Beat heads and production nerds should make note of Jake One’s Snare Jordan project. The venerable Seattle producer has packaged drum kits and various sound effects for sale, so you too can bring all of your bedroom production dreams to fruition. The website also features a great series of videos where Jake walks you through his methods. This week: Drake’s “Furthest Thing”.
There has been a recent movement in the Town toward documenting, both aurally and visually, the rap-related things happening inside the bounds of this fair area code. From the good folks at Mad NW who are responsible for the excellent local rap documentary The Otherside, to blogger Jack Devo’s online vault of Seattle music rarities, and finally to the burgeoning Do The Math podcast, created and hosted by 206 hip hop superfan Deven Morgan.
Meant to be a StoryCorps of sorts strictly for the Seattle rap nerd set, Deven is both honest and earnest in his love for Town hip hop. Episode 2 features the vital producer Jake One waxing nostalgic about creating records in the former heyday of Seattle hip hop. Do The Math seeks to highlight the so-called “second wave” of Seattle rap, the time and artists just after Sir Mix-A-Lot’s apex, but before the rise of Blue Scholars and Macklemore. These are the typically forgotten artists, best represented by the loose collective known as Tribal Music whose Do The Math compilation album, released in 1996, is both the namesake and spiritual foundation for Deven Morgan’s podcast endeavor.
I can’t claim any amount of authority over Tribal or Do The Math other than what I’ve read — and heard — since starting this blog in earnest four and a half years ago. I will say, though, that Tribal’s brand of hip hop is the type to which I’ve always been most drawn in life. DTM is a Golden Era revivalist’s wet dream, created on the tail-end of that movement’s waning years* a time when rap music, it seemed, was less about singular identities and more about the movement. That’s fairly nebulous, I suppose, but so becomes history when the great windshield wiper of the mind blurs and distorts your recall over time. Thank the rap gods, then, that someone is committing these things to permanent record.
*Technically it’s post-Golden Era, but things arrive late in Seattle. So be it.
H/T to Ego Trip for this one. Brother Ali hits us with a 10-track collection of outtakes, playable as a “cassette tape”, and produced entirely by Jake One. “The beats are grimy and I feel like this is some of the best rhyming I’ve ever captured on tape. I want to release this directly to you,” said the Rhymesayers MVP.
Happy weekend, family.
New ideas restored from an old format. That’s the way I’ve always described the production acumen of Jake One. Passion of the Weiss basically feels the same way, which is where I got put on to this compilation of some of Jake’s best.
VIDEO: “This is Hip Hop” – Fleeta Partee (feat. Yirim Seck, Jarrard Anthony & John Crown; dir. by The Notework)
Fleeta takes you to school. Literally.
NEW MUSIC: “This Is Hip Hop” – Fleeta Partee (feat. Jarrard Anthony, Yirim Seck & John Crown; prod. by Jake One)
Blog favorite Fleeta Partee is preparing a remix album follow-up to last year’s Lifemuzik. It is aptly titled Lifemuzik Duex. Big talent can be found on the first release, “This Is Hip Hop”, in the form of Jarrard Anthony, Yirim Seck, John Crown, and Jake One.
The King of Ballard enlists the help of some famous friends for a remix to “Mister Rogers”. Slug, Bam and Jake on the track is one of the most formidable lineups in recent Seattle rap memory. (And Bam expressing his concern over getting got in one of the Town’s most affable ‘hoods is worth a hearty chuckle.)
For real though, shout-out to the good folks at La Carta de Oaxaca, still one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. And the mighty Than Brothers on Market. And the Majestic Bay Theatres, still the comfiest place to catch a flick in the Six. And the stylish but vastly overpriced Blackbird whose employees were mad helpful to my girl when she was tryna order me a dope Filson joint. Shit, man, Ballard is kinda filthy.
Grynch and his sweater game swag.
“Boom” is the latest drop from Bam’s One Rifle Per Family and it was produced by Seattle’s own Jake One. New York fam take note: the LA rapper is in town tomorrow performing at S.O.B.’s as part of his Rent Money Tour. Tickets here.
The Central’s Fleeta Partee with the third single from his recent Lifemuzik. Sample-flip maestro Jake One on the beat. Go here to cop.
The estimable folks at heavy-on-the-independent Potholes In My Blog (conflict of interest alert!) collaborated with Seattle super-producer Jake One for this 12-track mix. Local representation via The Physics and Vitamin D. Click here to find the review I wrote for The Physics’ Tomorrow People.
From The Physics’ upcoming Tomorrow People (release date: August 25), “Take A Win” is more of that understated excellence the crew is known for. Jake on the beat.
The Central District’s Fleeta Partee is an OG of the Seattle rap game. His upcoming LifeMuzik EP features production by Vitamin D and Jake One. “Inception” is the new single. SEA street knowledge exemplified, it’s worth the 99 pennies.
Grynch is gearing up for the release of his new LP, Perspective, due March 2 of this here year. “So Far” is a monster look with monster features and a monster producer behind the console. Get it here via 2dopeboyz.
Sol doesn’t care if his music goes pop. It’s the first thing he says on “Paint,” the decidedly upbeat Imogen Heap-sampling track from his sophomore full-length, Yours Truly. It’s a good thing, too, because with this record the accomplished (and still rising) Seattle MC has a terrific collection of songs that succeeds in connecting the universal pleasure principles of pop music with legitimate hip-hop artistry. Spinning through Yours Truly for the second time I couldn’t help but think this is what Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers should have sounded like.
Sol’s early 2009 debut, The Ride, introduced the EMP Sound Off! finalist and University of Washington student (now graduate) to the area hip-hop scene. His gravelly register and laser-precise technical ability helped him to stand out from a sudden rush of similarly-aged MCs looking to get on in the spontaneous combustion that was the Puget Sound rap scene. With the subsequent Dear Friends trio of EPs, Sol took a definitive turn away from the underground boom-bap that dominated The Ride and moved to a more soulful mix of R&B and blunted pop-rap.
The culmination of that transition is the 12-track (plus one bonus) Yours Truly. You can blame Sol’s affinity for weed or his advancing maturity (probably a bit of both) for the easy-going sensibilities of this album. Like all intelligent and skilled MCs, Sol has learned his life and career don’t hinge on spitting the best bars or realest shit ever written on each subsequent verse; consistency is important, too. Establishing a relationship with his listeners is what Sol values most here. He plays the part of both critic and member of his particular generation on “2020,” urging his peers to shed what he perceives as an identity-threatening ambivalence and stand for something. He also loves the ladies, or, more accurately, the ladies love Sol. On the whimsical “Ugly Love” (featuring Shaprece) he recognizes his status as one of the city’s circumstantial rap sex symbols and uses (presumably) learned experiences to both celebrate and lament the profits of his cachet.
My estimation is that Yours Truly will be a hit among close followers of Seattle hip-hop, especially with the younger set that leans toward the more Clear Channel variety. That’s just fine of course — equal representation is important in establishing a holistic listening environment, after all. Heads who don’t favor this brand of vodka can rest in the edification of a track like “Rap Life.” The standout Jake One-produced banger is a reminder that Sol’s hustle is rooted deeply in the hip-hop fundamentals and, at the very least, his growth sprouts from an unadulterated love for the art. Yours Truly is quality, independently-produced music with the artist’s full stamp of approval, and if that’s synonymous with “honesty,” then the effort is always above reproach.
I do believe there’s a great album lurking in Sportn’ Life’s hyperactive court jester Spac3man. Too bad it’s taking him so damn long to come with it. Maybe the forthcoming Beyond The Stars EP will deliver. Until then, here’s an enjoyable banger produced by JakeOne.
Those drums…Damn. I don’t know if they originally belonged to Jake or not, but Brother Ali lays his words down on ‘em and claims them for his own. Check the one minute mark when the sample falls away and all that’s left is the hook and the spare beauty of the rhythm.
(Spotted at Members Only.)
“Amazing” is the first single from Fatal Lucciauno’s next LP, Respect (dropping February 21). J. Pinder performs a guest shot and JakeOne handles the beat. In Seattle rap it doesn’t get much better than this.
Former Huskies offensive lineman Gregory “Preach” Christine (of SEA/Cali crew Bent Twig) just posted this clip on Facebook. The penultimate University of Washington Stan track? Probably. Like the four area artists on the song, I live in 1991. #GoDawgs
The track artwork alone makes this worth the listen. Classic Jake boom-bap and in-the-wind Grynch flow, notwithstanding.
Fatal Lucciauno is one of Seattle hip-hop’s greatest communicators. Aside from being a great rapper, his flow is transport for a hulking emotional depth that escapes the grasp of most MCs. When he raps, you believe him. It’s been too long since his last project, 2007′s The Only Forgotten Son. “Warm Ups” is in advance of three projects in 2011, including his next full-length album, Respect.
J. Pinder prepares for a Code Red re-up (watch for ver. 2.0 coming 1.25.11) with another good look on the visuals. Beat courtesy of Jake One. Gas for the whip courtesy of the Valero station on Rainier. Makes me miss the South End. *Sigh*