Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Manual Labor Pains

A Homeless Production

Another wonderfully ragged tape from Tommy V. and Imprints. From 1998, Tommy V. steps back on this one to let his friends and peers deliver. Nori, Hedgehog, Nonaim, Banks, Slopoke, and the rest of the Imprints crew are all over this release; along with members of GPAC, EX2, Hobo Junction, the Shapeshifters, and San Francisco Street Music. The production is of course straight from the 4-track, and Tommy V's beats are as inspired as ever. Oddly enough, there isn't very much in the way of overlap with other releases, apart from the first few tracks. It all adds up to be one of the most entertaining and crucial tapes in the Imprints collection.

Labor Pains

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dust Collector


Sometimes an old Tommy V tape is the perfect thing to listen to. Maybe you just got fired from Jack In the Box again. Or maybe you couldn't sleep last night because your neighbor in the next cardboard box over snores too loud. Whatever the case, when you find yourself a little more run-down or in the dumps than usual, Tommy V is always there to commiserate.
Dust Collector is his first full length tape, and like with all of his old tapes, there's a fair amount of overlap with other releases. Some of the songs here have been recycled at least 3 or 4 times. But don't let that deter you, since there's plenty of unheard hang-dog goodness as well. His Eeyore-like delivery and outlook on life is fully present, as is his incredibly unique and out-there take on music (dollar-bin loops + cinnamon Schnapps + maybe pot crumbs, maybe dried parsley = a Tommy V beat). Add to that some murky 4-track production, and you have the ho-hum masterpiece that is this album.
So pull up a barstool next to Tommy V and get blitzed on whatever's cheapest, along with Nonaim, Awolrus, Hedgehog, Circus, and the rest of his buds. Soon enough, your troubles won't seem so bad. From 1997.

Dust Collector

Eternal Radio Show #2

C73 Eternal Conglomerate

CyPhREr777 aka Koolcypherallah, a dope graphic designer and journalist, hit me up a few days ago with an extensive, 36-track mix for all the independent heads. I can pretty much guarantee you that you will hear some new shit with this. From Orko and EX2 to Dead Prez and Lif, to the deep, deep underground, there is some heavy representation going on here. Seriously, there's so much more here I don't know about than I do know about. This is fresh produce. So put your headphones on already!

Eternal Radio Show

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flow On

Kick That Shit

I really don't know much about Joka. I do know that their song "Flow On" was on the holier-than-holy Sounds of the Good Life tape back in 1994; I have no idea if that's the same version featured here, but since this single came out in '93 I assume that's the case. Sonically and lyrically Joka's domain is firmly rooted in N.W.A.-era LA gangsta, so you won't really hear any of the "typical" Goodlife/Blowed styles on these tracks. What you will hear are a couple soul-inflected, groove-heavy tunes that lyrically glorify the gangsta lifestyle, while simultaneously condemning it, which is as paradoxical as only classic gangsta rap can be.
Listening to it now makes me miss what hip hop used to be. Back when "Flow On" dropped, there was no "underground vs overground, or "indie vs industry" shit going on, there was only hip hop. And that's what this single is - pure hip hop. So sit back, get your head-nod going, and enjoy. You get four tracks - the title track, two remixes, and "Kick It To the Curb". The remixes can barely get away with the name, since apart from a couple rewinds they are nearly identical to the title track. So I guess basically you get two tracks. Which is fine; it's better for your neck anyway.

Flow On

Friday, November 26, 2010

Emerge From Hibernation


The brother ziToO hit me up yesterday and offered beetbak this dope homegrown mix. 41 minutes of hella nice, well-mixed tunes, from underground and beyond. Tight beats abound. I seriously encourage you to check it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Pump Production

A'ight Main

We all know this tune and how it's the best song there ever was, so I won't bother to pontificate on it too much. Production team the Baka Boyz made a sound that amazingly complimented Volume 10's delivery and personality better than anyone before or since, creating not only a hit single, but a larger-than-life persona as well. Simply put, "Pistolgrip-Pump" is perfection on wax. A little less perfect are the remixes on the b-side, but they're still hype and endearing in that way that only early '90's hip hop can be. Especially tight is the "Friday Night Mix", with a beat that sounds like it could have been off Cypress Hill's first record. This entire 12" drips with nostalgia; the sound of the Baka Boyz is one that's firmly rooted in hip hop's golden era, and "Pistolgrip" is a crowning jewel of the times.

Pistolgrip 12"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ghetto Chilldren ft. D-Uneek "WORK"

I came across this unheard Tribal Joint today, and had to post it up. From '97. Major props to William (maybe B-Self?) for putting this up.

Vitamin D's Funk On Sight

Good god man, Seattle’s godfather of all things hiphop has, in typical Vitamin style, unceremoniously released this handcrafted fonk mix:
A blend of funk classic and not so classic selections blended the way i do it! this is a REAL mixtape (no funny rapper shenanigans) for lovers of good music. done from vinyl with a touch of serato i promise you cant front.

Head to Raindrophustla for the full scoop! This shit is fresher than fresh.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Stax On KEXP

Silas Blak, Felicia Loud, Jace Ecaj

I can't wait to get my hands on Talking Buildings, the debut full-length from Seattle avant garde hip hoppers Black Stax. I have to admit I slept on it dropping last summer, and now I feel like I'm going to have to hunt high and low for a copy. But luckily for me there's a four-song live set you can stream over at kexp.org (or you can dl it at the bottom of this post). This set happened back in May at KEXP studios here in Seattle, and the tracks are everything I could have hoped for from these veterans. Silent Lambs Jace Ecaj and Silas Blak are as ominous and abstract as ever, and Felicia Loud's voice just keeps getting better and better. In my opinion no other NW group out right now can stand up to these giants. Have a listen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Wize

He Knows He's Getto (His Social Worker Told Him So)

"When things start to get a little creepy, don't turn the album down, turn it up!" demands Otherwize on his full-length from 2003. An introduction to this record couldn't be put better, because that's what C.U.N. Traffic is: Creepy. And disturbing, and nasty, and intense, and really addictive.
I can't quite put my finger on why it leaves such a slimy feeling on my brain, but certainly Otherwize's lyrics and style contribute to it. His usual no-holds barred battle freestyles are traded in for more introspective lyrics, delivered in a slowed, stuttered style. Actually the lyrics are generally elliptical and abstract, but I get the feeling everything's about booty. There are no hooks and no choruses to give the listener a break from his ranting, making the album sound like one long freestyle. He rhymes disjointedly and arbitrarily over the beats, revisiting themes which never stray far from violence, nasty living, debauchery, and sex. The beats are generally creative, but frankly get eclipsed by Wize's bombastic personality. And there are few, if any guests, keeping his creepy vibe distilled. If the album serves as a testament to the world of Wize, it's a sick world indeed. Undeniable, but sick. I could listen to it all day, but I'm afraid I might get an infection or something.

See You In Traffic

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Conception Records CON006

From '97, here is the lone single by Cuneiform and Sub-Zero (AKA Trust and Nickel Slick, at least according to the interwebs), collectively known as Fourfifths. I'm not sure where these cats are from, but this release was on Mr. Supreme's Conception Records, so the chances are they were Seattle emcees. Side A contains the Remix of "Earth, Wind and Fire," with an early production effort by Jake One. Side B has the original version of "Earth" as well as "The Science," both by Supreme.
I'm struck by how different the two versions of "Earth Wind & Fire" are from one another. Jake One's beat gives the track a slinky, nocturnal, and dangerous vibe, while Mr. Supreme's trademark penchant for melancholia turns the song into a world-weary grind. Oddly enough, Supreme's beat totally wins out, and in fact I think it's one of the best cuts he's ever done. It's an infectious and beautiful track with a melody that sticks with you.
Apart from this 12", Fourfifths can also be heard on two of the best tracks from the Sharpshooters' Choked Up ("Analyze" and "Trust No One"). It's a shame that they didn't go further, because as their slender output attests, they were heat.

Earth Wind and Fire

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Rainin' Dope

You Actually Can't See the Space Needle From Tacoma

From 1997, this is Tacoma WA's Way Out Record's showcase compilation of their four featured artists and in-house production team. Although only a short drive south from Seattle and its predominantly indie vibe, Tacoma apparently keeps shit gangsta. You won't find any rare groove loops here; this is all home-grown, synth and drum machine produced beats. Likewise, there's no room for the typical Sea-Town philosophical pontifications on this tape - as evidenced by subject matter that is much more thuggish and street-wise than say, Silas Blak's abstract poetry or The Saturday Knights' party jams. Ultimately what this is, is a glimpse at another side of NW hip hop that may not be as in vogue as their indie counterparts, but is just as vital and integral and real.
From what I can gather, Way Out Records has either closed it's doors, or become a film production studio. However, the four emcees featured on this tape (AWall, Y.Z.E, Mr. Young Krime, and Young Gangsta Dog) can still be found doing their thing on their own releases and as guests on the releases of other local artists.

It's Rainin' Dope

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Writer's Block

Lord Zen and Dannu: Exposing the Uncouth

Poetry Explains is the second 12" from Writer's Block (1/3 of the Visionaries crew), from 2000. Back then releases from the SoCal underground weren't as easy to come by as they later became, and since I was a fanatic about that shiz I forked over the cash for anything from the movement that came my way. Even with that in mind, I initially balked at purchasing this record. The Visionaries just weren't my favorite crew, despite all the talent involved. Frankly they were just too preachy for me. Also, besides 2Mex, I could never tell who was rhyming. But I ended up picking it up anyway, if only for the producers involved. Mum's the Word was dope, and ever since Beneath the Surface I idolized OD.
So I went home and dropped the needle on "Situations" (OD's track) and by the end of the song I was hooked. I must have played this record hundreds of times - not only were Mum's and OD's tracks great, but Key-Kool's track easily stood up as well. In fact, "Situations" quickly became on of my favorite OD productions - in my opinion he was at his height at this time. As for the vocal talent, once removed from the Visionaries, I could tell that Zen and Dannu were actually great lyricists, with distinctive and charismatic flows. They had a lot to say, and managed to say it with a level of eloquence and finesse not normally seen outside of spoken word poetry. Truly the single's title, "Poetry Explains," is a perfect summation of the contents.
To this day this piece of wax is among my favorite releases from when underground hip hop was at its apex. It's a short release, but in this case it's quality over quantity. These tracks were later released on their full-lenth CD En Route, but I always felt that his 12" stood alone perfectly. Give a listen.

Poetry Explains 12"

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Black Panther

A Tape For the End of the World

In the month after the September 11th tragedy, I drove across the country to New York to see first-hand the aftermath. There was a palpable pressure over the city; Everyone was on edge. Each person I met had a story to tell. Everyone was connected personally to the bombings, more so than it just happening in their home town: They either new someone dead or missing, or had narrowly missed having a family member die, or had narrowly missed dying themselves. On Halloween of 2001 I stood on the roof of an apartment building in Brooklyn, looking out over to Manhattan, and listened to a friend of mine talk about his father who had worked at the World Trade Center, and had just happened to call in sick on the 11th. People were scared, angry, furtive, examining various conspiracies - the entire city was jumping at shadows. Although the World Trade disaster was over, toxic gas was still seeping out of the wreckage, and the threat of an anthrax attack was an omnipresent fear.
This tape has always been my personal soundtrack to that experience. I bought it off the street from Black Panther one night while I was there. It's 90 minutes of intense, angry hip hop; and acts as a fitting accompaniment to my memories of that time and place.

Dark Matter

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mr. Circuleez Maximus

This Stuff's Really Wacko

Here are 13 choice cuts featuring the Shape Shifter caveman Circus. With roughly half the cuts from various guest appearances, and the other half from proper 'Shifter albums, you get a nice overview of Circus' madness. Absolutely necessary for any newcomer wanting to familiarize themselves with the Shape Shifters and their weird, far-out universe.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Request... Rebirth

Awol: Celebrity Wizard

This request came to beetbak months ago, so chances are I don't need to post this up anymore, but just in case I'll do it anyway. Nice collection of compilation tracks and guest spots by the 1,000 year old emcee Awolrus. Generally I find I prefer Awol in small doses, but due to the wide variety of producer talent, this album keeps me entertained from beginning to end. Credits include DJ D', Fat Jack, Mum's the Word, OD, Evidence and Jizzm. The last track, "Upsidedown 6;" with Circus, Busdriver, Puzoozoo, Vixxen, Subtitle, and the Visionaries, is one of my favorite posse cuts out there.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3,2,1 Presents Otherwize and P.E.A.C.E.

That's Wize

My friend Treidoiunu sent beetbak this little gem a while back - Otherwize's "That's Wize b/w P.E.A.C.E.'s "Hey Young World" 7", released on the classic Sub-Level Epidemic label back in '04. Otherwize is one of my favorite emcees out there, and in my opinion everything he touches is gold. And as for P.E.A.C.E., what more needs to be said? The man's a legend. With both sides being produced by Elusive, it doesn't get any nicer. So thanks, Trei! You always come through with amazing tracks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Request...The Bachelors

Vrse Murphy and Z-Man: The Bachelors

Ill colab from Sacred Hoop's Vrse Murphy and One Block Radius/Hieroglyphics affiliate Z-Man. Tales of strug glory and hedonistic debauchery are what to expect here, so you know it's excellent. Originally released on cassette (under the name Wine, Women and Song), this is a cd-rip that came out a couple years back. Peep it.

The Bachelors

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shit Yoov Neva Herd Til' Now

Catch Wrecc

Since this popped up on Philaflava recently, chances are that if you've been looking for this you've already found it. All the same, I think this Afterlife rarity deserves its spot here on beetbak. Wreccless has long been one of the most enigmatic 'Lifers. As a member of CVE and ex-member of Hip Hop Kclan, he's shown up on plenty of tracks - although his appearances are nowhere as numerous as Rifleman, Fsh, or Ridd. Likewise, as far as I know this is his only released solo joint. But if Shit Yoov Neva Herd is any indication, the low profile must be purely by choice. He comes out with straight hardcore and rugged styles on this, more so than his Afterlife peers. A perfect mix of nasty and violent lyrical imagery with minimal, heavy beats are what you're gonna get with this sinister release. Guests include all the cats of CVE, members of the Badstads, Acey, St. Mark, Joker Loc, and others. No idea what year this dropped, but no doubt it's classic CVE ish.

Shit Yoov Neva Herd

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bomb Threat

This is crucial to any NW hip hop head.

Over at Taco Neck Chronicles (a very dope site that you would do well to check out), Pegee13 wrote: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2010

The Bomb Threat Tape (1995)


If ever there was an obscure, Oldominion related release this is it. In fact this would be the Holy Grail of such releases. This tape would not only serve as a launching pad for Oldominion artists Dialog (now Destro), NyQwil, and Snafu, it would also introduce the world to Shakespere (now Libretto), Bleek (now Pricy), and the world renownedLifesavas.

I'm not exactly sure how many copies of this are out there but I know that it is rarely talked about or referenced anywhere. I feel that I would be doing Portland hip-hop a grave injustice if I didn't post this. To me it is the flagship release of mid 90's Portland hip-hop (along with DJ Wicked's first mixtape and Harsh Game For The People by Cool Nutz) and may never again shine like it did when I was a 16 year old kid, if the world were not to rediscover it.


1. Phenomenal by Bleek
2. Fusion (Set It Off)
3. Sabotage by Lifesavas ft. Da Brown Hornet
4. Playin' Your Game by Shakespere
5. Who I Be
6. Face Da Music by B-Thot (Dialog & NyQwil)
7. That's Why by Snafu & Tuk
8. The Incident
9. Bomb Threat

All songs produced by Jumbo 



UPDATE: If you had trouble with track 3 you can click  Here to download it by itself. Let me know if there are any more problems.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elevator Music

Specs One and E-Sharp: The Legendary Elevators

I can vividly remember the first night I ever heard the Elevators. It was way back in '94, and me and a couple dudes I knew were crammed into my crappy-ass lowrider, parked at the beach, blitzed out of our minds on some heavy shit. The stereo was on, and Digible Planets' Blowout Comb had just flipped over in the tape deck back to side 1. This night would have been memorable just for that; as that was my first listen to that perfect record, which is still one of my all-time favorites. But what really did it for me was what came next: My man said "Hey, have you heard the Elevators?" I mumbled something negatory, at which point Blowout was immediately and unceremoniously ejected in favor of a quiet little home recorded cassette that has shaped the face of Northwest hip hop to this day - the Elevator Music EP.
For being released in the 1993, this tape was on the next level. The beats were rough and low-fi, and the vocals were quiet but confidently conscious. The buzz at the time is that The Elevators were Seattle's answer to Gang Starr, but they were something more as well: They effectively moved Seattle forward beyond the 808-heavy party tracks of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and laid the groundwork that eventually put Seattle on the underground hip hop map. From the quietly jazzy and lyrically substantial aesthetic employed by Tribal and Source of Labor, and beyond to the indie sound of Blue Scholars and Common Market, The Elevators' influence is indelible. So give Specs One and E-Sharp a serious head nod for sculpting the sound of the Northwest.
That night was the one and only time I ever heard Elevator Music, until Truth from Tribal's Union of Opposites hit Bring That Beat Back with the tracks last year (Thank you - you are the man!). I included those tracks, along with two more from the Elevators facespace page, compiling all I can find of their output. It's brief, but memorable.
Specs One aka Specs Wizard aka M See Eye Shock has gone on to be one of the most creative and long-lasting characters in the 206 hip hop fermement; as an emcee, visual artist, and producer. If you look, he's literally everywhere. More on the man can be found here, including links to his current releases. Not to be slept on! Check out the Elevators below - and if anyone out there has anything I missed, could you hit me up? :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

206 Summer Heat

DJ Daps1 Presents: 206 Summer Heat Mixtape

Posted by Tyler Hakes on July 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm

This is a mixtape that was put out today by DJ Daps1 of all 206 (Seattle) artists. Prometheus Brown (aka Geo) of Blue Scholars inspired him by posting a “twitter mixtape” by linking his followers to twenty tracks for download. Apparently it’s real hot over in Seattle, as indicated by the number of dope tracks to come out of the region (SEE: Blue Scholars – Coo) as well as DJ Hanibal of Life Cycle tweeting they’ve hit the 102 degree mark. Scorcher!
1) Source of Labor – Emerald City (Intro)
2) Gabriel Teodros – No Label (Original)
3) E-Dawg – Drop Top feat. Filthy Rich
4) Kid Sensation – Seatown Funk
5) J. Pinder – Gotta Be
6) Specs Wizard – Green Lover
7) Ghetto Children – Slangin Cuts
8 ) Wojack – 206
9) Xperience – The People’s Anthem
10) Grynch – Summertime feat. Geologic
11) Blue Scholars – Coo
12) The Living Yard (Crispy, Gabriel Teodros, Khingz, Nam) – Summer’s Here
13) DMS – 206′in It
14) Jake One – Home feat. Vitamin D, C Note, Maine and Ish)
15) Blue Scholars – Town Talk Pt. 1 feat. The Physics and Khingz
16) DMS – Sunshine
17) Black Anger – Sip the Juice
18) Ghetto Children – Young Tender feat. Candidt
19) Jake One – No Introdeezy feat. Kutfather
20) Abyssinian Creole – Summertime
21) The Physics – I Heart Beer
22) Amos Miller – Rocco Kain
This was originally posted two summers ago during Seattle's crazy global warming heatwave, over at Abovegroundmagazine. Since the link is dead over there, I thought I'd post it up over here. Kind of strange to post it in November, since it really is a sunny weather mix, but it's still great listening no matter what time of year. From Kid Sensation to Grynch, this mix pulls from a substantial part of NW hip hop history, and includes some stuff that's damn near impossible to find (check the two Ghetto Chilldren tracks!)
206 Summer Heat Mixtape

Monday, November 1, 2010

Okito Lexicon


To go along with Ambush's Valentine EP, here's Okito's Big City Riot, from 2001. I snagged this from Westcoast Rareness, so props go to to Ill $kill over there. Here we see yet another angle to the GPAC sound. This departure from the 4 track brings the funk, and Okito's smooth voice complements the music perfectly. At only 4 tracks, this release is criminally short, but well worth pushing the repeat button.