Tuesday, December 29, 2009


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


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.


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