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THE SIX: Araless

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.


THE SIX is a regular Q&A feature on 206UP with a simple format: One member of the local hip-hop community and six questions. For past editions click here.


Araless and his Black Magic Noize collective fly relatively under the radar in the Town. That might change however with the release of the rapper’s new album Symbiosis, a salute to hip-hop’s traditionalist value system of straight-forward beats and rhymes. That type of descriptor can often be a death knell for an MC who’s not up to the task of waving the heavy Golden Era revivalist flag, but this MC — and this crew — lean head-on into the challenge. Ara and BMN are responsible for the monthly hip-hop showcase and cypher Spitfire Saturdays at Dante’s in the U-District. BMN’s de facto team leader hopped on the latest edition of The Six to discuss his hustle and flow.

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NEW MUSIC: Able’s Filthy Fingers – Able Fader

Able Fader - Filthy Fingers United

Low-key genius DJ Able recently dropped his first ever EP, Able’s Filthy Fingers, an eight track collection of sample-heavy turntablism and dusty percussion. It threads the needle wonderfully between pop culture kitsch and humble deference to the art form of hip-hop. Check it out below.

And hey while you’re at it, pull yourself out of that internet k-hole and catch Able doing his live thing at two monthlies: (((The Jam))) at Vermillion on Capitol Hill and the Black Magic Noize showcase and cypher Spitfire Saturdays at Dante’s in the U-District.


NEW MUSIC: “Greeny Jungle” – Gabriel Teodros & SoulChef (feat. Shakiah)

GT & SoulChef

Seattle’s righteous son Gabriel Teodros and New Zealand’s own SoulChef are preparing to release their album Evidence Of Things Not Seen on October 28. “Greeny Jungle” (featuring Shakiah) is fearful and optimistic in a single tranquil breath.


VIDEO: “My City’s Filthy” – Wizdom (feat. Grynch & Fearce Vill; dir. by Jeff Santos)

Wizdom’s own version of a Seattle rap anthem can’t outdo the poignancy of Spekulation and company’s “Home Of The Mighty” which dropped late summer and somehow managed to be both a triumphant summary of the city’s cultural touchstones and an acknowledgement of the damage much of those have wrought. Still, props to Wiz for the lovely scenery in this video and, oh hey, a Macklemore cameo! (Unsurprisingly he’s the only one not driving his own whip.) From Wizdom’s recent The Next Step.


VIDEO: “L.E.G. (Lust Envy Greed)” – Aaron Cohen (dir. by Bertrand Touchard)

Aaron Cohen with a moody clip for the track “L.E.G. (Lust Envy Greed)” off his recent You Wouldn’t Know EP. Directed by Frenchman Bertrand Touchard of InDaPROD.


SHOW REVIEW & INTERVIEW: Twista at the Crocodile – Thursday, 10.16.14

Twista 4


The Crocodile, Reign City, Ten Grand Marketing, and Soul Gorilla Present: Twista the “Dark Horse Tour” | The Crocodile | Thursday, October 16, 2014

Show review and interview by Emery Desper. Photography by JK Scroggins.


I went to the Twista show excited to take a stroll down memory lane. When I think of the legends of hip-hop he might not be one of the first people to come to mind, but once he ran through his catalog I realized this was a mistake. As I watched one of Chi-town’s finest emerge on the Crocodile’s stage with the most impressive jewelry I have seen up close (paling only in comparison to Slick Rick’s) I happily rapped my way into nostalgia.

The room was packed with dedicated fans. Twista opened his set with the title track off his latest album, Dark Horse, but the real strength of his show was in the older material. What impressed me most about Twista is the amount of hits he’s had and how fun all those songs are to hear live. As soon as the beat dropped from “Is That Your Chick,” and he began to rhyme at a pace that no one has been able to rival, I was amazed. Even though everyone knows that Twista is defined by his ability to rap faster than anyone else, seeing that kind of skill, mastery of language, power, energy, and simultaneous calm on stage all at once is impressive.

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VIDEO: “Motion Sickness” – Shabazz Palaces (dir. by TEAN)

The new Shabazz Palaces clip, “Motion Sickness,” tugs at heartstrings and thrills the dramatic film devotee in all of us. The moment of reckoning for the video’s tragic heroine comes near the end. Even her feline friend senses a grievous conclusion; check how the video’s director, TEAN, captures the domesticated staring up at its master — you can practically hear the animal’s thoughts, pleading with the woman to save herself and her little girl. Incredible all around.


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