25,000 sq. ft. community transformation center in the heart of East Oakland. Following the recording session, join Too $hort for a game of bowling at Lucky Strike, a stylish bowling lounge in San Francisco," is currently up to $850 with the estimated value on this item listed as $2000. Bid here and help a worthy cause and yourself at the same time. Auction ends March 11th.  In the South Bay tonight, Saturday March 1st, LA rap vet Ras Kass along with Indjnous headlines a show with Motion Man (whose classic 1993 song/video "Mo Like Flows On" is below), Jeff Turner, Opski Chan, Audio Dru, plus DJ Abraham and others. Show at Back Bar 418 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113. 9pm 21+ $10 more info

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Looking Back With Bas One To 1980's Hip-Hop In The Bay Area

Posted by Billyjam, February 25, 2014 12:34pm | Post a Comment
       

Everybody knows the story of New York and hip-hop, stresses Bas One (aka Bas-1), but the Bay Area story really needs to be told so for this edition of Hip Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog I invited the longtime Bay Area hip-hop artist (left is cover art of his 2001 album For The Mentally Astute: Theory Of A Throw-Up) and hip-hop fan to take us back to the decade that he fell in love with hip-hop as a young guy growing up in the Bay with a passion for breaking and graf art, DJing and MCing - when it was all new and fresh. So I met up recently in Berkeley CA (off Telegraph Ave. - not far from Amoeba Music) to have Bas One do an exclusive interview for the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History series to share his memories and insights on hip-hop in the 1980's from a Bay Area perspective. In the above video interview, conducted on the Berkeley sidewalk in the late afternoon after the sun had just set and twilight was setting in, the ever knowledgeable hip-hopper for life takes it all the way back, recalling a myriad of things from the 80's in the Bay Area. Throughout the 14 minute interview he name checks such things as the Demons of The Mind break crew (AKA Medea Sirkas), the Royal Rockers breaking crew, CJ Flash, Dug-One (Doug Cunningham) and the TMF crew, DREAM and the TDK crew, Reaganomics, the crack epidemic, MC Hammer, and the long gone iconic "Oakland Is Proud" burner piece (see below and scroll over for more info) that was over by East 12th Street and was featured in a ton of music videos, photo shoots, and even in the opening credits of Mark Curry's sitcom Hangin' With Mr Cooper.  The above Bas One video is well worth watching/listening to for fans of hip-hop in general, but especially those in the Bay Area.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Looking Back To 90's East Coast Hip-Hop Via Music Videos c/o DJ Shortkut

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2014 10:20am | Post a Comment
       

      SK-90's HIP HOP video mixtape from Shortkut on Vimeo.

Today's Hip Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog installment comes courtesy of West Coast DJ legend, turntablist extraordinaire DJ Shortkut (Beat Junkies, Triple Threat, Invisibl Skratch Piklz) who, in addition to regularly spinning a richly diverse mix of music in clubs all over the world, also does video mixing as in the above jaw-dropping 48 minute hip-hop mix. For the above mix, in which the accomplished DJ scratches and blends and mixes on video just as he would on audio only, DJ Shortkut focuses on the golden era period - primarily (but not exclusively) early to mid 90's NYC hip-hop - showcasing such hip-hop talents as the late great Big L, Gang Starr, Da Youngstas, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Nas, KRS-One, and Common.

And what does Shortkut see as the one major difference between hip-hop videos back then and the ones being produced nowadays? "
Videos then were on some hip-hop, not rap shit," he replied without missing a beat. Since Shortkut regularly incorporates videos, like the ones in his Vimeo video mix above, when out in the clubs I wondered if club-goers/hip-hop fans often get so disrtracted by the cool visuals of these classic videos that they forget to dance? No he assured me, adding, "Thats why on my rider I make it mandatory to have the screen directly in back of me so they can put the two together." Before letting him go, I asked the hardworking DJ Shortkut of the golden era videos/songs in his above mix, which ones were his personal top three faves?

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 01.17.14: E-Lit, Top 5, Childish Gambino Deep Web Tour, DJ Qbert Album Launch, Friscasso feat The Jacka

Posted by Billyjam, January 17, 2014 12:35pm | Post a Comment
         

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 01:17:14


1) Dam-Funk & Snoopzilla 7 Days of Funk (Stones Throw)


2) Childish Gambino Because the Internet (Glassnote)

3)
E-40's Welcome To The Soil: Block Brochure Vol. 4, Vol. 5, and Vol. 6   (Heavy On The Grind)

4) Sean Price & M-Phazes / Guilty Simpson & Small Professor shared/double lp (Coalmine Records)

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: 30 Years Later DJ Chill & DJ Chino of Bay Area's Midnite Cru Deejays Look Back

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2013 11:45am | Post a Comment
        

Back in 1983, a time when Bay Area hip-hop was just beginning to take root, there were a handful of dedicated early era DJs around the Bay starting to fully embrace the still relatively new genre including both DJ Chill and DJ Chino (above) who formed the Midnite Cru Deejays that year. With hip-hop being such a globally popular and ubiquitous musical genre in 2013 it is hard to imagine a time when it was otherwise but back thirty years ago things where very different. Back in '83 hip-hop records (of which few were albums, mostly only 12" singles) were comparatively limited in supply and hence DJs like the Midnite Cru Deejays would typically mix in other types of music (freestyle, pop-dance, Minneapolis 80's funk, and new wave) into their mixes.

In addition to the above video interview with Midnite Cru Deejays' DJ Chill (who you can also follow on Twitter) and DJ Chino (conducted at Gellert Park in Daly City during Cue's Records Reunion BBQ in October of last year), in which they name check such legendary SF/Bay hip-hop spots as the Palladium, Creative Music, and Bobby G's Soul Disco Records' store and DJ pool, this week I again caught up with the two Bay Area DJ pioneers to ask them each a few questions on their hip-hop DJ legacies: Chino from Daly City and Chill from San Francisco. These questions and their replies appear below.  DJ Chino, who is DJing in the new year tonight at The Connection in the Outer Mission district of SF at 5740 Mission St (flyer below), shared of his long DJ history that, "I never thought I would make it this far as a DJ but time just flew by, and here I am thirty plus years later and still doing what I love to do, DJing. It's my natural high (mixing). I get these goose bumps that just make me want to do it again and again."  Meanwhile Chino's longtime turntable partner DJ Chill offered this wonderful insight on why not to bother a DJ at work - something that any club/party DJ can relate to - via this series  of rhetorical questions: "Do you bother a fireman in the middle of a fire? Do you bother a doctor in the middle of surgery? Would you bother a cop in the middle of an arrest? Then why the fuck would you bother a DJ in the middle of the mix?!"

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