A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Drop Top

When Sir Mix-A-Lot and his business partner Ricardo Frazer left Nastymix, they established a new label called Rhyme Cartel. According to Discogs, the first release on Rhyme Cartel was the lead single to Mix-A-Lot’s third album Mack Daddy, a track called “One Time’s Got No Case.” Throughout 1992, the label released titles by Mix-A-Lot, but Ricardo and Mix wanted to grow the business. They began to look for new artists, and E-Dawg was one of the first signees to join. E-Dawg wrote two songs which appeared on the Seattle… The Dark Side compilation, and those same two cuts, “Drop Top” and “Little Locs” were also released as a twelve-inch single.

A-side “Drop Top,” featuring smooth-voiced rapper Filthy Rich, is a local classic, and could be heard everywhere in ’93. Verse one sees E-Dawg talking about an average day, and what it’s like driving around the hood in his convertible. Filthy Rich raps verse two, and also sets the mood at the start of the track, “Just kickin it, got the dank, got the drank, got the bank, and it’s all good.” A slick video for “Drop Top” was produced for BET and MTV audiences, helping the track gain exposure.

The B side is “Little Locs.” It starts with the sound of a gunshot and proceeds with E-Dawg proving his gangsta bona fides. “I know two roads to life, the straight and the crooked, the crooked road is in the O, so I took it,” he raps, highlighting his connection to Oakland, California. Both “Drop Top” and “Little Locs” were produced by Eugenius from Homegrown and Criminal Nation.

In a 1993 interview with Billy Jam available on Youtube, E-Dawg talks about his plans for putting out a record in ’94 on “Def American,” then he remembers that Rick Rubin has stricken “Def” from the name and corrects himself. But that E-Dawg album on American never arrived. Years later, he released two albums, Platinum in 1999 for Spot Entertainment, and How Long in 2010 which was released on Hard Road. After putting out E-Dawg, Rhyme Cartel went on to release music by singer/spoken word artist Jazz Lee Alston, electronic artist Kia, and rap/rock act Outtasite. Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

How Long?

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from


Platinum, a 1999 G-Funk album from Seattle rapper E-Dawg opens with a skit on an airplane. E-Dawg and Big Loon-E-Toon are on tour and debate the viability of smoking tree on the plane.

The debate continues into “No More Tears,” featuring Money-B, on whether it’s better to settle down to home and marriage and family, or to move on, to a new job, a new relationship, to aim for another appearance on Arsenio. This is a funky record, but also full of thoughtful contemplation.

Case in point, on “Eye for An Eye,” a close buddy of our gangster protagonist is shot and killed. He raps that his first priorities are to take care of his friend’s family, ensure the widow and his kids are clothed and fed, and help them pay for the funeral. Only once this task is complete will he walk the streets in search of the murderer.

This record, Platinum, was anticipated as early as 1993 when “E-Dawg” contributed the catchy summer hit “Drop Top” to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Seattle, The Dark Side compilation. Mix-A-Lot himself is featured on the floor-shaking “Shackles.”

For us, the standout track here is “Coolin’.” It’s a chill 206 summer anthem that opens with an allusion to “Drop Top” and features gorgeous vocals from Francci. The relaxed verses are about enjoying the sun: “I’m just cooling… and enjoying the summertime… Remy Martin sippin’, Lap pool dippin’.”

After a few delays, Platinum finally landed in 1999, “put out by some Denver cat who also did the cover” says E-Dawg. This perhaps explains why it’s nearly impossible to find today. But no mind, E-Dawg has a brand new limited-edition CD out this year. You gotta DM him for a copy of the 45. Nobody’s Safe… Mixtape. It’s a ballsy $45, but respect the hustle and grab your copy today.

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