[HIP-HOP] Terrance "Cool Nutz" Scott has been called "the ambassador of Portland hip-hop" for so long it's easy to forget he's not a self-appointed diplomat but a tough MC who earned that title. Portland Ni%#a, Scott's seventh album, is a potent reminder of Nutz the artist, even though he takes the same workmanlike approach to his music as he does his ventures outside the studio. As a rapper, Nutz is decidedly blue-collar. There's nothing showy about his rhymes, and his deep, buttery flow is almost entirely affectless, to the point he often sounds more like a community organizer addressing the city council than any sort of microphone assassin. He commands with his directness, and the unfussy production—from Lawz Spoken, Bosko, Trox and others—bolsters his no-bullshit style. Lyrically, Nutz covers a lot of ground, from sex and relationships ("She Wants to Love Me") to denomination-neutral faith ("Know God") to gun violence ("Affiliation"), all from the perspective of a veteran not afraid to act, and actively document, his age. "I'm the past and the future of it/ At 30-plus and these haters still gotta love it," he declares on the title track. And then there's his underappreciated absurdity: He disses an unnamed compatriot by comparing him to "the seeds of the cantaloupe" and brags he'll "breastfeed the kids" like he "got a titty." Who'd even think to say that? Only Cool Nutz, that's who.

SEE IT: Cool Nutz plays Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., with Illmaculate, Beejan, DJ O.G.ONE and DJ Fatboy, on Friday, Dec. 21. 9 pm. $10. 21+. Toy donations encouraged.