Onry Ozzborn and Portland’s IAME hop on the track “Animals,” from Sioux Falls-based producer Doze. His compilation album, Hell Is Hot As Hell, Boss, also features an appearance by Graves33. Preview and download this worthy banger below.
Dark Time Sunshine kicks off their West Coast / Southwest / Midwest tour tonight at the Vera Project in Seattle. Submit yourselves to the duo’s heady brand of Sennheiser rap; it will make for a disorienting Friday work day, the way all Friday work days should be. Their 2012 record, ANX, remains one of the most engaging listens of the last five years. Oh, and they dropped this loosie a few days ago called “No Worries.”
Vampires ain’t cute. Not for the faint of heart. Massive head wound Ninja Face. Grayskul goes harder than you. (Zenith coming soon.)
Oldominion crew pioneers Grayskul (Onry Ozzborn + JFK) have jumped the good ship Rhymesayers for the just-as-reputable indie darling Fake Four Inc. That doesn’t mean the group’s upcoming Zenith (due September 17) is any less anticipated, though. Here we have the title track which premiered today on Complex. The album version will feature Wu legend Raekwon (with whom I recently had a memorable encounter in Toronto — see below).
And now, 206UP.COM story time…
Traveling back to NYC from Toronto this past Sunday, my fiancée and I had an entertaining run-in with Raekwon the Chef. Dude was waiting patiently in the Porter Airlines lounge at TO’s downtown Billy Bishop airport. No crew. Just him, this Herschel camo duffle, and some girl who couldn’t have been a day older than 21. Whatever.
So, as I’m geeking out, we’re walking down the concourse to board the plane and my girl spies a Borden (that’s Canadian for a Benjamin) just lying there on the floor. She picks it up. We deliberate on who might’ve dropped it. The only person between us and Rae is a middle-aged white lady wearing a fanny pack — the type of lady still spending travelers checks from 1993 — the hunny clearly does not belong to her. So Claire (that’s my future wife) asks the Chef (that’s the rapper from Wu-Tang): “Excuse me, Mr. Raekwon, but is it possible you might’ve dropped some cash?” (That’s not how she asked — she used way more tact — but you get the picture.) Rae said something about, “If it was a hundred, then it was probably me,” and then proceeds to pull a wad of Canadian guap the size of Shaq’s fist from his over-sized sweatpants pocket.
Dude shakes his head. And then, “These sweatpants, man, I keep dropping everything. Receipts, cash… Thank you, thank you.” (Flashes his fronts at Claire.)
I thought about making a Plaxico Burress joke, thought better of it (thank God), and just nodded my head and grinned like the Wu fanboy I am. Fun times in the T-dot.
Also, we saw Parker Posey on the flight over, and bumped into Michael Cera in a bar last Saturday. You know we major.
Fuck. Yes. Grayskul’s long-awaited Zenith has a new release date of September __th. That’s good enough for me. “Come On” was produced by the Bay Area’s 6Fingers and the clip above directed by Trinity Webber.
The other day, as I was spinning my way through Cancer 4 Cure for, like, the umpteenth million time, it dawned on me how similar El-P and Onry Ozzborn are as lyricists. And it’s not only the bars they spit, but their aesthetic which can be deadpan as hell but still impart the notion that there’s a tortured and enraged fire burning in the depths of their respective psyches.
Anyway, I just wanted to throw that observation out there and link you, dear readers, to the new track from Onry’s crew Dark Time Sunshine: “A Walk In The Park.” This cut is a throwaway (!!!) from the duo’s upcoming ANX (July 24). I caught this drop over at Potholes a couple days ago and again yesterday via Todd Hamm in the Seattle Weekly. Click through to those posts for more insight, as they pretty much handled the commentary of this fitting look into the complex rap minds of Onry Ozzborn and Zavala.
Well, here we are. 2012. Another year, another chance for The Town to makes its indelible mark on hip-hop music country- and worldwide. I would argue 2011 saw the widest range of quality releases since I started paying extra close attention (circa 2005). Just like college basketball, parity seems to be Seattle rap’s strong suit. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to properly represent all the styles being fashioned inside (much less outside) of the area code.
But I resolve to try, dear readers, and the immediate future will present many opportunities for me to do so. Let’s start with last week’s drop from Thaddeus David (aka. Young TH of State Of The Artist). His upcoming solo mixtape, Maven, drops on 1.27.12. TH is by far the most talented of the three members of SOTA, his gravelly flow and diverse range of styles runs the anchor leg of the trio’s party-rap relay. We’re looking forward to seeing dude get out on a solo sprint with Maven. “By Any Means” is the ‘tape’s clarion call, featuring a subtle bubbling beat by LA-based Ski Team, hook by SOTA teammate Parker, and guest bars from Onry Ozzborn.
Today continues 206UP.COM’s countdown of the Top 10 Seattle Hip-Hop Albums of 2011. See yesterday’s post for the Introduction and three standout releases that didn’t quite make the cut. Today’s post features albums 10 through 6. Tomorrow (Thursday, 12.22.11) we’ll post 5 through 1. Thanks for reading!
(Click on the album covers for links to download or purchase.)
10. Dyme Def – Yuk The World
Here we have the trio of Brainstorm, S.E.V. and Fearce Villain behaving in the way we’re accustomed: Mixing top-shelf brag rap with sobering tales about growing up hard in the South End. It’s been over four years since Space Music, the area’s official introduction to the Three Bad Brothas from Renton. Since then, the crew has been missing a key component to their hustle: The production of BeanOne, whose lively trunk rattle serves as the perfect delivery vehicle for the three MCs’ sharp witticisms. Thankfully Bean is back here, providing the majority of the framework in which Dyme Def gets busy. One complaint: Yuk The World is too long, but that’s only because Dyme Def’s real voice hasn’t been heard in some time. Consider this a year-ending takeover attempt by one of the SEA’s most important groups in history.
9. Nacho Picasso – For The Glory
Emerging from a Cloud (Nice, that is) of weed smoke and comic book sound effects is Nacho Picasso. Even blazed-up and squinty-eyed this dude is more clever than your average MC, dropping punchlines quippy enough to win the affection of both your girlfriend and high-brow music publications. For The Glory‘s arrival on the scene correlates perfectly with the sonic trends going on in the greater rap arena. Production duties were handled by Blue Sky Black Death, whose hazy take on the Cloud Rap aesthetic fits in nicely next to the genre’s currently favored albums. The star here is inarguably Nacho himself, though. Holding a Marvel comic book in one hand and a Dessert Eagle in the other, the man otherwise known as The Tat in the Hat is poised to introduce his specific branch of Seattle rap to the rest of the nation.
8. Art Vandelay – They’ve Got My Number Down At The Post Office
MC Ricky Pharoe and producer Mack Formway are Art Vandelay, an affiliate of the left-of-center Black Lab Productions camp. On They’ve Got My Number Down At The Post Office they question the honesty of our government, point shotguns at their televisions and generally wonder indignantly how anyone in their right mind could see worldly goings-on as anything but a degradation of all that is beautiful and just. “Art Vandelay” is a self-delusion perpetuated by Seinfeld‘s George Costanza — a lie in the form of a heroic archetype that helps George feel better about his otherwise mundane existence. Pharoe is calling us the liars on They’ve Got My Number: We’re fools to think for even a second that anything is all good. Oh well, at least when the world begins crumbling down around us we’ll have Art Vandelay’s soundtrack playing in the background, telling us so.
7. Onry Ozzborn – Hold on for Dear Life
I think Seattle forgets how great an MC Onry Ozzborn is. That’s probably because his creative output sneaks by in the same way his monotonic flow inserts subversive social commentary and unique turns-of-phrases into our collective unconscious. Last year’s Dark Time Sunshine project with Chicago producer Zavala was the region’s rap genius lurking in the proverbial shadows. DTS was the one laughing at silly rappers driving by in rented whips, the fakers’ who used their own beautiful sisters and cousins as stand-ins for video models too expensive for their shallow pocketbooks.
Onry might not be a rich man himself, but when it comes to industry respect he has an abundance. From a musical standpoint, Hold on for Dear Life was the most experimental release from the MC to date. It played in bright electronica, post-dubstep pop and the familiar gothic gloom specific to Onry’s infamous crew, Grayskul. If and when the Seattle hip-hop weather affects other regions on a greater scale, it will be OG MC’s like Onry Ozzborn casting the tell-tale Northwest cloud cover.
6. Prometheus Brown & Bambu – Walk into a Bar
What began on mostly a freebie lark ultimately turned into this 10-track for-profit album with some of the best production value around. Prometheus Brown (known traditionally to Seattle as Geo, of course) and Los Angeles’ Bambu pay homage to their island origination on Walk into a Bar which was released on Bambu’s label (Beatrock Music) and aimed squarely at the Hawaiian Islands, a favorite tour destination for the two MCs. As per standard, Geo and Bambu choose their words carefully always using them to uplift and inform rather than degrade and dispirit. “National Treasure,” for example, is important commentary on gender politics and features a beat from Vitamin D whose drums somehow always sound bigger than everyone else’s.
Saw this over at Lar’s place. Some of us blog low-lifes don’t get hip to the new-new like Mizell do. Whatevs. Read what I had to say about Onry’s recent free full-length, NO HOAX, here. And if you like “The O O,” click here to cop the rapper’s brand new for-sale LP, Hold On For Dear Life.