A film about Northwest hip-hop from

All Your Friend's Friends

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

All Your Friend's Friends

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Zenith

Seattle hip-hop blog 206UP picked this record as one of the “Top 10 Albums of 2013,” saying that:

There may be something about how rappers JFK’s and Onry Ozzborn’s lyrical styles, especially as they coexist in duo Grayskul, that manages to circumvent the conscious part of your listening brain and burrow into the section of gray matter that composes your subconscious. Supernatural and sci-fi themes have been tantamount in Grayskul’s musical history, but Zenith finds JFK and Onry staying closer to terra firma than ever before. As the two age, decidedly earthbound issues like children and romantic relationships rise to the forefront, but don’t dare call this “dad rap”. The trick to being Grayskul seems to lie in the unique ability to speak on just about any issue — worldly and otherwise — in beautifully oblique and coded poetry.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

This That & Th3rdz

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Mod Volatile

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Thee Adventures

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The Grey Area

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Circumstance Dictates

Boom Bap Project put out their first single “The Trade” b/w “Writer’s Guild” in the year 2000. These two tracks introduced Boom Bap Project, Nightclubber Lang and Destro, as a rough and tumble duo of rappers who were all about the traditional 1980s hip-hop style of hard beats and braggadocious lyrics. By 2001, the group finished an EP called Circumstance Dictates. According to Wikipedia, after this EP was released, DJ Tré left the group and was replaced with DJ Scene.

Circumstance Dictates contains an intro beat, the two songs from their debut single, and six new tracks. Jake One handles most of the production here, and does an admirable job of capturing the golden-era rap aesthetic. “All Stars” features Tacoma group Black Anger, and has a groovy descending bassline carrying the beat. Hieroglyphics crew member Pep Love guests on “Net Worth.” The woebegone sounding “All I Have Left” gets a visit from fellow Oldominion posse members JFK, Snafu and Toni Hill. Breezy track “Who’s That?” produced by Nightclubber and Vitamin D floats by like a cloud on a warm day.

“Odds On Favorite” never really comes together for me, the yawning strings don’t enhance the drums but rather distract from them, and L*Roneus sounds like he’s cosplaying Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. “Take It To The Stage” begins with, “I give a f*** who we offend up in this motherf***er right about now,” and then pummels the listener with overt anti-gay messages. It may have been songs like this that caused Macklemore to drop his ode to acceptance and tolerance, “Same Love” in 2012. Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Alone

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

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One

Oldominion dropped their first single in 1999, “Don’t Kill Your Radio,” which established the group as angst ridden and wickedly intelligent. The following year, the group put out its second twelve-inch, “Parallel To Hell,” b/w “Serenade To Silence.” These two songs showed growth, not only artistically but also numerically, as “Silence” boldly featured eight rappers on the same cut. Then Oldominion put out a short lo-fi CD titled Book Of Fury, also in 2000.

Oldominion’s proper debut album, titled One, includes “Radio,” “Hell,” and “Silence,” plus eleven new tracks. Track one “Ezmerelda” showcases rapper Syndel and her densely-packed style. Despite having so many voices, “Serenade To Silence” is probably my favorite track on the album. The simple repeated guitar notes in the composition remind me of a meditative Om chant, which grounds the song for me. At the start of the CD an interviewer asks, “How would you describe Oldominion?” I laugh out loud every time I hear the reply, “Haven’t heard of them.”

By the release of One the various members were already embarking on side-projects. Onry Ozzborn would go on to collaborate with JFK and Rob Castro to make Grayskul. Destro Destructo and Nightclubber Lang would become Boom Bap Project. If the One album was a talk-radio program it would be the conspiracy-laden Coast To Coast AM show, hosted by the paranormal-obsessed weirdo Art Bell until his passing in 2018. Listening to Oldominion is like playing Scrabble with Hannibal Lecter, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Bukowski, imagination runs amok in a torrent of bizarre, fantasy-filled, and sometimes mundane lyrics. Take the ride. Written by Novocaine132

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Parallel To Hell

Oldominion dropped their first single “Don’t Kill Your Radio” in 1999. The song and its two B-sides introduced the group as full of relentless literary angst, intent on capturing wide swaths of thesaurus-rap territory. In 2000, they put out an underground CDr album titled Book Of Fury, and also dropped this vinyl single, “Parallel To Hell.” Compelling jacket art was created by Barfly, and the front depicts a ghostly woman in a red dress. The way the record label has a punched out hole in the middle of the Oldominion logo’s “d” is a nice touch.

The A-side “Parallel To Hell” features performances by JFK, Pale Soul, Sleep, and Smoke, who alternate filling in the lines of a conceptual dialogue. One highlight of “Parallel To Hell” is Portland rapper Syndel with her needle-sharp verbal style. The chorus refers to the woman in the red dress seen on the cover, “pretending she’s a damsel in distress.” Is it all symbolism and metaphor? Oldominion isn’t going to tell you, they are too deeply invested in their art for the listener’s interpretation to matter.

Side B is “Serenade To Silence,” which includes the four rappers from “Parallel To Hell” and adds Destro, L’Swhere, Mako, and Onry Ozzborn for a total of eight artists. The gentle production on “Serenade To Silence” belies the dark, introspective imagery that accompanies the song’s lyrics. For example, “Now that I’m over the worst part of the pain, the sanctuary crumbles, I brace myself for the secondary tumble, down a black cavity, depravity…” Oldominion was among the most purely artistic and non-commercial rap groups that I can remember, and they deserve credit for doing the actual heavy lifting required for universe-building. “Don’t Kill Your Radio” and “Parallel To Hell” don’t really sound like anything else.

Just as this single was spreading through the country, Oldominion was putting the finishing touches on their massive proper debut album titled One. With so many members in the crew, and so many cities included in their grasp, Oldominion capitalized on their position and infiltrated every nook and cranny of the Washington and Oregon rap game. Even today in 2023, their name lives on among the major crews to ever come from the Northwest. Written by Novocaine132

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