A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Corduroy

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

To me, Sam Lachow’s album, Corduroy, is a work of art from start to finish. A multi-course meal for your audible soul. An exploration through different sounds and flows, which is a common theme throughout a lot of my favorite albums this year.

Sam’s quirky, unique, and often humorous approach to music has always been a vibe for me. Even back in the Shankbone days. The spectrum of emotions that Sam makes me feel throughout Corduroy is exactly what I look for in a complete project. You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when you have a full stomach? When you’re in your comfiest clothes, and you get to sit down in your favorite place? That’s the same feeling my ears get after listening to this album.

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

WTF Happened

A menacing synth chord opens WTF Happened, this 15-track comeback thunderclap from Fatal Lucciauno, who returns to top chair after a five-year hiatus from the scene. The chord hovers, and swells, as Fatal begins rapping, slowly at first, building the intensity, growing in agitation and delirium. The videos from this record, “Sacrifice,” “Speaking in Tongues,” and “WTF Happened” all feature him staring directly at the camera, dispensing with adornment… In the case of the latter one, he’s shirtless, marching down an alleyway, half-naked and powerful, just a man spitting with that strong, unmistakable rapid-fire wordplay. Fav track “Power Play” is lyrical and hypnotic. There’s an elegant way that these songs unfold, downtrodden, but hopeful, deliberating choices or lack of choices, with songs like “I’d Rather Die,” contemplating time and mortality. This record is supported by the weight of the Black Umbrella collective, with guest verses from Raz Simone, Sam Lachow and Malitia Malimob, along with epic string-heavy production that’s become something of a signature for that label. It’s good to have you back and bold, Fatal Lucciauno. WTF Happened, indeed.

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

Overture To The Unknown

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sources of energy—those wells from which we draw our creative sparks, and how wherever our top Seattle talents are digging lately is largely unmapped geography. I felt this strangeness with Porter Ray’s Watercolor earlier this year, and this new wavy energy is as good a preamble as any from which to discuss Overture To The Unknown, the brilliant seven-song debut EP from Koga Shabazz. On the first play, this record will strike you as distinctly alien: Distorted voices, beats, and verses that run parallel and not always together—and sometimes in reverse—alongside out-of-place samples that spar with bass notes so low they’re under the floor. And then during the decimating “Ol’ Faith” the drums drop away for a moment, and a clear voice speaks, “This is your conscience calling…” In that moment of waking you realize how much this rich playground has been tapping deep channels in your subconscious, haunting like the cover art. Koga’s wordplay operates like tightly knit Zen koans, unpacked through meditation. This record is a dense trip, and from each subsequent listen you emerge with new truths, and you’re so hungry and so thirsty for them you’ll replay and repeat, and replay again. (Yesterday I listened to this album five times in a row.) “Overture” pushes some of the town’s brightest stars to new heights—Jake Crocker, Gifted Gab, Dave B, Jake One, Max Moodie, Ralph Redmond IV, Vinciboy, and Samsara. You’ve heard little like this from any of them before. Bravo to executive producer Sam Lachow on the assemblage. Find a comfortable chair, fire this up, and be ready to rewire your brain.

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

Play/Pretend

Sam Lachow’s confessional five-song Play/Pretend contains a disclaimer: “To my fans, I gotta warn you, this record is kinda dark.” I’m tempted to call this EP, “Sam’s hangover record,” as though he’s emerged from heavy slumber to coffee and considered contemplation of the fun fratboy party of his excellent earlier releases. Here on this record is something undeniably new: The first sound you hear is the angelic chorus of Maggie Lou May, whose voice is featured on every track, both sung and sampled and used to make melody. Her voice is a revelation and is but one of many new textures—alongside dialogue samples—that leaves this record feeling so fresh. This is not like the Sam Lachow records you’ve heard before. You need only consider exhibit B, on “Secret to Happiness,” where Sam’s voice is detuned through most of the song, to the point of being unrecognizable. This project is a portrait of a man wrestling with demons, staring deeply at funhouse reflections, stretching his skin. On “Worth Your Time,” a gripping, spiraling centerpiece, Lachow acknowledges that “Macklemore inspired me to admit my addictions,” while also questioning whether that matters, and then the next song, semi-answers, “I’m foolish, I’m fine. I’m chasing my high, and wasting my time.” This too-short EP is intended to tide us over until a full-length in 2018. Yes, more of this please.

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 Alhambra Collabs

The Alhambra Collabs is a 2016 compilation mixtape from Jarv Dee and DJ Rocryte, exclusively streaming on SoundCloud. It collects together a bunch of Jarv’s appearances on other people’s tracks, demonstrating both his dominance on the scene and acting as a who’s who of Seattle hip hop (Featuring Kung Foo Grip, Nacho Picasso, The Physics, Gifted Gab, Katie Kate and many more) Here, Jarv flies in with the superhero verse and is often accompanied by his loyal sidekick, Mary Jane. Rocryte uses his terrific turntablist chops to scratch these tracks into one continuous 45-minute mix. Head over to SoundCloud to hear the magic for yourself.

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

Friends, Funk & Liquor

There’s an easy, happy vibe that you find in most of the records of Sam Lachow that I just love. Sam’s latest one, Friends, Funk & Liquor, further demonstrates the evolution of his career from young wine to fine port: here are seven slick and stylish songs that slide by in the most satisfying way. Sam is a presence that vibes throughout this record, but he often steps back to give lead mic to one of his many talented contributors, including Ariana DeBoo, Gifted Gab, B. Skeez, and others. Dave B is featured on three tracks here. The third track, “Absolutely” will have you jumping around your living room. This is party music, the sound of hanging out with your friends, and Sam’s many friends and collaborators are featured on the cover. What a party.

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

Huckleberry

Huge props to Sam Lachow for his ongoing commitment to promote fellow rappers from the town. His 2013 one-off single, “Young Seattle, Part 2”–featuring a host of local MCs–was my first real introduction to the scene, and I voraciously sought out music by each and every contributor. Huckleberry follows suit, pulling in artists and collaborators on every track. It was funded through Kickstarter, allowing fans to be collaborators of sorts, too. The record itself is a fun collage of introspective, self-referential party rap, with killer pop hooks and top-notch beats. (A special call out to the wild guitar and vocal textures contributed by Maggie Brown.)

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 Otherside

The Otherside is an hour-long documentary predominantly covering Seattle’s Capitol Hill-centric “third wave” hip-hop scene, circa 2010. This was a time when MP3s and streaming were fairly new and completely reshaping the music industry. Artists like Blue Scholars were experimenting with Kickstarter and direct fan support. Everyone was trying something new.

There’s a wealth of great interviews, concerts, and backstage footage from artists across the Town. There are hella people in this movie. It’s clear the filmmaker tried to talk with anyone and everyone who was willing. There are some great long chats with Jake One, Prometheus Brown, and Sir Mix-A-Lot. There’s also lots of footage of pre-stardom Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as they prepare to drop The Heist.

Larry Mizell Jr. offers up a four-point guide to being successful in the Northwest: “Be truthful to yourself. Be respectful and knowledgeable of what’s going on and what came before you. Be good: Work on your craft. Further the culture at all times.”

The Otherside premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and was an audience favorite, selling out two consecutive screenings. It was also chosen as “Best of SIFF” by festival programmers.

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

Queen La'Chiefah

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

Young Seattle

Between 2012 and 2016, musician Sam Lachow created three collaborative short films, each bearing the name “Young Seattle.”

Slightly confusingly, the videos are labeled “Parts 1, 2, and 4.” Part 3 was released as an audio-only track with no video.

Here’s his explanation of the concept: “I make these Young Seattle videos each year simply because I’m a huge fan of all these artists. As a fan, I just thought it’d be badass to put them all on one track. My favorite thing about the Seattle hip-hop scene is that we don’t have any specific sound. There are so many different types of styles in this little city and yet we all fuck with each other. We’re all part of the same culture. It’s fucking cool.”

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