A handful of items of note from the local hip-hop world, in case you, like me, are bad at Twitter. Seriously, I can't remember a time when this much good stuff was pending or seeing release all at the same time, so I had to give it one big rundown. Lots of free music here, so get your ears and your clicking-finger ready.
But first, two items:
1. I have very specifically avoided chiming in on the Luck-One/DJ Chill beef and the lower-key and funnier Cool Nutz/Zebulon Dak beef, but seeing as how this is a round-up of what's new in local hip-hop, I should probably acknowledge them. If you'd like to read more, We Out Here (which has become a pretty sweet resource for all things NW hip-hop as of late) has covered both the former and the latter.
2. The Fix, which has brought some of hip-hop's biggest stars to Portland and raised the bar for local dance nights, is hanging up its hat after an amazing five-year run. I ran into Rev. Shines whilst crate-digging the other night, and he said that while it will be weird to let The Fix go, now feels like the right time. The last installment is on March 1 at Someday Lounge, and it will feature returning legend Maseo of De La Soul as well as influential DJ Rich Medina. And if you have even a passing interest in any of this stuff, you should be there. Fix co-founder Ohmega Watts will also be on hand. I found this video from the early days, and I think it makes a fitting little tribute (also, Shines has lost some weight since then!).
IN OTHER NEWS...
Illmaculate talks about his Willamette Week-centric accomplishments in a new track.
This beat is epic. And while Illmac spends the first chunk of the tune talking about local support (you're welcome, keep pushing), the song actually kicks into fine form around the 90 second mark. I believe that good things are coming for Illmac, and I can't wait to hear them. His record, Skrill Talk, comes out April 17.
Chicharones release new mixtape Por Que? Pork Eh on Bandcamp.
You can hear it here. The disc precedes a new offering from the Chichis—the synth-tastic Swine Flew—and it's basically a tribute to Top 40 hits from the past 25 years or so. The Chichis have a very, uh, specific sense of humor, and I have no idea what the reaction to this one will be. Still, as concept mixtapes go, this one is recently ambitious. Picks: "Passin' Guys Like Me By," a pretty inventive mash-up of a Chicharones hit and a Pharcyde jam; the Fresh Prince-cribbing "Summertime," which talks a bit about the Portland summers; and "Paid In Full," a loving tribute to Erik B. and Rakim. Keep keepin' it weird, boys.
TxE and Frsh Slcts release free full-length, We Get It In True.
You can get it here. So far, both these album titles need commas in them. Anywhoo, the new TxE record is serving me quite well on first listen, and features a handful of guest spots from Illmaculate (and I think everybody knows how I feel about Illmac already). Picks: "Get it Back" is a banger; "Ruben Patterson" is named after one of my all-time favorite Jail Blazers; "The Basics" has a cool and instructive flow that showcases just how far these guys have come.
Luck-One leaks two tracks from his forthcoming disc, Beautiful Music Part Two.
You can get them over at Soundcloud. The disc, BM2 for short (even though that sounds kinda nasty), is kind nasty. And by that I mean that it's the best thing Luck has ever done. Not all the tracks on the disc have the radio-ready feel that "Murderers" does—hear it below—but the disc is definitely an example of Luck stepping outside the box and then smashing the shit out of the box. Very, very good stuff.
IAME teams with Smoke M2D6 for new hot ish.
Listen/download here. That's one of my favorite Northwest rappers and one of my favorite Northwest producers coming together for a new cut that's heavy on the swagger and the buzz. IAME's next disc will be called Lame$tream.
Calvin Valentine steps up his car game in new video.
The Portland beatmaker/MC cracks some crab in this classy new shoot. I thought it might all be leading up to some big joke, but nope, Calvin and his entourage of stubbly pals thought they'd get all fancy for a day and shoot some black and white video. Nothing wrong with that.
Cassow is next?
At least, his is the name I've been hearing more than anyone else's as of late. The one live performance I caught seemed an exceptionally awkward setting, so I'm witholding any judgement just yet. These two brief clips—the first one is a rapping-centric excerpt from the Oregoon mixtape (a video for Mikey Vegaz's bit of this song is right here), whilst the second focuses more on sexing—serve as an introduction.
Sapient previews new material on YouTube.
One of the area's most consistent (and prolific) MC/producers sounds in fine form on this cut from the forthcoming Gunwings album. Gunwings makes me think of one of those top-down arcade shooters from the early '90s.