Amoeba berkeley Staff

E. Lit
Amoeba Berkeley

Farewell, My Friend (LP)

Thes One
Thes One delivers the strongest instrumental hip hop release of the first quarter of 2023 with this loving tribute to his deceased friend and former partner in People Under the Stairs, Mike Turner aka Double K. The album plays like a photo album of memories of times that Chris spent together with Mike, from hanging on the porch together in the 90s to partying at Chris’ bachelor party in Rosarito. Fans of production from People Under the Stairs’ albums will love the funky sounds on display here, with vibes that are positive and uplifting but also deeply emotional and touching. The album plays out like a cohesive album with a full band sound, courtesy of live instrumentation from a variety of musicians, including the Bay Area’s own Kat 010 and Headnodic. Much more than a collection of beats, this album honors the memory of Double K and gives him a send-off that any hip hop head should be able to appreciate. Read more

Burnished Sums (CD)

Yungmorpheus is definitely a name to watch in the new generation of buzzing rap talent, and this short but solid EP serves as a sign of great things to come. Relaxed and sophisticated rapping over some very nice production from Joe Armon-Jones, DMH, and August Fanon amongst others. Word is that Yungmorpheus has a number of new full lengths slated for 2023, which feature a pretty impressive cast of collaborators, including Ohbliv, Kutmah, Fly Anakin, and even Mary Lattimore in the mix. Don’t surprised if you continue to see his name pop up in these Music We Like guides, as all signs are pointing towards a busy year for Yungmorph. Read more

Sedale Threat (LP)

Wrecking Crew

When it comes to the Wrecking Crew, the competition is few and far between these days.  Curly Castro, Zilla Rocca, PremRock and Small Professor have all had a very strong run of solo albums and collaborative projects over the last few years, but this first official crew album raises the bar yet again and puts them in a different league.  Nothing but front-to-end burners on this one, with too many highlights to cover in a single review.  It’d be wrong of me not to mention “Empty Out the Register,” with its awesome creeping guitar beat, sharp lyrics, and extra memorable hook.  Or “Atom Kief,” with its onslaught of extra hard verses from Reef the Lost Cauze and Alaska topped off by one of the illest verses to date from the phenomenal Curly Castro.  And lets not forget “Behemoth,” which will have Hieroglyphics fans flipping out when they hear the Bay Area’s very own Casual wrecking shop alongside the crew over a neck-snapping Small Pro beat.  Some of the highest quality hip hop out there, don’t sleep.

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I Told Bessie (LP)


One of the fiercest and most poetic spitters of the Backwoodz Studioz camp steps to the plate with a new full length solo album that ranks amongst my favorites of 2022.  Elucid has recently gained a lot of notoriety as one half of Armand Hammer alongside billy woods, and has been racking up tour dates ever since the duo received the blessing of The Alchemist’s production in 2021.  This latest offering finds Elucid at his most liberated and artistic, with styles ranging from passionate rap bars to quiet spoken word dirges.  Exceptional production provided by Child Actor, Kenny Segal, Sebb Bash, August Fanon, Messiah Musik, P.U.D.G.E, Lasso & The Alchemist.  No less than 4 guest spots from billy woods, and a great little posse cut with Quelle Chris and Pink Siifu to round out the rap artistry on display.  One of those albums that leaves a memorable first impression, but only grows stronger with each listen. 

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Avada Kedavra (LP)

AJ Suede

More AJ Suede on the Amoeba hip hop shelves is always a good thing, and this 2023 LP pressing of one of his stronger releases from 2021 is another jewel in the Suede God’s crown.  AJ Suede handles both the raps and the beats on this project with ease, flexing his skills in both departments without so much as breaking a sweat.  Suede’s unique delivery and steady methodical flows sound right at home over his dusty sample loop production, which keeps things simple with a tasteful selection of old soul and rock samples to get busy over.  AJ Suede is such a productive force in the hip hop scene these days that he’ll likely have a few new albums out by the time this digital brochure has dropped.  Be sure to be on the lookout for his new album with producer Televangel, as well as his new group G’s Us alongside R.A.P. Ferreira.

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Billy (LP)

Buck 65 & Controller 7

One of my favorite hip hop albums of the last 5 years, originally released in mid-2020 but finally pressed as a deluxe 2LP set in 2023.  This highly conceptual album presents a scene-by-scene hip hop re-creation of the movie “Buffalo 66,” with Buck 65 rapping from the perspective of the movie’s protagonist and anti-hero, Billy Brown.  Buck 65 goes above and beyond in his execution of this concept, capturing the very essence of the movie with a clever mix of dark humor and weighty emotional material.  Controller 7 delivers amazing production throughout, with a great blend of oddball music samples and hefty hip hop drum breaks that offer a wide variety of moods over the course of the album.  Sweetening the deal further are the album instrumentals, which are included on sides C & D of this LP set and are well worth checking out if you’d like to hear some of the finer details of Controller 7’s craft.  Hip hop enthusiasts who are also cult movie connoisseurs will be floored by the level of thought put into this project, but those less savvy about movies will still find a lot to love on this beautiful LP. 

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Amoeba Berkeley

Don't Worry Darling (BLU)

Olivia Wilde

There was a whole lot of hoopla, trash talk and baggage that preceded the release of this film. I feel it was unfair [After all how many darling male directors had sexual relations with the starlets to “push” the performance of the acting or whatever and yet their films were taken very seriously/praised] and over shadowed a good film with good acting from all. Truly a chilling film and worth your time to watch.

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Celestial Rot (LP)

All Out War

These New Yorkers weave a ferocious blend of metal and hardcore that is sure to satisfy ya.

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Helionomicon (LP)


Two tracks, twenty minutes each, of insanely great metal with a reverence of all things Lovecraft.

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Anthronomicon (LP)


This is part two / a companion piece to Helionomicon. It is insane just how much talent is in this band and just how much both these albums rule. I find new dimensions and journeys upon repeated visits to both albums. I am blown away with the twist and turns, the avant garde riffs and multi directionality these two release have. Already in my best of year list.

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