A film about Northwest hip-hop from 1990
In the mid 1980s, rapper Lawrence “Pouchie” Moore and DJ Donnell “2Smooth” Jackson became a duo called P-D2. The P was for Pouchie, the D was for Donnell, and there were two of them. However, Moore and Jackson never officially released any music, and Moore eventually left the group.
Then another Seattle rapper Bobby “MC 3-D” Stills returned from attending Texas Southern and began making music with DJ 2Smooth, still using the same name P-D2. P-D2’s first official release was a 1988 cassette single on JROD Recordings titled “You Ain’t Got No Bass.” JROD Recordings was run by Rodney Jones, who is Donnell’s uncle. The duo of 3-D and 2Smooth followed up with singles on JROD Recordings in 1989 and 1990. In the Summer of 1990 as they were shopping a full album titled DopeMuzik4TheHead to major labels, MC 3-D had to step away from the rap game for a while to take care of some personal business. The record sat unreleased until 2021, when Ever Rap Records licensed the album from JROD Recordings and released it on wax.
DopeMuzik4TheHead contains a very traditional style of rap for 1990, a year which many would consider deep in the middle of rap’s golden era. The beats are arranged and stacked by 2Smooth on his Studio 440 sampler/sequencer. MC 3-D brings an early ’80s tone to his delivery, with swoops from high to low similar to Emerald Street Boys. He raps about crime and gangs in the neighborhood, and also about getting ahead in life and staying dedicated to your dreams. His verses are rather poetic, easily bouncing from party to politics to pure rhyme skill. One standout track is “Trash Environment.” In this format shifting masterpiece, 3-D’s voice thunders over a rap rock hybrid beat as he laments the decay in community values he sees around him. “Suprize” is a party classic which deftly samples “Hydra” several years before Black Moon popularized the sample on 1993’s “How Many MCs.”
P-D2 were an early force in the Seattle rap scene, and the fact that this record has finally been released should help to establish the historical importance of their work. Not long after DopeMuzik4TheHead was completed, the lineup of the group changed for a third time, and P-D2 dropped the Flavin In Bumpcity cassette in ’92 with a new rapper Owen “Willin” McCants now performing alongside DJ 2Smooth. MC 3-D had not yet returned to his rap career. The two rappers did not share a similar style, which gives Flavin In Bumpcity a very different feel than the material with 3-D. As a postscript, MC 3-D aka Bobby Stills continues to rap into the 2020s using his new moniker Unko Gazz. Written by Novocaine132