Amoeblog

From Rap Editor to Filmmaker: California To New York Transplant Thembisa S. Mshaka

Posted by Billyjam, April 23, 2013 04:48pm | Post a Comment

A couple of weeks ago in New York longtime Bay Area to NYC transplant Thembisa S. Mshaka, through her company SEEIT Films, held the premiere screening of her first movie, the short The Divorce Counselor (pic above with Rachel Noerdlinger, CEO, Noerdlinger Media is from the red carpet of that screening that received positive reviews). Already busy working on her follow up projects the LA born, Mills College alum, renaissance woman who used to oversee the rap department at now defunct San Francisco radio trade magazine The Gavin Report and later in NYC worked at SONY Music's headquarters as Advertising Copywriter, recently took time to chat with the Amoeblog about her decision to get into film making and about her career to date which she described as, "a series of amazing, blessed experiences.  I was fortunate to be the first woman and African American Rap Editor for Gavin, and held the position longer than anyone before or after me--from 1993-1998."

The role of rap music editor in 1990's hip-hop was an extremely important and influential one to hold. "Being able to connect artists, radio, and record execs through Gavin during arguably hip hop's most intriguing, diverse and profitable time was incredible. It taught me the power that comes with being a member of the media. I take that power very seriously and don't take it for granted. That has guided me through all my roles as campaign writer, promo producer, and now, filmmaker," commented Mshaka whose bylines have appeared in such magazines as Honey and BLAZE where she was contributing editor penning a column that addressed the convergence of gender and hip-hop culture. Four years ago her book Put Your Dreams First: Handle Your [entertainment] Business was published by Business Plus.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 02.01.13: E-Lit, Dead Prez, Fashawn, Rappin' 4-Tay + more

Posted by Billyjam, February 1, 2013 03:50pm | Post a Comment
         

AMOEBA MUSIC BERKELEY HIP-HOP TOP FIVE WEEK ENDING JANUARY 25, 2013


1) A$AP Rocky Long.Live. A$AP (RCA)

2) Fashawn Champagne & Styrofoam Cups (Fat Beats/Dirty Science)

3) Dead Prez  Information Age (Varese Sarabande)

4) Moe Pope & Rain Let The Right Ones In (Brick Records)

5) Oh No Disrupted Ads (Cash Rock Entertainment)
Once again this week thanks are in order to the ever knowledgeable E-Lit for taking time out to chop it up with the Amoeblog in the video above to do a run down on some of the new hip-hop releases arriving (and soon to arrive) into the Berkeley Amoeba store, and also for supplying the current Amoeba Top Five Hip-Hop Chart - also above. This new hip-hop chart includes the welcome return of Dead Prez and more of their politicized hip-hop on the duo's brand new (released Tuesday) album Information Age on Varese Sarabande. Scroll down below to see a video from Dead Prez ("No Way As The Way") as well as such others as an audio only from the new chart entrant Fashawn, and the brand new video from Chi-Ali x Livin Proof x Maffew Ragazino "Better Known As NYC"  that was recorded in the studio and just got published today.

2012 Year End Best Of Hip-Hop: Part II

Posted by Billyjam, December 28, 2012 03:49pm | Post a Comment

This second part in the 2012 best of hip-hop series is a Top 130 album chart that is based on sales at Amoeba Music over the past twelve months. It is comprised of nearly all 2012 releases, but since it reflects sales in 2012, there are a few previous year crossover releases such as late 2011 albums like The Roots' Undun (MCA).

The list is a combo of both CD and LP releases since more releases were issued on vinyl in 2012 than in the previous years. (Ironically, major labels who were the ones trying to kill off vinyl back in the early 1990's as they were pushing CDs heavily have issued a lot of vinyl versions this past year.) There are some EPs included here as well as full-lengths such as Homeboy Sandman's Subject Matter on Stones Throw and  Azealia Banks 1991 EP (Interscope). The chart is compiled based on the weekly hip-hop top five sales charts from the three Amoeba Music stores (Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco) submitted to the Amoeblog over the past year. This is a good gauge of what was popular and selling at the three Amoeba stores and via the Amoeba online store for 2012. It also should be noted that the first top fifty chart entries far outsold the next eighty releases. Not surprisingly Kendrick Lamar topped the chart with his commercially / critically acclaimed Good Kid M.A.A.D City CD on Dr. Dre's Aftermath label. In addition to such other as across the board (national commercial) hits like 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story, Kanye West Good Music Cruel Summer (Def Jam), Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic), and Nas' Life is Good (both on Def Jam), Amoeba shoppers also picked up a lot of indie label releases in quantity such as Aesop Rock's Skelethon (Rhyemsayers Ent.), El-P's Cancer4Cure (Fat Possum), Gangrene Vodka and Ayahuasca (Decon), and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist (Macklemore LLC). As well as new releases the chart also features some reissues such as The Pharcyde's Bizarre Ride II: The Pharcyde [Expanded Edition] (Delicious Vinyl), Notorious B.I.G.'s  Ready to Die, and  RBL Posse 20th Anniversary (Rightway Productions) which was a reissue of their three 1990's albums.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up, Week End 10.19.12: K'Nann, Prince Paul, Rapsody, B-Pos, Mos Def + Mannie Fresh, Homeboy Sandman + more

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2012 12:37pm | Post a Comment
       
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley overviews new Hip-Hop releases of the week ending 10:19:2012


Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 10:19:12


1) K'Naan Country, God Or The Girl (Octane/A&M)

2) Zion I Shadow Boxing (Live Up Records)

3) Macklemore The Heist (Macklemore, LLC.)

4) Prince Paul & DJ P. Forreal Negroes On Ice (The Red Lion Group)

5) Rapsody The Idea of Beautiful (Jamla Records)

Thanks to the ever knowledgeable, hip-hop loving E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba store for taking time to do a run down of all the new and recent hip-hop releases at Amoeba both vinyl and CD. In the new top five chart the number seller is the brand new K'Naan Country, God Or The Girl on Octone/A&M. "Love is harder than war. I’ve had the chance to write about my experiences in a difficult and violent life. But when the suffering and the pain is something that comes from within me, it’s harder to react and to write about that," said the Somali Canadian multi-talent of the new album's content which features the lead pop-rap single that dropped several months back, "Is There Anybody Out There?" and features Nelly Furtado (see below). On Country, God Or The Girl is the internationally popular artist's attempt to, he says, address "the internal wars, rather than the external ones, which I'd been preoccupied with on my previous albums."

Other releases on the new chart include the ever-popular Seattle, WA rapper Macklemore, who earned many new fans c/o his recent viral video for "Thrift Shop," legendary producer Prince Paul teaming up with DJ P. Forreal, and North Carolina female emcee Rapsody with her most impressive official debut The Idea of Beautiful on Jamla Records. The album on which she displays a sick flow again begs the age old question in hip-hop: how come there are still such a small ratio of female rappers to male rappers? Oakland duo Zion I's newest album, which is their eight to date, continues to sell as the pair of Zumbi and Amp Live continue their current tour. Other excellent new/recent releases include Homeboy Sandman's First of A Living Breed on Stones Throw (see video below for new album track "Not Really"), and the brand album which drops next week from Rhymesayers artist P.O.S. We Don't Even Live Here which takes hip-hop into whole new territory. Note the CD comes with real nice packaging with a great booklet with some strange but intriguing photo art.

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Weekly Hip-Hop Rap-Up 08.25.12: Top 5, Summer Park Jam, JJ Doom, LL Cool J, RTB, Nas, Humpty Hump's Head, KnowItAll's Kickstarter Drive

Posted by Billyjam, August 25, 2012 12:00pm | Post a Comment
JJ Doom Guvnor (2012)

Amoeba Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:24:12

1) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)

2) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)

3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
 
4) DJ Khaled Kiss The Ring (Cash Money)

5) Nas Life is Good (Def Jam)

Thanks to Edwin in the Hip-Hop department at the Amoeba Hollywood store for this week's top five chart which includes with a bullet in the number one slot care of Lex Records  Key to the Kuffs  which is the highly recommended new album from JJ DOOM (aka the collective talents of Jneiro Jarel and DOOM along with some special guests) which is excellent from start to finish with tracks like "Winter Blues," "Banished" (the first track leaked from the album early this year), and "Guvnor' (single - see video above).  This latest MF Doom project follows in the tradition of such previous killer Doom collaborations as when Doom teamed up with Madlib as Madvillain and with Danger Mouse as DangerDoom. The 15 track new JJ DOOM project was conceived over the past twelve months while Doom was "in exile" over in London, England (something he references on the release including on "Borin' Convo" when he raps "The super villain get kicked out your country"). As well as the two main artists the album features such guests as Damon Albarn, Khujo Goodie and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. The album's distinctive cover art (above) is by Steve Powers (aka ESPO).

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