A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The DCP Organization

The DCP (Deff City Posse) Organization were a huge crew of MCs that came together with Wojack and Eugenius, two artists who are perhaps best known for their group Criminal Nation. DCP members included Bumpy, Clee Bone, D-Rob, D-Wiz, The A, and K-Luv, plus Zell Dogg and The Bom performing as N***** From The Boneyard. Some of these artists had appeared on the posse cut “The Bum Rush” on Criminal Nation’s Trouble In The Hood album. The DCP Organization dropped this self-titled compilation of sorts in 1993, executive produced by Brett Carlson for Cold Rock Recordings.

Wojack and Eugenius perform four tracks together, “You Can’t F*** With The Criminal,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Something 4 Your Trunk,” and “Stretcher.” My personal favorite of the four, “Something 4 Your Trunk” was also featured on the Crooked Path After Dark reissue which appeared on Southwest Enterprise in 2021.

Gangsta cut “N***** From The Boneyard” by Zell Dogg and The Bom flips the Tom Tom Club “Genius Of Love” beat, which is a perennial hip-hop staple. “How can you talk if your mouth’s on my glock?” the group asks. The laid back “Smooth Night” features The A, Clee Bone, and D-Rob. “Shall I go farther? As long as I’m alive, cemeteries gonna get larger,” mourns one of the MCs in a moment of self reflection. “Nothing But A Come Up” features a groovy Parliament “Give Up The Funk” chorus and solid verses from the MCs. For example, “Coming up is a must, but on the ‘Hilltop’ who the f*** can you trust?”

Approximately three years after The DCP Organization came out, DJ Eugenius and the Homegrown Klik dropped The Album Volume One on compact disc in 1996. The following year saw the release of Wojack’s street classic Where Ya Goin Wo? on all three formats, vinyl, CD and cassette. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, The DCP Organization was digitally re-released on Bandcamp in 2013. Tacoma is in the house! Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Black Power Nation

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood faced genuine social problems: unemployment, poverty, addiction. But an ongoing turf war between two rival gangs—the LA Crips and Cuban immigrants—meant that drive-by shootings and armed attacks became a real danger for the area’s residents. Murders and violence in Hilltop reached their peak in 1989, not long before this song was released.

For mainstream media and local rap groups alike, invoking “Hilltop” became a Northwest shorthand for “dangerous,” and was used to show off one’s street cred the same way NY and LA rappers would namedrop Harlem or Compton.

This early single from Tacoma rap group Criminal Nation, “Black Power Nation,” is a counter-narrative: The group spent a lot of time in Hilltop and provide a rallying cry against the connection between rap music and violence.

On it, MC Deff (aka Wojack) promotes an anti-government, anti-police, pro-Black message, stating that Black women and men coming must work together and unite to fight the drugs, racism, and economic inequality tearing the community apart, while also encouraging greater respect for ourselves and others.

The two B-side tracks are more in the expected gangster vein and prominently feature Criminal Nation’s extended posse, The D.C.P. (D-Rob, Clee-Bone, and D-Whiz). “Niggas From The Ghetto” starts with some seriously funky drums and lists a long litany of dire consequences should you mess with Criminal Nation.

“Tribute To The Ladies,” is exactly the opposite: A revenge song directed at a woman who broke your heart, addressing all her shortcomings and her future regrets. But it’s all fun, “we’re just clowning,” they say, before shouting out their NastyMix label mates, Mix-A-Lot, Nes, etc.

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