A film about Northwest hip-hop from


Brothers Of The Same Mind were a Seattle rap group in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They got “Unsigned Hype” status in the October 1990 Source magazine, then put out a seven-song masterpiece in 1991. After the group broke up, the two rappers, Class and Sin-Q, each did solo cassette projects. First, the smoother, bohemian MC Class put out Brother From The Projects in 1993, then the rougher, more hardcore rapper Sin-Q dropped Deathflow in 1994. The two releases couldn’t be more different.

Sin-Q’s gruff voice drops to such a low octave on Deathflow that it feels “chopped and screwed” like the playback speed is dragging. When you add the fact that his delivery is sometimes subdued and quiet, it almost sounds like he is muttering his inner thoughts to himself, rather than presenting rap lyrics. The effect for me is like having Neuralink access directly into Sin-Q’s brain, where the content is very explicit and uncensored.

The police sirens at the start of opener “Seward Park” set an ominous tone for the rest of the Deathflow tape. I like “Yeah Mutha F**** Yeah” for the bounce in the beat, and the swooping interplay of the horns. Sin-Q talks about relationships with women in “Menace 2 The Hoes.” “Tell you like this I got my girl, my hoes, both suck ****, but only one do my clothes,” is typical of the track’s boastful tone. “Peelin Back” features a reminder to avoid sporting red or blue clothes in gang territory, among other topics. “So I see you gots to watch what you wear, in the wrong neighborhood you get smoked for your gear.” However, in my opinion the overly simple looped beat doesn’t allow “Peelin Back” to expand to its fullest potential.

Side B starts with the excellent “Float On,” a reflective track about how friendships change over time, and sometimes you just have to part ways with someone for whatever reasons. “Ill Funk Freaker” has a fun, jazzy hip-hop sound, a stylistic departure from the creeping, dissonant production prevalent throughout Deathflow. Sin-Q describes how hard it is to survive working low wage jobs in “P’s & Q’s.” “Doing all this goddamn work for seven and a quarter,” he says with disgust. The last track “Changes” contains philosophical musings about society, in Sin-Q’s words, “Something’s gotta change, for better or for worse.”

An exciting second chapter recently began for Brothers Of The Same Mind, as they reunited in 2021 and have since put out two albums. Gotta Have Style is a much fuller version of the 1991 project, and Franklin Highfield III Present The International Lover is a whole album of new material recorded in the 2020s. I can’t wait to see where they take it next. Written by Novocaine132

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Brothers of The Same Mind

Early ’90s Seattle hip-hop group Brothers Of The Same Mind reached such heights that NYC-based The Source magazine featured them in their October 1990 issue, as the “Unsigned Hype” group for that month, declaring them to be the next big thing in rap.

The Source shouted out the group’s “excellent street-wise production, unlike anything we’ve heard from the Emerald City,” while adding that “the Brothers can hang with many popular NYC rappers at their best.”

In 1991, on the strength of local and national praise, the group released their acclaimed debut, a seven-song, self-titled cassette. This album is a Northwest classic, full of hometown pride: The cover photo was shot in the Central District at East Portal Viewpoint, and the music video for their hit single, “Cool Drink,” was filmed at Seattle’s Gas Works Park. The video found regular rotation on BET, and the Brothers appeared in The Source a second time later that year.

Here’s a record that is insistent and relentless, comforting the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. It was delivered straight to the streets of Seattle, by five local legends—MC Class, DJ Swift, B-Max (aka Nerdy B!), Mellow Touch, and Sin-Q. This is that real, real Seattle rap.

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