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.