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


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


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.


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 he finishes the show in the street.

robb banks

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Meet Dr. Goon, Portland's Representative at Damian Lillard's 4 Bar Friday Live Event in New Orleans

Blazers All-Star invites local MC to his All-Star Weekend rap battle.


The NBA calls it an All-Star "break," but Damian Lillard must not have received the memo. This weekend in New Orleans, the Blazers' reigning Rookie of the Year and Slam Magazine cover star is making history—and, most likely, a whole bunch of money for himself and his marketing team—by competing in five events, including both the All-Star and Rising Stars games, the dunk contest, the three-point ...   More
Thursday, February 13, 2014 MATTHEW SINGER


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