A film about Northwest hip-hop from 1991
The Right Crowd
Tacoma’s Criminal Nation released a full length album in 1990 titled Release The Pressure. The album generated two singles that year, “Black Power Nation,” and “Insane.” Criminal Nation was riding high on their local celebrity, and so in 1991 they put out a third single with two more tracks from Release The Pressure titled “The Right Crowd” and “I’m Rollin.”
“The Right Crowd” has a New Jack Swing swagger with a crooned chorus and snappy, stuttered drum machine work. The lyrics are all about surrounding yourself with the right people, and watching out for fakers in the music business. Criminal Nation was comfortable putting out dancefloor movers like this one in between harder more gangster influenced tracks.
The B-side is titled “I’m Rollin,” and it is built around the funky bassline from the funk anthem “Flashlight” by Parliament. I’m Rollin” is all about bragging and letting loose with punchlines. It’s slower than “The Right Crowd” and it’s more of a “rap about rap” song, meaning it’s aimed at other rappers rather than the general public. The whole Release The Pressure album was full of various styles showing easy versatility. The group also put out a single of the title track “Release The Pressure” in 1991 capping off a very successful year for the group. Criminal Nation dropped their second album Trouble In The Hood in 1992, and continued their reign as one of Tacoma’s best hip hop groups. Written by Novocaine132