A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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HOME

Bruce Leroy makes ALL CAPS rap. He says as much in one line on HOME, a 2016 release from this Tacoma rapper, a collaboration with producer 1stBorn. Drums on this record are prominent, and often naked, punctuating tracks like exclamation marks. But it’s their smooth, percussive interplay with the verses, especially when Leroy hits the accelerator pedal, kicking his raps into sixth gear… it will leave you completely breathless. Or two minutes into “PREMIUM UNLEADED” when everything flips around and moves backwards. Gorgeous guest verses from Porter Ray, Jarv Dee, Khris P, Phinisey and others. Full confession: More than one smart person DM’d me to say I should write about this album, and let me tell you all those people were damn right. The more I listen to this record, the more there is to love.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

FNDMNTLS

FNDMNTLS is a 2014 mixtape from vowel-adverse Porter Ray. This record is filled with studies–of stasis, and of the crystallization of memory. Take for example “Ruthie Dean” a 5 1/2 minute song of rambling recollection, while in the background the same piano loops over and over again. Porter’s stream of consciousness storytelling repeats reoccurring motifs across multiple songs: dice, his absent brother, shorty, the District, after parties, countless blunts smoked and bottles raised in honor of some lost time before, as Cam The Mac intones throughout “Blackcherry,” sex, drugs and money dominated his days. Or, as Porter himself says wistfully on “Meditate,” “I wonder where this rap shit is taking me.” This record was released around the time he signed with Sub Pop. Two years on, his first official SP release, Watercolor is finally, imminently due, and we’re about to find out where.

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