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He’s releasing a new EP tomorrow, so today let me cast some love towards Porter Ray’s skeletal 2013 debut, BLK GLD. Mixing downtempo production with literary rhymes, spoken softly over loops and beats, this record took me a while to get into. But now it’s probably the hip-hop record I play the most, as it slowly reveals its sublime truths. (Also, beautiful cover art.)

Seattle hip-hop blog 206UP picked this record as one of the “Top 10 Albums of 2013,” saying that:

Porter Ray is the most buzzed-about MC in Seattle these days. Lofty comparisons have been thrown around — “raps like Nas”, “the next Ishmael Butler” — but when it all shakes out, the best thing about Porter is that he doesn’t really sound like anyone else rapping in the Town. BLK GLD is not your garden variety rap debut, the kind of record looking to chart on Billboard and rack up hits on YouTube. Porter takes his time, laying out visceral, observational bars about inner-city life, over dense, elemental beats featuring dusty percussion and rare sample flips. To draw yet another comparison, Porter’s rhyme ethos shares much in common with Earl Sweatshirt’s: Both are still-budding MCs whose only fear seems to be making mediocre hip-hop. The youth is not wasted on Porter Ray.

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