Author: Mizell, Larry
Date published: May 23, 2012
HIPHOP YA DON'T STOP
AV YOUNG BLAZE, NACHO PICASSO, DARK TIME SUNSHINE
GodDAMN it's nice out right now. Of course, by the time you read this, it will be raining and 40 degrees with a chance of Abilify, but that's neither here nor there. Right now, as I write this, it's that special brand of sense-melting Seattle gorgeous that is clearly our birthright, our payout from god almighty, bless her, for us having to suffer most of the year underneath this gray canopy, hissed at by passive-aggressive piss-mist. It can make you forget the dark and seamy side of this town, much like the town itself would much of the time (as it bulldozes its history and buries its flavor in lieu of yet another mostly unsold condo tower). That peculiar NW darkness, however, remains- in the dead eyes, joyless interactions, and basement apartments, all full of dope and desperation-and so remains part of the reason so much music from the region has been so darkly compelling.
Av Young Blaze's new Jon Augustavo- directed video for The Humble Villain's "Feeding My Flame" captures Av's "Danny Darko" persona perfectly as he stalks the woods, paranoid, waving steel, flashing gold fangs. His rendition of "Come as You Are" on the hook feels right to this guy, as anybody who knows Av's story knows he's got his own darkness. Av teamed up with Seattle rap's preeminent villain (fuck a Rex Velvet), another avid invoker of Saint Kurt, Nacho Picasso, for the terrifically trapped-out single "Ain't on Me" offthe upcoming Av mixtape Soviet Goonion, due out in July. (Fittingly, the Russian-born Mr. Young Blaze is hitting Moscow for a series of shows in June.)
Meanwhile, inked-up, smoked-out Nacho P has been spending his time since Lord of the Fly tweeting ridiculousness, taking weed naps in County, and making killer cameos on joints like Steezie Nasa's "Art of War" and Sax G's "e(ILUVME) go"-not to mention securing his legend while recording Exalted, his highly anticipated (locally and elsewhere) third album with Blue Sky Black Death, due May 28. I predict Exalted will continue their shit-hot streak with another high-powered chapter of abyss-gazing goon music, but hopefully it'll break some new ground as well. Hear Nacho perform some of it for the first time at the Capitol Hill Block Party.
(Speaking of Capitol Trill-neighborhood shitstarters Mad Rad return to burn down Barboza on Thursday, May 24, and self-styled Tacoma villain Gazmo has a release party for his Gazmotivation at Neumos on Monday, May 28.)
Dark Time Sunshine's newest album, ANX, dropping July 24, captures a balance between our hopeful and rare sunny days and that darkness that's in this place on a cellular level-hardly surprising given that OG Onry Ozzborn has been the standardbearer for the latter since 1997. Between his cavernous-yet-claustrophobic voice (and his most confident, most honest spitting ever) and Zavala's sometimes goose-bumpinducing liquid-crystal production, ANX is a monster, finding DTS, no slouches before, at their very best, "over the top, over your head, over everybody's defects." So don't let the clouds in the sky or in your overactive mind cock-block you-get yr ass above 'em and you'll see who's running this shit.