Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Northwest Hip-Hop Scene : Tribal Music Inc.

As for me, Northwest Hip-Hop scene is certainly the most interesting after the Canadian and the East Coast scene.  Especially Seattle (WA), which is represented by a lot of groups with jazzy productions and a laid-back East Coast vibe. 
First, I discovered this scene via Conception Records, with the fat productions of Jake One and Mr Supreme. But later, I was surprised to discover this indie label under the name  of Tribal Music Inc or Tribal Productions. I had never heard about this label until I watched a skate video with this dope track called "Don't think about It" performed by Sinsemilla, a group composed of H-Bomb and Topspin.

H-Bomb, Infinite, Topspin- Photo courtesy of Deven Morgan

This track is from "Untranslated Prescriptions", the first release of Tribal Music Inc. It was a tape produced by Vitamin D which came out in 1995, featuring Ghetto Chilldren (Vitamin D, B-Self, Capabilities, Culture Born), Infinite, Sinsemilla (H-Bomb & Topspin), Phat Mob, Union of Opposites and more...

Tape - 1995 - Tribal Music Inc. 

01- Gett Off Me Intro w/ Culture Born
02- Ghetto Chilldren feat. Truth - I Wanna Win
03- Infinite feat. Taj - 93-94
04- Sinsemilla - Confrontations
05- Phat Mob - P.H.A.T.
06- Sho Nuff - Retrospect
07- Ghetto Chilldren - Elevation
08- Intro
09- Sinsemilla - Don't Think About It
10- Leave Me Alone (skit)
11- Phat Mob - She Wants Me
12- Oh! (interlude)
13- Sho Nuff feat. Vitamin D - Shapelee Utopia
14- Union of Opposites - Enter the Cipher
15- Ghetto Chilldren - I'm An MC
16- Shante's Last Stand

In 1996 , their first official release "Do The Math" came out with productions by B-Self, King Otto, Poetry, Samson S, Shahzad, Topspin, Truth and Vitamin D. 
The album featured the same MCs as the tape plus newcomers like Narcotik (Tizzy-T & C-Note).

CD / Tape - 1996 - Tribal Music Inc.  

The same year 14 Fathoms Deep on Loosegroove Records came out. I remember reading a little review of this compilation written by Schenectadyfan in 2009 on T.R.O.Y Blog

« Fourteen Fathoms Deep is a semi-obscure compilation from The Emerald City. The vibe on this cd is mostly rugged and moody which is appropriate for a place that gets about 50 inches of rain a year. If you need some heady tunes for zoning out during the winter months, this is the ticket. Seattle's Scene is a bit different from its neighbors. The gritty nature of this collection is worlds away from much of the keyboard funk the west coast is known for. Shift gears and take a ride, northwest style. »

2xLP / CD - 1996 - Loosegroove Records 

Two years later , a new comp presented by Impact Entertainment & K Records representing the Olympia-Tacoma-Seattle underground scene saw the light of day : Classic Elements.
Slim Tribal Productions's representation in this comp with only 2 groups : Ghetto Chilldren & Sinsemilla, but the album mostly produced by Dj Sayeed & Brian Weber is really dope. The other artists are Jaleel, Troubled Sums, Beyond Reality, Soulstice, Black Anger, Blak, Nomad, Jace who is also a member of the Silent Lambs, Source Of Labor ... 
For Info, Source Of Labor started out in 1989 with Dj Kamikaze, Negus & Wordsayer but in 1997 Kamikaze was replaced by Vitamin D.

CD - 1998 - Impact Ent. 

From CMJ New Music Monthly Magazine - August 1998 

From XXL Magazine #4 - 1998

Vitamin D, Capabilities, Culture Born, B-Self - Photo courtesy of Deven Morgan

Between all these comps, one of the most prolific crew is certainly The Ghetto Chilldren. Vitamin D formed the group in 1991 with B-Self while they were students at Garfield High School in Seattle. I know a tape has been released under the title "Monologs & Soliloquys" but I've never seen a physical copy.

From the tape "Monologs & Soliloquys" - Courtesy of PugetSoundz.

In 2013 , the Freestyle Demo Tape came out with tracks recorded between 1996 and 1997.

Demo - 2013 - Tribal Music Inc. 


I couldn't stop talking about this Northwest scene for long hours because there are so many albums and groups to discover ... but we'll talk about It in a next chapter...  Peace 

Props to Tribal LegacyDeven Morgan, Topspin, Diana Adams, Mike Clark, Jack Devo & Alex XelaSchenectadyfan,  R.I.P Taj Abdul Randall aka Tizzy T (Narcotik)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I grew up on all of this stuff. Still glad there's people that still care about the classic NW hip hop scene.