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Flavin’ In Bumpcity

This is the rare Flavin’ In Bumpcity tape from group PD2, circa 1992.

This cassette features the third PD2 lineup, with MC Willin’ “The Villin’” replacing MC 3-D at the mic. “Groove Manipulator” 2Smooth continues to hold down the beats and serves as the backbone of the group.

There’s a video on YouTube video where the two explain their sound as an original and funky counterweight to the NastyMix all-stars. Indeed, they clearly felt there was some camaraderie and rivalry here… They shout out Mix-A-Lot, Kid Sensation, and Criminal Nation repeatedly throughout the tape.

The sound is squarely in the Public Enemy and Bomb Squad sweet spot, but Bumpcity is all about having fun. There are no real breaks between the songs, it’s a non-stop jam from the get-go, with skits and interludes and Seattle references throughout. The group says they wanted to make “music you can relate to… That when you get to the end, you say “damn!” and press rewind to hear it again.” The standout cut here is the closer, “Givemewhatugot,” which, indeed, I always rewind and listen to again.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Seatown Ballers

If you listen closely to the bass line at the start of “Seatown Ballers,” you’ll hear it morph from synthesizer to beatbox vocalization and back again. Throughout his music, “Seattle’s next rap star, Kid Sensation” finds many creative new ways to incorporate his human voice.

“Seatown Ballers” is a curious song. Another one that, like “Back 2 Boom” and “My Hooptie,” yet again revisits “Posse on Broadway,” both in sampling and lyrics. (While also sampling contemporaries Public Enemy and Beastie Boys, too)

It recounts “another day in the life of the ECP,” where Maharaji, Attitude Adjuster, Mix-A-Lot, and Larry—the white guy, real estate investor—are driving down Rainier, picking up girls… Wait, haven’t we heard this all before?

Indeed, these early NastyMix rap singles are like interlocking Russian dolls, or watching Inception: It’s all layers upon layers, right down to the cover photo. Kid and DJ Skill pause in front of Minoru Yamasaki’s Rainier Tower, and they’re holding copies of Kid’s “Back 2 Boom” records, too.

At one point, Kid raps, “I don’t need drugs to create this feeling,” and you agree, yeah, it’s all déjà vu. And the beats keep turning into his voice and back again.

The music video for “Ballers” was shot at the brand new Westlake transit hub which first opened the same year, 1990.

Flipside cut “S.B.I.A.” is an acronym for “Seattle’s Best In Action.” Although no one is directly credited on the cover, Kid passes the mic around to a cypher featuring his contemporaries from Seattle’s unsigned hip-hop underground: Richie Rapp, MC Willin’, and MC Linn all drop baller verses before Kid himself takes us home.

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