Grynch, the Good Sin, and Empathy Records' Soul of Seattle
"I used to only care about being the best MC/Now I care about if people can connect me." Even though I make his life hell IRL whenever I see the dude, there's no denying it: Everybody Loves Grynch. (Those who don't, by virtue of being bums, just don't bear mentioning.) The benevolent King of Ballard is back on his shit after a string of EPs—Perspective is his first full-length since 2008's My Second Wind. It's clear from the jump—on the Jake One–laced title track—that this is G Child at his best yet, full of his trademark PMA, but gifted with a sharper clarity and self-awareness than ever before (not to say he didn't already have more than most). His bars sport an undeniably pro deftness, his beat selection (Jake, Budo, D-Sane, Crispy, Trox, Just D'Amato) is USDA choice, and his, well, perspective is gracious, witty, and wise beyond his years. Perspective is his moment. Celebrate its release at Neumos on Friday, March 2, with the Bar (Prometheus Brown and Bambu—peep their new "Lookin' Up" video), Chev, and DJ Swervewon.
Another must-listen is The Story of Love x Hate, the new album from the Good Sin, and I urge you not to let this one slip through the cracks of your iTunes. Love x Hate is smooth, wise, and truly soulful on a level all too rare in a Seattle release. Warm hooks provided by Felicia Loud, Alisha Roney, Blakk Soul, Sean Carson, Mario Sweet, Dice, and Dizz tie everything together with a silk bow, but it's Sin's grounded, empathic grown-man worldview that's the real soul of the project. It's a stick-to-your-ribs work with a vet's assuredness, no small feat considering that the Good Sin is a fairly new voice around the scene. Even still, those familiar with his stuff will notice he's stretching out. The release party for Sin and Portland's Luck-One (I'll have to touch on his and Dekk's dope Beautiful Music 2 next week when I have the space!) is at the Crocodile on Saturday, March 3, with Thaddeus David and Brothers from Another. (This show is my pick for the night, but if in Fremont check out One Be Lo, RA Scion, Luke Rain—it's his EP release show—Audiodose Crew, and E & Dae at Nectar.)
Speaking of soul and such, the OG Mike Clark just sent me over the brand-spank-new Empathy Records compilation Soul of Seattle, which enjoyed a sold-out release party at the Hard Rock last week. It's a honey-dipped listen with cuts from Malice & Mario Sweet, Darrius Wilrich, J. Charles, Felicia Loud, Mycle Wastman, Che Blaq, Dice, Sam Hackett, Century, Nate Vibez, and Big World Breaks. Production from heads like Vitamin D and Kuddie Fresh, among others, ably demonstrate to the world that one of Seattle's truest sounds is smooth, tasteful R&B. Empathy Records' vision to "redefine soul music in Seattle" is a noble one, and they've got a scintillating start with this collection.