Smith Bros. Release New Single,


Slumplordz release The Yakuza has been named

as one of the best hip hop albums of 2000 by The San Francisco

Bay Guardian. The full length LP, which was released in October,

is the group's first national release and second full-length offering.

Other honorees include Dead Prez, Outkast,

Blackalicious, Talib Kweli, and Dr. Dre among others. (Related


The Slumplordz first came to prominence

in early 1999, when they released their underground LP SunnMoonSekt.

With references ranging from The New

World Order to the Internet Revolution, and their introduction

of the production style called Slump, the album was widely heralded

as among the best underground releases in recent memory. As one

writer described it,

"The 'Sekt' venture forth lyrically from the urban here-and-now

to the deepest Freudian recesses of the mind, on a magic carpet

ride of beats and samples that make Portishead and Tricky sound

like the Carpenters by comparison." A re-release of the album

is expected from Stray Records early 2001.

In a related announcement, Tha

Slumplordz have joined the ever growing legion of San Francisco

Bay Area artists who are protesting the exhorbitant rental fee

hikes, which have accompanied the dot-com explosion of recent

years. Billy Jam's Hip Hop Slam in conjunction with Amoeba Music,

19 artists (including Tha Slumplordz), and various record labels,

have released a

compilation entitled Just Payin The Rent, to help shed

light on a problem, which is quickly approaching critical mass.

As penned by Hip Hop Slam's Billy

Jam: "Just Payin The Rent is pretty much the battle cry for

each of the nineteen Indie artists on this compilation who, despite

their radical range in musical styles, all share the struggle

to just pay the rent and be able to create their art. The San

Francisco Bay Area, where most of them reside, has felt the seemingly-overnight

effects of the new dot-com economy which has escalated housing

costs, changed demographics, and had a drastic effect on the local

arts community."

"Living in San Francisco is

like living in a computer: everything is about the

Internet," said the Pre-Teens' Laura Davis. "People

are being forced out because of the skyrocketing rents. Clubs

are closing down and practice spaces are rare."

Indeed a major blow was dealt when

on October 1st, San Francisco's Downtown Rehearsal building, where

500 bands of all types of music had rented spaces, were all evicted

after the building was sold for a

huge profit.