First off, congrats to the Saturday Knights, who just hit number one on the CMJ hiphop charts.
In the words of Barfly, "Nobody Can Start Us Now"!
I see that on Saturday, August 9, out in the wilds of Kenmore (Saint Edwards State Park to be exact), is the Third Annual Hip-Nic featuring Laura "Piece" Kelly, Amos Miller, Gabriel Teodros, DJ B-Girl, Macklemore, and Canary Sing. That's a lot of local talent to be found in the wide-open spaces, check www.myspace.com/hipnic for more details.
Speaking of, I just ran into my man Gabriel Teodros, who's all over the map these days finding inspiration from D.C. to Toronto to Vancouver, BC. He hit me off with Andromeda: The Chronicles of Blackopia Volume 1 by Kafa Beanz, a collective of Ethiopian-American hiphop artists that includes Teodros, Burntface, BSheba, Wayna, and AP. Yo... this shit is dope! I'm particularly impressed with Burntface's ill, commanding flow (just hear him skate on the Afrobeat of "iRock"), but there's definitely no slouches here; there's some gorgeous soulful vocals from Wayna, and BSheba gots way more swag than most females on the mic—I expect to hear more from her. AP brings a street-born wisdom and Gabe himself sounds more inspired and his delivery more refined than I've yet heard—whatever he's been up to since he peaced out of here is clearly working. Much love, homey! This is a very strong debut from the Blackopia collective- consciousness, street and revolutionary. Get you some of this at www.blackopia .com, for real.
While we're talking diaspora (look it up), local producer extraordinaire (and winner of the last PUSH Beat Battle) Budo put me up onto a crew he's working with to great effect: A.R.M, comprising Krukid (from Uganda) and M.anifest (from Ghana). East-West unity baby, what you know about that! Both MCs are great, with a lot of personality, and sound like superheroes on Budo's soulful production. Watch out for these dudes at www.myspace.com/arm4arm.
Friday, August 8, at Nectar you can catch up with Budo's homey and yours, Macklemore. He's headlining a bill with a few of our b-boy neighbors from down Portland way: Lightheaded's Braille, Da'rel Junior, and Theory Hazit—who you may have caught catching wreck with Common Market during the Block Party. Top that off with DJ sets from Ohmega Watts and there ya go.
That same night, the chiefer's (second) best friend, Devin the Dude, is coming to Neumo's, along with Portland's own backbone, King Cool Nutz, as well as Neema, J Mar, D.Black, and the Parker Brothaz. J Mar's output so far is nothing but promising and I look forward to his upcoming Be a G About It, representing lovely for that Du4Self. D.Black's upcoming Rejuvenation is, from the sample I got to hear, going to be fuuucking sick—and if you're up on these here 206 internets, you know the Life just leaked like nine heatery unreleased tracks from Black himself to whet appetites. If you ain't know, get your blogs up!