This summer has been a good one for the Portland hip-hop scene. It saw a new generation of talented local MCs put out a number of quality projects, like Cassow’s well-rounded Future Classic and Myke Bogan’s meditative So Long South Dakota. And, it saw some of the scene’s veterans further establish themselves (shout out to Cool Nutz for signing to Suburban Noize; shout out to Luck-One for not retiring).
One thing it has not provided yet, however, is a feel-good summer jam, which it’s usually good for.
Have no fear, though. As most Portlanders know, September around here is more of a summer month than June, meaning we still have a couple weeks of sunshine left. It also means that “Everything’s OK,” a smile-inducing breeze of nostalgia by Portland rapper Jay Child, can still be bumped outside at a barbecue or on a basketball court, where it’s meant to be played.
With its fluttery piano line and uplifting lyrics, the song makes you feel all types of good. Jay speaks from the heart about the challenges of growing up in Portland (“that’s the rose city, where it’s hard to blossom") but does so with a smile on his face, assuring that things around here usually have a way of working themselves out.
By the time the song’s heavy layer of strings comes in and the chorus -- sung by the impressive Kimberly Monique -- hits, there’s a high chance you’ll be humming along with it. And the video, which features Jay getting pelted by a large number of water balloons and looking slightly concussed afterward, is a throwback to his childhood summers spent on the city’s eastside.
I’ll be bumping this right up until the rain hits.