Vic Mensa (with Towkio, Ryan Caraveo & Romaro Franceswa) | Neptune Theatre | August 25, 2015
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis make their grand re-entrance to the scene with “Downtown,” a viral-friendly, absurdist’s fantasy shot in and around downtown Spokane, WA. Yes, those are living hip-hop legends Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, and Grandmaster Caz rapping back-up. And yes, that’s Ken Griffey, Jr. recreating his famed 1989 Upper Deck rookie card portrait. It doesn’t all make sense, but then neither does Mack and RL’s insane trajectory in pop music. You’d be at least partially dead inside if you didn’t smile at this one.
Ladies love him, men want to be him — or, at the very least, are jealous of him. We’re talking of course about Ryan Caraveo, he of the perfectly coiffed pop-rap persona and a new(ish) EP, Happy Now. In a Town not big enough for egos to breathe, is there enough love to go around? Ryan’s on a mission to get his. We see you, bro.
Easier than finding eight rings in a haystack, Raz Simone emerges from his months-long social media silence to let loose some thinly veiled fury against one — shit, maybe even two* — of Seattle’s favorite rap sons.
Yes, that’s Sol’s beaming grill — the target of Raz’s barbs — right there at the beginning of Simone’s new clip, “Charged Up.” Did you happen to catch the Zilla’s “Same Problems”-referencing diss in his new track “Ain’t Gon’ Stop” on your first listen? (Uh yeah, like, we totally did too…) You certainly caught Sol executing the hack of all social media hacks (or were they??) earlier in the week, swapping out Raz’s snarling smirk with a ridiculous shot of himself in the shower, Mutombo finger-wag in effect, all like, “Gotcha Raz!“
Curiously the image remains on Raz’s Facebook page, which means either the internet giant is dragging its feet on relinquishing control back to Simone’s camp, or there’s something troll-y going on.
So is this real life? In the rapidly advancing age of media manipulation, that’s barely a question worth posing anymore. The battering ram of public discourse can unceremoniously take one fiction and hammer it into something slightly resembling fact. Is this just one massive Seattle rap troll hiding out in Fremont? Maybe. Are there better, more constructive conversations to be had? That’s a certainty. But maybe the platinum lining in this charade is a renewed conversation about the Tale of Two Rap Seattles, originally articulated by Raz in his “Same Problems” video, the very words to which Sol seems to have responded in “Ain’t Gon’ Stop.”
Rap politics, when enumerated tactfully, are often a microcosm of the body politic. And that right there is called “artistic value.” Personally? I’m waiting for one of these cats to declare a run for City Council. Then we really gon’ see.
*That could only be one man’s Volvo Raz is talking about, right?
Ballard’s finest MC, Grynch, along with your selectors for the evening Beeba and Prometheus Brown, will be rocking the Sunset Tavern this Friday (August 21, 2015) for the Ballard House Party.
Thanks to the G-man himself 206UP has a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky recipient (21+ only). Enter to win ’em by filling out the form below. The winner will be notified by email no later than Thursday, 8/20/15, at 5 PM PST. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO THOSE WHO ENTERED!
Good humored, good natured and always down to have a good time (especially in their live presentation), the Bad Tenants have a fresh new EP called Mostly Human, produced entirely by IG88. Mixing live instrumentation with deft rap breaks and scratches, the record takes itself seriously as a piece of music but with a self-deprecating wink and a smile.
We here at the 206UP office figured we should pull ourselves away from Compton long enough to throw you some new Shabazz Palaces. “The Mystery of Lonnie The Døn” is from the Adult Swim Singles series. “Mystery” is dark, brooding, electronic, and mysterious, everything you’d expect from the SP royalty.