Portland hip-hop has always had a tough time getting respect. At one point in the 1990s, hip-hop acts were even banned from performing in downtown venues. This is a shame, because over the years, the local scene has produced a number of quality records, reflective of the beauty, pain and spirituality of life in the Rose City. Many of these albums now sit at the bottom of dusty bins at record stores around town. As the third annual Northwest Hip-Hop Festival kicks off this week, here is a short list of five lost Portland rap gems that deserve rediscovery.

Grassrootz, Uncharted Regions (1995)


G-Ism and Cool Nutz, On a Mission (1998)

On a Mission

Five Fingers of Funk, About Time (1998)

About Time

Proz & Conz, Posanegavybe (1999) 


Madgesdiq, The Rebirth (2002)


SEE IT: Northwest Hip-Hop Fest 3, featuring Oldominion, Cool Nutz, Josh Martinez, Cassow and more, is at Ash Street Saloon (225 SW Ash St.) and Kelly’s Olympian (426 SW Washington St.) Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 5-7. 8 pm. 21+. See nwhiphopfest.com for ticket information.