Posts Tagged ‘portland’

Damian Lillard Is Spitting Bars In The Offseason

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The NBA off-season is a long and painful time for basketball fans everywhere. However, this year has easily been one of the most entertaining breaks we’ve seen in quite some time. There’s been more attention than ever paid to the summer league, and there’s no small amount of gossip about the trouble in paradise between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. But not every NBA star is staying in the news for drama. Some of them are actually being productive in their time off by pursuing artistic endeavors.

Oaktown sensation, Damian Lillard surprised a lot of people last year when he dropped his debut album, The Letter O, to a healthy amount of critical acclaim. The album featured a ton of quality guest stars including the likes of Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, and Raphael Saadiq. He followed it up with another well-received record, B4td Reloaded. The verse he briefly dropped in the State Farm commercial belies his actual talent as a lyricist, and the more you hear from him, the more you have to recognize that he’s actually pretty good.

Lillard is hardly the first NBA star to make his own stab at a rap career. Shaquille O’Neal went platinum with his debut, Shaq Diesel, but that was more on the strength Shaq’s superstardom rather than his actual rapping abilities. And never forget that legendary 1994 compilation, B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret, which featured a host of NBA talent. The 1994 record was the apex of the crossover of hip-hop and basketball and featured the likes of Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, the late Malik Sealy (RIP), J.R. Rider, Cedric Ceballos, Dana Barros, Dennis Scott, and, of course, Shaq. It’s actually not bad at all and pairs the ballers with ’90s rap icons like Sadat X from Brand Nubian and Warren G at the height of his fame. It’s a fascinating time-capsule that’s well worth re-visiting if you’re looking for something nostalgic to bump on your way to the next pick-up game. Sadly, the idea of players having something to say on record would be sullied by the questionable musical efforts of Allen Iverson, Metta World Peace, and Kobe Bryant.

But unlike most ballers looking to moonlight in the rap game, Lillard actually has bars. It’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves off the court in addition to the praise he gets for his play. If only they’d put him on an All-Star team. It’s become a trend to snub Lillard, who’s the first player to score more than 25 points a game and be overlooked in consecutive years since 1986. Anyone that’s listened to his track “They Sleep” knows that he doesn’t take this lightly. That mean’s he’s just going to play even harder when the season starts up. If anything, it’s plenty of material for another album, and we can’t wait to see what he does when the season starts back this fall.

The future is looking bright for both Lillard and for the Trailblazers. Last year many experts picked either Portland or the Utah Jazz to win the division, and the Northwest ended up sending three different teams to the playoffs. Of course, now that Utah has parted ways with star small forward Gordon Hayward, the only thing standing in Lillard’s way are the Oklahoma City Thunder. With Lillard looking to finally cement his place as a true All-Star in the NBA, the Blazers are a team to watch out for.

Dame will also be contributing some jams to NBA 2k18 to help lend even more authenticity to the already impeccably curated collection. The game will include “Wasatch Front,” a standout song from The Letter O, in addition to a new song called “Shot Clock” that you can unlock in the “My Player” mode. It’s a cool tribute by the best basketball simulation to the best rapper in the sport. NBA 2k18 will drop September 19 and we’re looking forward to balling out with Lillard to the tune of his own music.

Portland 90s Rap Classsics

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Another mix spotted by dirt_dog, helmed by DJ Ian Head:

Despite what one would think, the hip-hop scene when I was growing up in Portland wasn’t just a bunch of skinny white nerds like me. There were – and are – some very passionate, incredible, original artists, and many of them continue on today, whether in PDX or elsewhere. In high school, as much as I waited for NYC or LA artists to visit the town and perform, I attended countless local shows and was inspired by these artists often more than those who passed through.

Before I ever owned a turntable, I was a dedicated fan. This tape is a dedication to the artists and music that I grew up on.

Stream/Download “Portland 90s Rap Classics” here. For more info and liner note anecdotes, check


Va – Northwest Flava (1992-1997)

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Ok I admit it. It has been way too long since I’ve posted anything from the  west coast. And I live out here now, sheesh. Alright Schenectadyfan, quit looking back east and check out what’s right in your neighborhood. Portland and Spokane don’t really constitute the whole northwest but damnit, I can’t really bring myself to take Spokane seriously as a breeding ground for hip hop. Spokanites feel free to flame me. Seattlites feel free to chuckle. Portlanders stand up! To everyone else, yes we’re a little crazy up here. Or maybe it’s just me. Must be the rain. While winter flogs us, kick back with some lime green goodies and put this compilation on your stereo. Download links and tracklistings after the jump as always. (more…)

Touring The States: Portland, OR

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Cool Nutz is one of Portland’s hip hop pioneers alongside his friend and business partner, super producer Bosko Kante. The two are founders and owners of Jus Family Records, founded in 1992. After several classic releases, Cool Nutz and Bosko have gained a cult following within the Portland hip hop scene and have been acknowledged outside of their hometown.

Cool Nutz has performed with artists such as like Ice Cube, Blackalicious, Wu-Tang Clan, Aceyalone, E-40 and many more. He also has been featured on tracks with E-40, Kurupt, Sticky Fingaz, Ras Kass, WC, Mac Dre and others.

This album was entirely produced by Bosko. The Jus Family Records site, says that the album has 11 tracks. On my version, track tags were messed up, so I corrected them. One track remaining untitled, so I’m guessing that this is a bonus track. I decided, in assistance with Verge, to title it “Neva Went Out” because it samples the B-Real line “Never went out and I don’t think I’m gonna.” Track is heat, like the rest of the album. Enjoy.

Cool Nutz
Dis Niggaz Nutz (1992)

01. Get Ready
02. I Got The Gun
03. Some Shit When We Team Up
04. Let Me B Yo Dog
05. Nigga!
06. My Niggaz On Da Under
07. No Skillz?
08. Emeralds, Angels And Roses
09. I’m Nutz
10. Young Portland Player
11. 2 Stoages!
12. Neva Went Out



— Markshot

Seattle Vs Portland (1993-1998)

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Unless you are in the know, Portland is not among the 1st cities one thinks of for hip hop. Oregon is a state with less than 4 million people. Like it’s northern counterpart Seattle, the scene in Portland was largely unnoticed on a national scale during the golden era. It’s not that artists like Cool Nutz didn’t get widespread attention, but perhaps to a lesser degree than artists in cities which were more well known for hip hop. For damp heads up here in the temperate rain forest, Portland and Seattle are the centers of hip hop output. The style up here is generally a little different than that found further south, in the bay area and southern California. It’s hard to put a finger on it but you’ll hear what I mean in the infectious scratching of ‘206in It’, the melancholy vibe of ‘Bombay’, the darkness of ‘Join Tha Team’, in the abstract sound of ‘Seattle Rain’.

01 (04:49) Central Dynasty – 206in It (Seattle 1995)
From the album ‘Why Does Everybody Want To Be A Killa’

02 (04:14) Bosko – Bombay (Portland 1995)
From the 12 inch single Bombay/Passin Time

03 (04:33) Smoke – 51.50 (Seattle 1994)
From the ep ‘Come And Get Me’

04 (05:51) D-Folk Pre-Znn – Evr’lstn (Portland 1995)
From the ep ‘Mr. Evr’lstn Chuck Meez Bakk’

05 (06:26) Kazy D – Ashes 2 Ashes (Portland 1995)
From the album ‘Letter From The Grave’

06 (04:00) Pork – Right Now (Shaolin) (Portland 1995)
From the album ‘Sidin On You’

07 (05:56) Mackin Rob – Mobbin (Seattle 1993)
Single/ep/album ? Source Unknown!

08 (04:18) Maniac Lok – Join Tha Team (Portland 1995)
From the album ‘I’m Back’

09 (05:07) Scrooge – Temporary Insanity (Seattle 1994)
From the album ‘Bout My Paper’

10 (02:55) Warpath – Seattle Rain (Seattle 199?)
From the ep ‘Production For That Ass’

11 (05:56) Black Anger – Conscious Attack (Seattle 1997)
From the ep ‘Maxed Out Singles’

12 (04:33) Grassrootz – No Matter (Portland 1998)
From the album ‘Uncharted Regions’

13 (00:20) C-Dub – 503-206 (Portland 1993)
From the album ‘Ignorance Anonymous’

14 (06:25) DMS – My World (Seattle 1994)
From the ep ‘Takin’ Ends’

15 (02:54) Gangster On The Move – Outro (Portland 1994)
From the album ‘Comin’ 4 Tha Goods’

There’s a certain mindset here and it reflects in the local music. I hope our readers enjoy this slice of the pacific northwest. Give me a shout if you dig it.