First things first: This one's dedicated to the memory of Jeff Beaver, a friend and supporter of more than a few of us here in the local hiphop sphere. I first met Beaver through the off-the-chain Halloween parties he'd throw, usually featuring Oldominion cats, bands, fire dancers, and some damn good times. He was as optimistic and stand-up as they come. You will be missed, bro.
Speaking of OD, Seattle's spiked-wrist road warriors Grayskul celebrate their homecoming after weeks on tour on Friday, November 16, at Chop Suey, along with fellow road-tested indie-rap sensations Hangar 18 (who just dropped their sophomore Def Jux release, Sweep the Leg) and Glue. It's also the same night as the M.I.A./Cool Kids show at Showbox Sodo... dammit. Oh, and before I forget: JFK fans rejoice! The ninjaface Grayskulian has announced plans to actually release his beyond-long-awaited solo debut, Building Wings on the Way Down. If his new cut I heard, "American Me," is any indication, this shit's about to be crazy.
What's also crazy? Madlib actually coming to town finally. (Oh yeah, and allegedly he and my pops are working on some shit. Wait, who's he? Google it.) Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc, and Percee P all bless Neumo's on Sunday, November 18, with that blunted next-levelness Stones Throw is internationally known for. In fact, lovers of that low-down, lifted hiphop are sittin' real pretty this week—Specs One is rocking the Crocodile Tuesday, November 20, and that same night at Neumo's the chewy-chiefin' master himself, Andre Nickatina, is spitting that Gun-Mouth goodness for all to savor. Add in Busdriver (with Daedelus and Antimc) on Wednesday, November 21, at Nectar and you're looking at a weeklong spaz-out for my underground heads. Lace up your boots and your blunts.
The Blue Scholars—fresh off a Midwest tour with Psalm One and a triumphant hometown win for Sabzi at the Big Tune finals—have just dropped a digital-only release, the Joe Metro EP. It's available via iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon MP3, and more online spots than I could possibly list. Hit up www.masslinemedia.com, dude! The EP features instrumentals and some dope new exclusive tracks, such as the Jake One remix of "North by Northwest" (which features D.Black, Macklemore, and my stepson Chev) and "Town Talk (Part 1)" (which sports an extrafiery Khingz verse and a silky hook and verse from the Physics' Thig Natural). DJs and remixers take heed: Word on these skreets is that Bayani will soon be released on wax and packaged with a CD of the album's instrumentals. Hope you guys are saving some duckets for The Program next month, that five-day local hiphop extravaganza featuring some of the town's very best and brightest; the lineup is strong enough to merit repeat visits and I know for a fact some of y'all might as well just set up some cots out on Pike Street. Bundle up, bitches!