A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2000
The 1991 film Silence Of The Lambs left an indelible mark on an entire generation of filmgoers, thanks to the triple-tension between FBI agent Clarice Starling, Buffalo Bill, and the iconic Hannibal Lecter. In Seattle, a duo of MCs (Jace and Blak) decided to name their group Silent Lambs Project, and their first release was a five-song EP called Comrade in 1998. Strath Shepard and Jack Devo both wrote terrific reviews of Comrade which can be read here at Town Love. Two years later, Silent Lambs Project returned with their second record “H.O.R.,” which stands for House Of Respect.
A-side “H.O.R.” has a phenomenal accompanying video which captures Jace and Blak riding a Metro bus, and ends with them on a giant dark stage rapping into hanging microphones. It is a very conceptual and mind-bending achievement directed by Erika Conner and John Lamar. Lyrics like, “The daily operation, to find a location, to rock the mic roundabout, like down and out,” illustrate how the group raps not for entertainment or fun, but because hip-hop is their most deep primal addiction. “Fiend for the mic,” is repeated over and over, and the listener can feel that the MCs need to rap more than they need to breathe. “H.O.R.” is produced by Bean One, and the beat sounds tailor-made for the group, with extra mystery sauce.
Side B cut “The Bagg” features both MCs continuing to exhibit their phrase-after-phrase rap style, and each verse is a never ending run-on sentence of words which may or may not relate to each other or even rhyme. “Motivate to untranslate,” “suffocate over beat breaks,” multiple meanings kaleidoscope in your mind as these words ricochet around. The beat is produced by King Otto, who produced many tracks for Silent Lambs Project.
Silent Lambs Project put out their full album Soul Liquor that same year, including “Comrade,” “H.O.R.,” “The Bagg,” and eleven other tracks. I have never quite been able to comprehend their style, the firehose of William Burroughs-level non-sequiturs leave me feeling confused and a bit off-balance. Maybe that is exactly what they want to achieve in their music? Written by Novocaine132