What Were the Five Greatest Trolls of Portlanders in 2018?
1. Nira Cain-N'Degeocello, the "self-hating" Reed College professor from Sacha Baron Cohen's Who Is America?, who lectured battle rappers about feminism and claims to be ashamed of his "macro-phallus."
2. Ryan Reynolds' ad for Portland-made Aviation Gin, in which the Deadpool star takes a few Portlandia-esque jabs at the city's artisanal culture, claiming the distillery's botanicals "are humanely caught, cage-free and grain-fed" and "serenaded to the healing music of Sarah McLachlan."
3. Saturday Night Live's Poddys sketch, which set an award show for podcasts in Portland. We're not sure what that's supposed to mean, but on a related note, there is a podcast festival coming in February.
4. A hoax study published in a feminist geography journal, claiming to have tallied the rate at which Portlanders intervened in over a thousand dog-on-dog sexual assaults. The hoax was co-authored by Portland State University professor Peter Boghossian, who says he does regularly visit Southeast Portland dog parks.
5. Swiggle Mandela's "Dear Willamette Week," a dis track aimed at this very paper, in which the rapper claims "we don't know shit about the streets" and suggests our writers are meth-heads. Hey, when you're right, you're right. MATTHEW SINGER.
What Were the Five Greatest Headline-Making Moments in Portland Hip-Hop?
1. The Last Artful Dodgr is featured on the new Anderson Paak album.
In November, we were gifted with the first of the Portland rapper's several high-profile collaborations—a verse on Paak's "Anywhere," which also features Snoop Dogg and was engineered by Dr. Dre. It now has over 3 million streams on Spotify.
2. Portland Hip-Hop Day Expands. In honor of founder StarChile, who died in April, the Portland Hip Hop Day lineup grew from a few artists to dozen, and featured its first-annual awards ceremony.
3. Halle Berry and Rihanna stan for Aminé. In October, Portland's biggest rap star posted a video on Instagram of Bad Girl Riri dancing to "Reel It In" off his surprise 2018 mixtape OnePointFive. A few weeks later, Halle Berry posted a montage of herself filming action sequences for John Wick: Chapter 3 soundtracked to the same song.
4. Mic Capes drops "Black Pearls." During Black History Month, Capes dropped his music video for "Black Pearls," a song inspired by the black women he grew up with. It kicks off with a poem by Portland poet Lauren Steele and features a montage of black women smiling in front of a glowing purple backdrop.
5. Wynne goes viral—again. The Lake Oswego-born rapper has blown up Twitter more than once with her sharpshooting verses, but in early December, a Twitter user posted a video of Wynne freestyling, misidentifying her as Eminem's daughter, Hailie Jade Scott. The video has since racked up 3 million views, and hundreds of comments, most of which are from Wynne fans pointing out the original poster's error. SHANNON GORMLEY.
What Were the 7 Greatest "WTF?" Stories of 2018?
1. Comedian Katt Williams is arrested at Portland International Airport in November and charged with assaulting his driver for not letting Williams' dog sit in the front-seat. He then hangs around Portland for the next month, under a court order preventing him from leaving, performing last-minute shows at Dante's and Roseland.
2. A drunken, jorts-clad Pendleton man is arrested in August for harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park. He later explains his intoxicated journey through America's national parks was a "last hurrah" before checking into rehab.
3. Federal agents attempt to disperse protestors blockading ICE headquarters in July, by blaring "Easy Street," the gratingly upbeat pop song made famous by a torture scene on The Walking Dead. Protesters decry this as psychological warfare; the feds say they were merely blasting some tunes while dining al fresco on the roof.
4. A Portland pro-skateboarder receives death threats from right-wing trolls after being misidentified in a video of a man harassing a 9/11 widow during an October protest. Days later, the actual man who spewed obscenities is identified—and fired. It is never definitively established if the woman is a 9/11 widow.
5. Protestors gather outside an Egyptian food cart after video is released in June showing the owner dousing a black customer with chili sauce—except it's the wrong food cart.
6. In February, a woman in Grants Pass becomes the first human diagnosed with eye worms, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
7. An Oregon cannabis grower in May names a strain of weed after his aunt, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. He calls it "Markle Sparkle."