Chocolate City Raise Up!
Defiant Giants – “
Rise Black Man Rise“
from Rise Black Man Rise 12″ (Washington Hit Makers, 1989)
MC Poet Nyce & DJ Dafaq – “
Poet 2 Git Lyrical“
from Cold Stoopid Duckets EP (Hip Hop Productions, 1989)
So my four year stay in the District of Columbia comes to a close next week. Today’s post is my nostalgic going away party.
If you do a google search for Washington DC all you get are images of the damn capital and the washington monument, but that shit’s so far removed from the actual lifeblood of the majority of the cities residents. (And if you do a search for, say, anacostia, half of what comes up are just shots of roadside/riverside garbage piles). But yeah, what who have never been here (or even people who have on the tourist tip) might not realize is the bizarre and frighteningly segregated social dynamic between the primarily transient white folks and the black majority. And, as you’d expect some great music and musicians have come out of this environment over the years – from Duke Ellington to Chuck Brown.
But as far as traditional rap goes DC’s remained unfortunately irrelevant. That’s because the void has been filled with go-go. It’s the dominant black music in dc, has been for years and probably always will be. And that’s a good thing, because that shit cranks. What I don’t want this post to come off as is one of those whining rants where heads talk about how hip hop gets no love in the district. Because, not to overlook the landmark careers of Questionmark Asylum and Nonchalant, but the area doesn’t really need any damn rap. Would it be nice if the situation changed? Of course, I think go-go and “regional” rap can coexist comfortably, but that just is not the case right now. Nobody’s really checking for local rappers, and that’s a reality. So deal with it. My advice to aspiring DC rappers is to either join a go-go band or move to New York.
I do want to highlight two nice local traditional rap records from the late 80s that I think are worth checking out.
Defiant Giants were an X-Clanish group out of Howard University. This was their biggest hit, but they also put out a follow up, “Son of a Black Panther”, which was in a similar vein. One fourth of the group, Zulu King Paris is now better known as Malik Zulu Shabazz, who functions as a high ranking member of the NOI affiliated New Black Panther Party (no relation). Apparently he’s recorded a new solo record, but I can’t really find any other information about it.
MC Poet Nyce & DJ Dafaq, I know less about. In fact, I’m not even sure if I got the name right, the label is made up of chaotic as hell hand styles inna schoolly d vein. What I can make out is that this was recorded in Rockville, Maryland.
The four track ep consists of mostly upbeat funky shit that borders on cheesy, but “Poet To Get Lyrical” is a slice of beautiful sloppy rap production that makes paul c sound like he was mixing to a hi fi pro tools unit.