A film about Northwest hip-hop from

D-1000

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Déjà Vu

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

33 and a Third

Seattle hip-hop blog 206UP picked this record as one of the “Top 10 Albums of 2013,” saying that:

I have no insight into producer Def Dee’s Gmail inbox, but I would hazard a guess that it’s full of earnest requests for beats from rappers who probably have no business rhyming over them. Def is like that uber-talented sketch artist you see posted up on a sidewalk bench, drawing hyper-real pictures of what he sees in front of him. Except Def makes hip-hop sketches that bring to mind the producers that built the very foundation of boom-bap: Pete Rock, DJ Premier, J Dilla — you know, guys you’ve probably heard once or twice before.

Mello Music Group promptly added him to their storehouse of talented beatmakers last year. 33 and a Third is his first compilation for MMG and the guest list includes a corps of Seattle rap’s best (Mic Phenom, La, Grynch, OCnotes, Chev, Zar) in addition to a grip of national underground talent (yU, Oddisee, Black Milk, etc.). Def is that type of producer whose interludes you actually look forward to, the kind where you can practically smell the hip hop elements cooking in his kitchen. Chopped up samples and scratched records: There will never be a more satisfying combo.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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Symmetry

The 2010 album Gravity from Def Dee & LA is considered by many to be one of the greatest-ever records in Seattle hip-hop. Ten years later, we’re treated to a sequel of sorts. Symmetry reunites these two talented collaborators. The Biggest Podcast calls them “the dynamic duo.” This too-short EP features LA’s speed bag bars against a backdrop of the boundary-pushing boom-bap that Def Dee is known for. Songs hit the ground running and end equally abruptly. There’s conciseness, conviction, and immediacy that easily sets this record above the rest.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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Gravity

Last night at Uppercuts, I got into an in-depth conversation with Def Dee about his record Gravity, released eight years ago in collaboration with LA (Language Arts). There are many cats in this town, when pressed, who will say this is one of the greatest classics Seattle has ever produced. Me, I’ve been a longtime fan of the stories rapped by this emcee and his pointed criticisms of how the town has changed… Back when Gravity was released in 2010, The Stranger‘s Larry Mizell Jr. described LA as “one of the strongest MCs in the 206 and more people should know this… With a clear ear for classic flows and sharp rhymes… He throws zero dirt on his own rep.” About producer Def Dee he said: “Vinyl-cracklin’ mid-90s-style boom-bap… Insomniac vibes, but sloppy emulation it is not. The beats have some of the album’s best moments.” Something I learned last night that has me spinning Gravity with fresh ears today was the discovery that this music was all recorded live in the studio: Def Dee on the MPC and LA freestylin’ overtop. If either of them f-ed it, they wound the tape back and started over. How many records are still made this way today? In a post from earlier this year, Respect My Region described Gravity as “an album of pure, raw hip-hop.” What do you say?

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