"First things first/I'm Pretty Byrd, pretty tight, pretty hot/Pretty cool, pretty smooth/Pretty much the best out the Northwest/Stop the press, spread the news…"

Put those trays in the upright position and strap in, baby--Seattle's Byrdie is indeed on the move. The imposing but affable MC stays on his grizzly, not letting up on 'em till he's a household name. "You gotta treat your project like a major would," he says, dropping a lil' industry game. "Keep dropping singles every quarter. A lotta cats wanna get their one lil' song on the radio and call it a day." How many artists, however, have had three different stations playing three different cuts like the Byrdman did this year? Having dropped his Nflight album last August, Byrdie and Nflight Productions have worked tirelessly, rocking numerous high-profile shows, making radio drops, and shooting videos for the album, which is also getting love beyond the 206's confines.

The accessibility of Byrdie's music mirrors the good-humored nature of the game spitter. "The objective was to be multi-dimensional… to be myself, but cover all aspects. I don't have to just be battling you, I can get your girl out on the floor, too," he says. It's this natural versatility that enables Bydie to rock crowds not strictly hiphop oriented; along with Jambalaya's Choklate, he'll be opening up for Maktub's CD release at the Showbox on Saturday, April 9. That's only apropos seeing as Maktub's afroed soulster Reggie Watts lent his distinctive vocals to Byrdie's wistful "Wanted." Keep those eyes peeled for the official screening of the video for that song next month.

I hope y'all didn't miss Candy's .22, a new group consisting of the ShapeShifters' Existereo and Oldominion's Barfly, performing at the Rainbow Wednesday, April 6. With an album about to drop in Canada and a full-length being prepped for U.S. release, expect to hear a lot about this collab soon.

Be good to yourself and catch the brilliantly titled Spring Bling Tour over at Premier on Monday, April 11, featuring Trick Daddy, Lil' Flip, Too Short, and The Outlawz! Oh, what a lineup. My man Trick Daddy Dollars is the Miami coke-blunt lovin' thug with a slight political bent and a newfound penchant for making kid-friendly jams--plus he sports the greasiest looking gold grill in the biz. Short Dog needs no introduction (BEEYOTCH!) and the Outlawz are of course those guys that make you hit fast-forward when you listen to 2Pac albums. Lil' Flip is the Houston dude who got mopped out in his own home turf by T.I. 's people recently… look for the videotaped squab on T.I.'s upcoming Gangsta Grills DVD.

I'd like to wish the best to the family of Johnnie Cochran, who passed away recently… known best for you-know-what, Cochran was long synonymous with fighting back against injustice. Now, if you wonder what Mr. Cochran has to do with hiphop, just ask P. Diddy. If you're wondering what Diddy has to do with hiphop, though, I can't help you there… I'm still trying to figure that one out my damn self.

hiphop@thestranger.com

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