A film about Northwest hip-hop from

50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide

50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide drops you into a literal roundtable conversation between Town legends old and young. James Croone of The Emerald Street Boys tells the story of discovering how “poetry on top of music” could carry a message. Spyc-E shares how she first learned to write rap verses, at age 11, and is kindly teased by the group into performing her first-ever childhood rhymes. Later, Khingz thanks Vitamin D for mentoring him early in his career, and for how it helped him achieve his own success. This half-hour documentary captures several charming, rambling discussions about the long history of Northwest rap. The whole thing is a delight.

Eazeman from ’90s group L.S.R. reflects on how major-label rejection shaped the scene early, saying “If you don’t want to show us for who we really are, then we don’t need you. We’re going to make our own party.” Rapper Candidit adds, “Don’t come if you’re not prepared.”

The group passionately rails against the evils of what they describe as “capitalist hip-hop,” which divides communities and makes local artists into commodities to be bought and sold. There’s a need today for more love and mutual respect and not so much focus on money and fame and numbers. Instead, they explain how everyone making art in the Northwest has a responsibility to fight back against the mainstream, “intended to pacify society” adds CPS da Scientist. Rapper DICE encourages artists to follow their imagination, saying “who cares what is new and cool now. Figure out what it’s going to be cool next, and then be the first to do it.”

50 Next was released as part of a larger online interactive experience by Aaron Walker-Loud and Avi Loud, “a multi-media time capsule of what was, what is, and what’s next…” The whole project is still online and is viewable here.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Hold Tight 2 da Rhythm

Love Sick Rhymers came together as 8th graders in 1984 when DJ Eazeman met Kid Mix (who was also going by Z-Rock or Playboy Z) and a third member named Ace. Kid Mix had seen a graffiti piece with the words Love Sick Bombers, and so he named their group Love Sick Rhymers. They recorded many tracks throughout the 1980s, and by the early ’90s they had an album finished called Tha Yestler Shot. The first single from Tha Yestler Shot is this dancy cut called “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm.”

The 1978 song “Hold On Tight” by Lakeside is used as the main sample for “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm.” Love Sick Rhymers are joined on the cut by guest rapper DLD (Dee.aLe) from another Seattle ’90s rap crew called DMS. At the beginning of the track Eaze introduces the rest of the group, and then they take turns getting loose on the mic. The raps include some speedy verses and wordplay alongside some more laid back styling and profiling.

Tha Yestler Shot was never commercially released at the time, and it wasn’t until 2019 that DJ Eazeman uploaded all the group’s content to Youtube, where it can now be experienced. This is the only listing on Discogs for their record label Blakstyle Records, apparently no further releases ever came out on the label. Love Sick Rhymers were a prolific Seattle rap group that had such accomplishments as opening for Tribe Called Quest in 1991 at the Oz nightclub! “Hold Tight 2 Da Rhythm” is a great party cut, and the raps keep it real. This is a classic 206 jam and it was rightfully included on the Goods/Stussy Jake One Town Biz Mixtape back in 2010. Written by Novocaine132

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