Click album cover to D/L.

Three days ago, this blog turned two years old. I forgot its birthday. I am a bad parent.

What started on mostly a lark on July 5, 2009 has turned into a bonafide, pro-bono, part-time job. Thankfully it’s remained a labor of love. I don’t even entirely recall what motivated me to start this sh-t, but I don’t remember much thought being put into it. My personal blog was getting stale (still is, much to my mom’s chagrin) and the need for a creative outlet was heavy on my dome at the time.

In 2009, I still loved hip-hop. I was a Seattle transplant in a relatively new city (New York) whose rap scene felt colossal and the thought of trying to cover it with any amount of success was equally intimidating. Deciding to write an SEA-focused rap blog was probably my subconscious reaction to missing my homebase. It felt natural to start something I could immediately relate to. Thus began the natal stage of 206UP.COM.

From those first days of “borrowing” the majority of the blog’s content out of necessity (turns out it helps to have a bit of an online rep when it comes to getting on press emails — who knew?) to today, having the opportunity to recently interview Seattle rap standard-bearers Blue Scholars (that piece coming soon!) and having my so-called “expert” opinion on Northwest hip-hop solicited by Rev. Lennox Yearwood’s office, this blogging-about-rap sh-t is getting more fun, more interesting and, as the scene continues to boom, more time consuming. I still do it for free, however, because it’s purer that way. And I still do it because of my inherent love for the music. I guess the reasons for writing 206UP.COM haven’t changed at all, which probably means they were all really there in the first place even if I didn’t know it then.

So happy two year birthday to my blog. An idea that, as it turns out, existed well before its first post was ever written.

Now about this mixtape

Consider it a sort of birthday party favor for everyone who reads 206UP.COM (you are out there, aren’t you?). I’d been steadily trying to curate a representative sample of stuff I’ve been listening to over the past few months, a difficult task when one of the goals was limiting the length to no more than 20 songs. I started with over 60. The end result is 22. Close enough. By no means is this meant to be comprehensive — there are two or three glaring omissions and probably even more material that I wasn’t able to lend an ear to that should have been included — but I think it accurately shows the breadth of sound currently happening in The Town. Hope you enjoy it.

(This one is called Volume II because there exists a Volume I [from late ’09], that I never made available to readers. If you’re interested in that, here it is.)

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