Matson on Music
Jake One speaks on his "Town Biz" mixtape
Posted by Andrew Matson
Get it here.
"Town Biz" is local rap superproducer Jake One's new all-Seattle compilation tape. It hit the Internet yesterday and, if you're a rap nerd in your 30s, features hits from today and back in your school days (copyright Movin 92.5 FM). For almost everyone else, it's part "what's hot in the 6" and part history lesson. I called the man governmentally known as Jake Dutton and asked him about it.
This tape is pretty nostalgic for you, right?
It's more about that than anything. "Union St. Hustlas," that's probably the first rap song I ever bought that wasn't Mix A Lot. It came out when I was in eighth grade, in 1990. I can remember going to Orpheum [Records, in Capitol Hill] back then and getting the tape from behind the counter.
Were some of the older songs tough to find?
I got some from Mike Clark. He pretty much has the archive of Seattle rap. I went over to his house and digitized a bunch of stuff. The whole first half [of "Town Biz"] is damn near off cassette.
I'm trying to think about where I got Merm and Mall. They used to work at Seasick's studio on 23rd and Cherry, across from the ampm. That's where I first met DV One. That might be the first studio I ever went to. Merm and Mall was dope. Merm and Vitamin were pretty close back then. He was a more gangster version of Vitamin, in a way. A lot more West Coast. They were like a combination of Tribal and Outkast.
Why did you call the tape "Town Biz," even though Vitamin D said that's Oakland slang and Seattle should stop using it to refer to itself?
Cuz Vitamin can't tell me what to do. Nah, we started saying it as a joke. It wasn't meant to be serious. I lived down there [in the Bay Area], and used to get sh_t for calling Seattle "The Town." It's not that big a deal. I feel like we can call it whatever we want to.
Why no '80s stuff on "Town Biz"?
The '80s for me didn't happen besides Mix A Lot. I was too young for Emerald Street Boys. As far as knowing who did what song, I started paying attention in the '90s.
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