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ALBUM REVIEW

Black Anger

Damn!… Da Demo

Released June 1994

From 1994, Black Anger’s Damn!… Da Demo cassette is one of the rarest and storied objects in the history of Seattle hip-hop. Collectors discuss it with hushed tones: “So, have YOU heard Damn Da Demo?” I once had a long debate with Larry Mizell Jr over whether this cassette was amongst the greatest record of all PNW hip-hop. (TBH, we’re both big fans.) Hailing from Tacoma, Black Anger was active and acclaimed between 1994 and 2001. Their recorded output consists of a handful of spectacular 12” EPs and a later compilation of these singles called Maxed Out Singles. This demo was their first project and it hits hard with a confidence that carries through all of their music. The lead track on this demo cassette is “nigga stick.” It’s a song of magical metamorphosis. The lyrics loop around “the stick” … first, as a symbol of oppression, then as one of self-defense, and finally as an expression of phallic pride. On the second side, the song is remixed with a chill lounge vibe that makes it both more familiar and completely unrecognizable. The group were both talented rappers and accomplished producers (under the name Bedroom Produksionz). You can hear these twin talents in the interplay between the beats and verses, one finding the gaps in the other like gears. This music is remarkable to listen to. Apparently only a handful of these demo cassettes were ever made. Olympia’s KAOS radio was in the process of throwing out this copy when Dawhud saved it from the trash bin. Thank you, sir, for preserving history. This is easily one of my favorite of all-time records.

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