Reigncraft 6: Gotta Do It! is a compilation of some of the best rappers and producers in Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. The series began in 2003, and Gotta Do It! which dropped in 2006 keeps the party going. Early in Reigncraft 6, two earnest and heartfelt tracks emerge. First, Xperience exercises an easy poetic dexterity in his lyrics to “The People’s Anthem.” It’s a spoken-word-feeling, game-filled pep talk from someone who has seen it all. “Life ain’t all about the fame and the afterparties,” he reminds the listener.
Second is the spectacular “Ego” by Macklemore. His win at the Grammy Awards was still eight long years away at this point, but even in back 2006 he was clearly a superstar. Mack is an artist who found his sweet spot somewhere between street and square and rode it to the top. This track is very mature, and spreads a valuable message that we need to remember. “Ego” was previously featured on Language Of My World in 2005. In retrospect, his jealousy of Boom Bap Project and Grayskul in the track is comical, considering the heights to which Mack’s career would eventually elevate him.
After those two inspirational songs, let’s examine a couple from the opposite side of the spectrum. “Reality Check” by Skuntdunanna is a nonstop blitzkrieg attack, full of sizzling slams and insults. Most of the punches are above the belt, “If I had your flow in my notebook, I’d be asking God, why me?” is one that always gets me. But unfortunately, Skunt sometimes tosses homophobic slurs which can detract from the final result.
Another punchline expert is Livio. For his track “Hit Em Up,” producer Funk Daddy flips Grieg’s 1875 “In The Hall Of The Mountain King,” and lays it with cocking shotguns and hammers blasting. It’s genius, and the rousing music enhances Livio’s hilarious stream of jokes. “Livio’s a madman, what you think a Magnum’s for? Man I’m on some bullshit, I hope you’re a matador,” is one that stands out. “Hit Em Up” can also be found on Livio’s sophomore album Cruel Intentions.
I don’t want to forget dRED.i’s “Freedom 4.” DJ Roc Phella and Kenyatto “Moorpheus” McThomas are the two musicians in this excellent group. This particular track is an anthem about mind body and soul, and the freedom sought by all. The lyrics are very conceptual, yet simultaneously down to earth and useful. “Teach by example, boy, it’s more than something you can preach.” Well said. Written by Novocaine132