A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Son of Barkada

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

All You Guys

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Movement Music

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

No Motions

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Nine Six Webisode #1

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The New Flesh

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

DoNormaal EP

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Byrd's Eye View

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

SuperSquare

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Punch Drunk

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

&

Raw Sheep

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Live At Third Man Records

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

D-1000

Hmmm... There's not a lot of information about this project in the museum encyclopedia. We'd love your help! TOWN LOVE is maintained by an awesome community of passionate volunteers who keep it all up to date.

Do you know something about the history of this record? Do you have a favorite lyric or a favorite memory? Send us an email on why this is one of the great hip-hop albums from the Northwest. Thanks!

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The House Is Empty

Exactly one year ago, Saga Breeze released this excellent four-song EP, The House is Empty, available on Bandcamp. I love the way he rhymes, finding the perfect slot, though rarely on the beat or the bar that you’re expecting. Throughout this EP there are so many delightful little rhythm and sensory surprises–play this one on good headphones, and be ready to have an emotional response during the quiet ending of “Case (Momma When I Die Just Take Antidepressants).”

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Junk Food

There’s a lot of deeply cool weirdo hip-hop coming out of the Everett scene these days, evidenced by the ongoing creative dominance of the Black Magic Noize/Filthy Fingers United art collective(s). Junk Food is a self-titled 2015 full-length featuring tracks by MadShroom MC, DJ Corndogg, Araless and Vaughn This is messy, unpolished music, constantly and inventively pushing at the edges of the envelope. It’s filled with beats that shouldn’t work, but magically, they do. On “War Lords,” space synths and strangled brass find their way into an unexpectedly catchy rhythm, while the more conventional “FG Keeps Rolling” is a touching ode to that junk bucket car you love too much to part with. Interspersed throughout is a prank about corn dogs and cabbies that will leave you wanting for the punchline.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

#Blak Friday: The Mixtape

The production and the beats from Kjell Nelson on 2015’s #BlakFriday: The Mixtape span a broad landscape. Find a comfortable chair and your best pair of headphones, and listen for the horizons. Spitter Silas Blak is Seattle hip-hop royalty: Summarizing our city in sentence fragments, somehow plainspoken and abstract, both at the same time. “The Exchange” is an unexpected club banger, that’ll leave you desiring crowds and lights, in a record that otherwise surfs in solitude: “Silas at the bus stop, barking at my shadow,” he recites as a mantra towards the end of “Bus Stop.”

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Color Wheel

The anxious, cryptic, and subversive sound of Color Wheel, a 2015 release from OCnotes always felt to me like it was from a slightly different time, it sat just a little off-kilter. But then we had the election and today I realized this album was simply from the future, composed by a soothsayer. This record sounds exactly like the present, whatever day that might be. It holds your hand through 10 wide-ranging stages of grief, ending with a twirl: the danceably sensational (first club, then jazz ballet) “St. Johns Black, White, & Red Reprise.” Another gem from Homeskillet Records.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Did You Get The Message?

On his song “High Hopes,” Huey P provides some specific commentary on our current situation: “The stupidity is spreading… It is airborne and contagious.”

That’s from the third track on his highly political 2015 album, Did You Get the Message. It’s a great record for making sense of the recent election, with a reminder–via a John Lennon vocal sample–that the system hasn’t been on your side since before you were born. There’s also some unique production work here that warrants your attention, from “underwater” vocal effects to a grounding, insistent buzz that pervades several songs. Huey P was nominated for an artist-of-the-year award at the Seattle Sound Music Awards that same year.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Personal Sunlight

Last night, SassyBlack played a gorgeously hypnotic show at the laser dome. What a trip! All future hip hop shows should be performed there. She played several songs from her excellent 2015 six-track EP, Personal Sunlight, pictured here. Between weirdo synth stabs and off-kilter beats, this EP rewards patience. A song like “What’s The Sun Without The Rain” takes time to coalesce, but is a joy when you relax and let the music unfurl. This track is a particular favorite of mine, on a record full of favorites, critical of our sloth, an anthem of anti-corporate environmentalism… I find myself repeatedly singing, “They profit off our season depression.” (Also refreshing is music about more than just “makin’ it.”) Not quite hip-hop, not quite neo-jazz, with records like this, Sassy Black continues to invent new musical genres.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Cognitive Dissonance: Part II

First off, a major shout out to Jake Crocker, preternatural producer and secret weapon of Black Umbrella Music. His stark symphonic backdrops on 2014’s Cognitive Dissonance, Part II are enchanting and luxe; the perfect accompaniment to Raz Simone’s elegant storytelling and robust vocabulary. Raz punctuates the narratives with worthwhile meditations on the questionable value of pursuing money at the expense of time and natural resources. This is a record of cinematic characters, of listening to a theatrical play, evocative of a mood and a place, and a plot, the listener lounging in plush seats as the house lights dim. I’d love to see Strawberry Theatre Workshop mount this album at 12 Ave Arts as a play.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Supa Dupa (Love Affair)

Do y’all mess around with 7″ 45s? I normally can’t be bothered with them, mainly because by the time I drop the needle and get comfortable, half the side is already over. But I do have a small stockpile, and many are very weird, or rare, which makes them fun to put on when I can’t decide what to listen to next. Pictured here is one of my favorites: Supa Dupa (Love Affair), a 2015 B-side of a 7″ from THEESatisfaction. In tiny blue type, in the middle of this cover, it says “front” and on the back it says “back.” (This is the back.) The A-side is the booming bass downbeat “I Don’t Like You.” This came as a bonus release with the EarthEE vinyl. “Supa Dupa” is a gem of a track, with a danceable driving disco vibe.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Morphic Rez

Between abstract cover art and the title Morphic Rez, you might assume this to be an album of stark minimalist techno. But don’t judge Sendai Era‘s 2015 EP by its packaging alone: Tapping play reveals deft, smart, and danceable hip-hop, even when the dance floor is your living room or your morning commute. As MC Era rat-tat-tat raps on the catchy “Sense Deprivation,” this is some hella great “shit that makes you vibe with your eyes closed.” I’ve had the chance to see these guys live twice recently, and it’s always a great chance to vibe out.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Wish You Were Here

Wish You were Here is a six-track, 2015 EP from The Physics. Thematically, we find the group asking existential questions, reflecting on age and friends and lovers long gone. Musically, I was immediately struck by the heavy, propulsive drums, floor-shaking bass, and an urgent mood that differs this release from the easygoing vibe of, say, their 2012 album Tomorrow People. There’s a weight of responsibility hovering over these tracks, and in these raps, counterpointed by some gorgeous guest vocals from Shelby Taylor.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Nightfall

Nightfall is a lovely six-song EP from Porter Ray. The rapping here feels effortless, against a backdrop of dreamy, hazy jazz, like the smoke trails floating on the cover. Movie dialogue samples and verses from Cashtro and JusMoni further elevate the noir mood. Released in 2015, I splashed out and picked up this beautiful limited edition red vinyl–still available through Bandcamp–which includes an all-instrumental version on the B side. Nightfall flows as a complete work from beginning to end. Most days, like today, I find myself flipping the record over, listening to side B, and then back to A and then B again. And again.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Jump or Die

Jump or Die from DoNormaal has been making waves since its December 2015 self-release. She has a timeless sound that’s hard to place–a bit lackadaisical ’90s trip-hop, a bit ’40s Billie Holiday, and very, very contemporary 2016. When asking local musicians, friends, and readers who I should cover next in this series, this buzzy underground up-and-comer is an artist almost everyone brought up. The album is free on Soundcloud, so you should go grab it now.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Doodooloops

Jason at Spin Cycle Records handed me this vinyl and said “Just buy it. Trust me.” The samples on Didaflo‘s 2015 double LP of sample-based hip-hop, Doodooloops are just so, so… nice. They’re funny, expansive, and they fill the entire canvas. Listen to this one loud in a room all by yourself. The music is constantly morphing, but never in the direction you might expect. Gorgeous cover art. Two Seattle names show up in the credits: Specswizard and Sir Froderick.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Space > Pod < Memories

Space > Pod < Memories from Astro King Phoenix is claustrophobic and full of mystical conspiracy. Each song races along like a 100-meter dash, with most clocking in at under two minutes. The raps are dense, intense machine-gun rat-tat-tat.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Satellites, Swishers and Spaceships

One of my favorite records from 2015: Go buy yourself a copy of Jarv Dee‘s deeply funny and intensely relevant album Satellites, Swishers and Spaceships. It playfully transfixes right from the operatic overtones of “Amen” to the soulful stylings of “Mary I’m in Love,” with Jarv covering this spectrum with his confident rat-tat-tat flow. I had the honor of hanging with this cat in Alaska–he deserves all your many “text-mail” accolades.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Editorials: (wartunes)

Been spinning Silas Blak’s Editorials: (wartunes) all weekend. Gorgeous production and deep thoughts. Great head-bobbing headphone tunes. He was recently nominated for a well-deserved Genius award by The Stranger.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

EarthEE

EarthEE from THEESatisfaction is quite possibly our favorite record of all time. Writing about favorites is hard because of how much you want to say and how so much of what connects you to music is hard to define. Political, environmental, and human, this record approaches its themes in ways sublime and profound: It dives down and plumbs the vast depths of the ocean and the mind. There’s so much happening on the bottom end that this music pours out of your speakers like thick molasses, pooling on the floor.

SassyBlack and Stas Thee Boss may have ended their creative partnership, but we’ll always this magical sequence: When the dense vocal layering at the end of “Fetch/Catch” gives way to the punch-in-the-stomach drum kick of “Nature’s Candy,” and then, after a few bars of rapping, the song performs alchemy, reversing motion, escaping time. (Also, gorgeous cover by Rajni Perera and Dusty Summers.)

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

808 Punk

808 Punk is an audacious 2015 electronic punk record from hip-hop beatmaker OCnotes. He distorts and twists his Roland TR-808 drum machine in ways never intended. That’s why I love OC’s discography so much–you rarely anticipate the directions he’ll take you. “808 Punk” is filled with distorted vocals, armies of machine-gun snares, blips, and bleeps. It’s a 12-song, 21-minute burst of sonic energy, retaining a melodic core. Standout track “Valerie & Mindy” could be mistaken for a lost tune from Lou Reed. This is music that’s present and alive.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!

A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Chef Killa

Chef Killa is a 2015 mixtape from Cam The Mac. The blood spatter on the cover is accurate: These are 15 tracks of Machiavellian murder, loyalty, women, and rubber bands. But they eschew the loud, aggressive approach you might expect: songs like “Get some $” and “Rollin’ Again” are gangsta rap at half speed, full of understated, laid-back menace, quiet drums, and vocal harmonies, piano flourishes, and gentle high hat taps. “0-100 Freestyle” shows off Cam’s rap game, and is one of the many standout songs on this release, especially halfway through when the beats drop away into the sublime, slow soundscape. This is late-night, chill-out, homicide rap; calm, certain in its posturing.

Did we get it wrong? It happens. Send us an email and let's get it corrected right away!