Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sounds of Armageddon

Ubiquitize Yo Earballs

Two of my favorite tracks of the era on one handy 12". This side features the phenomenal Medusa paired with producer extraordinaire Nobody on "Fiend and the Fix", with a slightly different vocal mix from the album track. The instrumental version really showcases the layers of sound Nobody used to create this dark swampy masterpiece. That side features the great, late Darkleaf with their appropriately named "Sounds of Armageddon". The apocalypse will be heralded by a mariachi band, no doubt. Abstract vocal and instrumental versions included. One of the best Ubiquity 12"s in my opinion.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Request... Mirage

Kinetic In Efec

Request... The Kinetic crew really needs to rerelease some of their old tapes, because everything I hear by these Austin cats is quality. Here we have Mirage aka Big Soul's 2000 EP, featuring Tee Double and Icon from the Kinetic, and DJ Drez on the decks. Entirely produced by Mirage and Tee Double (I think), 5 full tracks are included plus the obligatory Goodvibe beat snippets. Another strong GV release - But then you'd never expect anything less from the label or the crew, would you?


Friday, March 25, 2011

Request... The Associates

From The Ground Up

A couple ill tracks from a gang of talent. Produced by Rhettmatic, the two tracks showcase T-Love, Ev and Rakaa from Dilated, Divine Styler, Key-Kool from Kozmonautz, and LMNO and Shaydie of Blak Forest. Good times, good times. Instrumental, accapella, and bonus beats included. From '98.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Head Trip

Hey Kid, I'm a Computer. Stop All the Downloadin! Help Computer.

Key-Kool and Rhettmatic, aka the Kozmonautz, from 1995. Side A features the Remix of "Head Trip" as the first cut, produced by Ras Kass; along with the remix instrumental. The Original version is also included, produced by Rhettmatic. The og cut is entirely different, with completely different lyrics.
Side B features the vocal and instrumental versions of "Reconcentrated," a grim and shameful American history lesson with appropriate sonic backdrop courtesy of Vooodu! and Ras Kass. It's a sick, sick beat. Dope sounds all around.

Head Trip 12"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Professor Macklemore

I don't know shit about Macklemore, so I won't go on about him too much. I will say this, though: Damn, but he just makes good music. It's universal. This is his 2000 album Open Your Eyes, as has been requested. Do as he commands. Orko appearance!

Open Your Eyes

Edit:  Track List!

1. Intro
2. Welcome to the Culture
3. The Almighty Kingdom
4. Wake Up
5. Earthlings
6. Listen to Sound Procreate
7. Interlude
8. Her Name was Music
9. Flossin
10. Interlude
11. Journey
12. Fresh Coast
13. Translucent Truth
14. Until Reality Blends Into Dreams
15. Interlude
16. The Infinite Anthem of Freedom
17. Set Me Free (feat. Jerm, Orko, Asun)
18. Lifetimes (feat. Kelly Montague)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

General Inna Penetentiary

Selassie I Soldier

From Conception Records back in 1997. Dj Sureshot and Mr. Supreme on deck. Sureshot produced the A-side, while Supreme provided his ample programming skills. The Diamond Mercenaries show up to add flavor on the b-side, where Supreme handled all production duties. This dancehall-infused 12" is sadly all Selassie I Soldier ever released commercially. I say sadly because both the original and remix are truly infectious tracks. More dope Seattle flavor that went under the radar.

General 12"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Radio Sole 1

Make Way For The Originals

This tape produced a Pavlovian response with me every time I thought of it for years. Thanks to the Unheard Music, I finally get my kibble: The Legendary Radio Sole 1 tape from Solesides. Get the link and check out the dope review here...

Edit:  The Unheard Music, the amazing blog that hosted this album, went the way of the dinosaur last year (that is, if dinosaurs were hunted down and slaughtered by g-men who had their priorities miserably skewed), so here is a new link:

Radio Sole

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Intro 2 The Central

Tribal's Lost Classic

Maybe the most criminally hard-to-find record to ever come out of the Northwest, this is Narcotik's Intro 2 the Central tape from '95. With nocturnal, soul-inflected beats and flat, emotionless delivery, C-Note and Tizzy T may seem on paper like Seattle's answer to EPMD. However, where E Double and PMD were all about good-natured bravado and boasting (at times to the point of self-ridicule) Narcotik take the formula in a completely different direction. No doubt this tape is straight-up sinister, presenting the ominous and dangerous side of Tribal Productions and Seattle hip hop.
DJ Topspin produced, and Vitamin D almost certainly provided beats as well. From even the first listen it's evident that it's the most cohesive release from Tribal Productions, and definitely deserves to be heard and applauded as much as Do The Math or Untranslated Prescriptions. Thanks go to a very generous soul for providing this release, for awakening Tribal to a new generation of heads, and for making old geezers like me (who've been fiending for this release for 15 years) very, very happy. Thank you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

You Will Lose

Choose Your Opponent

Animal Pharm ended strong with this release, the classic "You Will Lose" 12" from 2000. With the well-known remix (along with the much-different original version) Spontaneous and Aceyalone join Panda One and Statik on some of the dopest battle verses uttered by any of these four emcees. Spon's verse is especially clever and tight. Statik quite capably goes solo on the b-side, "Out of Bounds." It's an ill track to say the least, with a spacey beat reminiscent of Aphex Twin at his more mellow moments. Another landmark Goodvibe release.

You Will Lose


Where's My Victory Gin?

Consisting of the South Bay's Daysmen Empire (A-O.N.E., Esoin, Diverse, and Style M.I.S.I.A.) and New Moon (Piseas and L.E.F.T.), Constylations is something of an underground hip hop supergroup, if only in retrospect. The Daysmen are mainly known today as being the sounding board for production biggie M.I.S.I.A.; while New Moon, now known as the Bash Bros, are busy working with notable west coast talents like Planet Asia, Afro Classics and the Living Legends.
In contrast to what these disparate artists may sound like today, Constylations presents a mellow, jazzy, Bob James-ish vibe. Pianos, horns, scratchy drum loops, and other organic sounds dominate the mix, and the lyrics are the epitome of consciousness. Almost sounding like a throwback to the classic Native Tongues sound at times, this is some great, hazy music for a sunny afternoon. From circa '99-01. Give a listen.

Thought Crimes

Friday, March 11, 2011

Request... Mr. Aeks

Request... This is Savagery's Blunted Blade, a dope bay area tape produced by Mr. Aeks back in '99. This features a gang of talent on the mic, such as Megabusive, Dave Dub, Constylations, Axeom, Persevere, Zest, and many others. I really don't know much else about this tape, except that Aek One is a great beatmaker. It hits from beginning to end.

Blunted Blade

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Psypilot Rase

Grabbing The Mic And Giving Them The Old One-Two

As far as I can tell, this Rase's only solo outing. As a Full Time Artist og, Rase released this tape back in '99 on his own Highground record label. It's some wonderfully rough and creative stuff. Deep, murky 4-track production compliments some truly weird and creative beats, utilizing distortion, found-sound instrumentation, and overdriven analog. Rase produced many of the tracks himself, with help from Dick Jones, Marlon, and the wildly strange acid casualty Triangulum.
As a rapper and lyricist, Rase keeps it personal and basic, which allows the strength of the music to shine through. He isn't out to wow anyone with his lyrical dexterity, he wants to tell a story. And as a storyteller, he excels. Lending support lyrically are fellow storytellers Smash Adams, Joe Dubbs, Dick Jones, Unbreakable Comb, Triangulum, and Neila. Gas One and Sidus Idiom (AKA Tapemaster Steph) also appear to lend their dextrous hand on the decks.
It's a great release, and just makes me wish more FTA goodies were readily available. These days, Rase is more known for his graffiti fonts than his musical output. Lets hope that some day he makes a return.

Threatening Myself

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Droop Capone

Basically He Busts the Dialect On You

From Dr. Oop and Black Love Crew's Mad Hueman Disease album from 2002, this is the 12" for "9 To 5" and "One Life". This is some classic L.A. underground that sadly didn't get as much hype as it deserves. Oop comes with a strong delivery made even more impressive by the sick, loop-driven beats he employs. Small-J produced those two tracks, Midas produced the cut "Def Kiss", and I'm pretty sure that Mum's the Word produced the non-album track "Generation Epps". In all instances it's a winning combination, coming with a no-nonsense vibe reminding me of cats like PUTS or Blak Forest. Music without a trace of bullshit, basically. Feast your ears.

Dominant Styles

This Ain't Polygram

Kirby Dominant, member of about a million bay area colabs, dropped his debut solo single "Microphones" in 1998. This wax showcases the title track, plus "Time Is Tickin" and the great "Underground Game" in their clean versions, plus instrumentals. Apart from Kirb's hilarious cameo on Murs' F'Real album, this was my proper introduction to the skillful dude. Eclipse 427 appears and produces on "Microphone", while Kamal Hasan Hood and Konceptual Dominance (Kirb and King Koncepts) work the other tracks. Hella nice hip hop, period.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Request...12 Kommandments

Feed Your Thoughts On Some Space Shit
As requested... Shamen 12, aka Atom 12, was a member of the ill San Diego crew Masters of the Universe, along with other notable talents Orko Elohim, Odessa Kane, Gonjasufi, and many others. This tape, released in 1996, is a fine example of the unique aesthetic employed by the Masters. Imagine an unholy combination of Sun Ra and Ice Cube. Shamen's lyrical style is all over the map - it runs the gamut from creative battle raps down to spoken word. There are even times on this tape that he seems to be chanting more than rapping. The beats are also on some other shit. Eerie and abstract sci-fi loops and bass-heavy drums rumble under Shamen's delivery, made even stranger due to the murky 4-track production and tape abuse. Absolutely this is strictly for the 4-track lovers out there. Guests frequent the tracks, but as I have yet to fully dip my feet in the 90's San Diego underground, I can't identify them yet.
I beseech thee, check out this wonderfully weird-ass release in the MOTU canon. And if anyone out there has any of his other releases, would you mind posting that ish up? :)

Shamen 12

Nairb Jones's Herb Session

I never thought I'd get to hear this one. Probably one of the rarest GPAC fam releases out there. And from what I can gather after the first listen, it comes tight to say the least. All praises to the cats at Ghetto Tyylit for this. Thank you, thank you.

Get it here...

More On the Bomb Threat Tape...

Larry Mizell, Jr. over at The Stranger did a piece about this historic tape a while back, and he gave the okay for me to post it up over here at beetbak. He and Bruce Illest paint a vivid picture of Portland's hip hop scene in the early-to-mid nineties. It's well worth the read. So thanks, Lar!

Bomb Threat was a real pivotal moment in the hiphop scene of Portland and the entire NW. I spoke to someone who was around at the time about it—my partner from Mash Hall, Bruce Illest AKA djblesOne. At the time, he was the DJ forFrontline, composed of Snafu, Nyqwil, and Destro- who were the Portland-based half of what became the nucleus of NW supercrüe Oldominion, the other being the Seattle-based Oracle's Creed (which was composed of Onry Ozzborn,Sleep, Pale Soul, with the cat known today as RC Tha Trackaholiq as their DJ). Frontline's MC's all appeared on the Bomb Threat tape, as well as the Lifesavasand many others from the area. Peep after the jump.

See at the time, the two most official cats/camps in Portland were Cool Nutz and Jus Family Records- and Lifesavas and their greater crew, Misift Massive. Rap wise, Nutz was like the streets guy, and had been doing it big with all of Jus Family for years—really, they were the standard for doing it, but it didn't seem like we could even do it on that level—and Savas were like the underground-hiphop dudes. Jumbo The Garbageman from Lifesavas was universally respected, as a leader and a production guru, teaching people how to use their equipment. You could say he was the Vitamin D of Portland, he was recording dudes, giving them beats, stuff like that., his studio was where a lot of stuff came from. Huge influence. I was at his house and he explained to me the idea of emotions and scales- he would always break down this cool offbeat music knowledge, that was why he was so filthy. Man, we would be doing something and Hawaii 5-0 would be on, and there would be some kind of "duh-duhh", some noise or something, and he'd ask his girl, like "yo find out what episode that is so i can sample it". Haha!

So they had Misfit Massive- Lifesavas, Libretto, Isiah, which wasVursatyl's singing group, Wolveryne AKA Dubb-Flexx, Sly the Brown Hornet and Mixmasta KD, who was another big influence. And there was a bunch of other people that were recording with him that weren't MM, such as Snaf and those dudes. Jumbo basically thought he'd compile all these people he was working with on Bomb Threat, him and I think Dubb-Flexx put it all together. And it was the first time a lot of cats got heard- it had a big impact, some of the most influential shit.
See, a lot of people were making music and trying to figure it out how to put it out, and they kind of laid out a blueprint for doing it yourself in an official manner- even the samples were cleared! After that tape, I made my first mixtape, started putting it in the stores there were selling Bomb Threat, and lots of other people did the same.

Anybody who wants to know more about the mostly untold narrative of NW hiphop should go here and download this tape, which has as it's Seattle equivalent such classic comps as 14 Fathoms Deep and Do The Math.