Amoeblog

The Ten Most Noteworthy Collaborations on E-40’s The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 & Book 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2016 07:55pm | Post a Comment

E-40, D-Boy Diary: Book 1-- By doubleay

Vallejo’s E-40 is a man of many titles. 40 Fonzarelli, 40 Water, and "the tycoon known as Charlie Hustle" are only a few of his dozen or so monikers, but the truest of his titles undoubtedly has to be "The Ambassador of the Bay."

The prolific MC is a forefather of West Coast hip-hop, and his extensive discography and boundless accolades have essentially deemed him the epitome of Bay Area rap. 40 brought Bay Area’s unique sound and style to the rest of the world and if any artist wanted to get a piece of the Bay Area scene, they’d have to go through 40 Belafonte to get it. While many other hip-hop legends have comfortably taken their seat among the ranks of rap’s hall of fame, E-40 has never slowed down nor declined in relevance. Many rap veterans may feel threatened by break-through up-and-comers, but in 40’s case it is quite the opposite. In fact, one of the most admirable things about E-40 is the interest he takes in young artists. While continually progressing his own career, 40 has always put on and supported rising talent new to the industry. E-40’s incomparable stature and experience, met with his kindhearted tendency to promote up-and-comers, truly warrants the title "Ambassador of the Bay."

E-40, D-Boy Diary: Book 2After 27 solo albums, E-40 is back with a new double LP that totally embodies The Ambassador’s ability to cater to his people, both young and old. The D-Boy Diary: Book 1 & Book 2 are each 22 tracks in total, featuring a star-studded track list of stand out OG’s to young bucks. The project has over 40 features, including everything from legends both native and foreign to the Bay Area to fresh up-and-comers with little to no fame or coverage. Few albums have ever had a unique and substantial list of collaborators successfully cater to a wide audience such as this. In an effort to bring some clarity to the depth of this all-ages showcase of a project, I took it upon myself to highlight the most notable features on the double LP.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: West Coast Rap the First Decade Part III: Breakin' N Enterin' Documentary + Captain Rapp & DJ Flash

Posted by Billyjam, December 3, 2013 11:20pm | Post a Comment

        

For this week's Hip-Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog installment we continue with more on the topic of the first decade of LA/West Coast Rap. Above is a continuation of the video interview with DJ Flash and Captain Rapp and below is the entire film of the little-seen 1983 documentary on LA Hip-hop's early history: the 84 minute film Breakin' N Enterin.  In the above video interview with Flash and Rapp, they discuss both LA rap history and their latest release, Westcoastin featuring Ronnie Hudson along with a slew of legendary West Coast rappers, which has been selling well at Amoeba Hollywood since its recent release on CD. Meanwhile, the out-of-print 30-year-old documentary on LA Hip-hop made by Topper Carew is a refreshing West Coast counterpart to such NYC hip-hop films as Wild Style and Style Wars. It showcases LA's vibrant early b-boy, poplockin, graffiti, DJ, and MC scenes. Among the many highlights of this engaging documentary told by the practitioners of the art form is the Blue City Crew out of Carson, CA featuring members of what would later become the Boo Yaa Tribe. A young Ice-T, who would not appear in the hip-hop film Breakin' until a year later, is also featured here.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: The Roots of Oakland Rap and The Birth of Bay Area Hip-Hop in the 1980s

Posted by Billyjam, November 26, 2013 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Motorcycle Mike
Today's richly vibrant, prolific, and diverse Bay Area hip-hop  scene, with thousands of artists currently making a broad range of styles, humbly began in Oakland 32 years ago back in 1981. It was early in that year when the very first Oakland rap release (also the very first known Bay Area rap release) dropped: Motorcycle Mike's single "Super Rat." The record arrived in a time when hip-hop or rap music was still considered an East Coast/New York artform that, for some odd (elitist?) reason, could not hail from the West Coast. This belief was challenged with releases like releases like Motorcyle Mike's debut 12" rap single. That record by the artist, who was also known as Motorcycle Mike Dappa, was entitled "Super Rat" and was produced by Gerald Robinson and released on the tiny indie Hodisk Records -- the label run by Nicky Moore that also relToo $hort Don't Stop Rappineased the Numonics.  Born Phil Lewis and influenced by Bootsy Collins as much as the Sugarhill Gang,  Motorcycle Mike was, not surprisingly, a motorbike fanatic. Pro-Black in its message, "Super Rat" featured the early Oakland rapper drawing an analogy between the then much talked about Norwegian "super rats," who could not be killed by poison but instead got stronger, and the underdog black man in Oakland and other American urban areas who could not be kept down. Motorcycle Mike's original Oakland rap record was followed up later that same year from the East Bay city by the 12" single “Tally Ho!” on Walker Star Records from Steve Walker - an artist who would re-emerged some years later to record under the name Biscuit.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Bay Area Hip-Hop Shows 1984 - 1996

Posted by Billyjam, November 12, 2013 01:13pm | Post a Comment
          

For this Hip Hop History Tuesdays Amoeblog the focus is on some select Bay Area hip hop/rap concerts from two and three decades (80's/90's) ago and their corresponding advertisement flyers - a time before social networking and free access by all to the Internet. Covering the years from 1984 to 1996, these are a selection of show fliers such as the one left from September 1989 when LA crossover rap artist Young MC was at his prime as were the Bay Area rap acts who opened for him including APG Crew at the long gone, once very active, club spot in North Oakland the Omni  ("the Bay Area's largest showcase nightclub" on Shattuck at 48th near Telegraph).

In addition to APG Crew, who were voted hottest local/Bay Area act of that same year of 1989, other acts on this bill included East Bay act Step G with M.C. Sirgeo, and two Bay Area acts that would go on to national acclaim: producer/political rapper Paris thanks to signing with (and later getting dropped over political controversy) with Tommy Boy Records and East Bay hip-hop crew Capital Tax who in the following few years would go from being on the small indie local T-Cap Productions to being signed to MCA Records.   Another time within about a year of that show, Too $hort headlined at the Omni -- doing his typical no-frills, straight up rap concert. (This was a time when another Oakland rapper, MC Hammer's stage shows were huge choreographed events -- Too $hort was the proud antitheses of that.)

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: DJ Flash & Captain Rapp Look Back and Discuss New "Westcoastin"

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2013 07:51am | Post a Comment
Lee Johnson, aka West Coast hip-hop pioneer DJ Flash who began his illustrious rap career back in the early 80's, has recently returned from retirement along with his old school 80's rap partner Captain Rapp and gotten back into music with a new label and a brand new release that recently arrived in Amoeba (in store) for sale. The new album Westcoastin features Ronnie Hudson with a slew of legendary West Coast rappers including Snoop Dogg, E-40, and Too $hort is a sort of reprise of Hudson's 80's hit "West Coast Poppin" - one that he incidentally reissued back in the early 90's when he compiled the West Coast Rap history compilation series. "A year and a half ago I asked Ronnie Hudson if he would like to re-create his 1982 Classic "West Coast Poplock" aka "California Knows How To Party" that Ronnie wrote it in the 80's the one that Dre and Pac re-did it in the 90's," Flash told me recently. The new record which began as a vague idea of reworking a West Coast classic evolved into all the original guys Ronnie Hudson, Mikel Hooks, Captain Rapp, and DJ Flash getting back together and then recruiting Zapp Troutman, Snoop Dogg, Too Short, E40, Rappin 4Tay, and Celly Cel and some others to make the original song even better  via various mixes include several re-mixes: house, dub-step, electro, and G-funk (featuring Battlecat and Richie Rich) - plus record some other new material. Below is text of a recent conversation with Flash about the new project plus, immediately below, is part of a recent video interview I conducted with both Flash and Rapp talking about their history and the history of West Coast Rap itself.

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