A film about Northwest hip-hop from 1987
King in Def Poetry
On his 1986 single, “I’m A Trip,” Mix-A-Lot positioned his computer music against the threat of talented turntable DJs. One Seattle rival were Incredicrew, a duo of teenage wunderkind producers: Cornell “CMT” Thomas and Danny “Dee Rock” Clavesilla, who we’d later come to know as Mr. Supreme.
This vinyl is one of the few early-period hits from ‘80s Seattle rap that’s doesn’t originate from the Mix-A-Lot/NastyMix camp. As a teenager, Danny Dee was a talented BMX rider. He toured around the country and was exposed early to NYC’s new breakdancing scene, years before the rest of the Northwest got hip to hip-hop.
Once home, he’d practice his own samples and scratching and breaks, eventually becoming official DJ for The Seattle Circuit Breakers, one of the Town’s first major breakdancing troops. Not long after, he and CMT formed Incredicrew, and they began producing beats for local rappers.
This was their first vinyl, with M.C. Kid P, a Reno-based rapper who spends most of his verses introducing the band and praising his DJs: “Yo Danny Dee Rock, show ‘em why your hand is like a knife…” In turn, Danny smacks down numerous sequences of famous samples, hyping up the party ever higher. It’s a fun song, presented in three versions. The B-Side cut “High Powered Hip-Hop” celebrates CMT’s work on the drum machine with a descending, dark sub-bass melody that dominates the tune.
Two fun facts: Incredicrew appear in Mix-A-Lot’s “Posse on Broadway” video as the rival crew in the infamous Dick’s parking lot scene. And this Incredicrew project was recorded in the very same room where, two years later, Nirvana would record “Bleach” and usher in the Tsunami that was Grunge. For a brief sliver of the waning ‘80s, rap had become Seattle’s primary musical export.