Boom Bap Project began with two rappers, Karim “Nightclubber Lang” Panni, and Damian “Destro” Oramas who were connected to the sprawling Oldominion crew. According to Destro in a 2021 KEXP interview, Jon “Wordsayer” Moore had booked the duo for a performance at the Sit & Spin, and he asked the two what they wanted to be called on the flyer. Lang and Destro told Wordsayer that they didn’t have a name yet, but they were working on a ‘boom bap’ type of project, and Wordsayer said, “well, that’s what I’m gonna call you.” The rest was history.
These hungry MCs had lyrics, but rap needs a beat. Who do you go to in the year 2000 in Seattle? You go to one of the best, in this case Jake One, who produced two tracks for the duo, “The Trade,” and “Writer’s Guild.” And not only did they have Jake on the beat, but 206 hip-hop legend Vitamin D also does cuts and scratches on both songs. What more could you ask for?
A-side “The Trade” is about showing skills. “Known for batterin, your saccharin-induced rhyme pattern, that caters to seduced minds splatterin,” goes one line. The chorus on “The Trade” features choice “boom bap” samples from KRS One and Q-Tip. Side B is “Writer’s Guild,” and it’s a natural head-nodder with catchy, staccato production. The verses on “Writer’s Guild” contain lots of wordplay and clever rhymes, for instance, “My beats serenade streets for all of my peeps who hate the police.”
The group positioned themselves as educated and conscious rappers, but they were awfully comfortable using homophobic slurs on “The Trade,” which creates dissonance in the listening experience. This was the first single for the group and also for their label Stuck Records, and a movement quickly coalesced around Boom Bap Project, pushing them closer to the top of the Seattle hip-hop scene. Written by Novocaine132