Collectors of retro Seattle music from Generation X have reason to celebrate, following the announcement that several old-school albums are set to be released over the next few months.
Ever Rap Records, a division of Portnow Intertainment Group (PIG Records), has contracted to reissue albums by Chilly Uptown, Brothers of the Same Mind, and Incredicrew; three of the most listened to groups from NW rap’s golden age.
PIG was established in 2007, the ‘Year of the Pig’, by David Portnow, who had previously helmed Subcore Records and Ever Rat in the 1980s. The Launch of PIG was driven by the return to stage of 2 local punk bands in 2007, Potbelly, and the Dehumanizers. PIG’s catalog has grown quite a bit over the past 13 years, with the acquisition of publishing rights for the Accused, GG Allin, Overlord, and The Mentors.
In 2019, Portnow revived another past audio line, a side project of Ever Rat, called “Ever Rap”. Ever Rap had released three artists in the late 80s, including Chilly Uptown, Action Buddie, and Powercore. The new Ever Rap brand would quickly evolve, as Portnow turned the reigns over to the mysterious Novocaine 132, who agreed to sit down and catch us up on what’s around the corner for the label.
Novocaine132 (N132): In 2019, PIG Records and Mr. Portnow granted me a license to reissue a wax version of the 1992 cassette “It’s About To Get Chilly” by Chilly Uptown. The record came out in August of this year, and it was our first reissue from the Ever Rap catalog.
Vibrant: What was it about this album that prompted you to reissue it?
N132: Well, Chilly has quite a few accomplishments. He holds the longest continuous rap streak in Seattle history. His 1988 record “I Got Rules” was the second vinyl rap album ever released in Seattle, after S.W.A.S.S. by Sir MixALot. Chilly changed his name to Da Pimpsta in the mid-2000’s, and overall, he has released a dozen-plus albums during a 32-year rap career. The more I listened to his 1992 record, produced by Fresco Z from Yakima, I realized that the two of them had created true 206 magic in the studio. “It’s About To Get Chilly” is a weird, kind of dirty, classic gangster rap record that Seattle should be proud of.
Vibrant: What else is cooking up at Ever Rap?
N132: This is where the story gets exciting! One day last year, while Portnow and I were in his cluttered basement working on “It’s About To Get Chilly” I discovered two old, thin boxes buried in the stacks that looked like they contained reel-to-reel tapes. After we dusted them off and opened them, it became clear that they were the lost masters to the Nerdy B & Chelly Chell album, recorded with Incredicrew back in 1988 and 89. Incredicrew, of course, was produced, managed, and engineered by the 2019 VEA Vibrant Artist Award winner, Dan (Mr. Supreme) Clavesilla.
Portnow had planned to release this record in 1989, but when his distributor suddenly went bankrupt, that became impossible. So I made a deal with Dan Clavesilla to license the Nerdy B & Chelly Chell album from Supreme’s label Gemini Records. The title is “Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt,” for release on Ever Rap/PIG.
The third Ever Rap project is almost mythical in status when it comes to Seattle music. After the crushing disappointment of losing an album to forces beyond his control, Nerdy B (aka Ben Saunders), picked himself up, and along with his friend DJ Swift, joined MC Class to create a new rap group. In fact, NW lore has it that Supreme was the one who made the introduction. The new group, Brothers Of The Same Mind, added more members, and in 1991 dropped a 7-song cassette. Our plan is to give the collectors a vinyl reissue of this classic tape on the 30th anniversary of the original release date.
Wrapping up, I want to share what inspires me to bring back classic NW music; its that it honors pioneers like Jon Moore from Source of Labor, and Carl Johnson, who taught me that hip hop was larger than stereotypes, and that this culture has true power.
Bonus: Novocaine132’s top ten rare Seattle vinyl records in his collection.
- Little Ray Rapper, “I’m Little Ray Rapper” (First American) 1981
- CT And The Record Band, “Supersonic Rap” (Kalieba) 1983
- Emerald Street Boys, “Christmas Rap” (Telemusic Productions) 1983
- Sir Mix-A-Lot, “I Just Love My Beat” (Nastymix) 1985
- MC Kid P w/ Incredicrew, “King In Def Poetry” (Gemini) 1987
- Chilly Uptown, “I Got Rules” (Ever Rap) 1988
- Powercore, “We Got The Jazz” (Ever Rap) 1989
- P-D2, “Movement” (JRod Recordings) 1990
- Brothers Of The Same Mind, “Cool Drink” (Conspiracy Records) 1991
- Source Of Labor, “Sureshot Singles” (Jasiri Media Group) 1995