A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Sovereign Queendom Archives, Vol. 1

One of our favorite songs from this weird year is “Airbender,” a tune found at the halfway point on Julie-C’s stellar debut full-length. The song’s beat throws you several curveballs on the way to the finish, each one more delicious than the previous. But the moment that always catches our attention is when Julie-C’s rapid-fire verses hit a crescendo, and she concludes, “All the unknowns spontaneously spreading…” In that moment, you’ll inevitably pause and think to yourself, “Yeah, this pretty much summarizes exactly the kind of year we’re having.”

It’s ironic, then, that this artist, agitator, and cultural catalyzer presciently dropped her album in January, only weeks before this pandemic upended all our lives. (Indeed, her record release party was one of the last concerts we were at.) The Penguin Classic cover art is appropriate: The record is best digested in chapters. “Airbender” kicks off an amazing sequence of songs, so we always started there. Lone producer Intylekt shows off his 20 years of production chops here, deftly vibing and sparring against Julie-C’s formidable bars.

Support Julie-C financially by picking up the deluxe cassette edition, which comes with a ‘zine and other treats.

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