I've officially lived in Seattle long enough to think of myself as a regular resident (as opposed to a transplant), but not long enough to know anything about High Performance & the 23rd St. Mafia. I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon this promo poster at the Radar Hair & Records rummage sale last Saturday. I live on 23rd St. and these guys appear to be rather menacing. A person could use dudes like these around the neighborhood!
After some research, my enthusiasm waned. First off, there's a small photo at the bottom of this poster of HP&23SM surrounding Sir Mix-a-Lot. One of them is holding a sizable chunk of concrete. The other ones are pointing guns. It appears that they're going to give Anthony Ray a real hard time. What gives? I'm hoping a Line Out reader can shed some light on the HP&23SM / SMAL feud. Anyone?
Also, musical info on HP&23SM is scant. There's a listing on Discogs for the 12" that accompanied this promo poster. The track is actually called "Takin Over Sh*t" with a b-side of "You Can't Fu*k With It." Unfortunately, I couldn't find a recording of the song. What I did find is that it's filed under "90's Seattle gangsta rap" and was produced by John Goodmason. I'm somewhat sure that they got the spelling of his name wrong, and it's the same John Goodmanson who has worked on gobs of music from this region (+ beyond).
After some more snooping, I found videos for "All Things Considered" and "Do You Really Wanna Party." Neither of these tracks listed the 23rd St. Mafia, only High Performance. These cuts sound more like New Jack Swing-era rap, with a dose of Public Enemy politics. I'm guessing that the gangsta era came a few years later. If somebody has a link to "Takin Over Sh*t," I'd love to hear it.