A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Tagsibol

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

Life of A Salesman

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

2 for 5

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

Trappy Gilmore 2

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

Trappy Gilmore

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

Soon Enough

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

Keep the Peace

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

Nap Town

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 Anniversary 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

Momma's Basement

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 Town Love Hip-Hop Awards

At the start of January 2019, Crane City Music invited Seattle’s hip-hop community to pick their favorite WA state hip-hop records from the past year in a public vote. A total of 267 records were in contention for the top prize. A total of 5,498 votes were cast. Parisalexa’s Bloom took home the top prize, narrowly beating out Kung Foo Grip’s 2KFG and Travis Thompson’s YOUGOOD?

The top 20 winners were revealed via an elaborate laser show countdown event held in February at the Pacific Science Center Laser Dome in Seattle. The laser show itself was choreographed by Joseph Reid and Gary Campbell. The event opened with a playlist of ’90s Seattle hip-hop and a short tribute to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s legacy and the 30th anniversary of his debut, SWASS.

A 14-minute film was made by Taylor Hart that captures highlights from the night.

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 Coolout Legacy

NYC filmmaker Georgio Brown moved to the Northwest in the early ’90s. In 1991, along with VJ D, he founded The Coolout Network, a public access show on cable television that would record the evolution of Seattle’s early hip-hop scene. As Georgio says at the beginning of this film, “we went to the community centers, parks, schools, clubs… Every place that hip-hop was happening… We wanted to cover it.” They certainly did. Coolout ran for 16 years on television, from 1991 until 2007. Various forms of the project continue online to this day.

This particular film, The Coolout Legacy was made by Georgio Brown himself. He narrates and reflects on the impact of the show and its importance to our local hip-hop community.

There’s vintage footage here galore: A teenage Funk Daddy shows off a trophy “taller than me” that he won at a DJ contest, before showing us some of the moves that earned him the victory. Laura “Piece” Kelley addresses the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated rap scene. She often faces the insult that “she can rap pretty good for a girl.” But she replies, “I rap good for the world… And I don’t rap good. I rap well.”

Rapper H-Bomb heaps some well-deserved praise on Specswizard: “Nobody’s been doing hip-hop in Seattle longer than Specs.” We then catch up with the ‘Wizard and he shares a book of graffiti sketches from ’93. The late, great J. Moore shares his wisdom for success and acknowledges the importance of that Coolout played in “coalescing a scene.”

There are numerous live performances and freestyles of Seattle legends in their early days, as well as national acts like Mary J. Blige and Leaders of The New School. Brown talks about encouraging young artists who bravely stand on a stage with a mic and bear their truths. It’s hard. But with Coolout filming you, “every little victory helps,” adds Ghetto Chilldren’s B-Self.

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

Human Use of Human Beings

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

Reckless Endangerment

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked Reckless Endangerment as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2019, saying:

With his major-label follow-up to last year’s confessional YOUGOOD? the unofficial mayor of Burien steps up the swagger on his first album with Epic Records. There are still plenty of easy-swinging reflective moments, like the strings-laced title track and the Ben Zaidi-assisted “Malice.” But where the darker YOUGOOD? delved into the head trip he experienced facing pressure to keep his momentum going, here Thompson channels those emotions into more upbeat heaters, ready to blow car stereos from Ambaum Boulevard to Aurora. Thompson’s syllable-stuffing bars and effortless melodies are strong enough to bridge hip-hop’s generational divide, solidifying his place in the Seattle rap canon. While tacitly welcoming Thompson to the club, guest verses from mentor Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and Geo of Blue Scholars on the mic-passing “Glass Ceiling” contribute to the hardest-hitting Seattle anthem since “Posse on Broadway.”

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

Fantasmagoría

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked Fantasmagoría as the very best Seattle album of 2019, saying:

Talk about a record worth the wait. Three years ago (an eternity in streaming-era hip-hop), the real-life Olivia Hatfield, who previously performed as avant-soul singer Aeon Fux, released the well-received Black Trash, White House — wielding bilingual bars and Latin American influences — and became a club-circuit fixture. An experimental current has long coursed through a faction of Seattle’s eclectic hip-hop scene, one Guayaba gravitated toward alongside fellow Seattle favorites DoNormaal and Taylar Elizza Beth. But with this month-old alt-rap opus, the Tacoma-based rapper/singer has become a creative leader among this vibrant left-of-center coterie. A hair-raising uneasiness runs throughout the album, from the spooky cathedral intro that could open a Cradle of Filth album (not a total shocker coming from this former metal singer) to the horror-flick murder screams that dissolve into a Billie Holiday cover. Beguiling string arrangements drift over lurching click-clacks, with Guayaba shifting between bewitched low-register raps and devil’s-choir vocals across this haunted-to-perfection dreamscape. (Or should we say nightmare?) Fantasmagoría is a rabbit hole you absolutely want to fall down.

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

IDXI

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

Nervous Hvnd

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

Dream Surfer

J’Von is a hella-talented romantic wordsmith, layering raps and vocals atop an atomized, 8-bit backdrop of guitars and bleeps and bloops. (He also draws his own anime-inspired cover art and videos.) Pot Holes In My Blog praises how Dream Surfer “weaves through loopy video game beats while spilling thoughts on love, lust, wants, needs and dreams.” Respect My Region adds that he’s “able to capture the feeling of childhood innocence in his daydream-esque instrumentals.” KEXP’s blog dropped a lengthy profile in October, stating that “J’Von is a force to be reckoned with.”

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

Damaged By System

Falon Sierra took out a a half-page ad in The Stranger to announce the release of Damaged By System. The latest five-track EP from the “R&B Tomboy Princess” is about “the hurt that we create for ourselves, & how we are our own worst…” Queerspace Magazine praises its “dreamy lyrics, smooth vocals, and intriguing melodies that keep the music varied but never disjointed.” Her strong singing voice is set against reggae and indie-rock influences, provided by producers Lucy Christo, Noo Makes Music, and Akira Gautama.

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 Kong Quest

This fascinating project from music duo Shubzilla and Bill Beats samples heavily—as the record’s name might suggest—from classic SNES Donkey Kong games. Atop a retro ‘80s foundation, both in samples and the resulting boom-bap beats, Shubzilla raps with honesty about her challenges being a new mother, her exhaustion, and anxieties. In their review, Scratched Vinyl notes how the lyrics also explore “the daily micro and macro aggressions that come with being a Filipino American woman.”

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

In The Meantime

Two years after making waves under the name Misundvrstood, this talented rapper signed a deal with Warner/Chappell Music and reemerged as Lazā. Kube 93.3 declared her one of the top “Local Artists You Should Know,” while Respect My Region says she’s “a diamond: tough as shit but with confident, smooth and silky delivery.” Her debut record is a trap odyssey, an auto-tuned eight-song blast clocking in under 20 minutes. It’s supported by heavyweights Ellis Prescott and Souf Souf’s $hotta Pi$tol, and was executive produced by the magic of Ruby Room’s Nima Skeemz.

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

Ancient Mahogany Gold

I’ve found Ancient Mahogany Gold sounds best on a patient, quiet morning when its honest affirmations caress your ears at the start of a new day. KEXP says this is a record about “being true to yourself,” while Alternative Sound describes the lyrics as “empowering, energizing, and comforting.” Bandcamp declared this one of their “Albums of the Day” and The Stranger says “you’ll find yourself absentmindedly offering support to your neglected inner child.” This record of personal ritual fittingly debuted alongside a custom SassyBlack cannabis blend.

Here’s another take:

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked Ancient Mahogany Gold as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2019, saying:

“I’m from space, I’m not from this earth,” professes Seattle’s cosmic R&B queen on funky, synth-clunking album closer “Black Excellence.” We’re inclined to believe her. The third solo album from THEESatisfaction alum SassyBlack is likely to send body and mind (not necessarily together) into the thermosphere with the wavy synths and nimble bass lines of the aptly titled “Sweet Vibes” and starry glider “Depression.” It’s no wonder her holistic new record, born into the galaxy this fall, inspired a cannabis oil of the same name.

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

613 EP

The 613 EP is a reemergence of sorts: Her name change from PSA (“Pop Star Archie”) to simply ARCHIE was intentional. As the sequel to her much-hyped Debutante EP from last year, ARCHIE explained to KEXP, it was time to “take ownership of her art,” and remove the separation between ‘Pop Star’ and herself. The Stranger highlights the “bombastic dance music and swirling triphop production” on this four-song project, while Artist Home says “her voice is disarmingly intimate.” Elicit Magazine adds that “her roster of pop bangers are expertly supplemented with hip-hop influences.”

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

Shorty Fresco

Shorty Fresco started as a series of relaxed summertime jams between Kung Foo Grip’s Greg Cypher and soul vocalist Jamel Moxey, both of them singing and rapping over beats from producer Grimeshine. Respect My Region says the result sounds like “a couple of homies spitting hot bars over a dope beat,” while The Stranger describes it as “an interesting mix of swirling, heavily indica beats on which Cypher and Moxey deftly dance around each other.” Either way, save this for those days when you wish you could hang on a lawn under blue skies that go on for days.

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

Ripening

Two years ago, Taylar Elizza Beth was at the center of Seattle’s hip-hop map: Her five-song Fresh Cut Flowers EP was widely acclaimed, and fans clamored for more of her quiet, smokey rapping style. After absconding to LA to reset and reflect, she returned with new power in 2019, playing to sold-out crowds at Capitol Hill Block Party and dropping Ripening, her full-length debut. The Bops & Flops blog highlights the “bouncy, sparse production” supplied by Tacoma superstar Khris P. and TEB’s “lightweight brush-off tracks.” Welcome back.

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

Mellow Dramatic

Mellow Dramatic is a stellar vinyl release from Bellingham beatmaker Klefto. This instrumental album samples heavily from soul and jazz, and is head-bobbingly groovy, with sweet drum hits, entrancing pianos, and MPC magic. (Plus at least one Kendrick lift.) The center label playfully explains, “Do not make illegal copies of this record. We already did enough illegal shit going into the making of this record.” Like all great beat tapes, it’s a tad too short, so when it ends you flip it over and listen through a second time. Hit up this dude for fresh beats.

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

Make Moves Volume 1

In September, Tacoma’s Noo finally released this collection of work he’s been sprinkling on SoundCloud over the past year or so. He wrote all these chill, autobiographical and groovy beats and bars himself, and is a talented marketing guru, too. On the album closer, “Black Enterprise,” he lays out his formula for success, and, indeed, this record dropped with deft coordinated intention: An appearance on KEXP, a release show at Cafe Red, a large limited-edition merch collection, and a video for lead single “Stick To The Plan.”

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

Cause & Effect

DJ Marco Collins says “Gifted Gab got serious AF on this,” while HipHopDX says it simply: “Gifted Gab is DANGEROUS.” Spark your best blunt before spinning Cause & Effect, a premium strain opus with no features, and a lone producer, Antwon Vinson. Shining a light on both sides of Gab’s singular style, mixing complexity with wit, confidence with seduction. Half of the album is hard-hitting gangsta murder music, while the flip is effortlessly smooth R&B for the afterparty, for when you’re up close and personal. This year, it was released on limited-edition vinyl as volume 4 in the Crane City Music collection.

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

&

TS AND THE S

Released only on cassette and Bandcamp, TS and The S is a record that’s definitely worth tracking down. The Stranger describes it as “hip-hop for introverts who want to get out of their heads,” while KEXP praises the “innovative, widescreen, outer-galactic beats that sample heavily from ’70s-era psychedelic and reggae/dub records.” This collaboration came as a result of the Swan’s crate-digging in Kingston, Jamaica, and subsequent chopping and flipping of reggae into unexpected hip-hop that sounds wild and spectacular.

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

&

Symmetry

The 2010 album Gravity from Def Dee & LA is considered by many to be one of the greatest-ever records in Seattle hip-hop. Ten years later, we’re treated to a sequel of sorts. Symmetry reunites these two talented collaborators. The Biggest Podcast calls them “the dynamic duo.” This too-short EP features LA’s speed bag bars against a backdrop of the boundary-pushing boom-bap that Def Dee is known for. Songs hit the ground running and end equally abruptly. There’s conciseness, conviction, and immediacy that easily sets this record above the rest.

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

BLEU

BLEU, the fourth record from Dave B, explores the anxieties of adulthood in our social media-drenched new millennium. It’s a deep, witty, and contemplative scroll through frustration and love. DJ Booth says that “Dave B’s rhymes call to mind the artfully constructed schemes of both mixtape-era Chance The Rapper and Aminé,” while The Stranger summarizes it thusly: “Witty lyrics, soulful singing, incisive rapping, and excellent production: BLEU is really fucking good.”

Here’s another take:

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked BLEU as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2019, saying:

With his fourth album, the proven emcee further bolsters his credentials as one of Seattle hip-hop’s top dual threats, splicing gospel-splashed singing passages into his nasally bars with aplomb. The 10-track introspective journey carries nods to late Seattle luminaries Kari Ca$h and J. Moore, with Dave’s unflappable flow belying the internal tension in his lyrics.

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

Blake Anthony

Blake Anthony is a superb self-titled selection of smoking anthems from this prolific Tacoma-by-way-of-Topeka talent. He effortlessly raps over a seamless backdrop of reggae, jazz, and trap beats. Respect My Region says this EP is “an experience like you stepped into Narnia, warping time,” while adding that you can sense the sound of bong tokes in the background. The laid-back lead single “Black Coffee” racked up more than 200,000 plays on Spotify, and B.A. sold out his record release party at Columbia City Theater. You know his name now. Start paying attention.

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

Out The Window

The Underground Underdogs blog describes Out The Window as an honest journey. These ten tracks of intimate, personal autobiography that lay bare a “struggling to uphold the deteriorating pillars of family” against the harsh realities of addiction and loss. Moody and contemplative, this project reveals itself in repeat listens, peeling back the layers of highs and lows in an exploration of how drugs affect our relationships with family, friends, and ourselves. Brakebill dedicates the record to “everyone dead and alive who helped me.”

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

Nightsalone: Redwoods Vol 1

This beat tape from Tacoma beatmaker and producer Wffls was mostly composed in the middle of the night, during periods of solitude and meditation. Sampling from a wide variety of jazz sources, he took inspiration from the concept of “woodshedding,” where musicians find a private place to rehearse alone, and also from nocturnal forest landscapes of the PNW. It’s no surprise that the opening track “Alonetro // Nightcalls (feat. Marissa Kall)” received more than 50,000 streams on Apple Music in the first month.

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

Bobby Ro$$

Bobby Ro$$ is a vibe-heavy hustle through the landscape of art, blackness, and self-love. On it, Porter inhabits a trap music avatar of the much-loved PBS painter and uses snippets of interviews with cultural luminaries such as Kara Walker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Maya Angelou as a narrative lattice to paint himself into the canon of black art. NPR calls him “A skilled rapper and a multimedia threat,” while Respect My Region says that “Perry Porter paints a masterpiece with his latest album.”

Here’s another take:

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked Bobby Ro$$ as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2019, saying:

Since the breakup of his rowdy mosh-rap group Sleep Steady, Perry Porter has established himself as one of Seattle-Tacoma’s unique talents through infectiously fun hybrid rap/live art shows. The charismatic rapper/painter (or is it painter/rapper?) looks and sounds increasingly comfortable grooving in his own watercolored lane on Bobby Ro$$, which arrived this summer with a track-by-track color wheel guide to match the variegated album’s many moods. The man can still annihilate a trap beat with the best of ’em (see: breathless five-alarm banger “Sink or Swim”) while alternately cooling down with beatific cuts like the closing “Watercolor,” which samples artist Kerry James Marshall discussing the dearth of “self-satisfied” Black people depicted through art. Porter, who often paints vibrant, bright-colored portraits of Black women, is refocusing the narrative while doing equally beautiful things with 808s and acrylics.

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

Apart To Chaos

Local visual artist and experimental singer-songwriter TeZATalks crushed the competition this past September at the Afropunk Battle of Bands in Atlanta, GA, mostly on the strength of her uncompromising sound: unconcerned with genre, sometimes distorted, anxious and punk-hop. Her full-length debut, Apart to Chaos is music that The Stranger describes as “raw, emotional, and electronic.” Respect My Region says it’s “an emotional story of love, heartbreak, self-realization, and the triumph of individual artistic spirit.” Spotify labeled it a top “fresh find.”

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

Black Girl Unbothered

“Chasing clout is not my dream,” raps Tacoma’s Liv† at the opening of Black Girl Unbothered. Regardless, this record has racked up significant local praise: KEXP describes the EP as “breezy, quietly confident, and romantic by immaculate design … as surehanded with shit talk as it is come-ons, celebrating the individuality of one very talented black woman,” while Dan’s Tunes succinctly notes the “combination of fluid heat.” In praising the production, Respect My Region says, “I melted the moment I heard that bass slap out those first four notes.”

Here’s another take:

In their annual year-end critics’ poll, The Seattle Times ranked Black Girl Unbothered as one of the very best Seattle albums of 2019, saying:

“Middle fingers to the whole world / if you ain’t down with who I be,” declares this coolly confident R&B singer less than a minute into her latest EP. It’s a breezy assertion, devoid of arrogance, setting the tone for seven blissful tracks imbued with her contagious and unshakable glow. Throughout the short set, the singer and (for at least 90 seconds) rapper seamlessly flashes a variety of looks, from funked-up polyrhythmic head-swimmers to sensual neo-soul and the glitchy bounce of closing track “Euphoria.”

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 HNNY

CarLarans has an impressive resume as a singer, songwriter, community activist, talk show host, member of House of Luna, and winner of the Discovered! music competition. RAW HNNY, his full-length debut, explores the “vulnerable expressions, sweet moments, and the stinging pains of Queer Black Existence.” Featuring rapping and soulful synth-pop against a backdrop of disco and house music thumps, The Seattle Times describes it as “dripping with sensuality … intended to help you forget about an ex-lover or find a new one.” Seek out the gorgeous deluxe gatefold CD version.

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

Renaissance Bitch

Da Qween—a self-described reefer-smoking, black, queer, non-binary, hard femme—delivers bars upon bars that will bury your favorite rapper. Look no further than “When Worst Comes To Worst,” the second track on Renaissance Bitch. It’s three-and-a-half minutes of unrelenting, baller verses with nary a breath. (Except for two brief moments during which the tune—and your attention—are held in stasis.) Seattle Met describes the record as “coming in hot.” Renaissance is an expansive, ambitious, and theatrical listen that’s easily one of my favorites of the 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

Finesse The Cube

Finesse The Cube is one of several 2019 releases from the prolific AJ Suede. His relaxed, shoot-the-shit talk-rap grounds the often drumless production from BB Sun, Wolftone, and Khrist Koopa. It plays as though you’re walking around town together, with Suede casually discussing Seattle gentrification, WikiLeaks, Star Wars and The Matrix with you. Insomniac Magazine says these songs “wake up heads worldwide.” The self-aware seven-syllable rhymes and clever local criticism result in one of my favorite lyrics of the year: “You’re living in a bucket that’s full of crustaceans.”

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

Flight Risk

Scarlet Parke describes Flight Risk, her soul/funk/jazz/pop debut as “evoking the feeling of shedding old skin, of personal growth and new beginnings.” The Seattle Times called it “the Seattle pop album of the summer,” adding that you really hear “the depth and richness of her soulful vocals on display.” Most of the tracks were produced by EDM star Jake Crocker. Dan’s Tunes says it is “a stunningly fun outing,” while Respect My Region notes the “hook-laden, vibe-inducing booms and baps.” Refinery 29 says the record “will make you feel every feeling.”

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

HappYer Now

Dan’s Tunes says MistaDC is “one of the most dynamic voices in The Emerald City.” His latest upbeat five-track effort freshly remixes his unique formula of neo-soul, R&B, and rap, with help from collaborators Jamie Blake and J’Von. The release party was a sold-out celebration at The Crocodile Back Bar. The Stranger calls HAPPYer NOW “short and sweet” and highlights the groovy disco-infused single “Pretty Pink.” Respect My Region say this EP is “dance-centric. It boosts the tempo and screams ‘shake that ass for me!’”

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

Hard Shells

The Highly Hollerables are comprised of producer and Grammy nominee Amos Miller and Jaesun Easton (aka Smurf). Their well-deserved cult following is the result of two self-released projects (one on cassette and one on vinyl), each with amusing food packaging cover art that alludes to their “snackable” raps. Hard Shells is catchy, smart, ’90s boom-bap made on all-analog gear. Their animated video for single “Things I Think About” was brilliantly created using Apple’s iPhone Animoji avatars. The B-side of the vinyl includes instrumental versions of these very solid tunes.

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