Street Academy – Street Branded Volume 1

Street Academy was a crew making a name for themselves between the Seattle/Tacoma area in the early to mid 2000’s. Street Branded was one of their many releases. Features include Logics, ABCDE, Jay Barz, Italiano, Second Family, Jae Millz, 151, IQ The Great, Language X, Bad Newz, Strik, Krusal, Sawchosiz, and many more.
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Fatel – Don’t Sweat Me

The 90’s had that feel good R&B. Even today when it comes on it makes you feel some type of way. Hidden like treasure was a group from Seattle named Fatel. The group consisted of two young ladies named Cherre and Tange who released “Don’t Sweat Me” in 1994. The project only featured five songs but was some vintage material. Who would of thought the northwest had some long lost R&B duo? Other key thing is you have some early work by Seattle producers who went on to make a great name for themselves like Mike Wingo, Kevin Gardner, and Don Quijano.
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Byrdie – N Flight

While preparing for takeoff of N Flight the album, leave all notions of typical hip hop behind. The norm for hip hop albums has been to touch on only a few subjects, mostly revolving around money, cars, crime and girls. N Flight takes off into a whole new realm of music with an array of songs and topics that hit the listener from every angle. Hailing from the great Northwest, Byrdie has soared into the game on the wings of creativity and innovation, embracing the musical art form and his love of songwriting in his new project, N Flight. Byrdie, an emcee in every sense of the word, is known for his flare and smooth energy. On each song he brings out a different aspect of his personality and unmatched charisma. With incredible harmonizing skills, he makes a point of spending just as much time on writing catchy hooks as he does with his verses – and it most definitely shows. Having been a hip hop fan since a young age, Byrdie incorporates the original battle rhyme aspect of hip hop in his repertoire, with metaphors that can stun the listener and delivery that is always on point. He has the mark of a true lyricist. From romantic love songs to songs that make you laugh, cry, or reminisce about the past, Byrdie creates an album that ignites your thoughts and emotions. N Flight is not only about hip hop – it’s about taking off with a new, refreshing, timeless blend of music. Featured guest artists are Darrius Willrich, Reggie Watts (Maktub), Onry Ozzborn (Oldominion), Vitamin D, Candidt, Choklate, Sekken Thautz, Silent Knight, Charlie Bernardo, and Citizen Caine.

Brydie recently passed away after a battle with cancer but his music will always live on through his fans.
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UWS – Sudden Darkness

UWS is a group that was based out of Tacoma, Washington. Standing for Unique With The Stylus the group had two known releases with the first being “Something To Groove 2” and the latter being their second album “Sudden Darkness”. Purporting the ability to change things up when needed the group may have been transplants to the northwest with their ability to have various styles. “Sudden Darkness” was nineteen tracks in total with production from Jailbird, UWS, Big Squeeze, J-Kain, Eugenius, 3-D, and Jonathan C. The album was released via Hard Rain Entertainment.
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LA Stone – Life In The 206

At one time Seattle and Tacoma used to be united. Not in the sense you think though as both cities used to share the same area code before Tacoma split and became 253. In the early days you would easily hear Tacoma rappers claiming 206 which was not an identity crisis but in reality the truth. LA Stone was easily one of the first rappers coming out of Tacoma and probably one of the few doing it in the early 90’s as far as putting out releases. As far as full length albums are concerned from this time period anyways LA Stone released “Life In The 206 (Peace Is My Mission)”. It is only five songs deep but is the only other release besides a maxi single called “187 On Wax” in which Stone dissed Mix A Lot like a lot of other rappers at this time. The album is short but is full of LA Stone just spitting gritty street tales about life in Tacoma.

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Untamed – Untamed N Hungry

Seattle rap has come a long way over the years. Since the region is pretty much only documented through word of mouth unless you seen it or lived it you probably missed it. Hungry Records was a pretty busy label in the early 2000 timeframe being one of the few labels who was putting out several projects in a short period of time. While the label had a figurehead in Young Meez he was putting on other artists too. One of the groups who dropped a album happened to be a duo who went by the named Untamed. Consisting of Young Atilla and Lil Jim they congregated to represent that early Seattle sound with their debut “Untamed N Hungry”. Label wise Hungry Records kept it pretty consistent like other labels such as Pointside and Street Level records who were also burgeoning around this time. Production on the album was handled by West Coast Stone, Hal Raines, and Deeper Era.
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Shaolin – Baby Dragons And King Cobras

Like many other ethnicities Asian rappers have had a growing presence over the past decade with many seeing success in various forms. The culture has definitely grown over the years but to recall Asian rappers prior to that period most would probably draw a blank? While you don’t want to say Shaolin was the first Asian rapper dropping an album in the nineties he has to be one of the very few. Not like it really mattered during this era because dope music was dope music to the listeners. This then young rapper was coming out of Pasco, Washington of all places when he dropped his 1998 album “Baby Dragons & King Cobras”. While this was Shaolins first full length album it was not his first time gracing tracks as he really made his debut years prior in 1995 when he was on Pork’s debut compilation album “Side N On You” Shaolin was part of the Acropolis family which was a label that had a limited run of releases all of which are highly sought after and regarded as classics. If it was not for the obvious signs and references in music to being Asian you would just take Shaolin face value like any other nineties rappers. This debut was that oft mix of funk era rhymes with heavy samples and Shaolins affinity to not let his hip hop side be dismissed. Mostly keeping it familiar sound wise to the region and time period but also paying ode to being influenced by other great word slayers. All production was handled by Kyle Adams known to most as Pork, Shaolin on the assist, as well as Pclenta.
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US Toxic – Portland Game 4 Sale

Credibility used to mean something but today fans and artists alike its kind of out the window. In some fair sense the youth reclaim its all entertainment now right? Well the nineties was a whole different monster for the music business and just like today it remains mainstream versus the underground. US Toxic was an artist coming out of Portland who like many other men did not have it easy coming up whether it was self inflicted or out of his hands. Being that he had something to say about the life he endured and like many others turned to rap as a outlet. Today its easy to fabricate a lifestyle with media and the internet but not so much during the nineties where you had to live it to see it. Maybe that’s why artists of the past were more believable on top of the fact rap was not glamorized in the sense it is today. Good thing about music once its recorded it is timeless and US Toxic like many artists from the period had production that spoke for itself. Like many artists they were not the best rappers but they were damn good story tellers who invoked you into their situational street tales. “Portland Game 4 Sale” was released in 1999 Natural Leaf/Indo Productions with all the beats produced by FunkDulah and the Indo Family.
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Strait From The 206 – Emerald City Street Life

The bay area has laid fame to many styles over the years but the early nineties were magical with the makings of mobb and funk music. Still somewhat accustomed to today it was what started nearly two decades ago that makes fans reminisce. While the bay was pumping out now considered classics, up in the rainy 206 artists were feeling their own kind of way ready to put Seattle on the map. Slapping the city on their back like they owned it a group called Strait From The 206 was one of the first from the Northwest to start making mob music. Most likely a precursor to their future because the group would later become known as Mob Related and drop the classic “Mob Related Funk” in 1998. Singles were pushed like actual albums during this time with group members Cashflo, NV1, and Mac Pimpin, releasing this single “Emerald City Street Life” on even then Triple Gold Records. Simple as the artwork might be fans might rejoice as it was done by famed Phunky Phat Graph-X.
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Emperor P – Gangsta Life

No Limit and Master P made everyone feel like they could be independent millionaires back in the nineties. If you were a rap fan during this time period you were dropping everything to either pick up a mic or keyboard in hopes of becoming the next big record label. Emperor P didn’t hesitate and was really one of the early artists to put a CD out in the northwest when he started his Terrace Records. His debut album would be released in 1999 titled “Gangsta Life” and featured guest spots from Lee, Drew, Sarah, DK, and Gangsta J. We were all die hard fans of some artist and its no straying from the likeness in name as Emperor P was influenced by Master P. Almost like a lost member of the No Limit camp the similarities are there with rap style and voice but Emperor P was definitely more on a west coast vibe with his song writing. The album produced entirely by Rob Jackson featured that basement made mobb sound with local favorites like “Bready & Butter” and “These B’s”.
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