A film about Northwest hip-hop from

I Pity The Man

In 1983, a Seattle musical group named the Cosmic Tunas recorded a song titled “Draw The Line” for a compilation cassette called Local Product from Green Monkey Records. One member of the Cosmic Tunas was a man by the name of Bruce Scott. In 1984, Bobby and Jack Oram decided to record a parody rap record based on the TV character of Mr. T from the A-Team. Mr. T was known for saying “I pity the fool” on the program. Jack named himself Mr. X, and the track was called “I Pity The Man.” Bruce created his own record label to release this song, and later in 1984, he put the record out on B.S. Records.

The track itself was recorded in two parts. Part One is on Side A, and it features confrontational brags and boasts from Mr. X about how ‘bad’ he is. He tells the listener not to mess with him in a variety of entertaining ways. Side B features Part Two of the track. In Part Two, his backup singers get in on the act, and they sing about how bad Mr. X is. Part Two is looser, and Mr. X just riffs on his earlier themes explored in Part One. He continually reminds the listener that he “pities the man” who doesn’t step back from him.

The beat creates a funky backing groove, if somewhat repetitive. The music has some bounce, with a kind of Rick James feel to it. They were infringing on some intellectual property, but just like Weird Al Yankovic they were protected by the parody nature of their track. This is apparently the fourth rap record to ever emerge from Seattle. Prior Seattle vinyl releases included Little Ray Rapper in 1981, Emerald Street Boys in 1983, and CT & The Record Band in 1984. B.S. Records never released another song, this was their lone contribution to the 206 rap canon. (Written by Novocaine132.)

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Supersonic Rap

In 1979, not only did the first-ever rap hit single (“Rapper’s Delight”) from New York sweep the nation, but that was a particularly special year for those in Seattle because the Sonics won the NBA Championship.

At the turn of the decade, Seattle would-be rappers began to experiment with this new art form. David Perry who was successful in the Seattle disco scene released his comedy rap single “I’m Little Ray Rapper” in 1981. Then Emerald Street Boys (no doubt influenced by the 1979 smash “Christmas Rappin” by Kurtis Blow) created their own Seattle hit with “Christmas Rap” in 1983.

Then in ’84 came Charles Thompson & The Record Band. Thompson captured the excitement felt by fans of the Seattle Supersonics, and this track is a paean to the squad. The track is based around a simple chorus chant of “Let’s go Sonics all the way/And be the champs of the NBA” while The Record Band lays down a funky melody mixed with some spicy drums.

CT wrote rap verses about the Sonics players at the time, and the names will be familiar to any Seattle sports fan of this era. Downtown Freddy Brown. Jack Sikma, Dennis Johnson, and of course Gus Williams. The track has a James Brown feel to it, with tight arrangements and vocals almost shouted or grunted in excitement. The lyrics generally are fun little phrases and details from basketball lore. An example: “They say one man can’t win a game/It’s team ball that brings everybody fame.” Clearly, this is one of the earliest rap songs to emerge from Seattle, and it is a holy grail for record collectors all over the world. (Written by Novocaine132.)

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!