Eighty4 Fly – Colors

The supernova known as Eighty4 Fly is ready to explode on us as “Colors” finds its way to listeners after a long summer campaign of steady singles. At this rate its going to be incumbent that Eighty4 Fly and summer coincide as its starting to become a yearly ritual. Indeed “Colors” is another mixtape that features a bunch of new but at the same time Fly has grabbed a few of his best older songs. A wise decision as “Colors” will be his biggest release to date so those who have not been privy don’t miss out on some classics. Every song is labeled as a different color which leaves the thought of mystery to why the project is titled as is? Raised eyebrow aside vintage Eighty4 Fly the artist continues to bulldoze locally with an impressive all around combination that will have his out of region stock climbing. Musically structured in knowing how to formulate a project you can see why his aura seems to be the envy of fans and artists alike. While rap alone often boasts a lifestyle that praises an unattainable image for the common fan you never feel like Eighty4 Fly is trying to be above his fans. While a lot of artists try to be emulate someone else’s life through music Eighty4 Fly has always brought you into his. While there is certain references to lifestyle its from a realistic standpoint and fans instead get to live side by side in what he has branded as Fly World. Musically for those who have heard or have yet to hear Eight4 Fly it’s a sound that brings you into a continuum. It may not be Eighty4’s meaning but as you listen to the music on this project it’s a visual experience. It boasts certain imagery and color as if you the fan is culminating your own music video from song to song. Love or hate Eighty4 Fly continues to have success and the simple saying “There’s A Reason” should answer any questions. Production is supplied by SuperNova, Yorel, Tom Davis, A Dot, Chemist, Trixx, Ray Wonder, Versatyle, WHP, and Florida G.
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Rose Bent – Crimson Skies

When you hear a new artists classifying usually comes to mind but Rose Bent is Portland’s version of what? Made you think for a second, as female rap groups are pretty rare when you really put your mind to it. While the cliché female of the click or solo female rappers is more active these days makes you wonder why there are not more female groups. Could be a catty-ness of various issues but no matter as the trio made up of Jacque formerly J-Kronic, Kheoshi (Lady Trinity), and Rose City Miss Chief make things work. Backwards in a sense these three have already released a debut album back in 2010 with the latest offering a mixtape called “Crimson Skies”. Eye candy aside being a female rapper as with just being a female in general comes with a lot of double standards. As if hip hop is not already a up hill battle imagine having to show and prove your every move in a industry that just happens to be dominated by males. Your songs have to be that much better and rhymes that much doper, well for those who try to do more than sell their sexuality at least. Rose Bent is not innocent in this realm either but as forgivable and supportive as women can be for men doing the same its only right for the ladies to have a voice. Minus the lovey dovey-ness, sexisms, and mild freakiness the ladies have voices of formulated hip hop with a show out ability of creative zaniness which shows togetherness when they make music. Hosting duties are provided by DJ Sneakers and Infinit Rakz with a few features from Ariano, Zita, Teddy Lokc, Juma Blaq, plus Mighty.
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Nerdy Boy Jr – Nerd Star

Association is a underutilized term in music today but ideally it really is what drives a fan to a particular artist. Not to discredit the music as it plays a integral part but gaining a fanbase past a song or two takes some allurement into believing what that artist is all about. If it was all about talent music would be stacked like the NFL in wealth of millionaires but instead it’s becoming a business of timing. A new start or a re-invention is sometimes the best answer especially if something is not working, ask 2Chainz! Gimmicky as anything can be if you believe and get others to believe as well it can work. The artist that no longer wants to be Tap Tap now becomes redefined as Nerdy Boy Junior. Light spots of success under the old moniker and nowhere near a bad artist just more stringent on striving to pop off a hit song instead of building properly. So with no further delay the legacy of Nerdy starts with the release of his first mixtape “Nerd Star” which is in association with the musical acumen DJ Phinisey. Nerdy has been rapping for awhile so he’s composed and polished enough as a rapper where he just has to focus on making quality music. Was not so long ago that being a Nerd per say was seen as no way of being cool but with a certain steez attached to it can be flipped into a complete 180 these days. That stigma plays well with the Nerd movement Nerdy is trying to get across and the music is a stepped up formula of before but better. It’s a fine blend of pop rap that could find success in various formats other than just being straight forward. The majority is feel good even when Nerdy gets personal the songs stay positive and more uplifting if anything. It’s a better time for music in the Northwest where music like this could find more fans regionally and outside the region we are always a step behind so those partial should have some good summer music. Nerdy just needs to find a way to push his movement and give his fans a name.
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No Clue – Just Landed

The echelon level of artists in Seattle is getting to the point where you cant count how many good ones there are which is a sign the city is getting a bit more privileged. NoClue made it easy early on with a sharp fast flow that was undeniable to the faring ear but even he knows being able to make good songs is where longevity lives. Speed a tool that No Clue was once reliant on has become more of a weapon in his arsenal as he now has a lot more control and execution with his flow. It really seems like No Clue has put out a lot more material but “Just Landed” is really only his third project following up last years gracious free gift of a album in “4 Warning”. Standards is at a expected level with Clue as he never lets himself fall underpar musically or visually with a no shortcuts approach. With that standard you know it’s a west coast thing set aside for every Clue project, guess we all got that inner 2Pac in us and its dubs all day at least for a few songs. Never reluctant on being one sided NoClue can be experimental at times but always provides material that is just good music that can be felt from coast to coast. DJ Equis does hosting duties for the release which features Eighty 4 Fly, Sir Mix A Lot, and E-Dawg.
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Jay Tablet – White City

Hip hop is a mutt and after all these years we have so many different offsprings of what started as one particular sound. In the northwest we are probably the most guilty as no one can correlate our music to our region, while talented we are all in our own creative space. Jay Tablet kind of came in with a darker party sound when he was part of Cloaked Characters but as a solo artist his music has livened up to more of a feel good level. Possibly because being on his own and wanting to do more of what his true premise is finds himself releasing his next pre-lude to yet another album a mixtape titled “White City”. More traditional than what has become standard as far as mixtapes Jay serves up more of a sampler of him rapping about life as a artist. No real fabrication of playing coy as what the standard rapper is suppose to be but more in the sense of life trials here, politics there, or just the industry itself. Never to out the box with features its all family with spots from Rory Onders, Caitlin Cardier, and Amsterdamn.
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Dre C – Hello My Name Is

Dre C is coming out of Oregon, Northeast Portland to be exact as the area of the city is of high importance when it comes to representing. It is easy to balk at new artists but you have to be willing to listen to hear the next great thing. Is Dre C the next big thing, no one can say that for sure about any artist but with his first official mixtape “Hello My Name Is” he displays novice tendencies that often get elated help by well laid songs. No one wants to be called a beginner at his trade but for example Big KRIT was a better song maker versus rapper during his early campaign. Everything catches up eventually it is all about strengths and weaknesses. Besides a knock on what sometimes sounds like a pre-determined flow versus straight natural booth etiquette Dre C for the lane he is shooting for sounds pretty good. It’s not a pinpointed sound but more of a mesh of various hot styles which if your not nit-picky actually turns out to be a solid listening experience. Part of the RebelxMindz crew the mixtape is hosted by DJ Noize with features from Rebelz Brady Vans and Portlands Captain.
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L.C. Jetson – Hard Drive Music

Was getting worried that Portland was getting a little soft and the street music was on a downward spiral especially when it comes to newer artists. You got your ones who been doing it for years and doing it well but a need for fresh blood never hurts. L.C. Jetson kind of crept up on people with his Northstar album a few years back which should have got a bit more push due to the fact it was actually good. As of late he has kind of clicked with singer AOB aka Aaron OBryan Smith and InfinitRakz and they actually dropped a group mixtape titled “Portlandia” last year. L.C.’s first release of 2012 is “Hard Drive Music” which is able to find a good split between street saviness and radio songs that parlay enough to both male and female fans. Every notion L.C. gets throughout the mixtape he is referencing the land of the P’s in some form and un-doubtly it’s a sign that artists are proudly repping their Northwest interests. Kind of has some Messy Marvism’s with his style and approach being able to draw the line between doing it all but not crossing that line between underground and mainstream. A lot of other RoseCitytalent featured on the mixtape with production by AOBEATS, Broadway, D-Ro, Troy Sanders, InfinitRakz, KC Snow, Wizdom, and EDot.
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Jae-Lava – Heat Wave 1.0

Jae Lava has been reemerging lately firstly as part of the group Black Govament but now back on his solo artist grind with a pre-buzz mixtape “Heat Wave 1.0” which is leading up to his second solo album. Jae was one of the early artists representing Portland trying to bring more of a well rounded sound to the city which at the time was still semi-stuck in the past. His first solo album “Local Celebrity” was probably a bit ahead of course for Northwest standards due to this but with the region growing musically its good timing for a follow-up. The mixtape comes via the thehiphopjunkies.com who have shown some avid support for hip hop in general but also select Northwest artists. The mixtape is hosted by DJ OG One who has a long history in the in Portland with the local scene and his major accomplishments. Mutual respect is seen amongst other local artist as Jae gets some of the cities hottest spitters to feature like Jon Belz, Mikey Vegaz, and Roulette Delgato.
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Dee Ale & DJ Peg – Back 2 Basics

DJ Peg is your staple old school DJ with an aligned work ethic that has continued to evolve and stay consistent. Technology in music changes rapidly and being a good DJ involves staying current. You can always find fresh podcasts and mixtapes of current music from DJ Peg but his adoration to show local love may go back to himself once being a local artist. The latest collaboration finds DJ Peg hooking up with Dee Ale which might not sound familiar on its own but happens to be what the letter D from the group known as D.M.S. stands for. Ringing bells now for sure as the group dropped a town classic with their first release “Takin Ends” which is full of memorable tracks that many still reminisce on today. Not to take away from any member because it was the chemistry between the three that made D.M.S. but Dee was always a standout. Throughout two albums its definitely one of the reasons people ask questions like what happened? It’s a long time later but its dope to see Dee Ale putting a new project out even if it is a mixtape. DJ Peg and Dee have you back in the nineties with “Back 2 Basics” which is new lyrics over classic tracks but it does not sound like a fast forward. Instead Dee time machines you over seventeen tracks that play out like auto-biography. He’s addressing questions that many have asked, vowing his independence musically, speaking about his growth as a man while seeing young versus old, and in it all like the beats doing it in true class to a form of hip hop many never got to experience. Guest apperances by Cornbread Washington, Lady Ameara, Baldy Loc, Landoe of TPE, Yung Successful, DP Of Flo Masters, and K Ramsiz.
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Vinnie Dewayne – Castaway

Lil this or young that it seems like artists are getting smarter in the sense of coming up with better monikers to label themselves. Sometimes a regular name is marketable enough and Vinnie Dewayne seems to have a it’s own ring to it. Name aside Vinnie might just be one of the dopest rappers you never heard of on top of the fact he happens to be from Portland, Oregon. His last mixtape “Solitary” was a eye opener of un-expected and he didn’t leave much to imagination as his rhymes did the talking. One-Two-Three like a quick combo Vinnie is able to unleash a style that combines storytelling, punch-lines, and real life messages throughout each track. Vinnie seems to see rap as a form of expression in which an artist can convey something other than nonsense for appeal but teach through circumstance at the same time. Defining a flow that could be just as crucial if he went just accapella the latest mixtape “Castaway” seems to be the story of a type of artist that is near extinct in today’s game. Production comes via Bob Law aka Bobwire, I.P., DJ Cones, Bravo Domo, and only one guest appearance from Mic Capes.
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