Seattle hip-hop chosen son Gabriel Teodros celebrated the release of his new full-length album, Evidence Of Things Not Seen, last night at the Columbia City Theater. The show also featured Draze, Xperience, DJ/producer EarDr.Umz, and one very special (and very famous) guest — hit the jump to find out who. Photographer Rafael Ochoa attended on behalf of 206UP.
Open Mike Eagle has described his brand of hip-hop as “art rap,” while typically being classified as an “alternative rapper.” While the art rap stamp rings true, I would beg to differ that what Eagle brings to the table is “alternative.” Or, if it is, everyone else needs to change the way they think and talk about rap moving forward because what Eagle offers should be the norm. What you get from Mike Eagle is everything rap ought to be: witty intelligence, great flow, comedic value, punch lines that make you think twice, and good supporting beats.
Normally I hate describing certain music as “smart” for the same reason I detest describing people as “nice.” More often than not these terms are lacking. However, since the word “smart” means “Having or showing quick witted intelligence,” there really is no better way to sum up what Eagle brings to the table. Clad in earth tones and a turquoise wood medallion, unassuming, thoughtful and reverent to the rap task at hand, Open Mike Eagle began his show at Columbia City Theater last Saturday night by
wafting scented oil into the air tracing an unknown word in the air while holding a figurine, facing East to pray, and passing around a golden crown for the audience to touch before starting his set. This was a dope way to establish energy in the room while also alerting the audience to just how important his particular craft is to him.
Eagle has a smooth voice and cool delivery, and he clearly loves performing his well-crafted bars. Not one to move about on stage or call too much attention to himself, he leaves room for what is most important: his raps. He made intense eye contact with the crowd, was very personable, and not over-confident, even though his skills justify any bragging he might do about his own dopeness. Instead of all the bravado that rap is accustomed to, he just stood and delivered, song after song. Eagle pulled off something rare by making heavy social commentary without sounding like a show off.
We are a beleaguered nation. It’s hard to imagine attending a hip-hop show this week in any sort of celebratory fashion, but yet here we are, left to find some amount of solace in a form of music with blessedly curative properties.
Open Mike Eagle might just be the right man at the right time to help Seattle heal through the fog of the nation’s ongoing race war. The native Chicagoan — and now Hellfyre Club affiliated, Los Angeles-based rapper — brings his distinct comedic hip-hop steez to the Columbia City Theater this Saturday, August 23. Mike pushes an absurdist/satirical edge in the same vein as Das Racist, but with far more coherent lyricism. Stream his recent Mello Music offering, Dark Comedy, below, and watch the video for “Doug Stamper (Advice Raps)” featuring the oft-hilarious Hannibal Buress.
And oh yeah, 206UP will help get you and one guest to the show in style. Our ticket giveaway* features a V.I.P. package that includes a chartered ride from your house (inside the Seattle city-limits only) and backstage passes. Enter to win using the form below.
clipping. is a genre-bending hip hop trio from Southern California who will undoubtedly challenge your aural senses and very idea of what rap music is capable of sounding like. Their Sub Pop debut album, CLPPNG, has been stirring a fair amount of online buzz since its release on June 10th. The group’s sound, courtesy of producers Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, falls somewhere between a stripped-down version of Hank Shocklee’s Bomb Squad histrionics and the Neptunes, circa Hell Hath No Fury. And lead rapper Daveed Diggs sounds like a street-seasoned spoken word poet channeling Ice-T. clipping. may not be everyone’s cup of coffee, but by listening you are guaranteed to feel some sort of way, and that alone means something in a rap landscape otherwise roamed by clowns and clones.
206UP has two pairs of tickets to see clipping. on Thursday, July 3, at the Columbia City Theater (21+ only). Joining them in support will be Seattle’s very own OC Notes and Sneak Guapo, two artists that this blog rides for consistently. Enter to win a pair of tickets by filling out the form below (one entry per person) or by shooting us a tweet (@206upBlog) with the words “CLIPPING RINGS THE ALARM!” in the body of the text. Two names will be drawn at random and notified by email on Wednesday, July 2 no later than 5 pm PST.
Stream a few of clipping.’s tracks below and check out the lyric video for “Work Work” (featuring Cocc Pistol Cree) from CLPPNG.
Plan your Saturday evening around this outstanding lineup, and enter to win a pair of tickets from 206UP.COM and the good folks at Columbia City Theater! It’s easy: just send your boy (that’s me) an email with “Tanya Morgan Giveaway” in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit me up on Twitter with the same. I’ll throw your name in a hat and pick a winner at random no later than Friday (8/27) at 5 pm PST. Now, peep the flyer and read what I have to say about Tanya Morgan!
Tanya Morgan is a rap group. And, atypical name aside, they might just sound like the closest thing hip-hop has nowadays to A Tribe Called Quest. You might cry “Blasphemy!” and you’d probably be right, but it doesn’t change the fact that TM’s stellar 2009 LP, Brooklynati, captures the spirit of Quest in their heyday.
Judge for yourself this Saturday (8/28) at Columbia City Theater. Joining TM will be local crews Def Dee and Language Arts (originators of what 206UP.COM still thinks is the best Seattle hip-hop album of 2010, Gravity), and City Hall (a South Sound crew composed of EvergreenOne, Todd Sykes and DJ Slimrock). The whole party-rocking affair will be hosted by Prometheus Brown and feature a DJ set by Town stalwart Larry Mizell, Jr. Enter to win tickets on 206UP.COM or go cop ’em, here, then thank the loyal folks at Member’s Only for putting on what might be the best night of your life.
Here’s the video for “So Damn Down,” off Brooklynati: