From Ballin' PR:
Amad Jamal Named "Hot New Release" on iTunes
Los Angeles, CA (March 2011) One of the Southern Cali’s most buzz-worthy MCs, Amad Jamal, along with Urban Umpires Unlimited, is proud to announce that Barely Hangin’ On: The Chronicles of a Brotha Like Rodney King is featured as one of Itunes "top hot new releases." Amad Jamal's debut solo LP is the brand of cultivated, artistic, and poetic wordplay that reminds real music connoisseurs just why we all have fallen in love with hip hop.
The controversial album title, which pays homage to the now 20 year old unjustified beating of L.A. native Rodney King, is an intentional call of awareness to a situation that persists in much of the USA and in fact perhaps the world - for certain groups of people. “I chose the title because 20 years later we have not fully learned from the mistakes of the past, not just me but black males in general are often viewed like Rodney King in the eyes of the law. Any of us could work downtown, be wearing a suit and tie, turn the wrong corner in our 540 BMW, and be pulled over for ‘driving while black’. We might not always get tazed or beaten but the underlying motives are the same.” – the Rodney King Syndrome.
Barely Hangin’ On: The Chronicles of a Brotha Like Rodney King is 13 tracks of poetry put to music, with thoughts and messages that are stated eloquently and based in truths we all can relate to – but may not have the courage to face. "Hardcore Beautiful" pays homage to the lives and places many live where what seems overtly rugged is really something spectacular and lovely when you step back to view it on a deep level.
"Boy Meets Girl" uses a theme we all have experienced (lost love) to wrap in the more important message that pain is about progress and that all experiences - good and bad - open your mind to new truths.
"Stop Fuckin’ Around" is an ode to Amad’s mother, where he uses her often-futile warnings to him against tagging buses and cruising the Crenshaw strip to relay the message that we often have to open our ears to open our minds – but you have to be ready listen.
“Going Postal” pretty much sums up the feelings of the working class worldwide – nuff said ☺ and the aptly titled “Rodney King” takes a view of L.A. from the perspective of the Amad’s alter ego Tom Bradley, mayor of L.A.; it is light and fun but with a real underlying message that real change is far from here.
Overall the LP is a tantalizing mix of jazz infused beats with live instrumentation and boasts a line-up of long respected talents and lesser known artists – including (on vocals) Dilated Peoples, Defari, Gotham Green, and the angelic soulful voice of Maaya Ota aka Lady Dragon; production is shared by Bahamadia Protégé and Urban Umpire Brisk One and the ever talented DJ Dahi, while the album art is a collaboration between the ideas of Amad Jamal and gifted hands of French artist Ben Gaisne.
Amad Jamal has been deeply entrenched in the Los Angeles music scene since the late 90s. Born and raised in LA, he was named by his mother after the famous Jazz legend, and had a pretty typical L.A. upbringing, listening to N.W.A records and free styling at The Good Life Café as a teen. He attended John Burrows Jr. High with Rakaa Iriscience where they were both immersed in the graffiti scene. Upon entering college he found himself surrounded by artists who in the future would become his industry peers. “There must have been something in the water at my college,” quips Amad-Jamal who attended Clark Atlanta University with the likes of Lil John, Arrested Development’s Speech, and Saul Williams.
In 1999 he formed with the group The Solution with Salt Lake City producer Brisk One, Colonious Funk (base), Kurt Fagan (drums), DJ Kai Wing, Nongenetic (MC) and vocals by Maaya Ota aka Lady Dragon. In 2000 alongside Rakaa, Evidence, and Defari he released the maxi-single The Renaissance. Later he released LA City with Evidence and Amad was featured on the Always Bigger & Better Volume 1 where he recorded "What I Need" with DJ Khalil (of Self Scientific). In 2003, Amad-Jamal was the only West Coast artist booked for the Rock Steady Tour and has performed live and toured with industry greats including the Beat Junkies, RZA, Talib Kweli, Cali Agents, Prince Po, KRS-ONE, Myka 9, Dilated Peoples, Defari, Freestyle Fellowship, Mr. Fab, Zion I, Prince Paul, Saul Williams, Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Q-Tip, Little Brother, and Bahamadia.
Amad eventually met Just Jay, the founder of Urban Umpires, and joined the ranks of the exclusive artist coalition by unanimous vote. Upon his entry Just Jay reportedly said “Amad Jamal’s a super star!”
Some people just are… One listen of Barely Hangin’ On: The Chronicles of a Brotha Like Rodney King and you will be saying it too.
* www.amad-jamal.com *
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