Friday, February 25, 2011

Blind Be the Mindstate


Clockwise from left: Blahzay (at bottom) w/Source of Labor, Blahzay Blah, Silas Blak
A million thanks go to the man who was there when it happened for hooking me up with this. Blind Council was one of the formative groups in Seattle hip hop's golden era. Comprised originally of future Silent Lambs/Black Stax member Silas Blak, and future Source of Labor emcee Blahzay Blah, Blind Council came with an entirely unique take on hip hop. The vocal delivery of both emcees is strangely quiet, peaceful, and almost whispered, but possessing an instant command of your attention. Despite the placid delivery, the two present a vibe that is extremely controlled and intense, like a coiled spring. With jazzy, mellow beats from DJ Topspin, this three-track demo presented a truly captivating side of 206 hip hop that keeps me listening over and over. Blak comes with a style unlike what I'm used to with him. His voice is as deep and sinister as ever, but his style here is quick, and on the top of the beat. Blahzay left the group early on, and it's a shame that he did, as his interplay with Blak is phenomenal. His voice is as deep as Blak's, providing an interesting combination, but his voice is smoother and richer. After leaving SOL, he seemed to fall off the map. Any information on him would be appreciated!
Listen to this crucial lost piece of early NW hip hop.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dusty Subliminal Rhymes


Goodvibes

From L.A., the Kraken bring the classic hip hop sounds. Pyro, Sirus and Able-1 (I think) dropped Dusty Subliminal Rhymes on the legendary Goodvibe records back in '98. Three full vocal tracks, plus clean and beat tracks. Sadly overlooked, this crew called it a day after this 12".

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Request...99th Demention


Pledge Allegiance

Request... Here's a sick and wrong tape from Z-Man and Slim Goodsworth, collectively known as 99th Demention. This release is sometimes foul, sometimes hilarious, and mostly a combination of both. It's their second outing, from '98. If you know Z-Man and his passions, then you can guess what this is all about. I have to admit I'm a little ashamed at myself that I find this one so amusing.

Hiero Vs. Hobo


This legendary battle between the Bay area's Hieroglyphics and Hobo Junction crews showed up on KMEL back in 1995. This was the result of some bruised ego shit. Saafir was on Casual's album, but for whatever reason Casual didn't appear on Saafir's. The general consensus with this battle is that Casual got served, and it's true, Saafir is the most articulate, but then there's the question of whether or not he was spitting pre-written lyrics. I personally just love how spastic the Hiero kids are on the mic. And I think Casual kills it. Listen yourself, and you be the judge.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beyond Reality/SOL


Ask Yourself One Time, What Do You Know?

This split 12" is the first vinyl release from Beyond Reality, and the first post-Blahzay Blah outing from Source of Labor. Beyond Reality's side features the track "Whatever", with hook provided by Felicia Loud. The "Moonlight Remix" of "Whatever" is in my opinion the stronger of the two, which is a sedated, dark trippy gem. On the flip side, Source of Labor represents with the track "Overstandings", along with its also superior "Wetlands Remix". What can I say, I've always been a fan of the b-side.
With this release, Kylea proves to be one of Seattle's dopest MC's of that era; her flow is impeccably even and on point. In contrast, Wordsayer's flow is on the dense side, and without Blah he tends to crowd the track a little bit. But he's an emcee who's always had a lot to say, and his flow is perfect for his message. Negus I, who produced nearly all the tracks, has always been a dope producer - I love his work with BR and SOL, and consider him one of the best beatmakers out there. He certainly doesn't disappoint here - Especially the "Moonlight Remix", which I think is one of his best tracks.
Kylea and Beyond Reality dropped a long-awaited full-length album, A Souls Journey, in 2007, but I don't know what she's been up to since then. Source of Labor unfortunately folded after their 2001 cd, Stolen Lives. Wordsayer has been successful managing some notable talent in the new crop of 206 hip hop, but I can't find any information on what Negus I has been doing. I sincerely hop he's still making music. Any info would be appreciated!

Ambassador Bukue


Bukue One

Oakland/Berkeley native Bukue One has been a major figure in the west coast for over a decade now, both as a performer and behind the scenes. Rapper, event organizer, production company owner, record label owner, etc - he's everywhere. He might be best known however for going along with the A-Team down to Australia on that legendary trip in '99, and later being part of the Flow and Tell tour.
This tape, called Lastarfighta, might be legit, it might not. All signs point to it being from '99, but it may be from as late as 2001. I think it may be his first record, but since I can't find any info on it, who knows? 15 tracks deep, it doesn't quite leave off where Rebirth of the Last Starfighta picks up (that album has tracks 17-33), but let's not be bothered by that right now. Maya Jupiter, Ab Rude, Ammbush, Mr. Zux and other familiar voices from both A-Team and Bukue tracks can be heard here, giving it an international fresh angle; but predominantly it has that classic 90's bay area sound we all know and love. Good music. Listen.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Disturbers


Luke, Smash, Vrse, Mega, Joe, Pilot

Sacred Hoop, Full Time Artists, and San Francisco Street Music formed like drunk pervo Voltron on Moe's Strange Hobby, the ill (in all senses) tape from '98. Recorded over the space of 3 days, this tape attributed to The Disturbers definitely has a predominant Sacred Hoop vibe to it. Vrse Murphy made all the beats for one, and the lyrics never stray far from the hedonistic nastay-ness the Hoop is known for. Megabusive, Pilot Rase and Smash Adams of FTA happily do as the Romans do, with only Joe Dubbs sounding a little out of place with his usual introspective lyrics. With all this young talent thrown together creating music in such a short amount of time, this tape comes across as a vibrant work of art for art's sake. Exuberant and fresh and inspired, you can't help but get caught up in it. Excellent work from these three over-looked crews.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Non-Fiction 12"


Sayid and Kendo Speaking From the Third Eye

This is the high-energy sophomore single from Seattle class act Bedroom Produksionz. BP is one of those great acts that could move the crowd as well as move minds in equal measure. MC Kendo comes like the man on a mission that he is, loud and demanding your attention; while Sayid's cleanly-sliced, sample-heavy production could leave Babu in the dust on his best day. His beats just make you want to move, to jump. Simultaneously the lyrics are a dense, impassioned social commentary where no word is wasted - definitely coming from a cerebral angle. It's a winning combination.
This is the last single they put out collectively, which is a shame to say the least. With such a strong output (no matter how slim) it makes me wish there was an album or two to cop out there for sure.
I'm not sure what these cats are up to these days - any info would be appreciated. Get your head nod on and your fist pump warmed up for "Non-Fiction" b/w "Temple N0.8". From 2000.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Host

Okay, I THINK I've uploaded everything that was once on adrive onto my new host. So hopefully no more dead links. If you come across something that I've missed, please let me know! Thanks for your patience - there's quite the backlog waiting to get posted. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More On Neila

For those who don't do FB, Sick Balloons came through with some infos:

you can also grab it from ACCESS MUSIC in San Diego...i brought records down from LA for her so if you're local support her and your local record store... http://www.accesshiphop.com/store/?itemid=20391