Introducing ‘Notes from Mr. Sandman‘ – a column slapping a spotlight on lyricists overlooked, under appreciated, or just plain criminally slept on. Or like a man named Nas once said, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” Enter Mr. Sandman with what y’all missed while chasing the REM dragon; Photo: Boom Bap Project/Rhymesayers

Boom Bap Project is a hip-hop group from Seattle, Washington comprised of MC’s Karim (a.k.a. Nightclubberlang) and Destro Destructo, and producer DJ Scene.

Their sole is mission is simple: to keep the tradition of quality hip-hop alive and well. For them representing the Pacific Northwest meant capturing the purity of hip-hop’s golden-era while still adding their own distinct regional flavor, one that hardly gets the play that it deserves.

Karim and Destro make for a potent one-two combo, a Kemp to Payton connection that has them complementing each other’s skill set. Destro is meticulous with his flow, methodical and patient, surgical even. He picks apart his opponents with technique and form, proving that a simple delivery can yield impressive results.

Karim is more colorful with his wordplay, a verbal gymnast who juggles bars like it were the Big Top. The mechanics of his delivery is more musical in nature, which gives his lyrics that classic old school bounce. Together they bring the sounds of yesterday up to modern day standards.

Boom Bap Project’s debut album Circumstance Dictates captures the pristine sounds of Seattle rap. It’s organic and lush, and upholds the integrity set forth by the forefathers. The production is handled primarily by Jake One and Vitamin D who at the time were emerging as go-to producers. It’s a simple formula they adhere to but the results are on par with other notable producers at the time.

Who’s That” has Destro and Karim playing tag. They’re shouting out Oldominion who helped build the scene in Seattle, and letting the world know that they’re ready for their moment in the spotlight: [LISTEN]

The success of their debut opened the runway for them to fly alongside some of the biggest rap stars in hip-hop. They were able to share the stage with Eminem, Wu-Tang Clan, the Roots, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg,and was even asked to perform at Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City with Soulquarians Erykah Badu, Common and Talib Kweli.

The impact left by such an experience affirmed their position and strengthened their stance towards the preservation of hip-hop culture. Their success was rewarded with a call from Rhymesayers who fully embraced their creative direction. Instead of micromanaging and asking them to ride out a style or trend they gave Boom Bap Project the latitude to develop on their own terms.

Boom Bap Project’s debut under Rhymesayers Reprogram is a snapshot of what Seattle’s underground rap scene was like back in 2005. Independent hip-hop was flourishing at the time; Common was breaking out of regional stardom with Be, Edan‘s Beauty and the Beat fused genres into a psychedelic swirl and Doom was wreaking havoc on the entire landscape. Boom Bap Project kept things simple during this time, and served as a touchstone for those looking for no-frills rap.

Welcome to Seattle” had Boom Bap Project introducing the world to how Seattle gets down. They’re making some obvious drops, but proving that they have love for all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer: [LISTEN]

Boom Bap Project is important because they’re a reminder that you don’t always have to have a gimmick to shine; all you need is dope beats and lyrics. From the outset their vision was simple: to keep alive the merits of hip-hop culture. Knowing your history is essential and Boom Project embody that ethos, and while they’re not necessarily household names they are an example of how integrity matters.

Paper Champions” says it best. They are veterans and have nothing to prove other than that they have an undying love for their craft, a lesson we all can learn from regardless of profession: [LISTEN]