We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

It’s been said before but the DC hip hop history books go back much further than most recent press tells. It’s easy to look at THE DMV MOVEMENT as a recent, Wale inspired, big bang type phenomenon but it’s also inaccurate. The past few years have certainly seen a leap in quality control (and bandwagon capacity) but many of today’s DC rap mainstays have been recording and performing for the better part of the last decade. The DMV was in here before it had a name and there is a shoebox full of CDrs in my closet as a testament to that fact.

Likeblood’s Bobby Valentino collab “Money Over Here” has become the first independent DC rap record to get some national radio burn in a few minutes, but they’ve taken a long road to get that point. Their new EP We All Alone 3010 drops today at 3:10 but before then it seemed appropriate to revisit this, the original, impossible to find and CDr only We All Alone from 2001.

“Get Em”

“I Feel Pain”

The trio looks to have been in their late teens when this dropped and there’s a real demo quality to these recordings, as you’d imagine. The production is beyond lo-fi, but the rapping on point. It’s a morose album, filled with raspy throat laments of murder, alcoholism and the dark side of the dope game. Even the attempts at club records come off as mournful – someone gets their throat slit on a track titled “I’m Tryna Party.” Knowing they come from such a dark background, it’s almost a disappointment to hear them squeeze into a more radio friendly format with “Money.” The title of their forthcoming mixtape, Capital Wasteland, provides hope for those more interested in mayhem and pain than the location of money.