Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Songodsuns/Darkleaf/Mumbles

Afternoon Focus/Caution 12"

This split 12" came out in 2000 as part of Ubiquity Records' No Categories series (I think - please correct me if I'm wrong about that). It's a strong slab of wax featuring 2Mex, DJ E.S.P. and Nobody (AKA the Songodsuns) performing the bouncing "Afternoon Focus"; with the abstract, Mumbles-produced Darkleaf track "Caution" on the reverse. Both songs count among my favorites for the artists involved. Nobody is an awesome producer, managing to blend layers of sound without it turning into a muddy mess, and 2Mex's style flows perfectly over his beats. Mumbles, best known for producing the entire Aceyalone album A Book of Human Language, crafted a beat here that fits Darkleaf's unique and uncompromising style like a glove. Vocal and Instrumentals included.

Afternoon Focus/Caution 12"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Black Anger

Black Anger Movement

Black Anger is an extension of the sibling production team Bedroom Produksionz, consisting of Dj Sayeed and emcees Kindu and E-Real Asim. In my opinion they occupy the top tier of 90's Northwest acts along with Tribal Productions, Silent Lambs and Source of Labor. This EP was put out by K records in '97 and remains a high point in the recorded output of local acts - especially "206 Mix Tapes," one of the dopest tracks in 90's hip hop - period.  


Maxed Out Singles

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Black Swan Foundation


I know nothing about this group. I picked this album up at Cellophane Square or Orpheum back around '99 or 2000. It's a tight album, and at the time I was surprised at how little it sounded like the established "Northwest" sound epitomized by Source of Labor and Tribal Productions. In fact, listening to it now it sounds to me like an early Oldominion project. As far as I can tell, the crew consisted of John Doe (now Jonnie Storm of Saturday Morning Cartoon), L.R.C., Manumental, Demone, Sabrina and Martin X. Executive produced by DJ Kado.

Black Swan Foundation

Friday, December 25, 2009

Future Crops In Mars' Dust

The Flood
I saw these guys play by chance, and I count myself lucky that I did. I happened to walk past a Capitol Hill art gallery on my way home from work one summer night, and I heard this great band coming from inside. It was vibrant and energetic and the emcees were tight. I stood and watched the end of their show, and continued to hang out while a spontaneous freestyle session evolved out of the proceedings. As the band was packing up, I stopped the bass player (Aaron Walker-Loud, I think) to thank him for an awesome show and to ask the band's name. The Flood, he said.
I remember them making quite a buzz around town for a while, and even showed up on a Seattle live album along with Abstract Rude. (I'd love to get a copy of that, if anyone has it - wink wink, nudge nudge). This is their way nice studio album from 2000.

The Flood

Monday, December 21, 2009

Working with Sound

This great addition to the Celestial catalog dropped in '97. Although Hive is known for his DJ and drum and bass work, this is a much more laid back and mellower affair, primarily utilizing jazz samples and slower tempos. Rhettmatic and Darkleaf's Hymnal make brief appearances.

Working With Sound

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doublevision


Bean One, Page3, X.Troydinare = Doublevision

I've already mentioned this Northwest act over at In Search of the Lost Chord, but I feel like showcasing the talented Bean One and company a little more. This came out in '99, the same year that Footprints' Operation Raw dropped, but this record boasts a much cleaner and crisper sound. Like Bean's other early collaborator Proh Mic, I have no idea what Page3 and X.Troydinare have been up to since. Check 18 tracks worth of classic and heavily slept-on Seattle hip hopery.

The Year Two Gee...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Footprints: Operation Raw


Bean One and Proh Mic = Footprints

Here's an early lo-fi release from Seattle producer Bean One. After I found out about his project Doublevision, I picked up this dope tape back in the day from local music supporter Orpheum Records on Broadway. It's a great snapshot of some obviously talented artists in their early days. Although Bean has become a household name in the underground hip hop community (producing tracks for such notables as Charlie 2Na and Trife Da God), I'm not really sure what Proh Mic has been up to. Any info would be appreciated. Other names that appear on this tape include Putney Swope, Verse Omega, Kylea from Beyond Reality, and Mr. Hill (later to be found all over Oldominion releases). Check it! It's a taperip, so 2 long-ass tracks in length, totaling over an hour of classic grimy and lo-fi goodness from '99.

Operation Raw

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elevated Elements

Elevated Elements

Changing gears a little bit, this is the a fine example of some turn-of-the-century Northwest hip hop. I got this album from one of the band members outside the Paradox theater in the U-District, back in 2001. That was an incredible night; Slug, Idea and Abilities were headlining, but what stole the show for me was the huge MC battle that preceded them. The winners: Bishop I from Oldominion tied with Surge (not Surge Spittable, just Surge - where are you now?). Amazing. (A few months later Bishop busted in on my group at a Cannibal Ox show and bellowed out a bunch of freestyles that blew my mind all over again - an amazing talent.)
Anyhow, This post isn't about Surge, or Bishop I, or Oldominion - this is about that CD I picked up that night: "Progress" by Elevated Elements. They were part of a huge crew in the Seattle area known as NAPS. Elevated consisted of
Lace Cadence, Exakt, Patrick, FingerPrints, and Macklemore (yes, that Macklemore). The CD was surprisingly good (since I knew nothing about them), and well worth the money. I still play it now and again. It's right here on my iPod. Give it a listen - track listing in the package, 21 dope tracks deep. All in all, I'd say it was a good night.

Progress

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Street Life Family Presents: Hip Hop Summer Heat, Vol.2

Hip Hop Summer Heat Vol. 2

...And here's volume 2. The Street Life Family returns, among them Fat Jack, Aceyalone, Ab Rude, Dutch, Massive, R.E.A.L., and others.

  1. Intro- Fat Jack
  2. If It Aint Gangsta- First Degree
  3. No Worries- BLK Ceza
  4. Just Anotha Player - LSD
  5. Where He At ?- First Degree
  6. I Know You Want It- Marcelles
  7. Real Wit It- R.E.A.L.
  8. Summer Love- Kiki AKA Jane Doe
  9. Ah #1000 Times- Killa Tri (Dangerous One AKA D One, Munsta Black and First Degree)
  10. Relax Ya Mind- Isreal
  11. Caribbean Queen- Dutch, Massdog and Orah
  12. Whats Next?- 2Poundz
  13. Get Some Yak- Munsta Black feat. Mary Jane and Dutch
  14. Affiliation- ATU
  15. For Us Kids- Dutch, Abstract Rude and Aceyalone
  16. Streelife Zone- Dutch, R.E.A.L.
  17. U Aint Got 2 Explain- Dutch, Smitdro and Spielberg
Volume 2

Get it here:

Vol 2

Friday, December 11, 2009

Street Life Family

Street Life Family Presents: Hip Hop Summer Heat

I came across this colaboration a while back that piqued my interest, as it features tracks by some familiar Cali faces: Ab Rude, Jayne Doe, Dutch, Minister 2Bad, DZL, Massive, and R.E.A.L. all show up, along with a few other names that that are new to me. From 2004 (I think). Note: The tracks listed on the player are misnamed. Follow the track listing below for the correct titles and artists.

1. Intro - (Mass dog)
2. Hip Hop Summer Heat - (Fists Cuffs, Black, Freez Burn, Luvles)
3. Another Summer - (First degree, Ab Rude)
4. Summer Love - (Kiki aka Jane Doe)
5. Fall In - (Killa Tri Angles)
6. Skit - (Dutch, English Mozart Ensemble)
7. Summer Brezz - (R.E.A.L.)
8. Steped in the Club - (Dutch, Too Bad)
9. It Is What It Is - (Dorion, Yolunda Ball)
10. Skit
11. Big Party - (Isreal)
12. What You Want
13. Now That It's Summer Time - (Yolunda Ball)
14. Bounce Like a Low Low - (DZL, Man Child)
15. Everytime I See You - (Street Life Family)


Hip Hop Summer Heat Vol.1


Edit:  Get it here:

Summer Heat Vol. 1

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tune In!

The Almighty Adlib

Hi peeps, I've been inactive for a time here, doing the business on the late, great 5vemics, then getting busy with school, but I just thought I'd post up a goody I'm all excited about tracking down: Adlib's album "Tune In"! This is the last album he made before his instrumental stuff took the fore, and his emcee skills here are in prime form. I heard about this via his 2001 instrumental album "Save Us" - it listed his other albums to that point, including this one, "Vs." and "Operating the Generator". This record picks up from where "Vs." left off - the last track on that is the first track on this - and continues onward in Mr. Beck's distinctive, lo-fi, scratchy style. 19 tracks deep, circa 99-2000. Long live GPAC!

Tune In

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Doomsday Prophet

Orko the Sycotik Alien

Masters of the Universe member Orko delivered this gritty solo tape back in '96. Since then he's put out a ton of other releases, joined and exited crews like GPAC, and dropped the "Sycotik Alien" for "Elohim." Still, he continues to live up to his original namesake, by releasing music that sounds unlike anything else.
This tape is rough, raw and scratchy, like an underground tape should be. Check it out; it's my favorite release by a unique and uncompromising artist.

Doomsday Prophet (1996)


Edit:  Orko has recently posted his own cassette version up on bandcamp, so here's the link there:

Doomsday Prophet

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trenseta


Trenseta

When listening to Trenseta's 2003 mixtape The Uncutt Vol. 1 I get the feeling that he really wants to be the next mainstream hit. He has the sharp image, his beats are polished, and his voice is smooth and infectious. He has years of street cred (Goodlife and Project Blowed OG), and he's also appeared on albums by chart toppers. He even states how he plans on going multi-platinum. There's only one problem: He just has too much to say.
In an effort to "be the next big thing," Tren has outdone himself and made music that is just too good. He sacrifices all the monotonous, bellowed choruses and shitty beats you hear on radio tunes for verse after verse of lyrical density over beats that actually don't piss you off. Whether he's shredding Ja Rule's cred to tiny pieces, or talking shit about wanabe players, or spitting out battle raps, he is consistently original, clever, humorus, and at times, amazing. And where many of his cohorts have had a much larger catalogue of releases, some of which - lets face it- can be maddeningly forgettable, this sole release by Tren is a banger from start to finish. There isn't a weak track on the album.
Give a listen; it's 23 tracks worth of slept-on goodness.

Uncutt Vol. 1

Loc'ed After Dark: Tray Loc


 First of all (just to squash your hopes right away), this isn't Jean In Da Front Row, and it's not Golddigger either. This is Tray's cd-r he sold on his 2004(?) tour, called Unreleased, or Untitled, or Prerelease, etc. Second, if you have either of those two aforementioned titles, could you be a pal and send em hither? Pretty please?
This is Tray doing what he does (rapping about his sexy times), with help from Ellay Khule, Riddlore?, Mikah 9, and some other dudes I don't recognize. 11 tracks, at 37 minutes.

Tray Loc

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crew Cuts Vol. 2


...And this is Volume 2. Overall I'd say Tommy V. outdid himself even more than on the first collection. My only gripe is the last track, "Pepsi On the Record 98" must actually have been sprayed in Pepsi or some other corrosive substance, as the sound is frustratingly bad. What adds insult to injury is that it's a 10-minute cut that has a ton of underground heads on it. If you can get around the muddiness, it's a great track.
I admit I had to cobble this together from other sources, as my tape has gotten so murky and warbly over the years it's un-listenable. But it's all here. Again, click on the picture to see who's on what, since it would take until the cows come home to type it out.

Imprints Crew Cuts Vol. 2

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crew Cuts


I won't try to list all the emcees on this release, so just click on the cover above to take a look at the track list, and you'll see the array of talent involved. The name speaks for itself - track after track of crew cuts.
This is Imprints ringleader Tommy V.'s signature lo-fi 4-track tape stuff, from 2001, put out on his own Homeless records. Some of it has turned up elsewhere, probably in better quality, but the o.g. tape hiss compliments the music perfectly.
16 tracks over 1 hour.

Imprints - Crew Cuts

Project Blowed Radio #1


Fat Jack dropped this mixtape in 2001. It features sides by established blowdians alongside those of their peers, from the Lootpack to Jay-Z. Nearly 40 minutes in length.

Naptron the Meta Predator

Naptron's Styles of Madness

This is a great ep in the Celestial Recordings catalog. Produced by Hive and Daddy Kev, Naptron's ep sounds a lot like fellow Alien Nation member Phoenix Orion's Zimulated Experiencez album from the year before (produced by the same cats). Which is most definitely a good thing. This short release is packed with heavy, raw rhythms over eerie atmospherics. It just whetted my appetite for the full length I kept hearing that Naptron was going to drop. So, with this release to tide me over, I waited patiently for, oh, about a decade(!) before I actually got my hands on a copy of it...
What you're getting here are 10 tracks, including originals, music and vox tracks.

Styles of Madness

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dead Homiez


 For those who are here, you probably already know what Dead Homiez is all about. Until recently this soundtrack from 1997 was next to impossible to find. I remember daydreaming about the one used copy I saw on Am_zon a few years back (for 65 bucks!) with what could only be described as lust. But thanks to the internet (and assholes like me) it's finally seeing the light of day. Featuring tracks from ATU, Volume 10, Ganjah K, DK Toon and others, this compilation of west coast gangsta rap was an obsession of mine until I finaly found it and bought it from a semi-legit Polish MP3 site. And now, I pass it on to you. Enjoy!

Dead Homiez

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jupiter


Like the picture says, this is Self Jupiter of Freestyle Fellowship's 2001 slab of wax for "Life Doesn't Get No Better Than This", along with b-sides "Discouraging Quotes" (hearing J-Smoov is a rare treat) and the certified classic "4808-4911-A". Instrumentals are also included.

Jupiter

Medusa




Why Medusa isn't a superstar is beyond me. Possessed with an amazingly soulful and commanding voice, Medusa delivers on this record like Macy Gray or Joss Stone only wish they could. Do It the Way You Feel It is her 1997 ep off of Goodvibe records, featuring Feline Science and Wil-Dog, and with production from Fat Jack, J-A-To the Z, Ieye, and Panda.

Medusa

Adlib - Vs.



"A hand-fought struggle accompanied by many emotions translated into infinite measures of motion." If you know Global Phlowtations, then you can guess how this sounds. Thavius Beck, aka Adlib's Vs. is an abstract, rougher-than-rough 4-track gem, with the signature cerebral raps, crazy loops, and thin, murky beats indicative of his early production efforts. According to Adlib's notes regarding Vs., this is his first solo project, entirely self-produced and written (except The "Spot Pt. 1" co-written by Sach)." In typical GPAC fashion, the tracks are unlisted. 10 songs deep, at just under 20 minutes.

Adlib - Vs.

Just found the track list!
1. Introducing
2. Tread Water
3. Focus
4. The Present
5. The Spot (Part 1) Featuring - Sach
6. C'mon Now!?!
7. Horsepower
8. Weight
9. Lip Service
10. Stay Tuned...

Awol One and Xololanxinxo


 Here's a 7" that came out in 2000, produced by Mum's the Word, and featuring Awol on one side and Xololanxinxo on the other. Both tracks are ill. Released on Sub Level Epidemic.

Flying Spiders b/w The Dying Chain

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Weather - Touch Type b/w Winthorp & Winthorp



This 7" is pretty much what you'd expect from Busdriver and Radioinactive. It dropped about the same time as their album with Daedelus, but these tracks were produced with different beatmakers. "Touch Type" has beats by Paris Zax, while "Winthorp and Winthorp" is produced by Daddy Kev. Their production efforts give this short release a slightly less experimental feel than what Daedelus did on their full-length, which I thought sometimes floundered a bit (Their track "Barely Music" comes to mind).
Here you go:

Touch Type/Winthorp and Winthorp

Shaydie Hutch

 3rd Degree

Here's Blak Forest's Shaydie 3rd Degree with his 2000 release "Hi Energy," along with "What Could Happen" and "Conversation Peace." The title track is a slab of solid emcee work, with a flow that keeps me listening over and over. All tracks were produced by 80 Nine 'Til, and the release is on Up Above.

Hi Energy 12"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Foot Soljaaz

Zig E.S.P. & Otherwize

Here's a heavy release from the Blak Forest camp. This 1999 three-song ep features Otherwize in his usual take-no-prisoners form, along with the equally-ingenuitive Zig E.S.P. Be sure to check out "Zonin."

Foot Soljaaz 12"

On Some Other Shit

 Ali When He Was Cassius: Otherwize


Let's get things started. Since I've been on a heavy Project Blowed kick lately, I'll keep running with it. This 12" was a favorite of mine back in '99 and it still is. Other-wize is an awesome emcee, as anyone who's heard him can attest. So the story goes, he's the guy who served Eminem back in '97 and caused him to retire from battling. This ex-Hip Hop Kclan and current Blak Forest member's delivery is in-your-face, dense, loud, and clever. Every time I hear his music, I pick up on something I've overlooked before, and it usually makes me laugh out loud.
This single put out on Blackberry is one of his finest appearances. M-Boogie's quick and crisp production style suits Wize's no-holds-barred delivery perfectly. Take a listen; you'll hear the title track as well as the b-side, the blunted and paranoid "The Robbery," as well as obligatory nstrmntls and accapellas.

Some Other Ish VLS

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Message From Gamba's House

Hey there, this is Jack. The hard-to-find hip hop thing is kind of getting out of hand on my main blog, so I'm setting this site up to deal with that particular obsession of mine exclusively. I'll probably be posting sporadically on this, and who knows how long it'll last before I either run out of enthusiasm or it gets shut down. I always welcome requests/links/comments, and to know that there are actual readers will encourage me to continue with this project.
More coming soon. Until then, check out l0stch0rd for what I consider to be the initial posts for this blog:

Puzoozoo Watt

Ganjah K

Portrait of a Ghetto Raised

Fellowship


1 Year Edit: I've gone ahead and moved these old posts over to beetbak. See below.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Self-Help


 Here's another impossible-to-find nugget. This weird release came out only on cassette in 1999, at least I think. This cerebral Blowdian rapper Puzoozoowatt was, and maybe still is, a member of the group Onomatopoeia, along with Slant (who made the beats for this release, as well as guested on one spot), and Vixen, who shows up a couple of times. I remember ordering this from P-Minus' website back in the day, along with a bunch of Rifleman, CVE, and GPAC cds. When I got the package it was one of the happiest days of my pathetic, nerdy life. Go check out Puzoozoo's myspace page to hear the strange and cool stuff he's up to these days. While you're there, ask him please to release some more tracks! Please!! For now, enjoy this strange tape.

Self-Help

Sunday, July 19, 2009

GanjahKmc

Ganjah K

Ganjah K's legendary unreleased album from the early 90's, Harvest For the World, is a record I've tried to find for more than a decade. It's my own personal "most sought after" record. I'd hear about it here and there, and I'd find it listed on online trade sites, but despite a number of valiant efforts at getting a copy, (including ignored offers to trade, then ignored offers of money/sex, leading to ignored threats of emotional blackmail, extortion, and bodily harm) I would always ultimately fail at getting my hands on this coveted gem.
But I never gave up hope. I knew that some day, on some blog, or sketchy hip hop forum, or Russian pirate/porn site, I would find this most holy of hip hop holy grails. And low and behold, it finally happened. And not only did I find Harvest for the World, but I also located his other impossible-to-find album, Danksta Life!
Before I go further, a quick run-down of the man of the hour: Ganjah K is a Los Angeles emcee, a member of First Brigade (and possibly also an early member of Freestyle Fellowship?), who kills it on the mic. He yells when he raps. He has amazing battle skills. He's had an elusive career, getting signed to the great Satan Pallas Records in the mid nineties, never getting official release for his records, and subsequently appearing almost entirely on small compilations and guest spots for nearly 20 years.
And this could very well be a valid reason why I'm so passionate about Ganjah K's work. Certainly there's the struggle I have to go through to find his music, which I find rewarding. But more importantly, where some of his more successful cohorts have had the means to become slicker, flashier, and more mainstream, Ganjah K has been denied that success and therefore still retains that raw edge that is so appealing. Ultimately, this means that whenever I hear a new appearance by Ganjah I'm not disappointed.
Here's where I found these jems:
http://philaflava.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=111336&sid=50851f9312644e3f977ae8364c5a3a00
Be sure to give praise where praise is due(i.e. to Ganjah K and the dudes who actually uploaded this shiz)! But be aware: I'd always heard that the sound quality of Ganjah's Harvest was terrible, but I wasn't prepared for just how terrible it was. So, if anybody out there reading this has a better copy, please let me know! I Will gladly trade/pay money for/have sex with you for/blackmail you for/threaten you with bodily harm for a quality version of Harvest.
Now that I've finally found these records, my life is strangely empty.
Here's a hit of the Ganjah.

Got My Mind Trippin 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Portrait of a Ghetto Raised


 As far as I can tell, this can't be found anywhere. For those who know of this, no intro is necessary. For everyone else, this is the ultra-rare Project Blowed-related compilation album Portrait of a Ghetto Raised on One Punch Records. Just barely dropping in 1998, it came about soon after the blow-up that was Beneath the Surface and just before the equally-incendiary Cater To the DJ. However, unlike those two comps, Portrait came and went with barely a rumor to mark it's passing.
Produced in large by Fat Jack, Portrait boasts some unheard tracks by some Blowed veterans: Abstract Tribe Unique, Ganjah K, Volume 10, Smooth 7, Dutch, DK Toon and others. The vibe is a relative departure from the experimental flavor that the Blowed camp generally deliver: This is raw, post-g-funk-era hip hop. The beats are from drum machines, not samples; the bass is smooth and prominant; and high, whiney synth lines dominate.
I remember learning about this release when a promo cd single showed up at the indie record store down the street from my apartment. I recognized Fat Jack's and Dutch's name at the time, and waited impatiently for the album to show up, but to no avail. Then one night, years later, I was checking out the tiny shelf of tapes in the same record shop (Orpheum, for those who care-RIP) and low and behold, there it was! I asked the tight-pantsed clerk about it, and he told me it had been sitting collecting dust for all those years, waiting for my sweaty palms to clutch at it. Cosmic.
Check it out! The tracks by Ganjah K and Dutchman are standouts.

Track listing:
A1: Portrait of a Ghetto Raised: Intro - Ab Rude
A2: In the Club Tonight - The Suspects
A3: It's the Life - Smooth 7
A4: Right Or Wrong - Mark Means feat. Mr. Beloved
A5: Feel the High - Ganjah K
A6: Clothes By the Trees - K-Lam
A7: Do Or Die - The Suspects feat. Sir Loon
A8: Affiliations - Abstract Tribe Unique
A9: The Game Has Been Good To Me - Ganjah K
B1: Profound - K-Lam
B2: Everybody Banging - DK Toon feat. Smooth 7
B3: Peace Of the West - Dutchman feat. Volume 10 & DZL
B4: Take Me - Billie feat. Mr. Beloved
B5: Give It Up - Israel
B6: Low Low - Volume 10 feat. Flowood
B7: In the Zone - The Suspects feat. Money Green


Portrait of a Ghetto Raised

Friday, June 19, 2009

Aceyalone, Mikah 9, Ganjah K, Volume 10, Big Al

Here's a criminally hard-to-find Freestyle Fellowship track. Originally a b-side from 1993, it was the featured version in their "Hot Potato" video. For whatever reason it hasn't popped up anywhere since. This version has little to do with the album track. The beat is much livelier and the Fellowship exude an energy that was rare even at their peak (at least on record). This was the Fellowship's golden age. The way they fed off of each other, constantly pushing the boundaries of what each emcee could do individually and as part of the group is at times jaw-dropping. They don't disappoint here. Check out guest emcee Ganjah K's verse early on - He definitely holds his own like the heavyweight he is.

Hot Potato (Blow Up Club Remix)