Seattle hiphop's unquestionable all-time MVP, the alpha and omega of the 206, local production legend Vitamin D, celebrated his birthday last week—by generously dropping Bornday, a free nine-song EP, featuring that all too rarest of birds: him rapping! And it's nothing less than a damn shame how rare that is, seeing as how Vita is not just a genius on the boards but one of the best to ever rock a mic from this city, ever. He's got that MC's-MC flow that stays in the pocket like lint and Metro transfers, his lyrics down-to-earth, self-deprecating, and often hilarious.

There are lots of MCs from around here (including myself) who would tell you that Vitamin's old crew Ghetto Children were their favorite group from the '90s local rap boom. Still others would tell you that his unreleased solo album on Rhymesayers from a few years back, which contained that "No Good" b/w "Touch da Sky" (featuring H-Bomb) single from 2003 or so (again, where he raps—not either of those classic Table Manners mixes he did), is a must-hear. (I have unconfirmed suspicions that some of the songs on Bornday, such as "Real Money" are from that same record.) But in the end, if y'all can't hear the shit, it's hearsay—so I'm just glad we get some new shit from D's Pharmacy. Because, as you all know, the reason Seattleites get so fucking depressed most of the year is because we don't get enough Vitamin D. This is a scientifically proven fact!

This EP breaks from the glorious, ironic ignorance of Tha Stahi Bros project (whose nuances perhaps flew over the heads of some of the crowd back at that Shabazz Palaces show in January) he's been doing with Maineack Tubman and takes it back to the essence of Vita: slick, thoughtful streetwise raps from a clever hood resident, immaculately flowed, over the kind of beats that, well, this whole city's scene was built on. In short, it's fucking terrific—without a doubt the best straight-up hiphop release I've heard out of here this year.

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Anybody who's called themselves excited about hiphop from our region, or raved about rappers from here who rightfully invoke Vita as a huge influence, had better download this with the quickness. (I'm not gonna try to print the whole sendspace URL in here, but just check my day-blog www.raindrophustla.com, if you don't mind the conflict of interest.) More good news: Vita and Maineack are apparently already grinding on a Bornday sequel.

Oh yeah, speaking of Vita, you'll be amazed to know that the almighty Ghetto Children (Vitamin D and B-Self) are reuniting for a set at the Coolout 19-year anniversary party at the Crocodile on April 3. Say whaaat! Yeah, and Xola aka Kid Sensation, D.Black, Khingz, and Canary Sing are rocking, tooplus, all proceeds will go toward the completion of Coolout's Northwest-hiphop documentary. Big ups to the cool-ass Coolout founder, my man Georgio Brown! Thanks for the cameo! recommended