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PLEASE STAND BY: Blogger on Vacation

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NEW MUSIC: Nightmares & Fantasies – D-Sea

D-Sea - Nightmares & Fantasies

D-Sea is a “hibernating Seattle hip-hop artist” according to the rapper’s Facebook page. You saw him though — if you were paying attention, that is — on the blog about a month ago when he dropped the video for “Hold Up”, the first song from his new EP Nightmares & Fantasies. D pals around with L.A.C.O.S.A. clique members Mack E and Produktive — good company if your focus is lyric-based hip hop fundamentalism (one of the few times that that word is associated with something good). In any case, check out D-Sea’s latest single, “Stayin’ Up”, below.


NEW MUSIC: “David Blowie” – Nacho Picasso (prod. by Raised Byy Wolves)

Nacho Picasso - David Blowie

Play Nacho Picasso’s For The Glory at three-quarter speed while watching Labyrinth backwards, standing on your head. Shit’s trippy, dun.

NEW MUSIC: “My City’s Filthy” – Wizdom (feat. Grynch & Fearce Vill; prod. by D-Sane)

My Citys Filthy - Wizdom feat Grynch & Fearce Vill

The rapper Wizdom has a new album dropping next week called The Next Step. First up to bat from that project is his opus to the Town, “My City’s Filthy”, featuring vocal assists from Grynch and Fearce Vill (of Dyme Def), and a cinematic instrumental backdrop by D-Sane. A nice re-entry point by Wiz who we haven’t heard from in a minute.

NEW MUSIC: “Religion of the Stars (R.O.T.S.)” – Key Nyata (feat. Mackned; prod. by DsavageBeats)

Key Nyata feat Mackned - Religion of the Stars

Nope, Key Nyata isn’t talking about Scientology on this latest drop. Somewhere under the beat produced by Baltimore’s Dsavage is a hard lesson about celebrity. Mackned also joins the hazy fray.

NEW MUSIC: “To Boddah” – OTOW Gang

Kurt Cobain

Operation Take Over the World (OTOW) is: Massiah, Ka.lil, Uce Wayne, and Mic Flont. The first member of this 206 hip hop crew wrote this impassioned ballad to the late Kurt Cobain. Click here to read more about the particular inspiration that Massiah gleaned from the Seattle rock legend.

VIDEO: “The B.A.D. Is So Good” – Chimurenga Renaissance (dir. by Dave Wilson)

The plot line for Chimurenga Renaissance’s new video “The B.A.D. Is So Good” is small in scope, but massive in intention. B.A.D. is an acronym for Black American Dream which constitutes everything the video portrays: music, community, aspiration, and the demand for a better tomorrow. “The B.A.D. Is So Good” is a single from CR’s new album, riZe vadZimu riZe, available to stream below and read more about here.

NEW MUSIC: “Heavenly” – Ka.lil (prod. by RLGN)

Ka.lil - Heavenly

Ka.lil and Vancouver’s RLGN team-up again for “Heavenly”, a breezy spin around the block for exercise and higher learning.

NEW MUSIC: “101″ – Rockwell Powers & DJ Phinisey

Rockwell Powers & DJ Phinisey - 101

Tacoma’s Rockwell Powers and DJ Phinisey released a brief new track called “101″, an outtake from their most recent collaborative effort, Build. It’s a perfect companion piece to that record, Rockwell and Phin speaking truth to power in a hardcore fashion. Check out the duo’s live, in-studio performance of “Denial” and “101″ on KEXP below.

NEW MUSIC: “Our Girlfriend” – Donte Peace (prod. by Adot The God)

Donte Peace - Our Girlfriend

Donte Peace takes a sinister victory lap after scooping some other dude’s lady on “Our Girlfriend”. It’s more of that possession-is-nine-tenths-of-the-law bullshit men indiscriminately apply to relationships with members of the opposite sex. When done with an even-handed dramatic flourish it can be interesting — subversive even. This doesn’t get there, though.

VIDEO: “Mits” – The Bar (feat. La & Kixxie Siete)

The set-up for this video is not exciting but it don’t need to be because the rapping is fairly bananas. The Bar — and La and Kixxie Siete – are for the children.



206UP and Jae Change have collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with some of your favorite artists. Stay tuned here for the latest 28Hundred productions.

We caught up with Seattle hip hop artist Raz Simone at the New York City listening session for his 300 Entertainment debut, Cognitive Dissonance. In the interview, the rapper discusses being contacted by music industry legend Lyor Cohen for the first time, the creative process behind his lyrics, and his hopes for the future of a career in music.

NEW MUSIC: Simply Complex – Marcus D

Marcus D - Simply Complex

Northwest producer Marcus D has assembled some of the finest underground hip hop talent for his new full-length, Simply Complex. Funded via a Kickstarter campaign, expect more of the same refined, well-composed boom-bap you’ve already heard from the young beatmaker.

VIDEO: “Still Around” – Aaron Cohen (feat. Hefna Gwap)

South Seattleite turned Queens resident Aaron Cohen dropped this video, “Still Around” (featuring Hefna Gwap), a few weeks ago. Shot at the now-defunct Five Points in Long Island City, Queens, here we have your classic NYC crew-mobbing around an ice cream truck video paradigm. This from Cohen’s Potential Fans mixtape released late last year.


NEW MUSIC: Bornday 2 – Vitamin D

Vitamin D - Born Day 2

Vitamin D’s presence is our present… For this birthday. Or something. Bornday 2 is the latest LP from the venerable Town producer, DJ and MC. Essential soulful slaps, and other alliterative phrases apply to this standout collection. (See, also: the first volume of Born Day.)

VIDEO: “Somebody Else” – Randy Robbins

It’s dope to see former 206UP TrackMeet winners continuing to create. Randy Robbins has an epic beard and nice message in his new song and video, “Somebody Else”.

VIDEO: “Labyrinth Zone Act 1″ – Sic Ill

Tacoma’s Sic Ill is a got-damn national treasure. The only thing I regret about posting this video is that I didn’t do it sooner. I’m so happy I peeped game before my wedding though (watch for the official mixtape coming this May!) because my fiancĂ©e and I are in dire need of a first-dance song.

Really, doe… I’m only about 68% kidding. With “Labyrinth Zone Act 1″ (even the title of the song is fantastic: it shares the name of a level from the original Sonic the Hedgehog), Sic Ill found the stickiest chorus of all in his latest glitch-hop&B masterpiece. Props to the Northwest’s biggest internet sensation this side of Macklemore. You’re out of this world indeed!


VIDEO: “The Weapon” – MADlines (prod. by Bean One; dir. by DJ Agana)

Maddy Clifford, aka MADlines, aka one half of indispensable Seattle duo Canary Sing, seems to have found her lane with last Fall’s reggae-infused, party-while-remaining-conscious EP, Love Child. “The Weapon”, a track from that Bean One produced six-tracker, has a fresh video attached to it now directed by the Bay Area’s DJ Agana. Watch and learn a lesson.

And, while we’re at it, from the throwback files is the Canary Sing clip below: “Freak Show”, featuring a before-she-was-famous Hollis Wong-Wear. Just kidding, Hollis was always a star.

NEW MUSIC: “Cloudcatchers” – Araless (feat. Mike Larry Draw; prod. by Smear One)

Cloudcatchers - Araless feat Mike Larry Draw

Araless grabbed our attention last summer when he won our not-quite-monthly song competition, The TrackMeet. He followed that up in December with the boom-bap revivalist gem “Attention”. And now that we’ve given you the brief history of this still under-the-radar MC, he’s back yet again with “Cloudcatchers”, a plodding, sorta gloomy, sorta captivating knowledge drop. This one features New York rapper Mike Larry Draw and was produced by Tacoma’s Smear One (because “Jake” and “Bean” were already taken). Watch for Symbiosis coming soon from Araless.

REVIEW: Smell the DA.I.S.Y. – De La Soul

De La Soul - Smell the DAISYDe La Soul
Smell the DA.I.S.Y.
Self-released; 2014

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

De La Soul prepare for a big 2014 with the first of three planned releases: Smell the DA.I.S.Y., a free mixtape available via BitTorrent, is a reworking of classic De La raps over previously unreleased J Dilla instrumentals. It’s both charming for fans of the legendary rap crew and reverent to the late, great producer and his family. Read what else I had to say about it, here.

VIDEO: “The Cigar Room / The Weatherman” – Neema (feat. Keyboard Kid)

Mr10K himself and based world auteur Keyboard Kid appear together in the first half of this video to promo their upcoming The Cigar Room collab. Then, everything turns purple for “The Weatherman”, an older joint by the reigning crown prince of Seattle double-time. AK Romero got behind the lens for both of these.


NEW MUSIC: “The Devil Is A Lie (Talk My Shit)” – Romaro Franceswa

Romaro Franceswa - The Devil Is A Lie

Yukmob member and thrower of lyrical darts Romaro Franceswa gives the beat all it can handle on his latest single, “The Devil Is A Lie (Talk My Shit)”. Not much to do other than geek out to this one.

NEW MUSIC: “Juice” – Donte Peace

Donte Peace - Juice

Donte Peace’s self-produced “Juice” is all tense piano keys and dimly-lit tenement building nostalgia. Who out there knew Steel survived that bullet all along?

VIDEO: “Sushi Boats” – Avatar Darko (prod. by V Don; dir. by Yaroslav Altunin)

Avatar Darko’s string of album releases has traced a near cartoonish-like gangster life to the current level-headed — in comparison, anyway — grimy glamour brio of the recent college graduate living it up in Southern California. The video for his “Sushi Boats” (produced by V Don and directed by Yaroslav Altunin) is a seemingly candid look into a day-in-Av’s-life, less of course the Russian mafioso bit at the end — because it can’t all be blunts and sunshine, right?



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