A film about Northwest hip-hop from 1992
Do It Like This
Sonic Force was Seattle’s first notable all-white rap group. In 1992, they released a local radio hit “Do It Like This,” and dropped this three-song EP on both vinyl and cassette. In 1993, they were among the headline performers at KUBE’s “Back to School” event in Des Moines, WA. The group’s two members were MC Ripper and DJ Dubb.
The cover of this record is really quite fascinating for anyone who’s into ’90s Seattle hip-hop. You’ll immediately notice how closely it resembles The Power of Rhyme by Kid Sensation. Place these two albums side by side, and you’ll see how each cover is shot at roughly the same scale, with the artist(s) posing against their car, which is parked behind them from right to left, in roughly the same spot in Seacrest Park in West Seattle, showcasing the Seattle skyline in the distance. Given that Kid’s The Power of Rhyme was among the bestselling Seattle hip-hop albums from earlier the same year, the cover’s hommage would’ve been obvious to any contemporary fans. You’ll also notice the license plates are prominent: Showing off your personalized plates was something Sir Mix-A-Lot did on his album jackets, too, making it something of trend at the time on Northwest record covers.
On the vinyl itself, you’ll find two versions of their single “Do It Like This.” The song features an ’80s throwback sound and is slightly reminiscent of Young MC’s giant 1989 hit “Bust A Move.” Here, Sonic Force have layered in a few more metal guitars, delivering a fresh, solid, head-nodding rock-rap tune. It sounds a little like something Sir Mix-A-Lot might’ve made in the early days of his career. The second track “Time Flys” is a slow seduction-rap ballad. Just as it starts to drag, the beat switches up unexpectedly.
Flip over the wax and you’ll overhear dialogue at the start of “Give Us Some Pump.” MC Ripper asks, “Yo Dubb, drop that house beat on me.” What follows is easily the best song on the record, featuring Ripper rapidly rapping atop rave and house elements, dodging the driving arpeggiated synthesizers and thunderous drums. The song is inventive and fresh and handily demonstrates the many musical talents of the group. This Sonic Force cut is definitely one to include in the small canon of ’90s Northwest house rap tracks. File it in your collection alongside Herb Superb’s “Get On Up And Dance” and Kid Sensation’s “Back To Boom (Rave Mix)”–both songs also from 1992–for when you need to get the party started.
At the very end of this EP, after another version of “Do It Like This,” there’s a bit more dialogue where the guys are poking fun of their own song with funny voices. It’s a charming ending.