Thursday, June 24, 2010

PDX Hip-Hop Scene Report Summer 2010 Volume 2


"Left Coast I don't say West Side.
Let's Go, I don't say Let's Ride."

Well, despite the sunshine outside, it was sort of a dark day for Blazers fans. It was announced that General Manager Kevin Pritchard was fired by owner Paul Allen right before the draft. For those music fans out there who don't care about or follow sports, the closest analogy I can come up with is that it's like telling Santa Claus he's fired on December 25th. He put in all the hard work all year in anticipation for his biggest day of the year and still has to deliver despite knowing he won't be around to reap the rewards. I could go off forever about how stupid I think this move was, but instead I'll just boil it down to one sentence. Fuck Paul Allen.

At the end of the day the Blazers ended up with Elliot Williams a 6'4" shooting guard from Memphis as well as Luke Babbit and Ryan Gomes thanks to David Kahn, of the Minnesota Timberwolves and former writer for The Oregonian. The downside of that is the Blazers had to trade Martell Webster a high-energy, athletic fan favorite to Minnesota. The Blazers then picked Armon Johnson with their final pick. So far it's hard to tell, but considering the acquisition of 2 guards it seems likely that the team doesn't see Rudy Fernandez, Jerryd Bayless, and Andre Miller as long term Blazers. Lastly, what's up with drafting 4 lefties? Perhaps Paul Allen is looking into opening a Leftorium at the Lloyd Center?

I can already hear the collective "don't care" sighs from the indie music community, so I will move on. In my defense, there is a lot more overlap in the local music and Blazers community than you might think. In fact both Music Editors of the local weeklies also cover the Blazers beat. So shove that in your acoustic guitar sound hole and smoke it.

Ok, on to TxE, which is local emcees Tope and Epp with production by G_Force. I've already written about them in The Mercury and I truly believe that their music and artistry is strong enough to reach a national audience. As Goldie already alluded to in her PDX.FM interview, being a big act in Portland doesn't necessarily mean anything to those outside our scene. In fact I see far too many local acts content to fall into the big fish/small pond syndrome. This is not one of them. I've caught these cats at venues big and small, and they always come through strong. Whether it's a sold-out show at The Someday Lounge or at a party in a basement filled with drunk high-school kids, they bring the same level of intensity every time. You can truly tell they do it for the love, and that love is infectious. They are also very supportive of the Portland music scene in general, far beyond the confines of hip-hop which shows a musical maturity rarely found in local emcees and DJs. How many rappers do you know who give props to Alan Singley? Or even know who he is? On some Levar Burton Reading Rainbow shit, don't take my word for it....Check it out your damn self.

PS See if you can spot the Martell Webster reference in the EP.

PPS Indie-rock kids step your internet game up! Every local rapper I know has a bandcamp and a twitter. I might fuck with yr MySpace to get an idea of what you sound like, but if that's all you got your lack of initiative speaks volumes.

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