AUDIO: The Headspace Traveler – Sol

Sol - The Headspace Traveler

Geared toward the headphone set and those with a tendency to turn inward rather than out when confronted with life’s challenges, The Headspace Traveler finds Sol untangling recent personal conflicts, particularly in the romance department. He’s still set on remaining positive (“Ain’t Gon’ Stop”) and takes up words as arms against those who criticize that ethos (“See The End” featuring vocalist Otieno Terry). The Headspace Traveler doesn’t please on the superficial level the way Sol’s past releases have (Eyes Open, Yours Truly), but it effectively paints the picture of an artist at somewhat of a crossroads. Creative and personal lines are dissolved here and raw emotion is laid refreshingly bare.

Audio Audio / Video

AUDIO: “100 Songs” – Sol (prod. by The Zillas)

Sol - 100 Songs

Earlier this month, Sol blasted back at Raz Simone’s dual indictments, “Same Problems”/”Charged Up”, with a dramatic reminder of why the positive-minded MC remains so heavy in the Seattle rap game: Pop-minded hip-hop notwithstanding, dude can spit.

Refusing to step out of his well-paved lane, Sol dropped the catchy “100 Songs” late last week as a follow-up to his Tuesday Bitorrent barrage of 99 songs which he released for free. “100 Songs” is the advance single from Sol’s album, The Headspace Traveler due March 4. It also marks the announcement of a national tour in the same name and with a grip of dates you can see here.

2016 is looking to be major for Sol.


Audio Audio / Video

VIDEO: “Charged Up” – Raz Simone

Easier than finding eight rings in a haystack, Raz Simone emerges from his months-long social media silence to let loose some thinly veiled fury against one — shit, maybe even two* — of Seattle’s favorite rap sons.

Yes, that’s Sol’s beaming grill — the target of Raz’s barbs — right there at the beginning of Simone’s new clip, “Charged Up.” Did you happen to catch the Zilla’s “Same Problems”-referencing diss in his new track “Ain’t Gon’ Stop” on your first listen? (Uh yeah, like, we totally did too…) You certainly caught Sol executing the hack of all social media hacks (or were they??) earlier in the week, swapping out Raz’s snarling smirk with a ridiculous shot of himself in the shower, Mutombo finger-wag in effect, all like, “Gotcha Raz!Curiously the image remains on Raz’s Facebook page, which means either the internet giant is dragging its feet on relinquishing control back to Simone’s camp, or there’s something troll-y going on.

Sol shower

So is this real life? In the rapidly advancing age of media manipulation, that’s barely a question worth posing anymore. The battering ram of public discourse can unceremoniously take one fiction and hammer it into something slightly resembling fact. Is this just one massive Seattle rap troll hiding out in Fremont? Maybe. Are there better, more constructive conversations to be had? That’s a certainty. But maybe the platinum lining in this charade is a renewed conversation about the Tale of Two Rap Seattles, originally articulated by Raz in his “Same Problems” video, the very words to which Sol seems to have responded in “Ain’t Gon’ Stop.”

Rap politics, when enumerated tactfully, are often a microcosm of the body politic. And that right there is called “artistic value.” Personally? I’m waiting for one of these cats to declare a run for City Council. Then we really gon’ see.

*That could only be one man’s Volvo Raz is talking about, right?

Audio / Video Video

VIDEO: “Ain’t Gon’ Stop” – Sol (dir. by Noah Porter)

Sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and make the film nerds wild out, Sol’s new video for “Ain’t Gon’ Stop” is one take — literally — of a lovely day spent with good music and good friends. Directed by Noah Porter.

Audio / Video Video

AUDIO: “Back 2 U (Zillas Remix)” – Sisters (feat. Sol)

Back 2 U - Sisters feat Sol

Seattle indie favorite Sisters gets remixed by Sol and his production team, the Zillas. “Back 2 U (Zillas Remix)” debuted on the venerable Okayplayer a few days ago. The soulful pop sensibilities of Sisters plays well with Sol’s introspective lyrics and sharp, in-the-pocket delivery.

Audio Audio / Video

LIVE COVERAGE: Seattle Hip-Hop at Sasquatch! 2015

Sasquatch! | The Gorge | May 22-25, 2015

Photos by Rafael Ochoa.

Armed with a press pass for the weekend, 206UP sent our intrepid photographer Rafael Ochoa into the Sasquatch! fray. He emerged exhausted and sunburned, but triumphant in his efforts to grab some dope shots of Seattle hip-hop artists doing their thing. Check it out below.

Live Coverage Photos

VIDEO: “People” – Sol (dir. by Noah Porter)

Sol and director Noah Porter released the video for “People,” one of two songs from the rapper’s mid-February double single release, “People/Pages.” This well-shot, dramatic clip finds Sol mired in an existential crisis of sorts, torn between a desire for solitude and human companionship.

Audio / Video Video

AUDIO: “People” & “Pages” – Sol

Sol - People Pages

Rapper Sol emerges today from a self-admitted creative drought with two new tracks produced by his squad Nima Skeemz and Elan Wright. On “People” and “Pages” Sol addresses the redemptive roles that his folks and his process contributed in pulling him out of his funk. The tracks are equal parts well-crafted hip-hop and heartfelt confessionals. It’s nice to hear from dude again.

Audio Audio / Video

NEW MUSIC: “Action Figures (Remix)” – Sam Lachow (feat. Mario Sweet & Sol)

Sam Lachow - Action Figures Part 2

Sam Lachow’s glistening Seattle summer anthem gets the remix treatment courtesy of himself, co-producer John Martin and local favorite Sol. Mario Sweet is still around as well to provide the necessary back-up vocals. Grab Sam’s excellent Huckleberry, here, and watch the video for the original album version of “Action Figures” below.