The underground origins of Seattle’s hip hop movement are fairly difficult to trace back on the internet, but that just means the rewards in uncovering buried local rap treasure are even greater because of it. If you have a vested interest in what happened in the days pre-Macklemore, I recommend these precious resources.
Down Since Day One is a group that was active in the mid- to late-90s, and they just released a tape called Melanogenesis which compiles songs dating back to 1994. More information on the crew and their extended collective, Original Northwest Eclectics, can be found at the Bandcamp link here. Crew member Jeremiah Williams shared all of this with me, so shout-out to him.
Also included in the press kit was the Seattle hip hop relic seen below: a scanned image of the Phunky Phat hip hop festival program held at Evergreen State College in June of ’95. That was the year I graduated high school, when my knowledge of Seattle rap didn’t extend beyond Sir Mix-a-Lot and Kid Sensation. There are some familiar names on the bill, but most remain anonymous to me. If anyone in the world wide ether has preserved digital copies of material from the groups listed, please shoot me an email.