A film about Northwest hip-hop from

North West Ridin'

Mr. D.O.G. is a Tacoma rap artist who made his debut in 1997 with his EP Gettin Paid. Similar to E-40, D.O.G.’s style bounces the tone of his delivery from low to falsetto, all over the vocal register. Then in 1998 his first full album Wet was released, featuring the hit “Aquaman.” 2000 saw Mr. D.O.G.’s first vinyl release on a split twelve-inch single with Playboy Bleek. His label was called Bow Wow Records, and in 2002, D.O.G. and partner BWR 2000 put together this CD compilation of various hip hop artists from Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland.

“Aquaman II” by Mr. D.O.G. is the first song on North West Ridin’, and the beat is a slinky, g-funk interpolation of “Bad” by LL Cool J. Smooth-voiced rapper K-Swiss keeps the tempo lazy and the content mellow and light with “Just Hustlin.” Portland’s Cool Nutz joins on “NW Game,” with lyrics about hustling and thugging. “I never could take seeing my bread rise slow,” is a nice metaphor from Cool Nutz. My ear found the peppery guitar picking in the “U Aint Done Shit” beat to be quite enjoyable. “I Gets Paper (Remix)” features California rap legend Ras Kass on a verse. Samples from the movie Boyz In The Hood sprinkled throughout “Blow Ya Brainz” by Mak Mahd enhance the violent mood of the track.

My favorite song on North West Ridin’ is “I Ain’t Feeling That,” by Funk Daddy and E-Dawg. It contains a line that sounds dated but was actually quite futuristic, “You wanna battle? I really don’t have time. How bout I jump in a limo, grab the laptop, and we do it online.” Remember, Myspace didn’t launch until 2003, and Facebook appeared in 2004. North West Ridin’ is a good look at some turn-of-the-millennium rap from the upper West Coast. At the end of “We G’z” the MC asks, “Who said there wasn’t no gangsters up north?” Who indeed? Written by Novocaine132

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