A film about Northwest hip-hop from

When It Rains

Ryan “RC The Trackaholiq” Croone has been down since day one. His older brother James Croone was a member of Emerald Street Boys, one of the earliest rap groups in Seattle. As a young man, RC got into rap production, and in the mid-1990s he teamed up with rhymer Squeek Nutty Bug. They went in the studio and subsequently dropped Really Cheat’n, one of the all-time, five-star Seattle rap albums.

There are more than two dozen different rappers on RC’s 2002 compilation When It Rains, it’s a prodigious project. Loosegroove put out 14 Fathoms Deep in 1996, and as a theoretic successor, When It Rains could reasonably be nicknamed “24 Fathoms Deep.” This is guileless rap, concentrating on reporting life experiences. Put it this way, you won’t find anyone here looking through the dictionary trying to find five rhymes for “illuminati.”

“They Never Knew,” by sibling team Twin-G and Skuntdunanna is excellent, “possibly the first song they ever did together,” remembers RC. “You’re a one hit wonder, like Young MC or Jody Watley,” says Twin-G mockingly. I especially appreciate the spacey half-minute instrumental flourish at the end. Actually, Twin shows up again on “Greedy Made,” this time joined by Chedder Hound, Culpepper, and “Drop Top” star E-Dawg. “Greedy Made” has unpredictable, punchy energy from the start of verse one. E-Dawg explains, “I bust a tight verse and make St. Helens erupt,” referencing the May 1980 ash cloud which blasted across the region.

The late Gangsta Nutt represents hard on the g-funk blazer “This Ain’t Livin,” which is a textbook example of true synergy between a producer and a rapper. Nutt’s cadence goes together with the Trackaholiq beat like Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Another notable cut is the menacing “No Fabrikashun” by Crafty. Famous Seattle turntablist DV One does the scratches on the cut, and the beat creates drama and suspense. Meoshi drops a respectable verse on her edifying track “My Eyes.” “Some take the easy route, some take the pills to the head, because their problems overwhelm them y’all, they’d rather be dead,” she raps. But all is not lost, she reminds aspiring artists to, “strive to be the one immortalized from your hood.”

When It Rains is an ambitious project, it’s really a one stop shop to learn about the diversity of rap talent in Seattle. In 2022, RC celebrated the 20th anniversary of this release, and he recently told me that the compilation wouldn’t have been possible without the help of two key people, G Prez and DJ Kun Luv. G Prez ran Sea-Sick Records which put out the CD, and Kun Luv was the head of Seaspot Promotions, one of the largest media organizations for Seattle hip-hop culture. Thanks gentlemen! Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

In Tha Name Of Game

Seattle rapper Twin Gamer aka Twin-G dropped his debut CD In Tha Name Of Game in 2001. The album features a long list of guest star MCs, which is evidence of Twin-G’s hard work and dedication to networking and making connections in the fast-moving music industry. Skits set throughout the album, between the tracks, chronicle increasingly desperate phone calls from a man trying to incriminate his friends after being apprehended. But being a snitch is a big error in the world of hustlers, and by the final call the man begs for help which will obviously never arrive.

The one and only Sir Mix-A-Lot and scrappy rapper Chedda Hound both make appearances on “Peanut Butter Guts,” which refers to the luxury, golden-brown, leather interior of Mix’s pimped-out, all-white truck. “Show Me The Money$$,” featuring Kokane and Spice 1, recontextualizes the 1996 Jerry Maguire quote into a rhyme-heavy gangsta rap hit. The philosophical and introspective “What Can I Do?” includes the lyric, “On ‘the blade’ trying to feed my kids, wishin they would stop yellin, success in this town ain’t an option for a two-time felon.” The Blade, of course, is the street nickname for the area surrounding the notorious 3rd Ave block downtown between Pike and Pine. “Tha Thing To Do,” featuring Prevento, has a slinky, Pink-Panthery detective beat that almost sounds experimental at times.

After his debut, Twin-G followed up with his next project, In Tha Name Of Game Vol. 2, which came out four years later in 2005. Twin-G’s brother is an MC too, going by two different names, Skuntdunanna and Mafia. Written by Novocaine132

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