NEW MUSIC: Avalon – Chev

Chev - Avalon

chev - AVALON - avalon back cover

Chev is one of a handful of Town rappers that I feel like we never hear from enough, but when we do it’s always a welcome blessing. Thanks to him for hipping me to his newest project, Avalon, a week in advance of its release, but no snaps to me for sleeping on the post until now. Go grab it for free below. It’s a tribute to the Avalon Ridge housing complex in Renton as well as the anniversary of his father’s passing on Juneteenth (the day of the EP’s actual release).


NEW MUSIC: The KnewBook – KnowMads

Click album cover to purchase at iTunes.

KnowMads dropped their latest album today, The KnewBook. Go here to cop. The LP is heavy on features like out-of-towners Ras Kass and Smoke DZA, and in-towners Sol, Chev and La. Your dude hasn’t listened yet, but it’s up next on the playlist.


DOWNLOAD & REVIEW: Charles – Chev

Click album cover to D/L.

Somewhere inside Chev’s 17-track debut album is an outstanding eight to ten song EP, dying to get out. That’s not to say the long-time coming Charles is a disappointment. Rather it’s a greater reflection of an MC who’s had much on his mind for a minute now, too much to adequately express on a few standout guest shots on tracks by more established Town artists (summarized well by the rapper himself, here).

The first time Chev really caught my ear was on “Certitude” (a joint from Common Market’s 2008 Tobacco Road). His deep, commanding delivery added weight to Sabzi’s synth-heavy composition and his reality rap point-of-view counterbalanced RA Scion’s philosophical wanderings. There’s much more of that grounded perspective on Charles. Chev’s preferred lyrical topic is observations on the hustle, and the fact that he’s in the midst of his own makes him an expert. “Simple Math” is an engaging opening track with commanding head-nod courtesy of Jester. “Beau” pays tribute to lost lives and features a dusty jazz-inflected beat by Def Dee. My favorite song here, though, is the Sabzi-produced “Yesterday” which takes Chev’s nostalgic reflections and Hollis Wong-Wear’s swirling guest vocals, and plants them firmly in early 90s R&B territory.

Charles does go on too long, and Chev over-extends himself with the number of verses on a few tracks, but it’s hard to fault him for putting in work. If you’re first hearing him on this album, it’s his vocal aesthetic that will immediately grab you: a low-pitched, technically proficient flow. Chev’s is a fairly new voice in the local scene that resonates much louder than those of many more well-established ones.

Album Reviews Downloads

DOWNLOAD: “Yesterday” – Chev (feat. Hollis of Canary Sing)

“Yesterday” indeed. This new joint by Chev is giving me Mossimo dreams and Silver Tab reveries. Hollis does her best T-Boz impression and Sabzi channels Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis behind the boards. I fell into first love on this type of sh-t right here.

Oh yeah, this is from Chev’s upcoming album, Charles. Prepare to wonder where this dude has been all your rap life.


DOWNLOAD: Fuck Your Collab – Chev

Click album cover to D/L.

Here’s a nice little collection of tracks on which local spitter Chev (one of the most able MCs currently flying under Town folk’s radars) spits all-important guest bars. Highlight: it includes a couple of joints from what I can only assume is the elusive sampler mixtape from the now-defunct Massline record label. Enjoy for free above and below and watch for the MC’s debut album, Charles, coming soon.


DOWNLOAD: 3 Songs With MTK – Notion

Click album cover to D/L.

Get familiar with Seattle MC Notion on this pleasantly bumping three-track EP featuring production by MTK. Notion’s high-pitched rasp rides with admirable precision over MTK’s soulful thump, though guest MC Chev (one of the best local rappers flying under the general public’s radar) kills him on his own sh-t on the EP’s best track, “Right Here.”


DOWNLOAD: “Magic” – La feat. Chev (prod. Def Dee)

Click image for D/L link.

A new joint from the team that brought you Gravity, 206UP.COM’s best SEA hip-hop album of 2010. Def Dee and La back on their grind with, “Magic” — more of that “Golden Age with a twist.” Under-appreciated local cat Chev on the guest bars. SEALAB 2012 dropping soon from La.

Press Play to hear “Magic.” Click here to get it.


DOWNLOAD: “Culture” (Def Dee & Language Arts f/Chev)

Thus far, the best hip-hop album to fall from the Puget Sound’s gray skies in 2010 is Gravity by Def Dee and Language Arts (read 206UP.COM’s gushing Review here). Cue the album up on your headphones, close your eyes and feel yourself transported back to the early to mid-90’s when New York’s boom-bap was re-defined for an entire generation of hip-hop heads. On Gravity, Def and La have recreated that era’s sound with an affinity and attention to detail that could only come from two men weaned on Nas’ Illmatic-era cadence and the hardrock Brooklyn sensibilities of Boot Camp Clik.

The next installment in Def and La’s discography appears to be a project titled CR96X. The first single from that album is “Culture,” available now for a hundred pennies here. The crew’s Bandcamp space lists a CR96X release date of “January 13, 2011,” which, by this blogger’s estimate, is much too long an interval between albums. Here’s hoping Def and La do like Tribe and push it along.

Click image above to cop the track.