A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2009
It’s been a tensely political week in a highly political year. I took a brief break by rolling the clock back to 2009 when the nation’s concerns were recession and house foreclosures and dealing with the great George W. Bush hangover. Obama was a brand new president and we didn’t know what to make of him yet. It’s in this context that Dyme Def released their Panic EP, featuring seven highly political songs from another era. The title track repeats the refrain, “somebody please help me.” Most of the work here is classic boom-bap, with naked drums, sample-heavy riffs, brass hits, and sirens that channel ’90s NYC, like on the captivating “Pick Up A Flow.” There are some great spacey stereo effects on “Foot Up On The Gas” worthy of your headphones. It’s track 3, “Not That Dude,” that most closely contemplates the identity politics of our past week, with a verse that begins, “you’re not like me and I’m not like you.” Let’s hope we can all find common ground regardless. I’m bummed I missed both of their summer ’17 Seattle shows, but hopefully, we’ll hear more from Dyme Def soon.