ILLFIGHTYOU is Tacoma’s EvergreenOne, and UglyFrank and Khris P of Sandlot. One part horrorcore, one part balls-trippin’ drug rap, and one part janky stand-up comedy. On their self-titled debut album (out today) the crew pulls out its impressively-girthed id and smacks you across the face with it. (I think that’s a compliment.)
Click here or on one of the guns above to download the album.
Spaceman lets loose with “She Don’t Care”, a drop from his upcoming Beyond The Stars EP. Sonny Bonoho on the lovelorn chorus and Justo on the beat.
Shelton Harris’ 15 minutes have officially begun. He played the lead role in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ video for “Same Love”; XXL recently named him one of Seattle’s “15 hip hop artists you should know”; and the budding MC landed himself on the bill for the much vaunted Sasquatch festival last month. Not bad for a dude barely out of his teens.
206UP finally took time out to spin through The Fresh Start, a six song EP with producer Tyler Dopps. The release definitely feels like an appetizer for what could be a satisfying main course. The Macklemore influences are apparent which comes with certain drawbacks: Much of TFS suffers from a saccharine sweetness that would wear thin if drawn out over an LP’s length.
But Shelton has a confident, pure flow reminiscent of fellow Town rappers Sol and Grynch. Tyler’s production trends toward the buoyant, pop end of the spectrum and it feels right paired with Shelton’s unassailable positivity. While he isn’t as immediately thrilling as some of Seattle’s other young new guard (Dave B, Raz, Porter Ray, et al), the potential is all there for a breakout star in the making.
He of the Nu Era crew (go here for the accomplished Sink Or Swim from early last calendar), Turtle T goes for dolo on Of Love And Lust.
CLICK :: LISTEN :: VOTE
206UP.COM’s The TrackMeet is a regular feature here on the blog that pits three relatively new or up-and-coming local hip-hop artists against each other in a battle-of-the-songs style competition. It’s easy to participate if you’re a reader: Just listen to the three featured tracks and then vote for your favorite in the online poll below. Voting lasts for one week. Each winning entrant will be featured on an upcoming TrackMeet Mixtape (the first edition of which you can download here). If you’re an artist looking to submit for an upcoming competition, click here for submission guidelines.
It’s been a minute since we’ve gassed up a fresh set of newbies. For your voting consideration over the first weekend in June are: T.E.A.M. (Tell Everyone About Me), Swaggy Long Legs, and Soultanz. Get to listening, fam.
LANE 1: “5%” – T.E.A.M.
LANE 3: “Child’s Play” – Soultanz
Mmm, Clams and Nachos…
(Vampsterdam coming June 10.)
Porter Ray — along with other young Seattle luminaries like Brothers From Another, Raz, Kung Foo Grip, and Zar — represents the next hopeful generation of Town hip hop. This group of artists is singularly unique because, although they are decidedly children of the 21st century, their styles and hustles are rooted in rap’s grand heyday of the ’90s. Call this a carrying on of tradition; we should be overjoyed that the future of Seattle hip hop is in such precocious and capable hands.
Porter’s BLK GLD is just a warm-up, but on it the MC already sounds fully-formed. He is our region’s best answer to Kendrick and Chance: a freewheeling youth whose age is not wasted on a devil-may-care mentality. He’s aspirational without being feckless (“5 Mics”), violent without being nihilistic (“5950′s”), and sexual while not lacking eroticism (“Wet Dreams”). BLK GLD is gilded with Golden Era-style beats and Porter breathes raps. It’s all effortless but shines with conviction and craft. Something incredibly special is being forged here.
Another drop from Av and Nach‘s upcoming Vampsterdam. MegaMan hops behind the console for this one.
SOTA pioneer Thaddeus David will be opening for Mobb Deep this evening at The Crocodile. Here are the details on that. TH hopped in the studio for a free verse over Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean”.
Avatar Darko and Nacho Picasso are hopping on the most popular teeny-bopper trend of the new decade: Vampire worship. Of course they’re doing it in their own special and menacing sort of way. Did you expect anything else? Vampsterdam is their upcoming collaborative album, and “Vampire” (produced by AraabMuzik — get well soon, brodie) is the second advance release.
“Ghost” — as in, “get ghost” and “Casper the Friendly” — is the new track from electro-pop/dance crew The Flavr Blue. This trio is taking off, as evidenced by recent successful live outings in and around Town, and this year’s upcoming edition of Bumbershoot where they’ll be performing. Enjoy your Friday and subsequent weekend, fam. Dance your way into summer.
The musical and spiritual journey of Nissim (fka D. Black) continues with “Chronicles”, the second single from the MC’s mixtape Miracle Music.
Jackin’ Jarv Dee is preparing to release his next album, Moor Bible: The Book of Jarv “sometime this Fall” as the press gods have decreed. “High Expectations” is the lead single.
“Illectric” is the third video from Dave B’s exceptional The Coffee EP.
Soul mates in calamity, Avatar Darko and Nacho Picasso are preparing to release a collaborative album called Vampsterdam. This seems like a natural pair-up given the rappers’ proclivity toward the dark side. “Black Velvet” is the first single and that’s Raised Byy Wolves wearing the black hoodie in the background. Click here to read 206UP’s recent interview with Av.
[THE SIX is a regular interview feature on 206UP.COM with a simple format: One local hip-hop artist and six questions. For past editions click here.]
Avatar Darko (formerly Avatar Young Blaze) has the baby-faced looks of a boy band member and maybe in a different life he could have been. But the Estonia-born, Central District-bred rapper prefers the trap life in this current incarnation, and his relentless brand of “emo grunge trap” has earned him a worldwide underground following. This blog was slow to come around to Av, initially labeling him a pretender, but his cinematic rhymes about street life and around-Town co-signs turned us into believers. We attempted to catch up with Av in his element.
I think a lot of your fans have a certain idea about what a day in the life of Avatar Darko might be like. For example: I imagine you tapping out answers to this set of questions on your iPad, cruising at 35,000 feet, off to somewhere exotic for business and pleasure, like Dubai or Beijing. Set the record straight and tell us about your day so far, or about a typical day-in-the-life of Avatar Darko.
Well right now as I type this on my iPhone with a shattered screen, I’m sitting on a bench outside of the hub at UCSB [University of California Santa Barbara] overlooking this dope little island and water. The homie Araab [Muzik] randomly texted me at six in the morning like, “Yo I land in a couple hours, I gotta show in Santa Barbara.” Duke and him scooped me in a Challenger and told me to drive, so I red-lined that bitch the whole way out here. I love Dodges. I use to have a Charger when I was 17, I mashed that bitch. Anyways, I just ate some bomb-ass wings and tomorrow afternoon I gotta flight to Seattle — oh shit I got court in the morning before that. Anyways, when I’m not doing random cool shit like this I’m in the studio working on projects. Sometimes I can be really emo too, then I just drink lean and listen to Max B to feel better. Yerp.
It took me a while to come around to enjoying your music. Have you found that that’s a typical response by some listeners?
Yeah a lot of people seem to say the same thing. I think I go over a lot of people’s heads.
“Authenticity” is a word that gets thrown around a lot by folks who write about you. Given how the internet can be used as a handy veil of anonymity, how important is authenticity in hip-hop these days?
When you’re authentic, everything comes from the heart; you don’t have to try too hard. In this day and age, a lot of music lacks authenticity and genuine emotion. I’m trying to capture that [and] convey it on a worldwide level. I will soon.
You’ve not once asked people to pay for your music. Why is that your preferred business model thus far in your career?
I got some precious projects on iTunes but lately I’ve just been releasing music to accumulate my buzz. I’m thinking about putting this upcoming EP on iTunes though. We’ll see.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
Art Of War. I need to get back on my book game. My pops use to read a lot of books, I’ve been slackin’ on my book game lately.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to tease for the 206UP.COM readers?
Gonna release an EP entirely produced by Megaman and a mixtape with Nacho this spring/summer.
In which Av and Nacho get attacked by the smoke monster. From Av’s Soviet Goonion 2.
Hey, there’s a street date for TH3RDZ’s debut album, This, That & Th3RDZ, and it’s June 18! Chyeah! In the meantime, get hyped to their new song, “On Your Block.” Hooray for rap super-groups of the Pacific Northwest!
Our favorite Eastside crew Kung Foo Grip dropped a video for the title track to their most recent endeavor, Growing Up In The Future. Among a bevy of rap groups trying to find room in the local pool, KFG is essential.
Thaddeus David’s “Tis The Season” gets the high-def treatment by Gator Vision Productions. From Thad’s Trapital Trill EP.
Spekulation probably doesn’t want to be known as the Seattle rap game Sean Connery (ie. forever attached to a starring role he made famous), so I won’t mention Spek’s recent 15 minutes of fame save for linking here in case you don’t watch Good Morning America or read major Seattle newspapers.
In any case, the man dropped his new EP, Truth Be Told, three days ago and it contains the usual care and attention to boom-bap detail that Spek is coming to be known for. Give the album a spin below and go here to see about the MC/producer’s extracurricular activities.
Mega Evers is a Central District alum who this blog has been slow to come around to. The video for “True God Flow” dropped in mid-January and the mixtape on which it appears, No Concept, followed in late February. Both are here for your listening and viewing pleasure. Synth and rapid-fire hi-hats abound, so if you’re into that sorta thing I expect you’ll love it.
Moor Gang affiliate Cam The Mac is based and keyed in this new video by Harry Clean of Detooz Films. Play name-that-VHS while adjusting the fucking tracking on your set. Raise your hand if you miss the janky days of video tapes. Me too.
About a year ago Rebel released his five-piece, Swisher Nights, which featured the hardcore tracks of one Vitamin D. It’s been a minute since Reb’s been on the scene but dude recently posted “Safeco,” a hazy one-off produced by Drew Beats. Good to hear this guy again.