GMK’s Winter in Cali

GMK’s Songs For Bloggers was proof positive that this young rapper is also a talented-beyond-his-years producer. In the same vein as Tay Sean, futuristic hip-hop with a funk bent is on the right track in Seattle as long as it stays in the hands of these two artists.

Listen to GMK’s new song, “Show You” (featuring Young Murph and Choice) here. The Golden Mic King has (temporarily?) relocated to California, and it shows. This track has Cali sunshine and beach sand all over it. A warm treat for those of us stuck in the doldrums of a Northwest (and Northeast) winter.


Tone Loc’ed

seattle wingNo one captures the spirit of hip-hop on film quite like Tone. Here’s his latest entry from Seattle, a particularly stunning photo essay featuring some of our favorite artists, local spots, and regular townsfolk doing their thing in our fair city.

backstageBackstage somewhere. The groupies must be hidden off-camera. Just kidding — Macklemore and GMK are too gentlemanly for that.


REVIEW: Songs for Bloggers (GMK)

gmk songs for bloggersApparently rapper GMK wrote this album just for people like me (or maybe you, Dear Reader) who happen to spend a large amount of time surfing through cyberspace on their blog/twitter/facebook/myspace hustles. Songs for Bloggers is a quirky, concept album that spends most of its short 30 minutes bleeping and blipping through the realms of GMK’s “brilliant reality” which, according to the album, seems to be that alternate reality we humans spend so much time existing in these days: the World Wide Web.

Bump-this-sh*t-in-your-ride music, this is not. GMK has made an offbeat hip-hop album that veers into electronic and synth-pop territory. It’s interesting to listen to, if not a tad inaccessible at times for this hip-hop fan’s tastes. The beats are a little Kanye-ish (when he’s on his electro-synth vibe) combined with a tad of Pharrell (when he’s paying proper attention to the mixing boards and not checking his over-sized ego). In fact, the sound generally reminded me of Pharrell’s In My Mind, but with way more competent emceeing.

GMK sounds a little like Lupe Fiasco without the swag that grows naturally from mic/life experience. The cat’s still early in the game though so there’s lots of time for development. Rhyme topics are as follows: video games, cartoons, surfing the internet, and, of course, blogging. The album is broken down into six total tracks, but four of those contain multiple mini-songs/concepts spliced together. The framework of those four tracks is interesting. I was kind of annoyed at first with the structure, but ultimately came to appreciate it. The bits of music mimic the very nature of surfing the internet, with the constant clicking and refreshing. Props to GMK for capturing that vibe in the album’s format.

My favorite/least-favorite track is one of those conceptual bits called “Japanese Whislte” (as it’s spelled on the iTunes track listing — I presume it should be “Whistle”). On this song, GMK raps about an online romance with a shorty from Japan. It’s funny because of how ignorant it is. He wants her to make him sushi, compliments her on her Hello Kitty dolls, and asks if she will be his “geisha.” Familiar territory for freaky Asian fetishists certainly, but it’s mostly cute and relatively harmless musings on a song by a dude who maybe has never been to Japan. Here’s hoping GMK makes a trip someday.

Pick this album up on iTunes for only $5.94. It’s probably worth it if you want something different to charm your ears with for a while. Otherwise, sample his music on Myspace and decide if you’re ready to invest in a young rapper just starting to find his way through cyberspace.

More GMK:

Here’s an offbeat road-trip with an offbeat emcee. GMK and Sound Magazine take a trip to an animal farm somewhere on the peninsula. I’m not even kidding…

<object width=”400″ height=”270″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”;;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1&#8243; /><embed src=”;;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1&#8243; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”270″></embed></object><p><a href=”″>GMK on the road with Sound Magazine</a> from <a href=”″>GMK</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Aaaarrggh! I’m so fed-up with embed codes that don’t work (White Whine, anyone?). Check the video here.

Album Reviews

My Hands is Full

Yo. Back on the blog after a few days’ absence.

What began as an ambitious endeavor (the genesis of yet another 206-dedicated hip-hop blog) turned quickly from a new labor of love into straight-up work. A regular nine-to-five coupled with two blogs (I keep a personal one as well, but I’ll never tell you where it is!) is nearly too much to manage, especially if you are a notoriously slow writer like me.

But anyway, I just read Charles Mudede’s column in The Stranger (titled “Renewed School”), in which he summarizes the year thus far in Seattle hip-hop, calling it the “most important” since 2005 (uhh, wasn’t that only like four years ago?). And, while I very rarely agree with the majority of what Chuck says, I still hold his opinions valuable and let them help shape what I am currently pumping into my ears.

That being said, I’ve only sampled a couple of the albums he mentions among the best of ’09, and certainly haven’t listened to enough to formulate adequate reviews. (For example, I’m super late to the boat on Fresh Espresso’s debut, Glamour, as well as Khingz’s From Slaveships to Spaceships, two local releases that are, for better or worse, very important to the 206 scene this year.) I’m an amateur operation here, yo! I already have my hands full with the new Grynch and Physics EPs!

Anyway, I’m going to take Mudede’s advice to heart and go “cop these joints” (to use the parlance of our times) and, after so doing, submit proper reviews. But first I think I’m ‘a start with GMK’s Songs for Bloggers. It’s short and sweet and only costs $5.94 on iTunes. (Anyone wanna hit me with freebies?? Pretty please??) I’ll be back later with my thoughts. Until then, tell your friends!


Views From the Peanut Gallery