Seattle collective the Mind Movers released this ambitious release in 2008. City-wide in scope, the talents of over 30 Town emcees, vocalists, DJ's and producers were utilized in the creation of this solidly underground compilation; probably exposing many of them to an audience that may have not heard them before, thus making it somewhat of a Do The Math for the Northwest's third wave of hip hop. It's 21 varied and energetic tracks in length, and each song has multiple contributers. Crew cuts! I for one had only known of a few of the collaborators when I picked this up; it certainly opened my ears to a ton of great talent.
The Mind Movers are made up of emcees Khanfidenz, Inkubiz, Mic Flont, Open Hands, Phreewil (who also handles production, and now resides in Hawaii) and producer/DJ Dead Noise).
Besides those cats, the massive Seattle crew Alpha P/First Platoon represents as well, with features from emcees Jerm (also of Cloud Nice), Inkubiz and Phree Wil(again!), Kasi Jack Gaffle, Diez, Asad, Rajnii Eddins, Rufio, Jerz, Julie C, Yirim Seck, and Asun, who especially kicks it all over these tracks.
Other names appear as well, see below for track listing and a list of who's who. Musically the beats are heavy, dusty underground gems. With six beatmakers in attendance, the tracks are surprisingly cohesive, although the ranges of styles are vast. Drum-heavy, broody, atmospheric tracks are heard in abundance (thanks mainly to Phree Wil), alonside upbeat soul samples and mellow jazz piano loops. Whatever, it's all nice; no beats out of a can here, this is artistic craftsmanship from the bottom up.
Despite the huge undertaking, only the surface of the last decade's hip hop scene has been scratched with this release. The Town is bursting at the seams with talent. This is just a decent slice of it.
1. America - Rajnii, Rick Rude (Fresh Espresso), Kasi, WD4D (Cyphalliance) on cuts
2. Progress Report - Rufio, Asun (Kids With Guns), Khanfidenz (Waves of the Mind), Phil in the Blank
3. Espionage - Language Arts, Phree Wil, WD4D on cuts
4. Texas Instrument - Khingz (Members Only 206), Phree Wil, Inkubiz, Asun
5. Comrads - Sista Hailstorm, Ayoka, Mic Flont (OTOW Gang)
6. Ask About - Asun, Jerz, Asad, Khazm (MADK)
7. Blood of the Robot - Rick Rude (Metal Chocolates), Phree Wil (ETS), Jewels Hunter (Black Lab), WD4D and Able on cuts
8. Carry On - Rajnii, Kwame Morrow, Ayoka, Chelsey Richardson, Mic Flont
9. Mr. Nice Guy - Khingz (OTOW Gang), Phree Wil, Mic Flont, WD4D on cuts
10. Best of the Blessed - Rajnii, Asun
11. Water Grave - Phree Wil, Rick Rude, Inkubiz (Waves of the Mind)
12. 47N 122W - Julie C, Jerm (Kingdom Crumbs), Inkubiz, Phree Wil, Open Hands
13. Favorite Things - Phree Wil, Filkoe (Endemik)
14. The Layout - Asun (MADK), Bizzart
15. Beautiful Thing - Asun, Kasi, Phree Wil, Audio Poet (206 Zulu), Diez, WD4D on cuts
16. Destiny - Rajnii, Mic Flont, Inkubiz, WD4D on cuts
17. Hater Aid - Asun, Phree Wil, Mic Flont, WD4D on cuts
18. Emeralds - Open Hands, Gabriel Teodros (Air 2 a Bird), Khanfidenz
19. Local Vocals - Asun (206 Zulu), Phree Wil, Kasi, Mic Flont, Link Letter, WD4D on cuts
20. Grand Design - Rajnii, Gabriel Teodros (CopperWire), Inkubiz
21. We Are Renaissance - Yirim Seck, Alpha P, Mind Movers