Helluvastate is Tay Sean (of the Cloud Nice crew) and TH (of State Of The Artist). Get hip now before your friends do. This joint is dope and you can expect the entire mixtape to be, too. I can’t say any more than the homie Joe Gustav (of Posted In The Parking Lot and SSG Music) said in his excellent piece on SSG. Get with that here. And get with the free single by downloading below.
Mat Wisner, of local electro-pop crew Viper Creek Club, has something tricky up his sleeve. Make that a few tricky somethings. If you’ve been following VCC’s blog (get hip, here), you’ll already be familiar with the series of hip-hop remixes Mat has been putting down for local 206 crews. What started with a gritty re-imagining of Fresh Espresso’s “The Lazerbeams” has morphed into a miniature monster: a half dozen or so exclusive remixes in which Town rap gets VCC’s special electro-pop treatment.
The two best Seattle hip-hop albums of 2010 are region-specific. Def Dee and Language Arts’ Gravity is cloned from the DNA of mid-90’s New York City boom-bap. It’s a perfectly-penned love note to a definitive sound and era when millions of hip-hop heads came of age. The second album, Candidt’s Sweatsuit & Churchshoes, is a refreshing exercise in West Coast b-boy funk. The main complaint with Gravity may be it doesn’t bring innovation to its source material, yet the same can’t be said about Sweatsuit & Churchshoes. Candidt’s sprawling 21-track workout manages to find fresh ideas within a variety of West Coast sounds that came before it. It has one foot in Old School History Class and one foot in the New School hallway; its breadth of modification and manner in which the two schools are bridged are the album’s greatest attributes.
The Sacramento hip-hop duo DLRN (formerly known as “Delorean” — name change presumably due to the existence of the indie rock outfit of the same moniker) has released a new EP called The Bridge which can be had for free here. Similar in style and substance to the group’s debut release, No More Heroes, this new eight-track collection is heavier on soul and collaborative endeavors, including the song “Reset” featuring Seattle rap hero, Prometheus Brown (aka. Geo of Blue Scholars).
JFK is an emcee who seems like he’s perpetually on the verge of becoming unhinged. It’s a self-inflicted condition caused by the combination of his frantic, usually rapid-paced flow and his penchant for spitting about all the bad sh-t that happens in life (or death, as is often the case when he’s traversing the spiritual world’s subsurface as one half of Grayskul, the rapper’s well-established collaborative endeavor with fellow Oldominion cohort Onry Ozzborn). On JFK’s solo debut, Building Wings on the Way Down, the man also known as Ninjaface settles into a comfortable space (at least for him) composed of personal reflection, adept societal observations, and relatable relationship anecdotes. Based on JFK’s subject matter, and despite the album’s title, the rapper seems grounded here–in a good way.
Seattle hip-hop still hasn’t found its definitive “sound.” Artists over the last two years have, for the most part, taken a get-in-where-ya-fit-in attitude toward determining their particular place in the 2-0-6 hip-hop sphere. The closest Seattle has come to forming its own unique rap persona was the so-called “conscious boom-bap” stylings of Blue Scholars, Common Market and Abyssinian Creole way back in the mid-aughts. (And yes, I say “way back” with tongue planted firmly in-cheek. The South Bronx, Seattle is not.)
If you’ve ever followed the local rap community’s Twitter chatter, then you know it’s like a virtual fraternity up in there. Lots of dudes, saying dude-like things, posting up in dude-like poses in their profile pictures. That’s all well and good, but in a town that supposedly prides itself on being “progressive” and “liberal” and “open-minded,” you’d hope the X-chromosome would get its due shine in the club, too.
Ever wonder what it would sound like if you dropped three Seattle emcees in a European nightclub, cued-up a techno-infused pop/dance track, and let them spit bars over it? Producer Jack the Ripper’s new single, “Don’t Look Back,” helps answer that question.
The transformation of D. Black — the man and the hip-hop artist — was well-documented locally in 2009. The philosophical shift between his debut album, The Cause and Effect, and his most recent LP, Ali’Yah, mirrored the shift taking place in the man’s life, and it was evident to anyone paying attention to the lyrics.