Who: Rappers Mic Capes, Glenn Waco and Rasheed Jamal.
Sounds like: Lupe Fiasco if he was a little more street; Kurupt if he was a little more conscious.
For fans of: Kendrick Lamar, Common, Earl Sweatshirt, Ab-Soul.
Why you care: Something special is happening in St. Johns. The neighborhood, as gritty as it is beautiful, has become a hub for the city's hip-hop scene, giving rise to a number of young and talented MCs painting vivid stories of life on Portland's margins. "The music is honest and transparent, and I think people really gravitate toward that," says Mic Capes, whose crew, the Resistance, is rounded out by fellow St. Johns residents Glenn Waco and Rasheed Jamal. Between them, the collective has released a number of stellar projects in the past two years—including Waco's NorthBound mixtape, Capes' Rise & Grind and Jamal's My Beautiful Ugly—all built on introspective lyricism and grimy, sample-based production. Despite their street narratives, the records are underlined by a message of positivity, which Capes says is meant to give a voice to those who aren't normally heard—in particular, Portland's African-American population. "Portland has this slogan, 'Keep Portland Weird,' but what folks won't tell you is that anything part of black culture is a little too weird for the city of Portland," Capes says. He's partly referring to the now-infamous incident at the Blue Monk on March 1, when heavy police presence ended a much-anticipated hip-hop show. Green Luck Media Group, which promoted that concert, is also putting on this show at Kelly's Olympian. If police were to show up again, Capes says it wouldn't do much to slow the Resistance. "We are still going to blow," he says. "You can't stop what is supposed to happen."
SEE IT: The Resistance plays Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., with Rey Totem and Maze Koroma, on Saturday, March 22. 9:30 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.