Sunday, January 31, 2010

OD Instrumentals/Beneath The Surface Music: Afterwords

Afterwords is OD's original beat tape which came out shortly after Beneath the Surface. 15 tracks of amazing instrumentals, with new shit on the A side and familiar songs in instrumental form on the B side. OD was at his prime here, proving himself with this tape (minus all those pesky virtuoso emcees cluttering up his mix) that he was a master beat conductor and worthy artist in his own right. A great slept-on work of art.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Classic Elements

Hip Hop Was?

Classic Elements was the last great Northwest hip hop compilation. Dropping in '98 (on K Records, of all things), this record was frankly weaker than its predecessors. However, it wasn't for lack of talent: Classic Elements featured such greats as Source of Labor, Black Anger, Beyond Reality, Nomad, and a host of others. The reason this comp wasn't completely perfect was due to the fact that this time Vitamin D and Topspin weren't at the helm. In fact, for whatever reason Tribal Productions had a rather slim representation, with Ghetto Chilldren and Sinsemilla only. That being said, the new faces bring some serious heat. DJ Sayeed is the star of this show, producing bangers by Soulstice, Blak, Black Anger and Bedroom Produksionz. Mr. Supreme also steps up on Jace's "What's Ya Definition", as does Bitzo One and Brian Weber. It's an album that definitely stands up on its own, and acts as a fitting close to a great chapter in the history of Northwest music, while introducing the world to a bunch of new cats. On a personal note: This album came out while I was homesick and living in LA, and at the time the only reason I'd take Beneath the Surface off the player was to put this record on. It's that nice. Give it a listen.


Classic Elements

Proper Execution

Count Your Blessings

Zagu created another four-track gem in the GPAC catalog with Above It All. This album's a bit wilder than his previous release, and the record certainly doesn't suffer because of it. It's a record that demands that you listen to it, and it's so varied that it keeps you guessing as to what the next song is going to sound like. It's too bad there isn't more material of his out there. However, it's good to know he's still at work, with his new band Goodfeathers.
This record features Of Mexican Descent, Adlib, Ambush, Jon Jon, Inoe, and other voices you'd expect to hear. From the primordial days of 98.
By the way, dig the intro and track 3 of this album. He used the unforgettable intro to the Wu's 8 Diagrams years before that album, and used the Clash's Straight to Hell guitar lick when M.I.A. was still listening to the Spice Girls.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strictly For The Headphone Component

This lo-fi tape dropped back in '96, to the eternal joy of GPAC fans everywhere. Zagu was with the Artist Committee from its inception, and his sound attests to that: It's dirty, murky and four-track as you can get. Which is a good thing. Zagu calls this 13-track tape his "maxi-single" for his album Above It All, but I think it easily holds its own as a proper record. Sach and Inoe guest.

Don't Believe It

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Going the Distance

More crazy abstract music, this time from the Dark Leaf camp. From 2002-3, this mostly-instrumental record has some of the most out-there hip hop you can imagine. It's not for all tastes, but if you dig the Dark Leaf sound, or music that challenges your preconceptions in general, you won't be disappointed. Guest appearances by a variety of DJ's and emcees, including Existereo, St. Mark, Kemit, Mixmaster Wolf and Lord Zen.

Jet Lag

Friday, January 22, 2010

14 Fathoms

Released around the same time as Do The Math, this compilation of Northwest artists was in line with that album's murky, jazzy vibe, although with a harder edge. Sinsemilla, Ghetto Chilldren, Samson S, Union of Opposites and others of the Tribal Music camp are represented, as well as Seattle mainstays Source of Labor, Prose and Concepts, Jace, and Blind Council (Blak's old group). DMS also make an appearance. Classic material, and essential listening for any 206/Tribal head.

14 fathoms deep

Low Cal

This is a 3-song ep from '98, featuring a bunch of emcees including Masters of the Universe members West Kraven, Orko, and Eclipse. Nice.

The Low Cal EP

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Alien Talk

Bogartin' the Industry
Phlowtation member Inoe Oner released his sophomore debut album in 2002. Produced entirely by Adlib, Government's Greatest Hits sounds even more out-there than GPAC's already boundary-pushing style. It's great to hear Inoe solo, as Adlib and Zagu's charismatic personalities seemed to eclipse the other members on the old GPAC colab records. What you get with this album is something that's obviously from the Phlowtation crew, but going in a completely new direction. Since this record, his output has continued to travel the same path, except his sound has become more refined. His records have continued to include appearances by the lesser-known GPAC members, like Ivan Jahn and Ambush (who apears on this record as well). Essential listening.

Governmentz Greatizt Hitz

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chung Choo

And the Winner of the "Creepy-Ass Cover" Award Goes To...

Rare album from the Afterlifer Chu. I have no idea when this dropped or the names of the songs on it, but there are 12 tracks, there are appearances by Rifleman and NgaFsh, and it has that kclas'sick Afterlife sound.
I remember hearing back in the day about an album by his band Legion, but as far as I can tell it never surfaced. If anyone has any info on that, I'd love to know what's up.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Extra Terrestrial Request

Thanks go to friend Meee, who uploaded these originally.

Armageddon At Your Door

Since one Alien Nation member has been already represented, I'll make it a trend by showcasing this Celestial release. I only have the vocal trax, so unfortunately no instrumentals, but the two songs are bangers. Especially "Armageddon". Hive and Daddy Kev on deck! From '99.

Armageddon/7 Minutes

Request Time, Yo!

Do You Read Sutter Cane?

I wish I had this in a higher quality, but this is all I gots. I also wish I had the original cover. It had that oldschool Celestial flavor - I think it was a painting of a transformer with dreads, or something like that. Anyway, this dope-ass record has guest appearances by Supa Nat, P.E.A.C.E., DV Alias Khryce, Phoenix Orion and others. Great tunes.


Pronounced "Nayla"

The classic debut by one of my favorite artists, Neila. With only 4 songs (and one interlude), this tape is way too short, but it's got that classic scratchy goodness that underground headz strive to hear. I was first turned on to this dope emcee through Acid Reign; they put out a tape with her back in '99. From the moment I popped that tape in and heard what came out of my car stereo's busted speakers, I was hooked (For those who want to hear that great work, check it out here). This release dropped the year before, and features Buzz One and Ila on guest vocals, with VRSE, Mr. Rios, Mantis Claw and Casino on beats.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Source of Labor

S.O.L. is the embodiment of Northwest hip hop. They've been staples in the scene here for as long as I can remember. Emcee/school teacher Wordsayer was at all the functions; I'd see him at every single show and battle. Since '95 they've been puttin' it down on wax, and I assume they've been around for longer than that. This is their second release, from '96, and features DJ Kamikaze, emcees Wordsayer and Blahzay Blah, and beatmaker Negus I. It's a strange release. The songs "Balance" and "Galaxies" are fully represented with vox and instrumental versions ("Galaxies" has a remix as well), but there are snippets included of three other songs I haven't been able to find anywhere in their full versions. "Easy" showed up in a different form on their full-length album from 2001, but the version found here, along with "Sailing" and "50¢" have eluded me. If anyone has the full versions of these, send 'em this way, pretty please? 8 tracks of hard labor.


Inside Out

Inside Out Vol.1 - A Foolblown Compilation

IThis was a favorite back in the day, and woke me up to a bunch of heads out there. You used to be able to get this at their website, as well as at A-Tak and Sandbox Automatic, but I got my copy at Jam Records (RIP), the only place in town back then that would carry weird stuff like this. Here's where I got my first taste of Atmosphere, Vast Aire, Aesop Rock, Braille, and Subtitle, among others. From the Blowed, to Anticon, to Atoms, many of the innovators of the underground movement at that time show up with some musical jewels. Definitely a classic of it's time and well worth listening to.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Turn It Out

Jaw-dropping freestyle tracks by two of the masters of the art, Supa Nat from Alien Nation and P.E.A.C.E. from the Fellowship. Fat Jack provides top notch beats, as usual. Seven tracks, from '99.

A Supanatural Peace
Under Sounds of the 562

Battle raps to make you feel inadequate about yourself. Song after song of gritty and abrasive goodness from the EX2 camp, with guest appearances by Tommy V (of Imprints) and Awolrus of Shape Shifters. 15 tracks, from classic 97-2000 era.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Do The Math

Sho Sum Respect.

The giant that all Northwest acts have to measure up to: The Do The Math compilation. Sounding only marginally more professional than their earlier tapes, the Tribal artists deliver with track after track of murky, jazzidelic perfection. Vitamin D and DJ Topspin are the obvious stars of the show, setting the gray, rainy tone for an expanded array of talent to rhyme over. Phat Mob, Ghetto Children, Sinsemilla, Union of Opposites, and the rest of the Tribal family are joined by such artists as the future Silent Lamb's Silas Blak, Source of Labor's Wordsayer, and the Elevators' Specs, rounding out the sound more than on Untranslated Prescriptions. I kid you not; this is a heavy release. To put it into perspective, this is to Seattle what the Project Blowed comp is to LA.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tribal 12

Equilibrium - Wrong Number - Traffic

This Tribal wax debut features the cream of the crop of that label's artists - Sensimilla, Phat Mob, and the unparalleled Ghetto Children, all providing great music in that distinctive lo-fi '90's Northwest vibe.

Ghetto Phat Sinsemilla

The Tribal Comp

Tribal Music

I've been saving this one. What this is, is Untranslated Prescriptions, the original Tribal Music tape, released on Maxell cassette back in '95. Tribal Music was a small Seattle record label masterminded by Vitamin D that put out similar tapes, a few 12-inches, a couple CDs, and then called it a day. But what was put out was absolute quality. Featuring nothing but local talent, the music was easily the equal of any of their peers at the time, but unlike Heiro, Solesides, and the Goodlifers (the most comparable crews in my opinion), the majority of the Tribal cats never made a splash outside their home town.
Back in high school some friends of mine who were cooler than me somehow heard about this and trekked out to Music Menu in Rainier Beach to pick this shit up. I remember hearing this tape over and over again with those guys, but I never actually got my hands on it to dub it. I never even knew the name of it - everyone just called it "the Tribal comp." But last year or so I somehow stumbled across it online - Apparently Truth from Union of Opposites ripped it himself (Thank you!) - and I went apeshit. I never had any hopes that I would ever hear this tape again, and listening to it now brings back some excellently hazy memories for me.
This was the beginning of my appreciation for Northwest hip hop. Phat Mob, Ghetto Children, Sinsemilla - to me, it really gets no better than this.


The Tribal Comp

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let's Burn All the Money and Crash All the Cars

Of Mexican Descent

Another request... I really love this album. And for a hip hop record, it's actually really gutsy. This is music made by uncompromising artists, out to do their thing no matter what the trends dictate. And to make a song like "Money Is Meaningless" in a genre of music so obsessed with material gain is ballsy as hell. 2Mex and Xololanxinxo wear their hearts on their sleeves for this one, and their music is beautiful because of it.

Clouded Minds

In answer to a request... Great record. Guest spots include members of Dilated, Shape Shifters, Visionaries, Onomatopoeia, and others.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Booty Cheese

Da Blasta and Ratboy: Turntable Bay

I haven't put up any Northwest stuff in a minute, so here we go with some more Seattle flavor. This is Turntable Bay, consisting of an emcee and a drummer/instrumentalist. Their album, entitled No Samples, dropped in 1998, and they followed that up with something called Uncle Dick, which to me is way creepy. This record has to be one of the weirdest releases out there. There's definitely an old-school vibe to it (mostly due to Da Blasta's flow), but the record is nonetheless strange, trippy, and at times hilarious. The titles of some of the tracks sum it up perfectly: "Booty Cheese", "I See Cake", "Visual Purple", etc. Support the artist over thisaway.  Give it a spin. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Dope After life comp from 2000. All the 'Lifers from that golden era show up to drop track after track of serious illness.


Declaration Disc 1

Declaration Disc 2

Friday, January 8, 2010

While We're On the Subject...

Freestyle Fellowship and Adlib

This is an amazing 12" Celestial put out for FF's "Can You Find the Level of Difficulty In this?", along with Adlib of GPAC's "The Ancient Art of Adlibbing". OD on deck for both tracks, creating simply stunning work on all fronts. Vox and instrumentals included.

FF/Adlib/OD 12"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In Answer To a Request...

Here's the record that, for many of us, woke us up to Project Blowed. From the moment I tore the cellophane off and dropped the needle, I knew I had encountered something rare and amazing. It single-handedly revitalized my lagging interest in hip hop at the time, and started my obsession with the LA underground/Project Blowed scene. OD deserves a Grammy for this.

Note: the version I'm upping contains 18 tracks, comprising the original release plus the three new songs added to the second edition.

Beneath the Surface (Definitive Vinyl)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Big Bad Badstads

Cali Ragz, Versatyle, and Misfit
Another Afterlife Banger. Coming from 1998, this is the sole album by the impossibly-fast talking Eastside Badstads (AKA Easty Boys, or just plain Badstads). Produced by CVE, this is some classic material. Riddlore?, NgaFsh, and Otherwize guest. 13 tracks.

Biggest of the Baddest

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Afterlife Radio

The Show LA Underground Rap Fans Have Been Waiting For!

This early addition to the Afterlife Records catalogue is an actual radio program, complete with commercials, playlists, and interviews. I picked it up from P-Minus' online store back in the day, and as far as I know I'm the only guy who ever bothered. It's actually quite an interesting piece of nostalgia for me now, as it provided me with my initial exposure to the "Afterlife sound" typified by their home-made beats with the vocals and bass way up in the red. All the early Afterlifers represent with some of their best tracks, including CVE, Hip Hop Kclan, Legion, OMD, Cypha 7, Busdriver and Eastside Badstads. From the classic '98-99 era.

Afterlife Radio

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fresh Northwest At Its Best

Vee-One and UNI

One of THE dopest releases from Seattle without a doubt. From '99, this cd by brothers Vee-One and UNI dropped quietly, but the record is anything but. 14 tracks of high energy underground, sounding out of place next to the Tribal Productions sound dominating the Northwest at the time, but nonetheless earning a rightful spot in the vaults of classic 206 shizz. From what I've gathered, these guys have since relocated in Maryland, and are still keeping busy. I Don't Kare If Nobody Likes This was produced by the brothers and engineered by the legendary Vitamin D.

I Don't Kare...

Mind Clouders/Murs

2Mex and Murs, Produced By Mum's the Word

Here's a great 12" from back in '99. The A-side features the Mind Clouders (2Mex and Mum's the Word on beats), with Murs and Mum's on the flip. Two songs apiece, plus instrumentals. (Note: Mind Clouders side has a track not found on their full-length.)

Listen/It Will/All Day/Living Legend

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Peachy Keen: The Subdwellers
This is some mellow Seattle hip hop with live instrumentation, from '99. Although playing live is where they excel, this recorded work is still dope, employing tight rhymes with shifting tempos and extended instrumental passages. Their lineup has shifted quite a bit over the years, but this incarnation featured emcees Johon Sebastion Freestyle, Xntrik Odd One, and Uhnahnomiss the Cheekie Eyed Phantom, with production from Pale Soul, L'sWhere, and Kit. 12 tracks deep.

All Season Portfolio

Friday, January 1, 2010

Big Archie

Big Arch
Big Arch is a pretty elusive character in the Blowed massive. He's appeared sporadically over the years on such crucial albums as the original Project Blowed comp, Innercity Griots and Cater to the DJ, but the released output from this Heavyweight OG has remained relatively slim in comparison to other members of the pack. So for those of us who had been waiting patiently for years for Archie to drop an album, we were finally blessed in 2006 when he put out the aptly titled A Long Time Coming. And by the quality of the tunes it was worth the wait. Produced entirely by Keal AKA Kill Kill, this is some classic gangsta delivered with Arch's jaw-dropping lyrical style. Much slept on, to say the least. "Why? (4Deep)" is among the top tracks from any and all Blowedians, in my opinion. Check it out.

A Long Time Coming

For those who need more, I encourage you to check out Alien Nation Radio. And check these clips out as well!