THE SIX: Araless

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.


THE SIX is a regular Q&A feature on 206UP with a simple format: One member of the local hip-hop community and six questions. For past editions click here.


Araless and his Black Magic Noize collective fly relatively under the radar in the Town. That might change however with the release of the rapper’s new album Symbiosis, a salute to hip-hop’s traditionalist value system of straight-forward beats and rhymes. That type of descriptor can often be a death knell for an MC who’s not up to the task of waving the heavy Golden Era revivalist flag, but this MC — and this crew — lean head-on into the challenge. Ara and BMN are responsible for the monthly hip-hop showcase and cypher Spitfire Saturdays at Dante’s in the U-District. BMN’s de facto team leader hopped on the latest edition of The Six to discuss his hustle and flow.

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SHOW REVIEW & INTERVIEW: Twista at the Crocodile – Thursday, 10.16.14

Twista 4


The Crocodile, Reign City, Ten Grand Marketing, and Soul Gorilla Present: Twista the “Dark Horse Tour” | The Crocodile | Thursday, October 16, 2014

Show review and interview by Emery Desper. Photography by JK Scroggins.


I went to the Twista show excited to take a stroll down memory lane. When I think of the legends of hip-hop he might not be one of the first people to come to mind, but once he ran through his catalog I realized this was a mistake. As I watched one of Chi-town’s finest emerge on the Crocodile’s stage with the most impressive jewelry I have seen up close (paling only in comparison to Slick Rick’s) I happily rapped my way into nostalgia.

The room was packed with dedicated fans. Twista opened his set with the title track off his latest album, Dark Horse, but the real strength of his show was in the older material. What impressed me most about Twista is the amount of hits he’s had and how fun all those songs are to hear live. As soon as the beat dropped from “Is That Your Chick,” and he began to rhyme at a pace that no one has been able to rival, I was amazed. Even though everyone knows that Twista is defined by his ability to rap faster than anyone else, seeing that kind of skill, mastery of language, power, energy, and simultaneous calm on stage all at once is impressive.

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28HUNDRED & PASSION OF THE WEISS PRESENT: Adrian Younge

206UP and Jae Change have collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with some of your favorite artists. Stay tuned here for the latest 28Hundred productions.


For 28Hundred’s latest trick, Jae and I managed to talk our way into interviewing producer/composer Adrian Younge — favored R&B, soul and hip-hop renaissance man — for Passion of the Weiss, one of my absolute favorite hip-hop sites in the world. Owner, editor and journalist Jeff Weiss even let me write a few words and you can read all of those, here. As far as Adrian Younge goes, he was cool as a cucumber and his new collaboration with seminal Bay Area outfit Souls of Mischief is more than worth your time. Check out their There Is Only Now, here.

 

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28HUNDRED PRESENTS: Aaron Cohen

206UP and Jae Change have collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with some of your favorite artists. Stay tuned here for the latest 28Hundred productions.


Aaron Cohen is a Queens-based rapper from the Seward Park neighborhood in Seattle, who’s been garnering a fair amount of burn on national outlets like Noisey, Mishka and Mass Appeal. 28Hundred sat down with Aaron in Queens for this exclusive interview.

Check out his latest song “You Wouldn’t Know” (featuring Alexander Spit) the title track from his upcoming EP due September 22.

28Hundred Interviews

28HUNDRED PRESENTS: Jake Crocker


206UP and Jae Changehave collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with some of your favorite artists. Stay tuned here for the latest 28Hundred productions.


In 28Hundred’s latest exclusive interview, we sat down with producer Jake Crocker in New York City to discuss the Seattle native’s earliest days hustling beats on the internet, to getting linked with Raz Simone and his Black Umbrella team. Peep game above. Also check out Jake’s most recent project, the American Dreams EP featuring rapper Ronnie, Dylan below.

 

206UP Exclusive 28Hundred Interviews

28HUNDRED PRESENTS: Raz Simone


206UP and Jae Change have collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with some of your favorite artists. Stay tuned here for the latest 28Hundred productions.


We caught up with Seattle hip hop artist Raz Simone at the New York City listening session for his 300 Entertainment debut, Cognitive Dissonance. In the interview, the rapper discusses being contacted by music industry legend Lyor Cohen for the first time, the creative process behind his lyrics, and his hopes for the future of a career in music.

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28HUNDRED PRESENTS: Luck-One


206UP and Jae Change have collaborated to form 28Hundred, a new media company dedicated to producing original video content and in-depth, personality-driven interviews with your favorite artists. We’re happy to introduce our latest effort today featuring Portland’s Luck-One. Please enjoy and share around if you’re diggin’ it.

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THE SIX: Spekulation

Spekulation

THE SIX is a regular interview feature on 206UP.COM with a simple format: One member of the local hip hop community and six questions. For past editions click here.


Spekulation has gone viral twice and he’s only getting sicker.

Even before the internet meme fiascos wrought by last February’s Bitter Barista episode and, most recently, the Marshawn Lynch-worshipping turned Seahawks rallying cry, “Bout That Action”, the combo rapper/producer/writer had been carrying a following in the local music scene. That was thanks to his detailed, well-honed projects like 2011’s Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, a remixed collection of Jay Z songs using samples from local jazz outfit The Jason Parker Quartet, and Spekulation, the ambitious 2012 self-titled, self-produced EP that mixed a classic boom-bap aesthetic with live instrumentation.

Spekulation is here (in the nebulous internet-alized sense of “here”) because of two larks that blew up on the strength of… Well, it’s still not totally clear, I suppose. But he’s also here because of a very obvious love and intense dedication to the craft of hip hop music. For better or worse, Spek will forever be associated with Bitter Barista and “Bout That Action”. Similarly, though, there would be no Harrison Ford without Han Solo, no Macklemore (in his current incarnation anyway) without “Thrift Shop”, and certainly no reprieve for bitter baristas the world over without asshole customers to inspire edifying snark. Spek hopped on this week’s edition of THE SIX to let us in on how he does it.

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THE SIX: Featuring Malice & Mario Sweet

Photo courtesy of the artists' Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of the artists’ Facebook page.

THE SIX is a regular interview feature on 206UP.COM with a simple format: One member of the local hip hop community and six questions. For past editions click here.


The Physics had the best Seattle hip hop album of 2013 — by this website’s estimation, anyway — with Digital Wildlife. And that record wouldn’t have come together as well as it did without the musical talents of the group’s two vocalists: real-life couple Malice (given name: Crystal) and Mario Sweet. Their R&B harmonies with The Physics generally act as subtle but vital backdrops to the crew’s deep hip hop roots, and the natural chemistry they share with rappers Thig Nat and Monk Wordsmith, and producer/rapper Justo, makes for the most appealing collaborations in Seattle rap.

Malice and Mario stepped out on their own with 2011’s Happy 2 Year, a celebration of both their love for music and second wedding anniversary. H2Y was followed in July of 2013 by Enjoy Like Love, an upbeat collection of original songs unapologetically inspired by R&B/soul from the ’80s and ’90s, as well as pop culture touchstones from those decades. For those of us born in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Enjoy Like Love feels like an audio love letter written just for us.

Malice and Mario jumped on THE SIX to answer questions about their backgrounds in music, what it’s like performing and touring as The Physics, and what their musical futures might hold.

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