A film about Northwest hip-hop from

All Things Considered

It’s too bad the nine-song debut full-length from Tacoma group High Performance isn’t on Spotify… or online anywhere. It’s one of Tacoma’s very first rap albums. And in 1990, NastyMix put a lot of marketing and airplay muscle into trying to make High Performance into superstars. All Things Considered is a solid effort that’s worth hearing.

Pictured here is the German edition. Both this record—and Mix’s Seminar—were released in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland by European record label BCM. Over five short years, NastyMix had grown from local D.I.Y. label to global powerhouse. All around the world, labels wanted to tap into that new Northwest hip-hop sound.

There’s a copy of this vinyl in KEXP’s vaults that’s covered with notes from DJs from over the years. One note says, “The production is hot, the lyrics are sharp, and the grooves are funky. It’s hard to choose a favorite cut here, they’re all solid. No laughable ballads, no silly novelty songs.” Another is more succinct: “T-town. (Rhymes with Sea-town: don’t let your slang down.)”

Either way, KEXP’s DJs praised how every song on this album is a radio-friendly “clean” version at a time when the ruling style of gangster rap was about being as profane as possible. (Though let’s also note that “Funk” does some heavy lifting here as an obvious lyrical placeholder.)

Both of the group’s solid “Party” singles are included on the album–“Do You Really Wanna Party?” and “Here’s A Party Jam”–as are a mix of other B-Boy bangers and more serious songs from the Hilltop streets. Either way, nine solid tunes from start to finish.

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