Last night, I spent my entire day with my boy Luck-One downtown and then up at his spot in Harlem. There, he and his roommate, The Good Sin, put me on to their team – Air Plane Mode (#APM) – back home in Portland made up of just straight nasty lyricists, wordists, and masterminds of their craft. Record after record, I couldn’t stop drowning in dopamine coated rhythms, syncopated beats, chopper-style flows, and production value that can put any mixtape rapper from the East to shame – including J.Cole’s Friday Night Lights, easy. These two put me through a serious crash course of sound, leading me to conclude that there are simply way too many artists I need to put the East Coast on to in just one post. Thus, every week (no day set in stone just of yet), I will be posting new and old music from these artists for you all to get comfortable and hip to. And because there are so many artists I haven’t listened to in my life, this might take a while to accomplish. But trust me, it’ll be worth the 6-day wait. To be fair, I will be posting more than 1 artist at a time. Well, let’s begin:
Cassow – Let’s Get Wealthy ft. Felicia Taylor
Released back in January of this year, Portland-native rapper Cassow recently dropped the video for “Let’s Get Wealthy” on his official VEVO page on Youtube. The cigar-smoking, practicing Muslim, new god flow lyricist from the North West has been doing incredible work back since 2012 with his highly-acclaimed album Future Classic. But of course, I’m super late to the party. Although, I don’t entirely regret my musical jet lag because late or not, he is an amazing find, and I ended up downloading about 3 of his tapes last night after watching this visual. Complex patterned snares, dreamy harp-like sounds, beat knocking harder than Jehovah witness during summer vacation, this track goes harder than pretty much anything coming out of the East Coast right now. Real, honest and naked with lyricisms about the struggles, pains, and motivations of the young artist, Cassow’s message is heavily reaffirmed by the sunny feature by Felicia Taylor, crooning for the “desire to be wealthy.” East Coast, get to know this kid. You will be seeing him again sooner than you think.
Illmaculate – Walk On Water (Fear Of God)
I’m convinced that Oregon State has a private industry that the nation doesn’t know anything about where they have factors that just specialize in breeding lyrical beasts. Illmaculate’s video for “Walk On Water,” is a haunting visual, juxtaposing imagery of the rapper repenting sins in a tuscan-lit church chapel and with moments of indulging in vices responsible for his regretful repose. This video is perfect for the track made of a succinct beat with just enough power that allows the Portland rapper to spit over with onyx-heavy bars. Most known for his battle raps, Mac is one of those artists that you patiently wait on to keep putting out hot shit over and over again, and always find it difficult to think of a weak verse coming from his camp. Definitely keeping this dude on my radar for the rest of the year, and steadily rotated in my iTunes. And you should too. However, if you do not share similar sentiments as myself, please feel free to take heed to Mac’s underlining ultimatum: “They don’t feel me? Then be gone with ’em/ They don’t feel me? Then put the fear in god in ’em.” Salute.
Vinnie Dewayne – You Ain’t Going Nowhere
This kid is literally unreal. Standing immaculate at 20 years old, Portland’s young rapper Vinnie Dewayne puts down a track languorous with bright sounds of rain showers, underwater synth keys, delicate guitar melodies, big claps and deep-sea bass, and bongo drums – all encapsulated in a breath of straight thunder and lightening. The track was released back in July of 2013 as his first single off of his upcoming project, “The St. Johns Scholar.” Edits: S/O to the homies at V1creative for the link to the visuals for Vinnie’s “Nowhere”. Salute.
For more heat from these North West contenders, check out the links to their pages below:
Ride out, support local music, keep the underground alive.