You made it back here—congratulations. Now break from the yawning mundane horror of your online life and watch some fucking rap videos.
Seattle/Chicago duo Ill Writer's Guild linked me to a video for the best song on their It's the Guild tape: Leach (of Gran Rapids) directed "Sleepwalking," a jazzy reimagining of Black Star's "Respiration" produced by Jay Battle (also of GR). Another Chicago transplant is the prolific Feezable the Germ, whose Mudwing Media–directed "80s Type" video spins a kidnap/murder tale well in three parts—without ever quite explaining why it's all happening in the first place. But that's rap videos for ya. Honor Roll member A.K. Romero's simple, self-directed "Blue Skies" clip effectively highlights his nasal brag-raps.
AD's breezy-excellent "Didn't Cha Know" sampling "The Tension" (Harry Clean/Detooz) features a sight-for-sore-eyes Fatal Lucciauno clutching a Pepsi—and a very warm look at the landmark that might be in more 206 rap videos than the Space Needle: the King Deli on MLK & Cherry, of course. Also spotted are D. Valley and the CD's own accomplished electric bluesman Sammy Drain, down with Jimi Hendrix since they was knee-high to a duck. Score.
Ricky and Mark's "On 1" (Griff J) finds Ricky Pharoe and Mark Gajadhar aka Gajamagic traipsing around landing strips, water taxis, and hair salons on good ol' Orcas Island. Steezie Nasa's video for his standout track "Who I Am" (directed by Excel Visuals) takes us right back to that old King Deli corner—also quick cameos from UDF and D. Valley abound.
Lastly, Porter Ray's "Float" (dir. Malcolm Proctor and Astro King Phoenix) is a warmly low-budget creep thru lovely Leschi greenery as one of Seattle's absolute best passes blunts (and Funyuns) to his folks, leaned up on an avocado-green old-school car, as he slyly admits that he "wrote you some shit to smoke to." BLK GLD still holds up.
Now: Go outside. Psalm One and Louis Logic play the Lo-Fi with Graves33 and Araless on Thursday, June 5. Shorte's Infinity release party is over at the Crocodile that same night, with JaWaan LaRue, Neema, Tribal Order, KILLEMALLCOOP, and DJ Swervewon. Summer Jam gets under way at the Gorge on Friday, June 6, with Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, DJ Quik, E-40, and more. Uh, damn. That's a better rap lineup than the Gathering!
On Saturday, June 7, you hit the rare Re-bar for Sassy Black's (Cat from THEESatisfaction) latest Space Theory event, and see buzzin' New Jerusalem MC MoRuf (whose Shades of Moo is laced with beats from the likes of Jesse Boykins III, Knxledge, to give you clues). Also on this are OCnotes, Porter Ray, and DJ Stas Thee Boss. Coolio—yes, Coolio—Grynch, and waay too many openers (dammit, Neema) are over at Nectar on Sunday, June 8. And the all-ages CHURCH! goes down at the Black Coffee Co-op with vegan soul food via Jerm (Cloud Nice), beatmaker Spekulation, and Brakebill, plus MCs DoNormaal, Raven, and Jamil Suleman. Good luck out there.