Watch Former Blazer Martell Webster's Pacific Northwest-Heavy Rap Video

Filmed in Washington, featuring a Portland rapper-producer and directed by Will Vinton's son.

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Music
Over the NBA All-Star break, Damian Lillard went on the radio and wowed the basketball blogosphere with his rhyme skills. No less an authority than MTV's Sway declared him the best rapper in the league, and most were apt to agree. But another Blazer alum has thrown his warmups onto the court. Former Portland combo guard Martell Webster, currently of the Washington Wizards, spits a bit himself, ...   More
 
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 MATTHEW SINGER

Watch Damian Lillard Prove He's the Best Rapper in the NBA

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Music
As avid Blazers fans know, Damian Lillard likes to rap.  That's not unique among NBA players, of course, but #0 takes it a step further. Ever since he came into the league, Lillard has helmed a weekly online rap battle, 4 Bar Friday, in which participants upload short verses to Instagram, with the winner chosen by the point guard himself. At last year's All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, he hosted ...   More
 
Saturday, February 14, 2015 MATTHEW SINGER

City Auditor's Office Releases Its Investigation Into Portland Police's Treatment of Hip-Hop Shows

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Music
The city's Independent Police Review has released its investigation of the Portland Police Bureau's handling of local hip-hop shows—and finds that city regulators, police officers and state liquor officials don't have a "unified policy" in dealing with concerts.  The review was sparked by a March incident where Portland-based rapper Illmaculate stormed out of his own show at the Blue Monk ...   More
 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

Hear Tope's New Album This Weekend

Listening party for Broke Boy Syndrome is this Sunday.

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Music
Local rapper Tope has had a pretty damn good year, and he hasn't even released his new album yet.  Back in January, his Erykah Badu-worshipping clip for "Take Your Time" received Twitter daps from Ms. Badu herself. Then he placed on our annual Best New Band poll for the second time in two years, as part of the duo TxE. Over the last few weeks, the teaser singles for his latest record, Broke Boy ...   More
 
Saturday, December 13, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

Once Again, A Portland Hip-Hop Show Gets Shut Down—But Not By The Cops

The Alhambra Theatre pulls the plug on Sir Michael Rocks for smoking weed and throwing water...so he finishes the show in the street.

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Music
Another hip-hop show in Portland was shut down early this past weekend—though this time, the police had nothing to do with it.  Management at Alhambra Theatre pulled the plug on a headlining performance by Sir Michael Rocks on Oct. 11, after the Illinois rapper’s tourmates “repeatedly broke venue policy and Oregon law,” according to talent buyer Chase Varga—specifically, spraying the ...   More
 
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

Crystal Ballroom Shuts Down Schoolboy Q Show Amid Structural Concerns

"Portland 2 rowdy," the rapper Tweets.

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Music
Apparently, even Portland's architecture is screwing with hip-hop shows now. Last night, a sold-out concert by Schoolboy Q at the Crystal Ballroom ended about 20 minutes into the L.A. rapper's headlining set after venue staff noticed a crack in a structural beam. The building was evacuated around 11:20 pm, sending 1,200 to 1,500 concertgoers spilling into the street.For his part, Q, who performed ...   More
 
Monday, April 14, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

An Open Letter to Portland's Music Community from Casey Jarman

Party Damage Records' co-founder and former Willamette Week Music Editor on the city's treatment of hip-hop culture.

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Music
NOTE: Casey Jarman is Willamette Week's former music editor and co-founder of Party Damage Records. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he is the managing editor of The Believer. Dear Portland, In the last month, your police department and fire marshal's office have united to target and preemptively silence artists—primarily minority artists—in your city. This isn’t conspiracy theory ...   More
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 CASEY JARMAN

Portland Cops' Treatment of Hip-Hop Shows Will Be Investigated in Wake of Blue Monk Incident

City Auditor's Office will conduct independent review.

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Music
Following last Saturday's hip-hop show at the Blue Monk—which caused headliner Illmaculate to cancel his performance in protest over excessive police presence—the City Auditor's Independent Police Review Division has announced it is launching an investigation into the Portland Police Bureau's policies toward rap-related music events and venues. On March 1, officers, including members of the ...   More
 
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

Illmaculate Declares "I Will Not Perform In This City" After Police Swarm The Blue Monk

The Portland rapper left his own show in protest.

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Music
It was supposed to be a rare meeting of two of Portland's most widely-respected MCs. Instead, it turned into yet another example of what many in the local hip-hop scene believe is an ongoing, targeted assault on rap shows by the Portland Police Bureau. Last night, celebrated battle-rapper Illmaculate—the focus of a 2009 Willamette Week cover story—was scheduled to headline the Blue Monk along with ...   More
 
Sunday, March 2, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER

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