Ka.lil and Vancouver’s RLGN team-up again for “Heavenly”, a breezy spin around the block for exercise and higher learning.
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.
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.
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.)
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”.
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.
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?
For our money, Seattle’s most exciting lyricist of the moment might be Moor Gang’s Gifted Gab. From out the blue, she dropped a new mixtape yesterday: Girl Rap. It features a grip of the usual Moor suspects but Gabby outshines — and outpaces — them all.
Minority Report (Genk and Matt The Dude) are former winners of 206UP’s The TrackMeet competition and they just dropped a new video: “Dreams” is a jazz-infused, Golden Era-inspired track featuring vocalist Alla. Download the joint here.
World weary travelers Gabriel Teodros and AirMe wrote and recorded this track during a 24-hour layover in Washington DC en route from Addis Ababa to the Six. It’s a great window into the creative minds of two observant artists caught between shifting time zones. Watch for their Children Of The Dragon coming soon.
Ronnie Dylan and Jake Crocker (rapper and producer, respectively) issued the first video from their recent American Dreams EP. Grab that for free here. “Purified Kings” was shot in Queens, New York by Jordan Tan and features a well-constructed cautionary tale as its prime narrative.
Moor Gang’s Thaddeus David dropped his latest mixtape, Moor Than Less 02. Here, Young TH spits hard over recognizable beats and remixes by artists that include Lloyd Banks, Kid Ink and Waka Flocka.
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from the rapper Akrish. His new track, “Walk On By,” is a stirring ballad about heartbreak blessed by the vocals of Malice and Mario Sweet. Tacoma’s Ill Pill produced the mid-tempo cut.
Surprise! Raz Simone just released his new album Cognitive Dissonance: Part One a full three days earlier than expected, and he made the whole damn thing available for free. The early jump did not allow for industrious bloggers like myself to complete a proper album review, but no matter: my first thoughts were imparted last Thursday after I had the fortune of attending the 300 Entertainment-sponsored NYC listening party. More words to follow, but I suggest just going ahead and bumping the shit to form your own opinion.
Nu Era’s Turtle T with a new joint appropriately titled, “Friday Night”. Tacoma’s DJ Phinisey pushin’ buttons. Watch for the duo’s collaborative EP coming soon.
Jake Crocker is an up-and-coming producer who has done beats for Raz Simone and RA Scion. Ronnie Dylan is his partner-in-rhyme. (Note to self: never use that term again). Together they are: “Ronnie Dylan and Jake Crocker”… C’mon guys, you couldn’t have come up with something better? I keed, though. Their American Dreams EP is a worthy collection of raps and refined, soulful boom-bap. Especially check for a super-lyrical Fatal on “Day Dream”. It’s free to stream and download below.
206UP was first introduced to Town rapper Tulsi via his 2010 LP, Cold Smoke. It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from the proudly independent MC, but he’s back now with a five-track EP called Beauty Of A Curse. It’s an upbeat collection of underground boom-bap, available for free (if you’re feeling greedy) or a price to be determined by the consumer (if you’re the generous type).
Mackned’s profane and introspective — dichotomy alert! — clip for “Life On Deck” from the Moor Gang affiliate’s new Alice Gla$$ LP. Grab that for your own choosing below.
The Raz Simone narrative continues to build slowly, but already it’s a powerful one. The Seattle rapper and 300 label signee again forgoes the traditional Hot 97 route in favor of the raw “They’ll Speak”, yet another impassioned punch in the gut. This song is the emotional launch pad upon which his Cognitive Dissonance: Part One (street date March 6, 2014) will take flight.
Nu Era’s latest single, “Marvelous”, gets a suitably gripping video treatment, directed by Jack Leonard. Grab the track here.
Nu Era with a fresh track concerning the femme fatale variety. “Marvelous” was produced by Andrew Savoie. Happy Valentine’s Day, I guess?
The official Dilla Day 2014 was a week ago in Detroit. The Northwest’s own Perry Porter paid his homage by rapping over three classic James Yancey tracks. Perry’s bars have often been better, but I contend that’s not really the point here: it’s just a pleasure to relive the genius that was J. Dilla.
This song is not about Morgan Freeman. It’s not even really about Captain Morgan Rum. It’s mostly about those idle times that wrought devil’s playground hands, told to you by Donte Peace and Nacho Picasso. It’s hella grimy in the best possible way. With someone called Maxtrax on the beat.