This track is at least six years old, but seems to resonate around Town more than any other Dyme Def song to date. The Note picks up the HD for directorial duties.
Dyme Def’s Fearce Vill and producer BeanOne are: FRCxBNE. “Fearce and Bean” kinda sounds like the hot new food joint in the South End. They should explore that collab after There Goes The Neighborhood drops.
Today continues 206UP.COM’s countdown of the Top 10 Seattle Hip-Hop Albums of 2011. See yesterday’s post for the Introduction and three standout releases that didn’t quite make the cut. Today’s post features albums 10 through 6. Tomorrow (Thursday, 12.22.11) we’ll post 5 through 1. Thanks for reading!
(Click on the album covers for links to download or purchase.)
10. Dyme Def – Yuk The World
Here we have the trio of Brainstorm, S.E.V. and Fearce Villain behaving in the way we’re accustomed: Mixing top-shelf brag rap with sobering tales about growing up hard in the South End. It’s been over four years since Space Music, the area’s official introduction to the Three Bad Brothas from Renton. Since then, the crew has been missing a key component to their hustle: The production of BeanOne, whose lively trunk rattle serves as the perfect delivery vehicle for the three MCs’ sharp witticisms. Thankfully Bean is back here, providing the majority of the framework in which Dyme Def gets busy. One complaint: Yuk The World is too long, but that’s only because Dyme Def’s real voice hasn’t been heard in some time. Consider this a year-ending takeover attempt by one of the SEA’s most important groups in history.
9. Nacho Picasso – For The Glory
Emerging from a Cloud (Nice, that is) of weed smoke and comic book sound effects is Nacho Picasso. Even blazed-up and squinty-eyed this dude is more clever than your average MC, dropping punchlines quippy enough to win the affection of both your girlfriend and high-brow music publications. For The Glory‘s arrival on the scene correlates perfectly with the sonic trends going on in the greater rap arena. Production duties were handled by Blue Sky Black Death, whose hazy take on the Cloud Rap aesthetic fits in nicely next to the genre’s currently favored albums. The star here is inarguably Nacho himself, though. Holding a Marvel comic book in one hand and a Dessert Eagle in the other, the man otherwise known as The Tat in the Hat is poised to introduce his specific branch of Seattle rap to the rest of the nation.
8. Art Vandelay – They’ve Got My Number Down At The Post Office
MC Ricky Pharoe and producer Mack Formway are Art Vandelay, an affiliate of the left-of-center Black Lab Productions camp. On They’ve Got My Number Down At The Post Office they question the honesty of our government, point shotguns at their televisions and generally wonder indignantly how anyone in their right mind could see worldly goings-on as anything but a degradation of all that is beautiful and just. “Art Vandelay” is a self-delusion perpetuated by Seinfeld‘s George Costanza — a lie in the form of a heroic archetype that helps George feel better about his otherwise mundane existence. Pharoe is calling us the liars on They’ve Got My Number: We’re fools to think for even a second that anything is all good. Oh well, at least when the world begins crumbling down around us we’ll have Art Vandelay’s soundtrack playing in the background, telling us so.
7. Onry Ozzborn – Hold on for Dear Life
I think Seattle forgets how great an MC Onry Ozzborn is. That’s probably because his creative output sneaks by in the same way his monotonic flow inserts subversive social commentary and unique turns-of-phrases into our collective unconscious. Last year’s Dark Time Sunshine project with Chicago producer Zavala was the region’s rap genius lurking in the proverbial shadows. DTS was the one laughing at silly rappers driving by in rented whips, the fakers’ who used their own beautiful sisters and cousins as stand-ins for video models too expensive for their shallow pocketbooks.
Onry might not be a rich man himself, but when it comes to industry respect he has an abundance. From a musical standpoint, Hold on for Dear Life was the most experimental release from the MC to date. It played in bright electronica, post-dubstep pop and the familiar gothic gloom specific to Onry’s infamous crew, Grayskul. If and when the Seattle hip-hop weather affects other regions on a greater scale, it will be OG MC’s like Onry Ozzborn casting the tell-tale Northwest cloud cover.
6. Prometheus Brown & Bambu – Walk into a Bar
What began on mostly a freebie lark ultimately turned into this 10-track for-profit album with some of the best production value around. Prometheus Brown (known traditionally to Seattle as Geo, of course) and Los Angeles’ Bambu pay homage to their island origination on Walk into a Bar which was released on Bambu’s label (Beatrock Music) and aimed squarely at the Hawaiian Islands, a favorite tour destination for the two MCs. As per standard, Geo and Bambu choose their words carefully always using them to uplift and inform rather than degrade and dispirit. “National Treasure,” for example, is important commentary on gender politics and features a beat from Vitamin D whose drums somehow always sound bigger than everyone else’s.
Dyme Def’s new full-length album, Yuk The World, features the track “Fresher in my Kicks” which is, for my money, the best song the group has ever done. It was a little surprising to see it included here because it’s old (at least by rap standards) but it’s only right that it finds a proper home on an “official” DD release.
In this blogger’s estimation, the trio of Brainstorm, S.E.V. and Fearce Villain are the most important rap group currently operating in Seattle, and a track like “Fresher in my Kicks” is the reason why. Superficially the joint is just about shoes, a tribute to the ubiquitous hip-hop classics like Jordans and Air Force Ones. Turning the track over, however, and having a look at the sole reveals something more revelatory: A somber reflection on what the rappers’ kicks have carried them through, both physically and spiritually. For Dyme Def, shoes have been vehicles for expression, for fashion, for upping rep, and, more figuratively, as protection — a type of armor to lace up as preservation against a brutal outside world.
On YTW (and on the group’s first LP, Space Music) you find many sentiments like these. “Blaastin Off” is an optimistic dedication to finding something better, an escape from tribulations as caught in the rear-view mirror. “When it Rains” finds Brainstorm reflecting in the most literal terms possible on growing up without a father. This all sounds fairly dispiriting, so for those uninitiated to Dyme Def’s hustle it should be noted emphatically that this is a group that prefers to rap about good times, something they do better than anyone else in Town. (Much credit should be given to the group’s primary producer, BeanOne, whose drums on Yuk The World carry the most trunk-rattling knock of any local release this year.)
I’m of the belief that the majority of Seattle doesn’t have a real understanding of what goes on in the city’s South End. Maybe they do in theory, but the philosophical disconnect that exists between north and south of Jackson (or, more accurately, between light and dark complexions in any of Seattle’s geographic districts) is something that’s not bridged nearly as much as it should be.
Dyme Def expresses a vivid representation of this city’s stark divide in race and class. I remember a brief period of time spent working with high school kids in the South End, boys with stories that matched those of Brainstorm’s exactly. These particular young people laced up the same kicks as Dyme Def and for exactly the same reasons — yet more layers of armor for traversing life’s rugged terrain.
Yuk The World contains a dose of reality Seattle needs to hear: It is not all good, rap fans — even in your own backyard. But the one edifying thing about all this, and what Dyme Def themselves portray in their music, is that when everything around you seems covered in shit, the sweet stuff seems that much more syrupy. And right there alone is cause for celebration.
Dyme Def’s new full-length, Yuk the World, drops tomorrow (Tue, 12.6.11). Here then is the refreshingly low-budget video for “Blue Moons and Green Lights,” directed by do-it-all entertainment conglomerate and de facto crew member, BeanOne. The latest chain of clips from Dyme Def has been high on that got-it-for-cheap kitsch which harkens back to the rawness of their debut LP, Space Music. And that’s A-Okay with me.
Sex Tape was out the lane. Brainstorm’s The Celestine Prophecy held it down and was good but not great. Yuk The World will (hopefully) set sh-t straight in the world of Dyme Def. This blogger is fickle when it comes to the Three Bad Brothas from Renton. F-ck it, Space Music was so good I have reason to be. Looking forward to December 6th when the album is set to drop. That’s just in time to be considered for 206UP.COM’s Best Of 2011 list. Oh boy.
Dyme Def executes more swag rap about being really good at sex, rapping and drinking a lot at parties. BeanOne shows us what it would sound like if Austin Powers had a hip-hop soundtrack. Fearce Villain used his iPhone 4 for this and it shows. In a good way.
New clip from Dyme Def, produced by their unofficial in-house slap-master Bean One. Word on the press release is DD have left 800 LB Gorilla in favor of doing their own sh-t with the Yuk The World collective.
Catch Dyme Def, Helluvastate and THEESatisfaction at Nectar Lounge next Tuesday for the FADER/Vitamin Water Uncapped Live show. There’s a gigantic flyer with information below. (If you can read it, you don’t need glasses.)