AUDIO: The Golden Gun EP – La & Marcus D

La & Marcus D - The Golden Gun EP

La emerges from an extended musical absence to drop The Golden Gun EP, produced entirely by Pacific Northwest native, turned Tokyo-based label head Marcus D. The lean, polished, sample-based production suits La’s visceral street-oriented boasts and trademark strings of ill metaphors. “Killin’ n-ggas with shit I wrote in oh-ten,” is probably the most apt declaration La makes here, as his writing often feels like it could outlast any rapper in the Town. Golden Gun is only five songs long and begs for a sequel.

Audio Audio / Video

NEW MUSIC: Winter Breaks – Bop Alloy

Bop Alloy - Winter Breaks

Seattle producer Marcus D and Maryland rapper Substantial are Bop Alloy. Winter Breaks is the EP follow-up to their Kickstarter funded Another Day in the Life of… which dropped back in February. Marcus keeps a relatively low profile around the Town but his beats are accomplished pieces of boom-bap often with live instrumentation and a clear sense of composition. Winter Breaks is an inclusive celebration of (all) the Holidays.

Audio Downloads

NEW MUSIC: Simply Complex – Marcus D

Marcus D - Simply Complex

Northwest producer Marcus D has assembled some of the finest underground hip hop talent for his new full-length, Simply Complex. Funded via a Kickstarter campaign, expect more of the same refined, well-composed boom-bap you’ve already heard from the young beatmaker.


DOWNLOAD: Audio D’Oeuvres – Yirim Seck

Click album cover to download.

Man, it’s great to hear Yirim Seck hop on a fresh set of tracks. Audio D’Oeuvres is a three-song preview of the MC’s upcoming Good Eats and Sound Bites. “Crescendo” (produced by Marcus D) is the high point here (stream it below). I’ve written before that rapping comes as naturally as breathing to Yirim, and his everyman, world-weary point-of-view on 2010’s Hear Me Out made for fresh and relatable listening fare. Get Audio D’Oeuvres for free here, and make sure to keep dude on your radar.

“Crescendo” – Yirim Seck (prod. by Marcus D).


DOWNLOAD: “Focused” – Logics f/Geo & Adrian Sims

Click image for D/L link

Hot sh-t. Logics drops his best track yet with (more than) a little help from Prometheus Brown and Adrian Sims. Marcus D hooks the beat up — some of that NY grimy soul sh-t. Remarkable considering dude does his dirt in Auburn. (And I don’t mean the University.) This is essential cold air, hunched-down-in-your-bubblegoose music.

Hit Play to hear “Focused.” Hit the image for the free D/L.


DOWNLOAD: “Zom-B! Mixtape” – Micah B

Micah B is a young man with a grown-ass flow. His rhymes are all over the place (dude can’t seem to stay focused on one topic for more than a few bars) but with a voice far more mature than his age (18 years) and a co-sign by another local whiz kid, producer Marcus D, Zom-B! is an entertaining — and promising — listen. Hit the album cover below for the download link and peep the track below for a sample.

Click image for D/L link

Click to listen to “My Mind” by Micah B (prod. Marcus D)


DOWNLOAD: “Suite Sixteen” (2009 Red Bull Big Tune Finalists)

I wouldn’t personally know, because I’ve never messed with producing beats as a profession, but I can imagine being a young dude with aspirations of becoming the next DJ Premier, Just Blaze, or Jake One requires many late hours in the lab and a whole lot of hustle.

The 2009 edition of the Red Bull Big Tune featured sixteen finalists with such virtues, including two local cats, KD Cutz and Marcus D, who fully represented The Town at the Finals in Atlanta.

For the first time ever, all sixteen finalists have come together to drop a compilation album, Suite Sixteen, featuring one track from each competitor. This is a great look for these new jacks and a shining example of how much talent remains relatively undiscovered. Cop it for FREE here, or click on the album cover below.


Seattle U.N.I.T.Y. (For Now)

graffitijohnschuhHere’s a post from today by Andrew Matson (music columnist for the Seattle Times), our faithful voice of realness in the too-often watered-down mainstream media (props to Andrew!). I would second everything he said in his blog entry — the Seattle hip-hop scene is blowing up like Saint Helens in 1980!

(Someone needs to sample the corny intro song to this video. We need an official Seattle anthem. You can’t tell me Marcus D couldn’t flip that folk song into a slapper worthy of a beat battle showdown!)

This blog is still in its infancy (I just started it the first week in July). Its creation was borne from a desire to write critically and thoughtfully about hip-hop and I purposely limited its scope strictly to Seattle because the task of keeping a blog that addressed hip-hop across the nation was absolutely daunting to me. (Not to mention virtually impossible for one person working a normal nine-to-five and attempting to maintain any semblance of a life outside the Interwebs — I don’t know how Shake and Meka over at 2DOPEBOYZ do it, but they hold it down admirably!) The point is, I’m quickly realizing that with the local scene blowing up, it’s hard even keeping pace on a website that’s limited to just our town!

Like A-Mats said, it’s not just an overwhelming quantity of music, but quality, too. Not even five years ago was there a movement this firmly-rooted in The Town. In the last two and-a-half years Seattle hip-hop has blown-up like Bret Boone’s biceps in 2001. It’s like an evergreen tree on PEDs, with a strong root system, a sturdy trunk, and new branches sprouting out every which-way.

There’s even an established hierarchy — though always unspoken. The most revered and respected artists know who they are and the fans who pay close attention can identify who’s got the National Juice by the rumored record deals, the national connects, the outsourced distribution, etc., etc.

Right now, though, it’s such a love-fest that no one’s beefin’ (all you gotta do is follow the rappers’ gabbing on Twitter to see that — it’s like a virtual fraternity house on there, for real).

Likewise, nearly everyone’s write-ups in The Stranger and Seattle Weekly are favorable. Critics don’t want to offend anyone. You’ve got local venues taking cues from their investment bankers: “Diversify your hip-hop, yo!” Fresh Espresso is sharing the stage with Dyme Def on one night, while Thee Satisfaction and Fatal Lucciauno share it on another. Like I said in a previous post, everyone is eating at the same table. And (thankfully) we’ve certainly not reached a Tipping Point, where the community starts to fragment itself into cliques. This happens in other cities — granted, in ones that are usually larger than our modest hamlet. Here’s hoping it doesn’t occur in Seattle.

For now, I say we continue to enjoy ourselves. I’m still gonna bump my favorite artists faithfully. And probably offer some unfair (?) criticism of others that I don’t favor. I suppose we should all take a cue from Brainstorm and “rock out with (our) cock(s) out!” as he recommends in “I’m Gone.” (But only figuratively, please. We don’t want this to turn into a Mad Rad concert…)

Views From the Peanut Gallery