On any given day, plowing through my inbox(es) feels sort of like being Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone—looking for jewels, ducking Danny DeVitos, machete-hacking through the underbrush (not the same underbrush, mind you, that Michael Douglas says gave him mouth cancer). Uh, that is to say, it can be overwhelming. Luckily, technology helps manage it, though. (I probably forgot to mention this, but earlier this year, when I got my flu shot, I somehow agreed to an experimental Google Glass ocular/cochlear implant package—I wouldn't recommend it.) Still, there's the publicists calling me Sam, "circling back" about artists I haven't expressed any interest in whatsoever. There's the increasingly shrill, panicked e-mails from the Democrats—though I haven't gotten one from Big Joe Biden about his rail-tootin' ex-navy son. (He's probably just proud that his boy has a chance at being president now.) And the increasingly panicked e-mails from my editors. Just kidding. (Sorry, y'all.)
Likewise, it seems like everything in my feed—my overwhelming, trifling-ass social-media feed—all has an equal measure of importance and urgency. There's the extravagant Ebola angle that the WCW, WWF, CDC, or whoever is pushing at me, perhaps stretching credulity a bit far. (Maybe I'm too old to be watching this shit.) There's our first lady chair-dancing with a turnip for Vine—mortifying her kids, I'm sure. (Probably a few kids out there who wish those drones were just dropping turnips, too.) There's the so-called beef (now "squashed") between Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea... That last sentence actually makes me wish for a high-velocity ax implant in my forehead. Surely these times I live in aren't as comically, cosmically fucked as they seem. Lemme step back and be present—and stand in the place where I live.
From here, I can see that I've been missing a lot of shit, which I'm sure you knew. Such as Soufender Donte Peace, who's been on the scene for a few years but back in August dropped the most focused work I've heard from him yet—the eight-track Locals Only EP. In a Death Certificate–esque move, Locals starts with "(Side A) South Central," an ingenious ode to Seattle's two historically black hoods, laced with such pure-206 observations like Across the bridge by Franklin, that's where the South start. "(Side B) Rockabyebaby" kicks off the second half, presenting the dark side of the town—the young gods holding handguns, the endless licks hit, the "hearts frozen." Peace's mouthpiece is equal parts Black Hippy and Chicago's Mick Jenkins, all brilliant observers of their respective city's rhythms. Peace confidently crafts an engrossing narrative that's introspective, expansive, and inclusive—thankfully without relying on the chest-beating or any of the Seatown flag-waving that's done so often here these days, so, so cornily. I hope this young MC never loses this too-rare quality of thoughtfulness and warmth—nor the murdered-out "Black Northface" that keeps it all in. Give this EP (dontepeace.bandcamp.com) a spin or two and see if you agree—this town needs more Peace. War is over, after all, if you want it.