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Comin' Out Stompin'

Seattle rap group Love Sick Rhymers (aka L.S.R.) emerged from the fray during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Through dogged live performances and old-fashioned street credibility, L.S.R. gained wide recognition and accolades. In 1991 they put out a cassette single “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm” on Blakstyle Records. It was successful, and the label subsequently released the song on a vinyl twelve-inch in 1992. Love Sick Rhymers recorded at least two unreleased albums before breaking up, Yesler Shot and Comin’ Out Stompin’. The Comin’ Out Stompin’ project sat waiting on a DAT for 31 years until 2023, when DJ Eazeman dusted it off and released this amazing album for the first time.

Comin’ Out Stompin’ displays an upbeat, high-energy style of hip-hop, which is influenced by Jamaican and other Caribbean musical styles. “Turn Up The Volume” and “Hardcore Hip Hop” immediately spark the fire, setting the tone for the rest of the album, and both songs are rousing to get your body moving. “Jam Session” slows it down a little with a freestyle cypher vibe, where everyone gets a turn to spit a verse. I particularly enjoy the way “Jam Session” interpolates patterns from the famous French nursery rhyme “Frère Jacques.”

“Goin’ 4 Gutz,” and “Nuthin’ Like The Real Thang” are about getting freaky with sexual encounters. Both songs contain some clever metaphors, including a reference to a slogan for Ball Park brand hot dogs. Title track, “Comin’ Out Stompin’,” is rock-solid in every way, and it dares other crews to step to L.S.R. and get defeated. The last song, “Keep Ya Movin’,” drops numerous quotable lyrics over a relaxed beat. “Downtown Seatown, kickin on 3rd Ave, in front of Mickey Dee’s, the only boys that’s bad.”

Guest appearances from other Seattle artists DLD, Ruthless Mellow Funk, and Dope Style Productions bring extra flavor to the recipe here. Each song is a little bit different, showing the easy versatility of Love Sick Rhymers. Eazeman released Comin’ Out Stompin’ on CD and lathe-cut vinyl, both in limited edition quantities. This is a true-school, absolutely classic 1992 Seattle rap album, and hopefully L.S.R. will drop more music in the years to come. Eaze, if you’re listening, Yesler Shot, wink. Written by Novocaine132

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The Weekend

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Excuse Me Mr. Officer (Fed Up)

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The EP Foo

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Do It Like This

Sonic Force was Seattle’s first notable all-white rap group. In 1992, they released a local radio hit “Do It Like This,” and dropped this three-song EP on both vinyl and cassette. In 1993, they were among the headline performers at KUBE’s “Back to School” event in Des Moines, WA. The group’s two members were MC Ripper and DJ Dubb.

The cover of this record is really quite fascinating for anyone who’s into ’90s Seattle hip-hop. You’ll immediately notice how closely it resembles The Power of Rhyme by Kid Sensation. Place these two albums side by side, and you’ll see how each cover is shot at roughly the same scale, with the artist(s) posing against their car, which is parked behind them from right to left, in roughly the same spot in Seacrest Park in West Seattle, showcasing the Seattle skyline in the distance. Given that Kid’s The Power of Rhyme was among the bestselling Seattle hip-hop albums from earlier the same year, the cover’s hommage would’ve been obvious to any contemporary fans. You’ll also notice the license plates are prominent: Showing off your personalized plates was something Sir Mix-A-Lot did on his album jackets, too, making it something of trend at the time on Northwest record covers.

On the vinyl itself, you’ll find two versions of their single “Do It Like This.” The song features an ’80s throwback sound and is slightly reminiscent of Young MC’s giant 1989 hit “Bust A Move.” Here, Sonic Force have layered in a few more metal guitars, delivering a fresh, solid, head-nodding rock-rap tune. It sounds a little like something Sir Mix-A-Lot might’ve made in the early days of his career. The second track “Time Flys” is a slow seduction-rap ballad. Just as it starts to drag, the beat switches up unexpectedly.

Flip over the wax and you’ll overhear dialogue at the start of “Give Us Some Pump.” MC Ripper asks, “Yo Dubb, drop that house beat on me.” What follows is easily the best song on the record, featuring Ripper rapidly rapping atop rave and house elements, dodging the driving arpeggiated synthesizers and thunderous drums. The song is inventive and fresh and handily demonstrates the many musical talents of the group. This Sonic Force cut is definitely one to include in the small canon of ’90s Northwest house rap tracks. File it in your collection alongside Herb Superb’s “Get On Up And Dance” and Kid Sensation’s “Back To Boom (Rave Mix)”–both songs also from 1992–for when you need to get the party started.

At the very end of this EP, after another version of “Do It Like This,” there’s a bit more dialogue where the guys are poking fun of their own song with funny voices. It’s a charming ending.

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187 On Wax

When LA Stone dropped this self-released cassette, “187” was a brand new rap shorthand for murder. It refers to the penal code in the state of California. The use of the number in hip-hop music was popularized by the April 1992 drug cartel action film Deep Cover, starring Laurence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum. Dr. Dre composed the soundtrack for the movie. It was his first new music since the breakup of NWA. Deep Cover’s theme song was popularly known as “187.” It features a young Snoop Dogg on vocals.

LA Stone released his debut cassette, 187 on Wax, sometime in 1992. He collaborated with Criminal Nation’s Eugenius on the beats. DJ E mostly lets the beats ride at a laid-back, cruising tempo while LA Stone raps in a stream-of-consciousness style overtop. The single’s opener, “187 on Wax,” is almost nine minutes long. The second song, “Rollin In Tacoma” clocks in at almost six minutes and has a saxophone solo.

“T-Town’s in effect,” he raps. “Tacoma is the place. Eastside is the base.” He identifies as a Blood. “Hardcore’s my style. Fuck the radio.”

To get by, he just needs a 40 and a spliff. The Hilltop Crips? He’s gonna “smoke ‘em like a joint, and get high as shit.” He’s “eating the beat like Chinese fried rice… With lots of soy sauce. I’m changing the flavor.” For anyone who wants to battle, he’ll “Lick ‘em, lick ‘em, lick ‘em like a snow cone.” When he’s done, “You better ask somebody for a morgue membership.”

Stone is a harsh critic of Mix-A-Lot, calling him a punk.“Baby Got Back?,” he raps, “I got gat.” He continues, “How many brothers has he given a break? Ain’t produced nobody but his goddamn self, always bragging about his goddamn wealth.” Mix’s manager at Rhyme Cartel is also a target. “Ricardo is a token,” he raps, “Must be in the studio giving head.”

The NastyMix label earns a “fuck you,” too. He doesn’t need a record deal anyway: “I’m slanging this tape straight from the curb.”

He followed up this cassette with another one in 1994 called Life in The (206).

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Listen To The Greg B

In the late 1980’s a DJ named Greg Buren began to emerge as one of the more prominent hip-hop artists in Seattle. He started in a group called The Latin Lovers, and then created a duo with Kid Sensation called 2 Fresh 4 U. After that, he teamed up with a rapper named Willin (Owen McCants) and they they called themselves Ready And Willin. By the early ’90s he was operating at a very high volume, and he dropped two remarkable albums back to back. Buren released a solo tape called Listen To The Greg B in 1992. Two years later, in 1994, his crew Crooked Path featuring himself, Jay-Skee, and Dee-Lyrious released their debut tape titled After Dark.

Listen To The Greg B is a long album, which shows how extremely productive Greg B was during 1991 and 1992. Buren enlists Jay-Skee and DJ Skill for assistance on Listen To The Greg B. Highlight tracks include “Neighborhood Coroner” which narrates a sordid tale about drug addiction and domestic violence seen from the cold medical viewpoint of hospital and morgue staff. The irresistibly slinky “Out To Be Raw” uses a simple, funky bassline that lets the lyrics shine, and “Damn Ney Ruthless” is peppered with a harder street edge than the typical B-Boy aesthetic that Greg B cultivates. “Eat Up A Fat 1” and “1-2 Um Buckle My Shoe” are two highly technical DJ turntablist slideshows that are both lots of fun. They show off Greg B’s love of record scratching and cutting, a technique in which he has tremendous talent. He almost certainly inspired other Seattle DJs to do their own turntable-based projects such as Table Manners 2 by Vitamin D which came out seven years later in 1999.

Not every track is a hit, “Peace C’ya Later” is formulaic and a little predictable as Greg B tells stories of dating women and how he brushes off the ones he doesn’t want to see anymore. “Lil Snitch” borrows a little too heavily from “Five Minutes Of Funk” by Whodini which limits the originality of the track. A similar problem exists in “I’m A Pimp,” which prominently samples Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up” in a manner that is distracting and minimizes the track’s freshness. The album’s strength is the diversity of tempos and variation in beat production from song to song. Each of the tracks feels unique and therefore your ears never get dulled by repetition. Greg B has a wide imagination for sounds and beats thanks to his extensive experience as a party DJ. Shortly after Listen To The Greg B, Buren settled on his new moniker Funk Daddy and has gone on to become one of the most celebrated DJs in Seattle history. Written by Novocaine132

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Lollipop Girl

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The Dotted Line...

The year is 1992 and this is Six In The Clip’s debut EP The Dotted Line… and, like the ellipsis are intended, it leaves you waiting in anticipation for more. This is ’90s hip-hop! Quintessential ’90s hip-hop. And if you love ’90s hip-hop then you’ll love this tape. What we have here are 5 tracks of raw, free spirited flows over funky boom bap beats laced with experimental samples and scratches. Not afraid to take chances, Six In The Clip doesn’t seem to give a damn about what you think, “fuck it cuz I just start chucking the rhymes.” Every member has a distinct flow and isn’t afraid to let you know! Just check “1, 2, 3 Not It.” They all boast about their rhyming skills and they’re not lying. They all have mad skills and they’re practically daring you to come at them in a rap battle. And P.S. you’ll lose.

Talk about a song that has withstood the test of time, “I Ha P On My Ankle.” And yes, it’s about pee on your ankle. “So Muthafukka Wipe It Off!” Six In The Clip has released three different versions of this song from 1992 to 1994, including the OG version on this tape and subsequent versions on Where Do We Sign G and Procreations (Prose & Concepts). Check the evolution of all three versions just to get an idea of the transition from Six In The Clip to Prose & Concepts!

Another song you’ll also find on Where Do We Sign G is “Pick Up The Pace”. Envision a house party anthem with the crowd bouncing up & down waving arms in the air. Once again, a showcase of all members flexin’ their in-your-face lyrical flows. This time, over an Atari type vibe laced with scritchity scritchity scratches. “Wild, wild west … now you know my location. I’m no damn KID but I’m causing a SENSATION.”

“What You Just Heard” has an awesome underlying 70s porn vibe, but if that’s not enough we’re blessed with some BDP samples from “Ya Slippin” – “Now what you just heard people was a little kickin,” and the Beastie Boys “kick it over here.” Like all the other tracks, we get to hear every member freestyle like they’re in a rap battle for their life. They’re going to tear the club down with this one; miles and miles of lyrics. Get some!

And finally, my favorite track “Lotto” is appropriately the first song. If you’re not bobbing your head shortly into the track, what is wrong with you? This head bobbin beat is overlayed with a siren/horn as if to alert you: We have a winner, Lotto! Yes, “We goin lotto – that’s the ticket.” “Lotto” introduces us to every member, MC Dope, SharkE, Mic Dub, Beatnik, DJ Ace & Rawi as they all spit a verse. A cornucopia of styles: lyrically magically delicious, tongue twisting, grimey & edgy, funky rhymes, in your face, you ain’t shit, smack talkin! They all have crazy skills on the mic and they all come correct, I’m just not sure how you’d pick a favorite.

Six In The Clip wasn’t afraid to experiment and try out new things while still being able to produce quality music. And just like real Lotto, you’re a winner if you picked up this tape back in the day! Written by Bballnchic12

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Trouble In The Hood

Criminal Nation have finally put out their follow-up album to their ’90’s surprise hit, Release The Pressure. They continue the hard-core themes that have brought them limited popularity in the press: Bitches, thievin’, and general gang mayhem abound. It’s been covered many times before. DJ Quick and other LA rappers have just about played this theme out.

The music kicks, though, and the layered sampling and heavy-handed bass will have your speakers jumping. The cameo appearance of the 1st Lady, soon to be a star in her own right, makes for some diversity. Notable tunes are “You Can’t Funk With It” and the jazzy “Just Loungin.” (This review originally appeared in The Rocket and was written by Scott Griggs.)

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It's About To Get Chilly

It’s About To Get Chilly is the third release from Chilly Uptown. It came out on cassette in 1992 at the threshold of what Charles Mudede termed the post-Sir-Mix-A-Lot “First Wave” in his short but seminal 2015 essay on Seattle rap history. However, this record is a polar opposite to the more conscious vibes of Jasiri and Tribal, who were leading that first wave.

Immediately Chilly’s album hits you with its first track, “Cop Killer.” As we all know, the 1991 Rodney King LAPD beating incident led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which spread across America. “Cop Killer” addresses many of the grievances that those protesters voiced when they burned buildings and looted stores.

The album continues with “What U Claim” which is an ode to people in Seattle who wanted to adopt gang culture and imagery into their personas when they had no business doing so. As you continue listening to the album, you discover that Chilly finds a strikingly poetic voice. This is definitely gangster rap a la Eazy-E, but Chilly takes time for observations and anecdotes. The music cracks the mystery of how to make a life of crime sound simultaneously appealing and yet futile.

Much of the credit for the album’s success goes to producer Fresco Zendejas, who was going by “AKA” at the time. Zendejas sampled some blockbuster beats like Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets” and Gap Band “Yearning For Your Love” years before the same tracks were made famous by Biggie and Nas respectively. In fact, everything about It’s About To Get Chilly seems very futuristic for 1992.

My favorite track on the album is a quasi spoken word piece titled “Check Yourself.” On this song, Chilly struggles with racism at his workplace and also expresses doubt in his Christian faith taught to him by his mother. The track is extraordinary in its honesty and for its themes of philosophical pondering. The dusty sounds of Tribal and Jasiri may have set the stage for the “First Wave” of Seattle hip hop, but Chilly Uptown was a smooth-talking hustler with an unstoppable attitude. It’s About To Get Chilly is a Seattle original indeed. Written by Novocaine132

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The Way I Swing

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Baby Got Back

“Baby Got Back” is a hip-hop song by American rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot, released in 1992 as the lead single from his third studio album, Mack Daddy. The song quickly became a cultural phenomenon, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and winning a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. Its popularity led to numerous parodies, covers, and references in popular culture.

The song’s lyrics focus on celebrating the beauty of curvy women and derrieres, which was a departure from the mainstream beauty standards of the time that favored thin bodies. The song’s opening line, “I like big butts and I cannot lie,” has become one of the most recognizable lines in popular music history.

The inspiration for the song came from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s own personal preferences and experiences. He had always been attracted to women with curvier bodies and felt that they were often overlooked by mainstream media. He wanted to create a song that celebrated their beauty and encouraged women to embrace their natural shapes.

The song was initially met with controversy due to its sexually suggestive lyrics and imagery. Some critics accused the song of objectifying women and promoting unhealthy body ideals. However, others defended the song’s message of body positivity and praised Sir Mix-A-Lot for challenging traditional beauty standards.

Despite the controversy, “Baby Got Back” became an instant hit and helped to establish Sir Mix-A-Lot as a major figure in the hip-hop industry. The song’s popularity also helped to pave the way for other artists who celebrated body diversity and challenged traditional beauty standards, such as Destiny’s Child and Jennifer Lopez.

In the years since its release, “Baby Got Back” has remained a cultural touchstone and continues to be referenced and celebrated in popular culture. It has been featured in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials, and has inspired countless parodies and remixes. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the power of music to challenge societal norms and celebrate diversity.

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Hold Tight 2 da Rhythm

Love Sick Rhymers came together as 8th graders in 1984 when DJ Eazeman met Kid Mix (who was also going by Z-Rock or Playboy Z) and a third member named Ace One. Kid Mix had seen a graffiti piece with the words Love Sick Bombers, and so he named their group Love Sick Rhymers. They recorded many tracks throughout the 1980s, and by the early ’90s they had an album finished called Yesler Shot. The first single from Yesler Shot is this dancy cut called “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm.”

The 1978 song “Hold On Tight” by Lakeside is used as the main sample for “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm.” Love Sick Rhymers are joined on the cut by guest rapper DLD (Dee.aLe) from another Seattle ’90s rap crew called DMS. At the beginning of the track Eaze introduces the rest of the group, and then they take turns getting loose on the mic. The raps include some speedy verses and wordplay alongside some more laid back styling and profiling.

Yesler Shot was never commercially released at the time, and it wasn’t until 2019 that DJ Eazeman uploaded all the group’s content to Youtube, where it can now be experienced. This is the only listing on Discogs for their record label Blakstyle Records, apparently no further releases ever came out on the label. Love Sick Rhymers were a prolific Seattle rap group that had such accomplishments as opening for Tribe Called Quest in 1991 at the Oz nightclub, and also performing at several stops on Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Mack Daddy tour in ’92! “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm” is a great party cut, and the raps keep it real. This is a classic 206 jam and it was rightfully included on the Goods/Stussy Jake One Town Biz Mixtape back in 2010. Written by Novocaine132

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It's A Ghetto Thang

Herb Superb recorded “It’s A Ghetto Thang” in Gig Harbor at Sax Recording Company. On the beats, he worked with Criminal Nation’s beat-maker DJ-E, who brings along his signature sample sources like Zapp and Ohio Players. “Ghetto Thang” opens with a piece of Parliament’s “Flash Light.” It’s actually the same opening as we heard on the NastyMix record “Here’s A Party Jam” by High Performance. Here, the beats and raps walk a fine line between gangster jams and dance music.

Herb’s verses on “Ghetto Thang” play like an autobiography. He explains how he’s from California–South Central L.A.–and how it was “so rough, so tough, I had to get out of there.” He explains why he’s moved to Tacoma, how there were just “too many motherfuckers talking.” There are a lot of expletives in this song. Fuck, Bitch. Shit. He’s got sick burns, saying things like, “compared to a pocket of hundreds, you’re one penny.” He says “motherfuckers” at least a dozen times, all but guaranteeing the song would never be played on the radio. On the record label, the song is defiantly described as “Real Game, Gangster Sh_t.”

This record’s biggest surprises arrive on side B. Before we get there, let me do a quick history lesson: At the start of the ’90s, European rave culture was huge. In the charts, it started regularly colliding with rap, leading to a handful of massive International crossover hits. These included “Pump Up The Jam” by Belgium’s Technotronic, Sweden’s Neneh Cherry with “Buffalo Stance,” and “Strike It Up” from Italian music group Black Box.

So after the seriousness of “Ghetto Thang,” it’s quite a surprise to flip over this vinyl and spin the two b-side cuts. Here you have two radio-friendly, dancefloor-pounding, expletive-free anthems. “Get On Up And Dance” and “Y.U.B. Trippen?” gleam and glitter with European house beats and slamming synth stabs. They’re great songs that would readily fit well alongside the international hits described above. Vocal hooks are courtesy of Angela Feel Good, a name that’s no doubt a play on one song’s sampling of Lyn Collins’s “Mama Feelgood” from 1973.

This EP is an unexpected delight, a deep-cut rarity worth seeking out. It heralded new sounds and songs unlike what anyone else was creating in the Northwest at the time. Herb Superb was an early pioneer of Northwest house-rap dance music. This EP shows off two versions of his abilities, from real “Gangster Sh_t” raps to those rave culture clockwork beats. At some point after recording this record, Herb Superb moved East, settling in Virginia, where he still sometimes raps and makes music.

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Til Ya Satisfied

For his second effort, Kazy-D followed his 1991 debut with this cassette on the newly established Tacoma hip-hop label Just Cash Records. It was their first release, on both cassette and DJ vinyl. Later, the label would also go on to release projects from two NastyMix stars: High Performance and Criminal Nation’s Wojack, establishing itself as an influential voice in the region’s music landscape.

Kazy-D’s Til Ya Satisfied is a fun two-song EP. You’ll nod your head while it’s playing. On the label, you’ll read that Kazy-D is now joined by a new crew, The Mac 10 Posse, who I believe are the duo of Alcatraz and DJ Razor Ray. The expanded group brings a lot of great vibes. On their opening tune, “Til Ya Satisfied,” the group establishes their motivation for success, rapping “even if we don’t make it, at least we tried.” The beats have a spritely snap with lots of scratching and dropouts. It does indeed make you want to move, as the tune suggests.

The second song “Tender Love” is a slower ballad, with charming verses like “my library of love has been expanding.” Singer Lavon Callahan adds a catchy hook and dreamy vocals. The EP also treats you to a “Remix for the Ladies.” It’s another version of the song, but they’ve stripped away most of the original’s decorative elements, amping up the intimacy by leaving simply the verses and bare beats. Slowly, throughout, other musical elements are slowly reintroduced.

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Flavin’ In Bumpcity

This is the rare Flavin’ In Bumpcity tape from group PD2, circa 1992.

This cassette features the third PD2 lineup, with MC Willin’ “The Villin’” replacing MC 3-D at the mic. “Groove Manipulator” 2Smooth continues to hold down the beats and serves as the backbone of the group.

There’s a video on YouTube video where the two explain their sound as an original and funky counterweight to the NastyMix all-stars. Indeed, they clearly felt there was some camaraderie and rivalry here… They shout out Mix-A-Lot, Kid Sensation, and Criminal Nation repeatedly throughout the tape.

The sound is squarely in the Public Enemy and Bomb Squad sweet spot, but Bumpcity is all about having fun. There are no real breaks between the songs, it’s a non-stop jam from the get-go, with skits and interludes and Seattle references throughout. The group says they wanted to make “music you can relate to… That when you get to the end, you say “damn!” and press rewind to hear it again.” The standout cut here is the closer, “Givemewhatugot,” which, indeed, I always rewind and listen to again.

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Mack Daddy

An undeniable classic. All Seattle rap today, in many ways, is indebted to, influenced by, a reaction to, or a refutation of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Mack Daddy and its mega-mega-mega-hit “Baby Got Back.”

This rocket ship blasted off from the Emerald City space pad in 1992–during the pinnacle of grunge–marking a time when Seattle was momentarily the ultimate hub of mainstream cool for both ’90s rap AND rock music. Go give this a spin. It still sounds fresh today.

Here are some fun facts: Mix recorded this whole record at home, in Auburn, WA, in a digital home studio off the side of his dining room. Mack Daddy was self-released by Mix on his own new record label, Rhyme Cartel, having announced his divorce from NastyMix in 1991. The album’s working title was Possessed. The record was distributed by Rick Rubin and Def American, who reportedly invested one million dollars into the promotion and marketing. Mix-A-Lot once estimated he’d made more than $100,000,000.00 from royalties from the song “Baby Got Back.”

A couple of years back I was lucky to catch Sir Mix’s semi-secret show in front of Dick’s Drive-in on Broadway. And man, the guy is still on fire almost 30 years later.

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The Power of Rhyme

Let’s be honest: The Seattle rap scene has become a disappointment. At one time a couple of years back it was being hailed as a budding talent pool, just notches below New York and LA. NastyMix was at the forefront of Northwest rap and Kid Sensation looked to be a potential national hit right after his first LP.

Kid Sensation’s new album, The Power of Rhyme, will not be the area’s savior. The style is a mediocre hard hip-hop attempt–showing no improvement from his debut–with one noteworthy song, “The Way We Swing,” a collaboration with Ken Griffey, Jr. It’s not enough to save this album. The LP has been out since early spring, and by now it is fair to judge the Kid’s mass appeal; outside baseball collectors, there has been little. (This review originally appeared in The Rocket and was written by Scott Griggs.)

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