D-Sane is a producer and engineer who is founder and owner of Streel Level Records and Not 2 Sane Productions.
D-Sane, born in 1973, grew up in the North Seattle neighborhood of Shoreline. He fell in love with Hip Hop music and breakdancing in 1984, when his friends used to get together after school to dance. His earliest influences were the Breakin’ movies along with Krush Groove, Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Rakim, and many other mid to late 80s Hip-Hop artists. Gaining interest in DJing, he started collecting records in 1987, and got his first set of real turntables in 1989. Soon, he was DJing high school house parties and making mixtapes for his friends. Being from the West Coast, he became especially enthralled with West Coast artists such as Too Short, NWA and Ice-T, relating more to their content due to the lifestyle he lived at that time. He cites Dr. Dre as being his single biggest influence. Early in 1990, he was introduced to his first drum machine, and fell in love with beatmaking. He produced his first song in the summer of that year and soon began emceeing as well. When Sir Mix-A-Lot blew up nationally, followed by Kid Sensation, D-Sane, who was living in Las Vegas at the time, was very proud of his hometown artists. After coming back to Seattle, he continued following other artists Nastymix was pushing, such as High Performance and Criminal Nation. He fondly recalls listening to and taping KCMU Rap Attack’s “Local Music Spotlight”, catching all of the local artists doing their thing, and hoping one day to be a part of the playlist.
When asked how intertwined the scenes in various Seattle neighborhoods were in Hip Hop’s early days, D-Sane referred to Seattle Public School’s busing policy. In 80’s and 90’s, as a means to desegregate schools, Seattle’s school district enacted a system that bussed students from the historically black communities of the Central District and Southend to the mostly white, and more economically resourced neighborhoods of the North. As a student at North Seattle’s Ingraham High School, this is how D-Sane initially met other local Hip Hop pioneers at school talent shows, such as Silver Shadow D, known then as a part of the group Duracell. He also recalls Keith “Ghetto Prez” Asphy, who was a part of a crew called Love Sick Rhymers at the time, DJing his high school dances.
Street Level Records
Founded by D-Sane in 1998, Street Level Records is now among the oldest dedicated Hip-Hop labels in Seattle. Its seminal group, Full Time Soldiers, spawned the solo career of emcee Byrdie, as well as broke bounds in local promotion strategy. Street Level boasts one of the largest music catalogs of any northwest record label with 33 albums and 5 mixtapes (as of 2013). Early adopters of digital age promotion, it was the first Seattle Hip Hop record label to go online in 1999, and it pioneered online music promotion with the use of Mp3.com, dominating the site’s music charts from 2000-2002. Street Level Record music was also heavily available on the groundbreaking file sharing service, Napster. The label also had a heavy presence in shops that carried local music and was touted by Sam Goody executives as the best selling local music in their stores. Street Level also garnered regular features on KUBE 93’s “Future Flavors Show”, and received regular rotation on the station. In 2004, Street Level released the acclaimed super-group Lac of Respect, which remains their best selling album to date.
Link to Street Level:
http://www.streetlevelrecords.com/discography/ (Record label catalog)
http://www.streetlevelrecords.com (Street Level Records)
Not 2 Sane Productions
D-Sane’s production company has worked on over 200 albums to date, the majority of which are Seattle Hip Hop artists. Most notably, D-Sane contributed to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ platinum selling album The Heist by helping in the creation of the mega-hit single “Thrift Shop” and also assisted Ryan Lewis with some of the mixing. He has received gold and platinum plaques for his work on The Heist album, and has worked on several movie soundtracks, TV shows, radio and TV promos, and remixes for KUBE 93.
Radio promos for KUBE 93 & KISS 106: http://www.not2sane.com/productions/radio-promos/
Remixes for various artists and KUBE 93: http://www.not2sane.com/productions/remixes/
Link to works produced, recorded, mixed or mastered:
http://www.not2sane.com/discography/ (Text list of discography)
http://www.not2sane.com/gallery/album-cover-discography/ (Visual discography)
http://www.not2sane.com (Not 2 Sane Productions)