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The Anthology of Rap Interview with Book Co-Editor Adam Bradley

Posted by Billyjam, December 5, 2010 11:04am | Post a Comment
The Anthology of Rap
The Anthology of Rap is the recently published, exhaustive 880 page book from Yale University Press that compiles the lyrics to about 300 rap songs of all different types and styles, spanning 30 plus years in the music's history. Edited by Adam Bradley and Andrew DuBois, the book, which has afterwords by both Chuck D and Common, also includes some artist bio information along with the song lyrics.

The Anthology of Rap is divided into timeline sections and then into artists sub-sections. For example, "Part I 1978-1984 The Old School" includes such artists as Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Cold Crush Brothers, Eddie Cheba, DJ Hollywood, Lady B, Spoonie G, and Sequence (one of the earliest recorded female rap crews -- lyrics to their hit "Funk You Up" plus their songs "And You Know That" & "Simon Says" are all included here).

"Part 2, 1985-1992 The Golden Age" features lyrics from artists like the Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Eric B & Rakim, Gang Starr, and Ultramagnetic MCs, while "Part 3, 1993-1999 Rap Goes Mainstream," includes the likes of Arrested Development, Foxy Brown, E40, Goodie Mob, Lauren Hill, Common, Jay Z, KRS-One, and Lil Kim. The fourth part, "2000 to 2010  New Millenium Rap," includes such artists as Aesop Rock, Atmosphere, Blackalicious, Brother Ali, DOOM, Immortal Technique, Mos Def, T.I., Kanye West, and Young Jeezy. There is also an additional final segment titled "Lyrics For Further Study" that includes lyrics from a broad swath of artists from all over the rap spectrum and timeline, including contemporary popular rap star Drake, golden era artists Black Sheep and Bay Area homo-hop crew Deep Dickollective.

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Lots of New Hip-Hop Releases at Amoeba Music for the 2010 Holiday Season

Posted by Billyjam, November 30, 2010 11:11am | Post a Comment
Flo Rida
Now that we are officially into the holiday shopping period there are more new hip-hop releases than ever arriving on the Amoeba Music shelves. Some are brand new recordings while others are older (slept-on or forgotten) musical material that has been remastered and/or repackaged. As reported in the most recent Amoeba Weekly Hip-Hop Rap Up, new hip-hop releases last week included Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Gangrene (Alchemist & Oh No), Shady Nate, and Messy Marv, to name but a few. 

This week's new releases, which are at Amoeba now (Tuesday, Nov 30th), include albums from two of today's more popular, high-profile rap artists: Flo Rida and Soulja Boy. Soulja Boy (aka Soulja Boy Tell Em) drops his fourth studio album, The DeAndre Way (Stacks on Deck/Interscope), which, in addition to the regular ten track CD, comes in a deluxe edition that features four bonus tracks plus a DVD. Meanwhile, Flo Rida's latest Only One Flo (Part 1) (Poe Boy/Atlantic) is the Florida artist's third studio album and the follow up to last year's full-length, R.O.O.T.S. Only One Flo (Part 1). (Note Part 2, which was supposed to drop simultaneously, has been postponed until 2011.) The new record clocks in at less than half an hour and features guest appearances from Akon, Kevin Rudolf, Ludacris, and Gucci Mane and includes the singles "Club Can't Handle Me" and "Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)." Black Eyed Peas

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Interview with Erk Tha Jerk, Whose Debut Album, Nerd's Eye View, Arrives in Amoeba Music Today

Posted by Billyjam, November 9, 2010 01:42pm | Post a Comment
Erk Tha Jerk
The Bay Area has an incredible wealth of hip-hop talent, but out of the hundreds of artists from the Bay that release music each year only a handful manage to make a major impact on a national level. One artist that, over the past few years, has built quite a rep in his native Bay Area, but now looks set to take over the rest of the country (and beyond) is Richmond rapper/producer Erk Tha Jerk, whose official debut album, Nerd's Eye View, drops today on Red Planet/SMC.

I recently caught up with the artist to talk about his career to date and the new album. We met in New York, a "completely different" experience for him compared to being back in the Bay, where walking down the street everyone knows who he is, thanks in large part to the fact that KMEL radio has helped make him a high profile star. For several weeks last year his song "Right Here" was the Bay Area's leading urban radio station's most played (and requested) track on their playlist. He fully understands and accepts that to duplicate that kind of success outside the Bay in places like New York, where, so far, he has not gotten major airplay it's a matter of "starting all over with ground work. You've got to humble yourself and get back out there on the grind and start all over again," he laughed.

Erk Tha JerkBased on his track record, Erk Tha Jerk should have no problem taking over the rest of the country since he is both an incredibly gifted artist (producer, rapper, singer, writer, video director, etc) and a talented, hard-working business mind. Unlike so many artists, Erk knows how to focus on his music and work hard on getting it out into the right channels. "I've been making music and producing and doing features for the past five years," he noted. He has worked with numerous other Bay artists including Richie Rich, Balance, San Quinn, Big Rich, & Too $hort. He connected with the Godfather of Bay Area rap when he shared offices in the same building as $hort down by Jack London Square. There they literally crossed paths and that accidental meeting led to Erk producing the "Red Bull & Vodka" single for Too $hort's & Dwayne Wiggins' Town Bizness project. In return, $hort did a cameo on Erk Tha Jerk's 2009 track "Plane In The Air." "And now when I go to Atlanta I call up $hort and say, 'Yo, what's going on?' It's great. He's like a mentor to me," beamed Erk Tha Jerk.

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Mac Dre Anniversary

Posted by Billyjam, November 1, 2010 02:59pm | Post a Comment
Mac Dre
Today marks the anniversary of a sad occasion for Bay Area rap fans. On this date, November 1st, back in 2004, Vallejo rapper Mac Dre was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri after a car pulled alongside the van he was in and fired several shots, killing the rapper born Andre Hicks on the spot.

Mac Dre had performed at a concert in Kansas City that weekend and was on his way out of town on Highway 71 when the car pulled up alongside the vehicle in which Mac Dre was a passenger and opened fire. The driver of the van crossed over into the southbound lanes of the highway before crashing into a ravine. By the time medical help arrived on the scene Mac Dre was dead from a single bullet wound.

If he were alive today, Mac Dre would be 40 years of age and, no doubt, the traditionally prolific artist would have recorded and released at least a dozen albums and Treal TV DVDs over the last six years. In honor of Mac Dre, below are a few videos by the artist including two from the 1990s, from his pre-Thizz stage and before he spearheaded the Bay Area's hyphy movement. You're missed, Mac Dre.



Mac Dre "California Livin'" (1992)



Mac Dre "Rapper Gone Bad" (1999)



Mac Dre "Thizzle Dance" (2002)

Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:16:10: Big Boi Bashes Jive, Black C Keeps RBL Posse Legacy Alive, Die Antwoord Sells Out Rickshaw Stop, Lineage's New Video, Dopestyle's Afro Themed Video Shoot, Big L Reissue + Much More

Posted by Billyjam, July 16, 2010 02:16pm | Post a Comment
Luis @ Amoeba San Francisco with run-down of new & noteworthy hip-hop, mid July 2010

Special thanks to my man Luis (above video) at the San Francisco Amoeba Music store for doing a nice in-depth run-down of the new and noteworthy hip-hop CDs and vinyl releases, including reissues, at the Big BoiHaight Street store this week. As the ever knowledgeable hip-hop buyer (and DJ) notes, right now is a perfect time to stop by Amoeba SF and dig for vinyl in the vast hip-hop section of the store.

As with the Hollywood and Berkeley Amoebas, the new releases from Big Boi, Eminem, Drake, Nas + Damian Marley, Madlib, and The Roots are all in demand in San Francisco. And as noted by Luis, Phonte, who guests on the new Roots album How I Got Over, will be at the San Francisco Amoeba in one week when his group Foreign Exchange plays a free instore next Friday, July 23rd at 6pm.The critically acclaimed group (rapper/singer/songwriter Phonte + producer Nicolay), whose still in-production third album Authenticity is scheduled for an October release, play Yoshis SF later that night as well as the previous night (July 22nd) when they are billed to play with YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and live band.

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