I just got back from getting my whole life at the Frye Art Museum, after the closing of its Genius exhibit—which featured Shabazz Palaces performing, triangulated between the three ornate tapestries that make up Nep Sidhu's Malcolm's Smile. (Oh yeah, one of Seattle's very illest and prolific musicians, Morgan Henderson—you know, from the Blood Brothers, the Cave Singers, Fleet Foxes, just to literally name but a few—has apparently joined Shabazz Palaces. No big deal or anything.)
Where I was positioned in that packed room (up front but not in the center, let the shorties see, dudes), I was standing directly in front of a speaker and behind a tapestry. All I had were my ears and the feeling of everybody, including the performers, hearing all this together for the first time. Ocean-floor-deep jams, fluid, Henderson lacing with the flute and bass clarinet? That all happened. Just another intense ritual here, thankfully deeper than rap. Since it's family, it's easy to forget, but I'll say it if nobody else damn will: Ever since Shabazz Palaces played their first hometown show (almost six years ago to the day), the genius-rich Black Constellation has helped shift the cultural landscape round this dusty-ass bitch. Y'all fucking know it: So do as we do in the town and say that then.
Speaking of Black Constellation biz: Bright light Porter Ray dropped a short film (directed by Malcolm Procter and Astro King Phoenix) around "Outside Looking In," a standout from his sparkling Nightfall EP that features JusMoni and rising CD spitter Ca$htro. If you for real, then you know the deal: Porter is a prime-cut lyricist, the picture of consistency and effortless cool, exemplifying a fly young Black cool that's perfectly true to Seattle. So we need his definitive statement, his Sub Pop debut, stat.
Kanye West went from releasing the horrid throwaway "Facts" to reinstating Good Fridays with a SWISH track, the beautifully forlorn Ty Dolla $ign duet "Real Friends" (which was released with a snip of another track, "No More Parties in LA" featuring Kendrick Lamar). This is unmistakable album Kanye, and right on time. I know you Future-hat-wearing IG fashion cowboys could never lose faith in your god, but Kanye always stays up on my last nerve between LPs. When he shifts into album mode, I'm always drawn right back in.
Just like guys named D-Money (not the Juice Radio guy), Smoothie, and Shifty (who presumably are not alternate Pac-Man ghosts) are, according to the governor of Maine, drawn to the heroin trade and impregnating (I mean sullying) the delicate flower of white womanhood. Like cops are drawn to pull their weapons and point them at the heads of Black men who take too much of their own damn money from the bank (as happened to ATL's Blac Youngsta, signed to Yo Gotti). Just like, just like... like, damn, why do I feel like talking about Black art means I, personally, have to cede so much real estate to the latest white-supremacy blooper reel? How much of your word count does that take up, typically?