A film about Northwest hip-hop from

I'm A Trip

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s first commercial single, “Square Dance Rap,” was a bonafide international hit. When he returned to Seattle he found the local scene had become filled with haters, everyone accusing him of “trippin’.”

His second EP is a battle rap response to “you jealous boneheads: you know who you are” from “the man you love to hate.” On it, he proudly declares that “my game is never lame,” while adding “To rock the West Coast you must know more than turntables, yeah I said it, and I’m right… I’m the only DJ with computers in Seattle.”

Indeed, the superiority of his computer music is a theme that carries throughout most of the EP’s five tunes. Mix itemizes his gear, explains how to use bass oscillators to improve your drum sounds, dismisses anyone using the Roland 808 or Technics SL-1200 all the while praising his own choice of the Oberheim DMX drum machine. This EP is musically awesome but also nerdy AF. The last song begins, “I demolish DJs with computer technology.”

A skit at the end of side A is the first recorded appearance of the word “Swass,” as Mix and Maharaji discuss their fashion sense: “I’m Swass. That means I look good, and I know I look good.”

One crazy little story to add: Vanilla Ice, in his 1991 autobiography, included several pages of verses that he wrote when he was young… Except these were actually the plagiarized lyrics of “I’m A Trip.” Mix threatened a lawsuit, leading to a tabloid-fodder beef between the two in the early ’90s.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Party Invader

West Seattle’s Big Boss Cross released his rap single, “Party Invader,” in 1986. The song is six-and-a-half minutes of electro techno-funk beats fronted by an ever-more creative series of rap boasts.

In the early ‘80s, Chris “Big Boss” Cross was in a group with Gary Jam, called Jam Delight. Later, he released a cassette called “Pimpin’ Wit Me,” which created enough buzz to convince California’s Macola Records to distribute “Party Invader” all across the country.

In the song, we learn that Big Boss Cross is a devastating force. He’s got “computers in the background.” He’s invincible. He’s “the rap messiah of the mixing board.” He’s “hotter than fire.” “A solid gold player in Rappinhood.” His “rhymes are never off tempo.” Some of these bars are truly entertaining. The B-side of this record features just the instrumental beats should you wish a break from the boasts.

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