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Various Artists

Do The Math

Released 1996

Here’s one of many local archeological gems: Tribal Music’s Do The Math, from 1996, is an appropriate start, with collegiate cover, that is an essential part of any Seattle musical education. Damn is this record great. This compilation was primarily compiled and produced by Vitamin D, and features several cuts from his underappreciated supergroup, The Ghetto Children. Tribal Music was a short-lived label that we should thank for cataloguing our city’s golden boom-bap era, all those jazz samples and scratching, at a time when Seattle was awash in grunge hangover. Do The Math arrow-points to the origins of our uniquely laid-back upper-left sound, summarizing the underground roots of today’s scene. You can find this record for free on Bandcamp. If you have any interest or involvement in local hip-hop, you owe it to the many Duwamish ghosts to go listen to this today. Cover photo by Diana Adams of Vermillion fame.