If you got a jones for some real Seattle-bred street shit—and I know you do—look no further than the young prince of the high-powered Sportn' Life label, Damian Black. You may first have caught D Black's flow on the original Sportn' Life compilation, back when he was known as Danger. Born into the local hiphop scene—Black is the son of Croone from OG Seattle pioneers the Emerald Street Boys—the young MC/producer learned his craft from such local luminaries as Vitamin D. Damian is coming hard with his new DJ B-Mello-helmed mix tape Behind the Dirt, featuring freestyles and new joints sporting production from Vitamin, Bean One, and D Black himself. As I type this, Sportn' Life is readying the hungry MC's eagerly awaited debut LP, Cause & Effect—which is definitely gonna cause commotion upon its release. Do yourself a favor and don't sleep...

"Ya know what? I have no game/I talk real talk..." Another heatery disc submitted for your consideration—Tha Paperback, the solo LP from Brotha Brown. Brown should be familiar to you from his extensive work with Candidt and Kuddie, his patna from Sons of the Ghetto. His Paperback disc swings with both the party and the personal, all delivered in Brown's distinctive, malleable flow that at times recalls the smooth playerisms of Suga Free and the barking rowdiness of Mystikal, all while remaining uncompromisingly lyrical. The production is armpit-fonky and laced with smooth vocals. It suits the Brotha perfectly; his toasts, boasts, and reflections on hard times, relationships gone sour, and the like humanize him—and showcase a real MC with confidence and flavor.

Amongst all this fresh local produce, man about town KNDNM (can-denim) is back with a brand new edition of his Reigncraft compilation series. Volume 5 features tracks from a gang of mufuckas including Ricky Pharoe, Crytical, Damian Black, Grayskul, Fidget, and Bad Luk. "This concept," says KNDNM, "is to eliminate the barriers that prevent your music from reaching multiple neighborhoods and people. Networking in the Northwest seems to be [stifled] due to style preferences and personal beefs of producers, artists, studios, financial backers, and promoters." Real words... so if you're a local artist and want to contribute to a future comp (there's a new one every season), get at KNDNM via www.reigncraft.com.

Then, hit up www.soultheftrecords.com to get you the epically titled vinyl-only Long Awaited Mega EP from Seatown legend Specs One. If you caught Specs's Return of the Artist LP from earlier this year then you caught some of Seattle's truest hiphop, straight up. Specs's b-boyisms possess an understated, dusted grandeur that match the rawness of his production.

Support The Stranger

Speaking of that dusty shit, march yourself right into Chop Suey come Wednesday, October 19, to catch some of the West's best underground hiphop courtesy of crate diggers extraordinaire People Under the Stairs, Time Machine, and Giant Panda. I'ma remind y'all again to cop Giant Panda's Fly School Reunion LP cuz it's thoroughly bangin'. Just check for the album cover with GP MC Newman rocking the Garfield Bulldogs hoodie. 206 in here... but damn, where my Quakers at? recommended


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