I was kinda slippin not reposting a link to Vitamin D/Sta Hi Brothas' classic Fuck A Valentine EP yesterday, but allow me to make it up to your narrow asses today. On this day in 2013 the good folks over at Tribal Legacy unearthed a never-before heard (by us common folk) freestly rarity from the Tribal camp.
I wish more folks like Tribal Legacy's Deven Morgan were out there, keeping alive the works of slept-on masters in their scenes. His advocacy of Vitamin D, Topspin and company is a godsend to the Seattle hiphop heads of my generation (among others), who came up on those crucial compilations from their era like they were gospel. No fandom of locally sourced beats and rhymes is complete without an understanding of the Tribal crew, and hopefully some small percentage of the kids cramming Seattle venues for rap shows these days will find that out.
Peep the essay Morgan wrote about all this after the jump.
There are certain things that do not need to be reviewed, and this is not a review, rather an explanation. No amount of critical praise nor scorn will validate it’s worth. In the base state this music - this thing - remains: special, rare, singular. Original.
Consider that The Tribal Productions - Freestyle Demo Tape is something that quite frankly should not be. Within recorded hip-hop exists (existed?) the fantastic juxtaposition between the MC’s / DJ's constantly reiterated desire for realness, authenticity and superiority, and the unseen countless hours of repetition and exercise that allows these declarations to be made. The curtain is rarely pulled back, and the casual listener is often suggested to believe that less practice and less repetition somehow equals more, as if skills displayed that are seemingly innate are more valuable that those that are honed like steel at a forge.
What you hear in the first 31 minutes of this tape however is nothing but completely uncensored, unfiltered real freestyle rhyming. No breaks. No pauses. Crack yourself up with a punch line? Run out of rhymes? Move to the side and let the next man get busy on the mic. These are not the jokes that a stand up comedian might obsessively craft, these are the kind of in-jokes that (usually) solely resonate with people inside a tight circle. What makes this tape so significant is the emotion of the environment that is encoded within it. Buried in the jokes that flow from one “song” to the next is a feeling of brotherhood, camaraderie, love, and basic honesty that is absolutely palpable. Young men reveling in a time and space when it is perfectly acceptable to be silly and ridiculous around your brothers, an emotional freedom – and surely vulnerability – that is waiting to be crushed by the stark realties of adulthood. The memories of my own time in that space are distant, but listen – just listen – to this tape and you can hear the audio evidence of that time for these young men. —
DOWNLOAD, AND READ THE REST HERE. Essay by Deven Morgan