Amoeblog

#LPofDay The Beastie Boys' landmark debut "Licensed To Ill" LP Stands The Test of Time, Exactly 32 Years Later

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2018 04:58pm | Post a Comment
The Beastie Boys Licensed To Ill LP (Def Jam) (also on CD)

#LPofDay  The LP pick of the day today is the three-plus decade throwback, mid eighties debut album from The Beastie Boys,  Licensed To Ill (Def Jam/Columbia). Released exactly 32 years ago to the day (Nov 15, 1986) the landmark album by the young trio was reissued in 180 gram vinyl two years ago as the (still available vinyl)  Licensed To Ill: 30 Year Anniversary LP that's also on CD. In honor of its anniversary, a re-listen earlier today to this 45 minute, 13 track (inc. 7 singles), Rick Rubin produced, rock/rap hybrid by the former NYC punkers provided these ears ample proof that Licensed To Ill  has aged well. The album truly stands the test of time even if its three main makers (MCAAd Rock and the late Mike D) have since somewhat distanced themselves from it, citing instead their critically acclaimed 1989 sophomore album release, Paul’s Boutique LP, that they had more production and overall creative involvement in, as a project that they're more proud of.

Give The Drummer Some Love: Saluting The Late Great Funky Drummer Clyde Stubblefield by Listing Samples

Posted by Billyjam, February 21, 2017 06:01pm | Post a Comment

Over the weekend one of modern music's most unsung heroes died. The influential soul/funk percussionist Clyde Stubblefield passed on February 18th at age 73 from a kidney failure. Stubblefield's death followed a decade long illness according to his wife who confirmed the musician's passing on Saturday.  As the drummer with James Brown's ensemble during the godfather of funk's highly important decades of the sixties and seventies Stubblefield was responsible for creating and recording numerous highly recognizable funky drumming JB parts including what would become one of the most widely sampled drum breaks in hip-hop history: the short but instantly recognizable drum solo on James Brown's 1970 "Funky Drummer."  The Chattanooga, Tennessee- born percussionist was a member of Brown's band during some of the most exciting years and, as such, he was responsible for the drumming on such classics as "Cold Sweat," "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," "There Was A Time," "I Got The Feelin'," "Mother Popcorn," and "Ain't It Funky Now." But it was Stubblefield's simple but short [only 20 seconds] funky and hypnotic drum pattern on the James Brown track "Funky Drummer" that would become the artist's grePublic Enemyatest legacy, even though he didn't initially get the full credit for it: both on paper (artist credits) or in paper (money/royalties).
Stubblefied's drumming recording of the song, which would go on to become the most sampled tracks in hip-hop music, is estimated to have been sampled approximately a thousand times!

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Top Ten Best & Worst Moments of Krip-Hop in 2016 by Leroy Moore, Krip-Hop Nation Founder [Hip-Hop Artists with Disabilities]

Posted by Billyjam, November 29, 2016 11:49pm | Post a Comment

In taking a look back at krip-hop music and culture in 2016, the Amoeblog invited regular contributor  Leroy Moore, the founder of Krip-Hop Nation [pictured above], to draw up his Top Ten Best and Worst Moments of Krip-Hop in 2016. That list below was assembled by ever busy artist/activist from his Berkeley CA home/office right before heading off to South Africa this week (Dec. 1st) for a Krip-Hop Tour. In looking back over the past year, one in which a certain president elect publicly mocked people with disabilities and in which civil rights overall seemed to take a step backwards, Leroy noted that despite continued obstacles and setbacks that, "Krip-Hop Nation in 2016 continued to plant seeds both internationally and here in the U.S. through interviews, and projects." Leroy further stressed how he and fellow members of Krip-Hop Nation monitored mainstream hip-hop and continually, "called out artists on their ableism." [discrimination against those with disabilities]



Top Ten Best and Worst Moments of Krip-Hop in 2016 by Leroy Moore



1) The film documentary with Emmitt Thrower, Where Is Hope, Police Brutality and Profiling Against People With Disabilities came out in January of 2016 after which we did a whole Bay Area tour of screenings of the film.

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Record Store Day 2016 Mix: Run-D.M.C., Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Vinnie Paz, Geto Boys, Sugarhill Gang

Posted by Billyjam, November 25, 2016 02:51pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to the 2016 Record Store Day Black Friday (Nov. 25th). Besides all the exclusives for this annual crate digger holiday (see PDF list and head to your local store now) there's a ton more, regular non RSD hip-hop releases to chose from. As seen in the Top Five below, these include the number one album this past week everywhere including the Billboard chart and at Amoeba Music. That of course is the universally popular return / farewell album from A Tribe Called Quest: their sixth album We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service (Epic Records). Not just an excellent ATCQ album that scores top points by being simultaneously true to their roots and new and original sounding, but is also the perfect salute and farewell to revered member Phife Dawg who passed away earlier this year.

Note many if any of these highlighted RSD Nov 25 releases do not sell on the day they will be avail online as of 5am, tomorrow morning: Saturday Nov. 26th. There's a lot of vinyl of different genres as outlined in the recent overview 14 Vinyl Releases To Look For On Black Friday Amoeblog. That noted the limited run Erykah Badu album But You Cain't Use My Phone. 12" LP clear vinyl RSD exclusive, with 1,500 copies pressed. Even better is the Jungle Brothers RSD vinyl pressing of Done By The Forces of Nature album. Then there is the special 12" colored vinyl reissue of Run-D.M.C.'s  "Christmas In Hollis" which has the distinction of being one of those rarities: an original Christmas / holiday song that was a hit and went on to become a classic/standard, now three decades later. Many first got it as a single or track on the classic 1987 Christmas various artists compilation A Very Special Christmas album with the iconic Keith Haring cover art. It also appeared on Profile Records out-of-print hip-hop holiday compilation, Christmas Rap. 29 years later and it's still a tight track thank to co-production of Rick Rubin and that killer sample of Clarence Carter's funky 1968 single "Back Door Santa."

Roots of Reality Rap & Beginnings of Conscious Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, March 30, 2016 12:00pm | Post a Comment

Upon digging in crates of early eighties hip-hop today, I was pleasantly reminded of just how socially aware and outspoken so many of those early era hip-hop records actually were. It wasn't all "party over here, party over there, say hey" structured escapist rap, at least not from this period of the early 80's onwards. Of these 12" records, I picked out three to pop on the platter and listen closely to and present here via their YouTube clips: Divine Sounds' "What People Do For Money," Kurtis Blow's "8 Million Stories," and Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & Furious Five's 1982 Sugar Hill single "Message II (Survival)." As the title of the latter implies, the record was the sequel to the pioneering hip-hop crew's hit "The Message" from earlier that same year. [Both are found on the group's Best Of collection CD].  An international hit, it held a mirror up to the decay and neglect of the inner city told in catchy memorable rhymes on the stark reality of living in poverty in urban America. The antithesis of a rap party anthem, "The Message" was a cold slap in the face forcing all to look at the everyday struggles of living amidst poverty and violence. On the record Duke Bootee and Melle Mel traded such famous observatory rhymes, "Rats in the front room, roaches in the back. Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat. I tried to get away but I couldn't get far. Cos a man with a tow truck repossessed my car." "The Message" and its widespread success is regularly cited as the original "conscious rap" record and held responsible for kick-starting a sub-genre of hip-hop that would play a key role in the genre up to the present. However many over the years have protested this label, citing it as too limiting and restrictive a pigeon hole to fit an artist into. Most notable of late is talented hip-hop star Vince Staples who has vocally and mockingly rebelled against and dismissed the term "conscious rap" that he protests has been unfairly applied to his work.

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