North By Northwest

North By Northwest

BandHip Hop

Diverse sound, with head cracking beats. We don't have an image that shapes our music; rather our music shapes our image.

Biography

Welcome to your direction. From the heart of the Northwest, guiding a new wave of Hip-Hop, a group has emerged with the fortitude to bring Hip-Hop music back to its roots. Keeping it gritty with a sound that is reminiscent of early Nas and Mobb Deep, though never pigeonholed, these six emcees speak on an eclectic mix of topics.

Officially formed in the summer of 2006, the members of N/NW have been creating music individually for over ten years. In alphabetical order they are: Abstract, D.I., Johnny Concrete, Lokeye, Mic Lee, and Raw Jawz. Each one brings a different outlook to this thing we call life, and though no one style is alike, they all work in perfect unison. Basically it boils down to sick rhymes laid over sick beats.

Lyrics

Blues

Written By: N/NW: John Elias, Kabir Garrett, Adam Luft

Verse One: Johnny Concrete

Check it
Yo I came feet first with a drum and a thirst
For the liquor from Barbados
Straight out my mother’s church
From my birth to the day I hit the dirt
I’ll stay strong winded deceiving the minutes
Its half past three but you already missed it
The high tide is tinted, but what for
I got a message form the pentagon
But it’s half torn, and the scent is gone
I lost the trail
I’m off the beaten path
But for what it may entail, I’ll tip my glass
And take a couple sips
Now with only six left
I’m on another trip
Contemplating forgiving the seven deadly sins
And in the ending, it was them that was winning
So now I’m blending religion with my own thinking
Carrying it around like eight heads in a duffel bag
You could thank DeVito for that
But hold a mirror me to this cat
And I’ll see what you hate
I got nine lives and don’t fear a double gauge
Lived two-and-a-half times past a decade
And everyday I give thanks
But sometimes…
Yeah sometimes it just seems to late

Chorus:

On my way
Back from the Blues
Searching for
Something that’s true
One my way
Back from the blues
Everyday
Become something new (its true)

Verse Two: Raw Jawz

I been on the outs man
But coming back in again
After the storm getting warmed by the kindling
Apple pie cinnamon smell
It’s like having the golden ticket to heaven after livin in hell
Like the sound the wave make before it breaks on the shore
I take the time to meditate, man I pray to the lord
Undo my shoelace; I put my foot on the floor
Set down my briefcase I ain’t working no more
Life can be a chess game; I took my rook to the pawn
Things was grey yesterday but I been looking beyond

Chorus:

On my way
Back from the Blues
Searching for
Something that’s true
One my way
Back from the blues
Everyday
Become something new (its true)

Verse Three: Abstract

When I’m looking in the mirror I see death in the face
Looking out the window holding teks and an eight
Yo just think about it dog, life really seems fake
Troubled by the bullshit in the Evergreen State
But I been thinking bout shit ever since you said its over
Getting drunk everyday, cause pain hurts when you’re sober
Cobra mental ready to strike the negative in the heart
Singing the Blues while I’m drinking sedatives in the park
I been feeling so down, drowning in lakes full of sadness
Addiction never quitting, grippin’ on to the madness
The devil and the angels fighting wars before time
Never the less I’m killin’ stress when I see it in my mind
Walking on the crooked line
Trying to find what I lost
Cling to the righteous, the youngest spine on the cross
Toss the bullshit away, face it on a rainy day
Anxiety killer is swishing through my vertebrae
Heard of A? Maybe not
Its crazy on the shady blocks
Dealers on the corner kid, and they selling crazy rocks
Death in the pocket
Leave you with dilated optics
No love for this game, they just violate the hot shit
Whatever kid, yo we just clap them with the tools
A B S stay fresh getting back from the Blues

Bridge:

Uh uh
On our way babe
Uh uh
On our way babe
Uh uh
On our way babe
Uh uh

Chorus:

On my way
Back from the Blues
Searching for
Something that’s true
One my way
Back from the blues
Everyday
Become something new (its true)

Brokedown

Written By: N/NW: John Elias, Kabir Garrett, Andrew Elias

Chorus:

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Verse One: Johnny Concrete

He was a featherweight
in a heavy-weight class
Waiting for the day he could go to the back
Not a boxer, but a struggle all the same
His father insane used to whip him with chains
Trying to change his ways
Way to deep in the grade
He’s living his pain
His father saying ain’t no fairy gonna be carrying his name
Disowned and dis-honored
He moved to the city
Beseeching his father
Changed his name to a Marsha Freely
Freely giving it up
To seedy individuals, see if they leave him a buck
The easiest fuck, eating guck out of gutters
Huddled next to garbage on fire, pissing in puddles
Only fair meal he got was in prison in trouble
Prostitution and stripping just trying to tip that bottle
While it’s spinning and spinning?
The innocence gone
He keeps sinking and sinking just singing this song

Chorus:

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Verse Two: Abstract

I can feel my death closing in
It’s waiting right behind the corner
The seconds are running out, in twenty minutes Ill be a goner
And I got to admit it hurts the way that things turned out
32 years old and already my heart is burned out
Sickened with a disease that showed its face a year ago
Doctors told me about the end, how its killing cells slow
Some regrets about the past
Not a lot that I can change
Drugged up with no emotion and hoping to ease the pain
Had plans to make it better
Now they’re resting on the shelf
Wanted to go away to school never made it past the twelfth
Lost my wife in an accident
I hear the words that she said
Sand through the hourglass
When she parted we both bled
Took my meds in the morning
Knowing I would see the light
Finding peace in this struggle cause tomorrow I can’t fight
Say goodnight to this life
Close my eyes, embrace faith
It’s nothing but blackness, now for me It’s too late

Chorus:

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Verse three: D.I.

Yo she was broke down
With not much left
Her father used to touch her she would bite off her breath
The mom turned the cheek it was too much stress
A daughter messed up broken soul nothing left
She was quiet in school
Didn’t have to hide a bruise it was all inside
She had nothing to lose
Waiting for the damn to break so that she could shed a tear
And tell everyone the truth
That her father wasn’t good ‘cause her body was abused
She got out of the house just as soon as she could
But the nightmares didn’t stop so she drank another drop
The alcoholic remedy is what regrets brought
She would numb all of her senses to make the fear stop
It never worked
There are times in this life you can’t cover up the hurt
She just wanted to heal
And discover a new birth
So that she could live this life and finally be alive

Chorus:

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Oooh broke down
Held by mountains
Froze by snow, broken bones
Hold on
You are so strong
Don’t you cry
Survive

Thorns

Written By: N/NW

Verse One: Johnny Concrete

The mystique of ignorance
Comes to blanket the merriment
Made arrogant by the testament of a false witness
Looking towards tomorrow keeps today far away
We traded the greater evil for a different kind of rage
The enjoyment of finger pointing
Pass the blame and never looking to make a change
There’s poison in the rain and it comes down in sheets
Come and meet with me in darkness
We can pick apart the knowledge,
Save it for ourselves or hand it over in a heartbeat
This artistry is daunting full of peaks and rivets
Never said it should be easy but deceiving to the minutes
We forgot the past, no history in lyrics
Too serious about the math
Numbers adding up to footsteps that we walk along the path
Tossing pennies to the wind - hoping they come back
Ignoring the flight pattern we just turn around and laugh
Dipping toward the rendition of an intimate experience
Looking at the light like it couldn’t be but here it is

Chorus:

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

Verse Two: Abstract

I been walking through obstacles staring into a tragic mystery
A life of misery watching the years claiming their victory
Hour glass spilt, drilled depression it’s a scheme
Walked the road for the knowledge cut by thorns in the autumn leaves
Read the faces walking by, desire shattered on her face
Unwanted., neglected, wants to feel another place
Trace the heavens in the mirror
Light years from where you stand
Loosing days to the bottle, its not always what I had planned
Can this earth be getting worse
It hurts to see the minutes go
Creeping out of existence feeling it killing my life slow
Light glows through winter nights
Stranded scattered on the ground
It’s been desolate here, re-appear in better town
Down the pints maybe look at the faded glass stuck at half
Pour it out for the feeling with no wisdom, that never lasts
Ask an angel on her way: What’s the meaning to this life?
She looked and said I’ll tell you when I feel the time is right
Yo

Chorus:

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

Verse Three: Johnny Concrete

Yo - I watch the wind build up to blow
Holding onto hope, hoping I get on home
The rain washes the slate clean
There’s no way you could ever, ever trace me
Debating cause and effect
What’s the relation
Were we born from cavemen?
Or did a divine spark start the fire in my heart?
Chart topping, I’m chipping fragments from the bottom
Honest to God I want it
Following these shallow waters
Hoping they grow deeper
Reaching for the delta. I’m the Alpha and Omega
Lets begin with the end
And sing Cinderella stories till the mice come in
Augmenting metaphors till there’s no point no more
Just a similar tone, but the threat of prose
Can make mountains shiver and grown
You can feel it in your bones
If you leave you’ll miss the show
I’m handing down a rose
I hope you catch it when I go

Chorus:

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

We don’t see the thorns on the rose no more
These roads on our walk lead to home but far
Off in the distance we can see the light
Choose your direction we can meet tonight

Discography

Russell St Jump Mix Vol. 1
Russell St Jump Mix Vol. 2
Russell St jump Mix Vol. 3

Set List

With more songs than time for a show, we tend to switch things up quite a bit depending on how long the set is, and on the rare occurance that a member can't make it. But some of the rugulars that you can most likely expect to hear at a show are:

A New Beginning
Faded
Red Carpet Surprise
Coming Up
Be
Wonderful World
Dark Daddy
Get Your Hands Up
On The Block