A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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Top City

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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BADMILK

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Star Stereo

Taylor Hart from West Coast cannabis hip-hop site Respect My Region selected Star Stero as one of the very best Northwest albums from 2020, saying:

Right from the beginning, Blake Anthony shows us that his album, Star Stereo, is a work of art through the first song transition alone. The seamless change over from one song to another is crucial for me when trying to immerse myself in an album. Blake’s range of creativity, along with the Nanostorm radio station concept, also helps me to get lost in this album.

Rhyming seems so effortless to BA as he floats over Croupdawg’s intergalactic beats. From “BIG Rolls” to “4 Bluntz” all the way down to the title track, “Star Stereo,” each song leaves me wanting to hear another. Then, when it’s finished it’s nearly impossible for me not to want to run it back from the beginning again.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

NEWCOMER

This 82-minute feature film is an intimate introduction to Seattle’s vibrant hip-hop underground. It was assembled from hundreds of tiny performance clips—shot for Instagram—into a single, continuous concert mosaic, and stars 93 of the top hip-hop artists from The Town.

Here’s how KEXP describes it in their review: “NEWCOMER stretches the idea of the concert film to an artistic extreme: Sub-minute snippets artfully arranged to resemble a field recording of Seattle’s rap scene, the pieces fractured and pieced back together in a truly engrossing way. The narrative flows through venues like Barboza, Cha Cha Lounge, Vermillion, Lo-Fi, the Showbox, the Crocodile, and dozens more. It’s Khris P pouring Rainier into a Solo cup while he raps; bodies packed into regional landmark ETC Tacoma; SassyBlack improvising a song urging concertgoers to buy her merch; the delightfully awkward dance moves of white people in KEXP’s Gathering Space; Chong the Nomad beatboxing and playing harmonica simultaneously; Bruce Leroy bullying a beat next to the clothing racks at All-Star Vintage; Specswizard rhyming about his first time performing in front of a crowd while standing before The Dark Crystal playing on a projection screen. The film is about the moments we experience—as lovers of live performance—just as much as the performances themselves.”

NEWCOMER was directed by Gary Campbell and was an official selection at the 2020 New York Hip-Hop Film Festival and the 2020 Golden Sneakers International Hip-Hop Film Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Throughout November 2020, the film screened for four weeks on the Northwest Film Forum theatrical screening site in honor of Hip-Hop History Month.

You can watch the full movie below.

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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.

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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.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Momma's Basement

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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!

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Channel Surfing

The Seattle Times describes this solo debut from Tacoma painter and rapper Perry Porter as “manic, with voice-cracking bars over thickets of trunk-knocking bass… short bursts that, like a good punk record, leave you craving more.” The Blow Up points to Porter’s “high energy chaos and smooth funk.” CityArts says “He bounces from syrupy drawl to chirpy double-time to suit each song’s character, street-hardened but self-deprecating, stoned, surreal, and cartoonish.” Distinction describes it as “an alt-trapper bouncer made of SoundCloud-era strangeness.”

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

YungPatronus

Tacoma-based trio BADYOSHI have recently been burning up the Seattle hip-hop scene, but this album is a stellar solo project from that group’s MC Scribemecca. CityArts praises it for its summertime vibes, “fusing ’80s electro with ’90s G-funk, the Yungpatronus mixtape is your soundtrack for day drinking and night swimming.” Respect My Region compliments how it’s “laid-back, soulful instrumentals pair nicely with pinpointed lyrical concepts, delivered to perfection,” while Distinction adds that “his reinvention is the catalyst for some groove-heavy space disco.”

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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The Shrouded Door

Listening to The Shrouded Door, a powerful new EP from Tacoma hip-hop duo B.A. the Scribe and Wffls, will leave you good and angry. Released on Election Day, it frames Donald Trump’s victory as no surprise—just the latest manifestation of a growing cancer in American society. It opens with the lines “Can’t look at my phone no more, it makes me mad.” We live in a country where law-abiding black citizens are murdered by police, where we tolerate injustice and your social media hashtag protests ain’t gonna do nothing. These six dense tracks are a call to action, a call to courage and hope. This is not a time to cower and hide. I’m reminded of a quote from our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt: “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are, and be somebody; get action.” Great guest verses from Yodi Mac on “No Hands.”

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