Indulge an old guy's babbling for a sec: Once, long ago, this here tiny li'l rap scene felt (to me, mind you) like a chain of micro-islands, isolated and out of sight of each other. There'd be a half-dozen cats or cliques thinking they were the only game in town, as they were the only game within the couple square miles of dry land that was their world; beyond the horizon, there'd be another thinking exactly the same thing. Then, as the scene grew, it seemed like one big island, with the various tribes reaching, at the very least, a rudimentary, respectful understanding of each other's existence, if not fruitful accords and collaboration. And then one day, everybody took off on their rafts, determined to touch the mainland. But now with the pendulum having swung back this way, the cycle has reset, and it all kinda seems like it's fast becoming a bunch of little islands again—hermetically sealed aside from some minimal trade in between. How, you might wonder, does one survive in such environs?
You have to make your "move-around too real," just like Seattle's fully gameful Royce the Choice said on "Throw Your Hood Up," off of the new 10 Summers tape from this era's reigning club-anthem-champ, producer DJ Mustard. Word is that Royce's own Black King County album, featuring beats by Mustard, Jake One, and GMK, is coming soon. Maybe you've seen that project's promo flick of Royce sitting atop Jackson Street's hood-famous Quick Pack Food Mart, the home of a lotta folks' favorite chicken. Images like that are going to become more precious as the insidious march of progress keeps shipping black folks and the businesses that serve them out of the city—that said: RIP, Catfish Corner. We will forever mourn the loss of your cornmeal crust, your hush puppies, and, of course, that precious pink tartar sauce. So what will move into the iconic corner space on the corner of Cherry and MLK? Best suggestions I saw on social media included "pilates/wine bar" and "dog church." Or maybe it'll just sit empty, like the Silver Fork. Man. Seatown, I love you, but you're breaking my heart.
Anyway. Now that we're facing the end of this particularly trifling Seattle summer, might as well revel at Neumos' usual free End of Summer Bash, this one on Wednesday, September 3, with DJ sets from the Flavr Blue and Fly Moon Royalty, plus live ones from Kung Foo Grip and Perry Porter. The beats persist at Nectar on Thursday, September 4, with Australia's electric future-souler Akouo, and majorly on Friday, September 5, at the Frye Art Museum, where there's a Black Constellation happening called Expanding the Now: The Continual Line, featuring Shabazz Palaces, Erik Blood, and OCnotes (and later that night, you can take in OC and Rik Rude, aka Metal Chocolates, at the High Dive). This is me reminding you (and me) to love your neighbor, fuck the bullshit, and if you see something, say something!