Allllmost there, y'all; all the bitchin' and moanin' should be coming to a rest soon. It's been a brutal and damp Juneuary, but July 4 is usually the real kickoff to the Seattle summertime so many fools have written cornball raps about—me in-fuckin'- cluded. But it really is that good—to see all that blue and green swirling all around you is evidence of a higher power, to have the sun pouring down on you in what is suddenly revealed to be a lush paradise that you take for granted for three-fourths of the year like clockwork... do I sound high? I'm not (yet). Just saying. What? I dunno.

Maybe you heard tell a while ago about a local MC by the name of SK Tha King, and maybe, like me, you confused him with Sportn' Life's SK. Well, it seems the king has sidestepped the name games (and I feel your pain, my dude) and rechristened himself Eighty4 Fly, which I think works better for him anyway. Dude's been dropping some nice songs ("Like Planes," "So Cool," and the Grynch- and J.Pinder- featuring "Free Fall") and some very slick videos. No MySpace page or such—that shit is as dead as disco was before it came back—but nonetheless keep your earballs at the ready.

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And get your duckets on deck, 'cause it's showtime... Ab Rude is gonna be at Nectar on July 1, and he's bringing along the long-MIA Rhymesayer cofounder Musab—anybody recall 2002's Respect the Life, with production from Vitamin D and Jake One?—now going by just Sab. Toki Wright, DJ Zo, and Suntonio Bandanaz will also be in the proverbial house, so come warm it up. Bring a pie. On July 2 at Vera Project, Prometheus Brown hosts Sactown x Seatown, starring Sacramentalists DLRN (formerly known as Delorean, aka 5th Ave and producer Jon Reyes). Also rocking: Nam, Hi-Life Sound System (aka Khingz with Crispy and B-Flat of Godspeed, soon to drop a reportedly dope album with the Members Only folks), and DJ J-Tyme. Plus, two acts I'm happy to have caught over at Youngstown not too long ago: Militant Child and Air 2 a Bird (the soulful duo of Gabriel Teodros and Amos Miller). Getting it there would certainly behoove you (I love that word). Also that night at Baltic Room, holy crap it's Skratch Lounge, a monthly DJ meet-up/throwdown that this eve will feature a special turntablist set from none other than that jerkoff (also: boss DJ) named Waystyles. Fuckin' guy!

That glorious Fourth of July weekend I spoke of earlier opens up with the Star Spangled Banger at the Crocodile on July 3, where thine eyes and ears will soak up Helladope, State of the Artist, Dark Time Sunshine, Katie Kate, and DJ Radjaw. Wearing all red-white-and-blue (how very Dipset) or showing up covered head to toe in BP petroleum sadly won't net you a discount at the door, but it would be awesome if it did. Keep on rocking in the free world, kids! recommended