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.