A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Girlz With Gunz

Girlz With Gunz is the second album from Shabazz Palaces side-project Chimurenga Renaissance. This is hip-hop unlike much else: Songs built up from dense layers of African instruments and shimmering guitars, then broken down and then built back up again. Sometimes this happens more than once. For a group named after Zimbabwe’s revolutionary struggle, Girlz is an incredibly joyous record—a celebration of the bawdy, brash and cheerful women who fought for independence. Mirroring this theme, male vocals from Tendai Maraire often hand the mic to contributions from a few of Seattle’s finest female voices: Nyoka, JusMoni, Moon and SassyBlack. This release is a slow burn… with every spin it reveals further secrets. My current fav track is “Prepare To Shoot,” but it changes with every listen.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

riZe vadZimu riZe

Years ago I bought a multi-track cassette recorder, and for a while, I became obsessed with recording four different, unrelated songs on top of one another. The results were mostly tortured audio chaos, but occasionally some unexpected beautiful musical serendipity would emerge. Listening to 2014’s riZe vadZimu riZe from Chimurenga Renaissance I’m reminded of those early experiments–this album contains similar auditory chaos. A project from Shabazz Palaces instrumentalist Tendai Maraire, songs are densely layered, with multiple melodies moving in multiple directions all at once. This is the sound of multitasking and the first few listens can be overwhelming. But commit to an active listing experience and this record will reward with much serendipity. Beautiful cover design by Civilization.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The Sport-N-Life Compilation Vol. 1

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