A film about Northwest hip-hop from

ILLFIGHTYOUTOO

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked ILLFIGHTYOUTOO as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2020, saying:

Seven years since the kings of Tacoma unleashed their debut album, Washington’s preeminent rap hooligans reemerged to tag the enflamed dumpster that is 2020 with their marvelously raucous sophomore album — released on Halloween, no less. After scattered releases from members Khris P, Ugly Frank, and Glenn over the years, the irreverent trio’s comeback throat punch hits like a house party where someone gets fairly seriously injured, yet no one seems concerned. ILLFIGHTYOUTOO is the TV smashed on the train tracks, the late-night scream in the middle of nowhere, and the bathroom graffiti masterpiece all rolled into one.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

NEWCOMER

This 82-minute feature film is an intimate introduction to Seattle’s vibrant hip-hop underground. It was assembled from hundreds of tiny performance clips—shot for Instagram—into a single, continuous concert mosaic, and stars 93 of the top hip-hop artists from The Town.

Here’s how KEXP describes it in their review: “NEWCOMER stretches the idea of the concert film to an artistic extreme: Sub-minute snippets artfully arranged to resemble a field recording of Seattle’s rap scene, the pieces fractured and pieced back together in a truly engrossing way. The narrative flows through venues like Barboza, Cha Cha Lounge, Vermillion, Lo-Fi, the Showbox, the Crocodile, and dozens more. It’s Khris P pouring Rainier into a Solo cup while he raps; bodies packed into regional landmark ETC Tacoma; SassyBlack improvising a song urging concertgoers to buy her merch; the delightfully awkward dance moves of white people in KEXP’s Gathering Space; Chong the Nomad beatboxing and playing harmonica simultaneously; Bruce Leroy bullying a beat next to the clothing racks at All-Star Vintage; Specswizard rhyming about his first time performing in front of a crowd while standing before The Dark Crystal playing on a projection screen. The film is about the moments we experience—as lovers of live performance—just as much as the performances themselves.”

NEWCOMER was directed by Gary Campbell and was an official selection at the 2020 New York Hip-Hop Film Festival and the 2020 Golden Sneakers International Hip-Hop Film Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Throughout November 2020, the film screened for four weeks on the Northwest Film Forum theatrical screening site in honor of Hip-Hop History Month.

You can watch the full movie below.

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Ripening

Two years ago, Taylar Elizza Beth was at the center of Seattle’s hip-hop map: Her five-song Fresh Cut Flowers EP was widely acclaimed, and fans clamored for more of her quiet, smokey rapping style. After absconding to LA to reset and reflect, she returned with new power in 2019, playing to sold-out crowds at Capitol Hill Block Party and dropping Ripening, her full-length debut. The Bops & Flops blog highlights the “bouncy, sparse production” supplied by Tacoma superstar Khris P. and TEB’s “lightweight brush-off tracks.” Welcome back.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Tales From The T, Volume 1

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

Presto

There’s a lot to love on Presto the 2017 debut from Tacoma’s :30, a group that includes more than one member of ILLFIGHTYOU. But my favorite things are the drum breaks. It’s like when some experimental music is in 5/4 time or in thirds. The bass drops away when you least… In the meditative, minimal “Not Me No Mo,” a song barely held together, it’s floating above the grooving waves of a giant lake, in a cave, and you’re spelunking. On “Trappin Ain’t Dead” the bass emerges like a heartbeat and for a while, in the middle, you’ll realize that your jaw is on the floor. The drums accent like scaffolding, that scaffolding that’s everywhere these days in Seattle, dusty and another sign of emergence, of a new egg. This hatchling is a bold tower, ready to reach and stretch and cast a shadow. “Fees | Things” has much to say about this new economy.

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TYTHBAVFE

Released on Valentines Day this year, the acronym-named TYTHBAVFE (Thank You This Has Been A Very Fun Experience) was intended as a retirement record from Bujemane, as he shifts focus from music to other creative pursuits. He’s not completely disappeared though: We met up at Luis Vela’s “We Tried®” event last month and got talking about this EP. He described it as his “party record.” When compared with Tacoma’s usual suicide trap, there’s definitely humor and sarcasm here. It’s clear that Buje’s having a great time taking the piss. You only have to skip to the funny and weird “Try It” feat. Khris P. I always find myself giggling through this track, with lines like, “Khris P might be the new Dr. Dre.” When you hear the lovely and sad dance floor synths on “More” it’s clear that collaborator and producer Gary Ferguson is in on the joke, too. (And Ghoulavelii is doing his thing on track one.) Go check this one out, “cause you won’t know until you try it.” The brilliant/terrible cover art from Benji Navas is all part of the package.

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HOME

Bruce Leroy makes ALL CAPS rap. He says as much in one line on HOME, a 2016 release from this Tacoma rapper, a collaboration with producer 1stBorn. Drums on this record are prominent, and often naked, punctuating tracks like exclamation marks. But it’s their smooth, percussive interplay with the verses, especially when Leroy hits the accelerator pedal, kicking his raps into sixth gear… it will leave you completely breathless. Or two minutes into “PREMIUM UNLEADED” when everything flips around and moves backwards. Gorgeous guest verses from Porter Ray, Jarv Dee, Khris P, Phinisey and others. Full confession: More than one smart person DM’d me to say I should write about this album, and let me tell you all those people were damn right. The more I listen to this record, the more there is to love.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

ILLFIGHTYOU

Beetbak blog’s Jack Devo described this record as “Heavy, snotty, ignorant, ass-kicking, no-bullshit rhymes and beats… A much-needed opposite to the Town’s predominant vibe right now. I’m sure it will be a favorite on many year-end top ten lists.” When I hear the song “‘92” I picture a bouncing lowrider cruising along evening streets, pre-party prep, tunes blaring and subwoofer shaking the windows. The self-titled ILLFIGHTYOU, a 2013 record from the Tacoma hip-hop supergroup of the same name is floor-shaking fun, profane, young, and convincing: You should definitely have one more drink, do those drugs, ask that girl to dance, or fuck it, just give in to whatever wanton abandon is in front of you. (“BROOKLYN”) There’s something about those drums—primal and pounding, endlessly inventive and intensified by multiple MCs slinging verses, always dialing up the energy. When I write these reviews I scribble notes on my phone and later I sometimes struggle to deduce what I meant. For this record, I wrote: “Momentum, see BATCAVE,” and I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means.

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