Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Bring The Payne
What's good people? I'm excited to begin this, my first post in sharing my exploration of local hip-hop and beyond in the new year. For those of you who don't already know me, my government name is Ryan Feigh. I moved to Portland,OR from St. Paul, MN in 2001 and started a record label called Lucky Madison shortly thereafter.
Basically I was surrounded by friends who were very talented musicians but that weren't getting much love, and by much I mean ANY, from the local press and tastemakers. So I started the label as a jump-off for my friends to showcase their talents and take it to the next level however they chose to. To some that meant signing to bigger labels and touring nationally, to others that meant finally getting regular gigs around town, and to others that simply meant getting distribution for their music to be bought in record stores nationally and heard worldwide. I don't think any one avenue is better than another, to each their own, different strokes for different Drummonds and all that.
But about this time last year, after all the goals of my original vision had been met, I got super burned out and handed the label over to my good friend Kevin who has since taken it to new levels of amazing I never could've taken it to had I remained in charge.
After a year off I started to get that creative itch to start from scratch again, and so I decided to immerse myself into my first true musical obsession - hip-hop. As a kid growing up in St. Cloud, MN in the early 80's hip-hop fascinated me immensely. It was actually break dancing that first got me into it, me and my friends with the cardboard in the driveway in 4th grade. It wasn't long before I was buying every record and tape I could afford with my paper route money at the local Target. The Beat Street soundtrack on vinyl quickly segued into RUN-DMC, the Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Eric B & Rakim, Whodini, etc. And the rest is history.
But enough about the past, it's 2010 and I've got a whole lot to share with you all. I could have gone the obvious route and started with the established acts that most who follow local hip-hop already know about. All of whom I respect immensely for laying the foundation. But as much as I love and will buy everything put out by, say Lifesavas, I thought it would be more more interesting to wander around the margins for a minute and give some shine to some up and coming cats.
So, batting lead-off in this endeavor is an extra nice emcee from Salem, OR with a lot of PDX ties who goes by the nom de plume Payne. Don't get it twisted though, this is the *Official* Payne. An up-and-comer whose talent is more major than Damon Wayans. Within hours of sending a shout into the vortex of twitter looking for some hip-hop acts to write about, dude hit me up faster than Busdriver's flow. And I'm so glad he did. Despite what GZA/Killah Priest said, I thought that in this case the first should be first.
The first mp3 Payne sent my way that made me realize his limitless potential is one entitled, "Find My Way". It's an uplifting head nod banger that features Payne waxing poetic and reminding you that ultimately it's the little things in life that are the most important. The track is from his forthcoming sophomore album entitled The Balance Of Life which is gonna drop this spring. The album contains production from Portland's own Terminill from Northe'n Lights productions (who I'll be featuring in a production-side post later this week) The record also features guest appearances from The Kid Espi, Matty, Hot In Pursuit (Middle and JG) and Bubbi Swatta.
After hearing that I dipped to Payne's MySpace page where I caught a track entitled "NW Together" which is a shout out to a veritable who's who of local hip-hop. If you're looking for an intro into Pacific Northwest hip-hop, this is as good of a place as any to start.
So keep your head up for the album dropping in a few months, I'll keep you updated as that transpires. And in the meantime you can always get Payne's debut album, entitled From Nothing on itunes while you wait for the second one to drop.
Later kids. Support local hip-hop and look forward to my post with the local production team Northe'n Lights later this week and a post on Hives Inquiry Squad early next week. I'm out like the fat kid in dodgeball....