A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2017
A few years ago I visited Alaska and was quite struck by native stories of the Raven, a mighty trickster bird who can imitate a wide variety of human voices. I have all these recordings I made on my iPhone while walking through the woods because the bird calls were so incomprehensible. You walk through the forest and you hear these sounds that you struggle to describe. This brings me to Seattle’s own musical trickster, Raven Hollywood. His 2016 record, Disco Christ, was one of my favorites of the year, commandingly straddling multiple genres, defiantly refusing to be classified, and similarly incomprehensible in all the best ways. I love music that manages to be both playful and this daring. In August of this year, he dropped GREY NEON. I’m at a loss for how to describe it, short of saying you should immediately go to SoundCloud and listen for yourself. Some future generations of sad kids will sing this version of “happy birthday” at their sad parties. You’ll want to hold hands with a loved one while you both sweetly sing along to “snakes in the moonlight.” The track “headed down” manages to sample one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs while sounding completely fresh. “sad sack” is a loop? As far as the musical composition of the chorus of “wounded teenager,” we currently lack the tools to notate on sheet music how this would be played by other humans. Both Wolftone and AJ Suede add their musical gifts.