We wanted to take a minute to mention some of the albums that have hit our radar throughout 2011. Not all of them came out in 2011…but most of them!
This album is great! The thing I love most about a lot of these songs is Kirby Dominant’s willingness to address both the potential absurdity of interacting with people (“Weed Man”), and the typical insecurities that often preoccupy our minds. Kirby basically introduces himself as a whale in the second track (“Orca”): “I feel like a whale, I look like a whale/I drink like a whale, can’t you fuckin tell?/I’m drownin in the sea of life…” (Watch the video Here). This is an interesting claim…but a little self-deprecation is always amusing, and helps to create some balance in terms of the tone of the album. The next track is “Feeling Inside” and it makes me want to celebrate life for a minute or two. (“This song is beautiful, oh my god!”) They released the video for this track earlier this month.
Check it out:
While some typical aspects of rap and hip hop can be found on this album (testosterone driven wordplay, bangin’ beats, & swagger), they are all filtered through the Paranoid Castle perspective. Which consists of a pleasant balance between honor and mockery.
To thoroughly enjoy this album: Buy It, Appreciate Satire.
- Trails – Trails &Co. EP – November 2011
Trails consists of rapper Syn The Shaman and producer/DJ theLin. The chemistry is spot on between these two, and it really creates a seamless delivery both on stage and on the Trails & Co. EP. Four local artists are featured throughout the EP: O.D., Ill By Instinct, Kristina Kentigian, and ALT (who is featured on three out of the six tracks) all make this EP extra enjoyable! Get some Trails tunes Here!
Here’s the Trails video for the track “It Goes On” which is not actually on this EP…It’s on their full length album Fits & Starts (2010), but it’s one of the stronger tracks on the album, and really represents the evolved style that is displayed on the Trails&Co. EP.
- El Shupacabra (The Floppy Disk Jockey) – Shupe’s Back – 2011
El Shupacabra is personally a trusted source within the Portland scene. Shupe is approximately 25% of the local group Sandbag, and holds down the weekly Rap Night at The Big Easy. He seems to be constantly contributing to the local scene, yet manages to stay a bit elusive…which is why I have no links in this section, and I can’t really tell you where to get this album, other than come to Rap Night sometime and see if he has any left.
Hell, we’re lucky there’s video of the performance at Geno‘s the night he released Shupe’s Back:
I’m pretty sure he took some material he had kickin’ around and threw the whole thing together in under a week. And it’s damn good. Ill By Instinct prays on Track 5 (“IBI’s Prayer”), and MC 22 is featured on Track 8, “Eat Your Dinner.” Go find Shupe’s Back. It’s sentimental and progressive. And probably like, 3 bucks.
I saw his Homeless performance back in September when he was on tour with Aceyalone, and I really dug it. I hadn’t listened to any of his recorded stuff yet though, and I think he’s still working on capturing his live energy in his recordings. Homeless has a style of his own, but he’s feelin’ things out still. He makes a lot of direct references in his songs that seem to carry his weight. I wanna know what effect these references have directly on his perspective. It’s interesting to know what influences someone, but it’s more interesting to find out why. I really like the song “Sophia Loren.” It’s personal. First person narrative revealing some truth.
Here’s the video for the song “Dream World”:
MC Homeless is working closely with some great artists…I’m pretty excited to see how his sound evolves. Keepin’ an eye on this cat!
Stay posted about Homeless stuff on Facebook, Check the album out Here
- Adeem – Made in New Hampshire – Adeem & DJ MF Shalem – 2011
Sooo…I haven’t actually listened to this album yet, but I got to hear this song off of it: “Get It”
I dig this track, and I’m into Adeem in general. Plus, he’s representin’ NH, and so am I (for now). You can grab the album Here. (This is also a Note to Self)
- Lady Essence – Right Now – Aug 2011 – P. Dank. Check out the interview and album review Here
Check out some of this stuff if you haven’t! I made it super easy for you. Links and videos galore.
I’d also like to mention that I’ve seen all of these acts live at Rap Night in Portland at The Big Easy. Wednesday Nights.