Amoeblog

9/11, 2011 Is Also Bay Area Rapper Cougnut's Ten Year Anniversary

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2011 08:17am | Post a Comment
While most people today, September 11th, 2011, will be mourning those who perished in the 9/11 attacks a decade ago exactly, many others here in the Bay Area will also be honoring the late great local rap legend Cougnut who died ten years ago in an auto accident on September 4th 2001 and was buried exactly ten years ago to this day on September 11th 2001.

The San Francisco rapper, who was distinguished by his unique raspy voiced flow and engaging, relatable lyrics, was known for his membership of the pioneering San Francisco rap crew IMP (Ill Mannered Posse) who arrived on the rap music scene in 1989 with No Prisoners and are probably best known for  their mid nineties album Ill Mannered Playas on In-A-Minute Records. This afternoon, from noon to 3pm in the East Bay, Cougnut's former IMP potna Baldhead Rick and others will be honor the occasion with the Cougnut 10th Year Anniversary BBQ at Lake Temescal Regional Recreation Area  in Oakland.

"When I first heard the news of his death my reaction: of course was shock, sadness and a loss for the  Bay Area rap scene and the sense that something big was taken was from us," recalled Kerry Huffman Vann - co-owner of Urbanlife DistributionRapbay.com who originally got to know the well liked rapper when she worked at the now defunct In-A-Minute Records. Despite his intimidating look and gruff voice Cougnut was a warm and friendly individual. Recalling this day ten years, Huffman Vann continued, "My mom didn't want me to go to the funeral that day. The planes had just hit and there were alerts on Bay Area bridges. I told her I had to go pay my respects. I had to be there. I was sad. I had just spent some time with him a couple weeks prior. He was really coming into his own and ready to shine in his solo career. And somehow, he reminded me of 2Pac."

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Rakim, EPMD, Lord Finesse, Jazzy Jay, & Cold Crush Brothers Among Those Doing Free Concerts In NYC's Parks This Week

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2011 09:57am | Post a Comment
The summer ain't over yet. Still lots good stuff happening in NYC. And sure, New York City in the summer can endure some extreme and unpredictable weather shifts that can unleash some unbearably hot and humid weather or thunderstorms that come out of nowhere, but that's all part of what makes it New York in the summer. Another defining factor is the jaw-dropping amount of amazing & free outdoor cultural events, especially all the music concerts in the parks. Of these there is no shortage of hip-hop free shows by legends of the genre such as the free SummerStage show in Central Park today (Aug 21) featuring Rakim, EPMD, and DJ Funkmaster Flex or the free Digger's Delight park jam on Tuesday evening (Aug 23) in St Nicholas Park up in Harlem with hip-hop icons Lord Finesse, GrandMaster Caz, Jazzy Jay, and Red Alert. Then on Wednesday evening of this week (August 24), there is a free concert by highly-influential and legendary hip-hop act the Cold Crush Brothers who will be downtown Manhattan on the bandshell in the East River Park.

Today's free SummerStage show, which starts at 3pm and goes til about 7pm, should be a goodie since it features Rakim, who many have called the greatest emcee in the history of the genre. It is also the 25th anniversary of Eric B & Rakim’s iconic album, Paid in Full which is considered to be among the top ten greatest hip-hop album of all time. EPMD's debut album, Strictly Business, is another golden-era hip-hop classic that makes many best of lists, as does their follow up Unfinished Business.  Funkmaster Flex will DJ at the start of the day and throughout the afternoon for which it is likely special guests will stop by. Last summer, I caught Public Enemy in the same spot. Earlier this summer, I saw Brazilian rapper Marcelo D2 on the same Central Park stage. Also this summer, I made it to two park jams at Queensbridge Park (another legendary spot in hip-hop's formative years) to see concerts from both N.O.R.E. and Kool Moe Dee. Each was really good, especially Kool Moe Dee. Then two weeks ago, I trekked over to Tappen Park on Staten Island to catch the Sugarhill Gang. While disappointing overall due to the fact that they spent most of their set doing covers of other old school acts, it was worth it to hear them do "Rapper's Delight" and it was free! Like today's Rakim & EPMD show, these were all part of the public funded City Parks Foundation Summerstage Series, which puts on a wide array of shows in the parks of each NYC borough every summer.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 08:19:11: E-Lit's Hip-Hop Report, The Cool Kids, Foreign Legion, BDP USB, The Coup & PE, BAPC, DJ Quest @ SF Street Food Fest, Raashan Ahmad & The 45 Sessions, Richie Cunning and more,

Posted by Billyjam, August 19, 2011 10:45am | Post a Comment
          
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley

Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five Week Ending 08:19:11


1) The Cool Kids When Fish Ride Bicycles (Green Label Sound, C.A.K.E. Recordings) 

2) The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
   
  Watch The Throne (Def Jam) 

3)  Wu-Tang Legendary Weapons (Entertainment One Music)

4) Sole & the Skyrider Band Hello Cruel World (Fake Four)

5) Hassaan Mackey & Apollo Brown
     Daily Bread (Mello Music Group)

Thanks to the ever knowledgeable E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba Music store for taking time to talk with the Amoeblog for this week's Hip Hop Top Five chart and also for running down (in video above) some of the cool new releases and recent arrivals in the Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley store. I love both that BDP Criminal Minded USB stick, gun key-chain, and DOOM's PIL-packaging inspired, silver can, vinyl box set! One of the new local releases mentioned by E-Lit is the new solo joint, Ilyich on Solidarity Records, from San Francisco artist Equipto who is known for such things as his membership of longtime SF hip-hop crew Bored Stiff and his collaborations with Andre Nickatina. In support of this new album he did an instore performance at Amoeba San Francisco last week, August 11th. Click to see photos of the Equipto Amoeba instore.

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The Gospel of Hip Hop Author KRS-One Abides By His Famous Saying "Hip Hop Is Something You Live"

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2011 04:12pm | Post a Comment
KRS-One at Amoeba Hollywood, July 2010

 

My interview with KRS-One this time last year at the Hollywood Amoeba has just recently been edited and uploaded (above) to the Amoeba video archives. The interview and audience Q+A session that followed at Amoeba was based around KRS-One's book The Gospel of Hip-Hop which you can buy in store or online from Amoeba.com for just $9.99. The in-depth book, whose full title is The Gospel of Hip Hop: First Instrument presented by KRS One for the Temple of Hip Hop and is published by Powerhouse Books, was written over several years by the veteran hip-hop artist, activist, educator, and author. After spending even a short time in the company of KRS you quickly realize that the man lives and breathes hip-hop culture. His famous line, "rap is something you do, Hip Hop is something to live," are truly words that he lives by. In conversation he mentions Hip Hop (his spelling of the words) continually and clearly never stops thinking about it and its ramifications.

"I think Hip Hop is the savior of American society; Hip Hop itself brings cultures together because it gives people a chance to talk and to really see what the other guy is thinking and in a peaceful way," he told me when I asked about the real meaning of Hip Hop as a culture and a lifestyle in the six-part series of The Gospel of Hip Hop According to KRS- One Amoeblogs with him leading up to the in store interview above. A regular on the lecture circuit KRS-One was never a loss for words or opinion during the unique Amoeba instore (usually artists perform music not talk). And afterwards he stuck around for quite a while signing copies of his book, posing for photos and chopping it up with folks who wanted to talk to the man known as The Teacha. Below is the What's In My Bag video of KRS-One shopping for music with his son Lil Kris aka DJ/producer Predator Prime.  Pick up The Gospel of Hip Hop online for only $9.99 while supplies last.
 

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12 Song Soundtrack for Memorial Day BBQs & The Kick Off of Summer 2011

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2011 03:20pm | Post a Comment

With the smell of BBQs in the air this Memorial Day weekend and the kick off of the summer season that gladly brings with it the time to relax & kick back with family and friends, music steps up its role in playing a central theme in our lives. Hence this (subjective) summer song playlist culled from the literally thousands of great songs out there that celebrate summertime and  just hanging out in the sunshine in the park or backyard, or at the beach.

Here are a dozen personal faves (lots of classics) from the rap and pop categories culled from over the past several decades including Len's "Steal My Sunshine" (1999), Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince's "Summertime" (1991), Raewkon's "Ice Cream" (1995), The Foo Fighters' "Barbeque Song" that they did for an MTV special (2007), Mac Dre's "California Livin'" (1992), Dove Shack's (with Warren G) "Summertime in the LBC," and dating back to 1966 with The Lovin Spoonful's summertime classic "Summer In The City."

                           
Main Source feat Nas, Joe Fatal, & Akinyele "Live from the BBQ" (1991)


           
Foo Fighters "Barbeque Song" (2007)


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