Who: Rappers Milc and Brill.
Sounds like: A rap-game John Belushi busting into a church party with strippers, guns and a plate of drugs.
For fans of: Odd Future, early Eminem, Ghostface Killah, Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys, Lil B, M.O.P.
Why your care: What happens when Portland hip-hop stops being polite and starts getting nasty? Load B, that's what. A glance at the duo's album titles—Debauchery, The Scumbag Tape and the upcoming Escape From Snortlandia—gives a pretty good indication where its priorities lie. Suffice to say, these dudes are never going to be the subject of a classy photo shoot against the backdrop of the St. Johns Bridge, and that's cool with them. "Portland rap, and Northwest rap in general, it's so safe," says Ben "Milc" Johnson. "I used to listen to rap strictly because that shit made me feel dangerous." Friends from their days playing pickup basketball in North Portland, Johnson and Devin "Brill" Boss began rapping together in high school. Back then, the subject matter was less gleefully transgressive than total fantasy. "I had a million dollars in this world," Johnson says. "I was a mob boss," Boss adds. Over time, the music has become more honest to their give-no-fucks attitude—celebrating drugs, partying and general irresponsible activity—though not necessarily to their daily lives. "I don't have prostitutes in the basement cooking dope, but it sounds so fucking good," Boss says. "And as long as I continue to mix it all up, you'll never be able to tell what's real and what's not." Such antisocial behavior, real or imagined, isn't likely to go over well in a city that marches against plastic bags and genetically modified kale. But Load B isn't completely lacking a social conscience. Johnson and Boss are as concerned about the gentrification of their hometown as their peers, they just choose to address it in a different manner: Escape From Snortlandia, for instance, opens with a skit in which they crash the Portlandia set and take the cast and crew hostage. Hey, it's desperate times. And if that's too extreme for the Portland rap audience, well, you can guess what Load B thinks about that. "They don't want hip-hop unless it has a soul beat and you're calmly rapping about talking to a girl in a coffee shop," Johnson says. "Our rap is trying to blow that coffee shop the fuck up—throw a Molotov in there and piss on the ashes."
SEE IT: Load B plays Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., with Naturally Grown Misfits and Mikey Fountaine, on Thursday, Dec. 11. 9 pm. $5. 21+.