When you have confidence in your product, you can keep drawing from it. That’s a rarely followed principle in the genre of hip-hop, where artists routinely (and perhaps constantly) look to drop new music before their existing work has been fully absorbed by their fans.
Time and time again though, Mic Capes has proven himself different. Dropping the new video for Chains from his successful 2016 album Concrete Dreamsis an exercise in patience, as Mic shows that reintroducing your audience to your existing work through new mediums is not a lost art after all.
That said, Mic’s launching a new series called Mic Capes Monthlys of which this is the first installment.
We Out Here Magazine is proud to premiere the latest from one of Portland’s all-time greats. Hope you enjoy as much as we do, and tune in for updates right here.
Produced by Bryce Lang
Shot and directed by Totem Ent.
Hip-Hop has been taking a lot of random left turns lately. I’ve learned recently that new sub-genres have integrated and they belong with the culture whether I like them or not. The newest trends in rap have been centered in trap and mumble rap, grading artists on their following and club potential, rather than musical genius. I’m not saying that the music I write about is the genius that I speak of, but I think this project brought me back to the type of music that I grew up listening to.
I don’t know why Duece decided to drop his newest EP, One Day It’ll All Make Cents, on Valentine’s Day, but the day has come. The seven song project is like having a Hip-Hop refreshment with the breeze of trap season in your face. The EP isn’t about happy vibes, but the nostalgia made me smile a few times.
I picked up Duece in Portland one night a while back. He played the EP for me in the car, but I didn’t really see it as an entire project at the time. After listening for the third time, I had a few questions for him.
Was The Mowgli your favorite Disney character, or did you see The Jungle Book as a unique theme to create a play on words?
The Jungle Book was not my favorite. My favorite Disney joint is probably Aladdin, then Lion King. Jungle Book is up there though.I chose Mowgli because he was an orphan raised by wolves. That was the closest thing to being raised in Oakland to me. It’s a rough area with few opportunities. It can turn you into an animal and do things you didn’t think you’d do.
My favorite track was Wedding Ring, until I sat down and listened to Rap Doe again. I like this track for a number of reasons. I was with Duece right after he signed to Front Page Music. We went to Fogo De Chao, and yes he really did “throw a hundred dollar tip like it was a ten dollar bill”.
Anyone ever told you that you sound like Atlanta trap music? And by trap music, I mean that TI Trap Muzik type of shit!
Yeah, I agree. I love TI and have been a fan since “I’m Serious”. I listen to a lot of ATL music. It sounds a little New York in the breaks and kind of Big Sean at the end to me, but I’ve been told that the track sounds like a lot of things. It’s an overall rap track.
Unwilling is the feature track on the Cents EP. You should’ve heard this track already so I’m not going to say much about it. All I can say is that I thought the song was average until I watched the video. The visuals really brought the idea together, allowing me to cherish the audio. I’ll let the video (dropped today) speak for itself though. Check it out.
Singing is very uncomfortable for rappers. It feels like the cold water plunge. Did you feel vulnerable singing about personal stuff?
Nah, I just wrote it how I felt it. I finished writing it in about 20 minutes after letting my young homie Joyntz hear the idea, he up next. Him and Lang gave me a few ideas, they both have writers credits on that song.
Why should we prefer black and white, instead of silver screens?
Because it’s tough enough trying to make it. Dealing with shady motives is something we all face, but shouldn’t have to. I wish I didn’t have to, I can’t imagine what Dame goes through. This song is a double on the concept of Hollywood. People call you Hollywood for trying to do good for your life. The other half is people not being for you but for themselves. They’re not black and white with their motives, they’re silver screens.
Until It’s Over is a strong track to end on. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever heard a firm political stance from you on a song. Is this your Hip-Hop stamp on the end of the EP?
I think so, same with Unwilling too. I just wanted to give all sides of me on this EP.
Overall, I think this was a decent EP. Each song seems like a separate tale, all of which painting the final picture of Brookfield Duece. The only track that I feel falls short is Pressure Makes Diamonds. I REALLY like the beat, but feel like the repetitive lyric structure took away from the instrumental and didn’t do it justice. My top three favorites, in order, are Rap Doe, Wedding Ring and Unwilling. Those songs hold the EP together, the remaining four tie it together.
I’m going to start rating the projects I post about with a 1-5 “Out Here” rating. I’m going this off by giving the Cents EP a score of 3.5 “Out Here’s” out of 5.
I enjoyed the EP because it took me back to a place that sparked my love for Hip-Hop. I also think it’s an accurate depiction of Duece. He has a skill with self reflecting and conveying it in a proper way. Listen to the EP for yourself and let him know what you think at BrookfieldDuece.Com.
We all know that the duo of Neill Von Tally and The Last Artful Dodgr is an artfully crafted pair that comprises of dope beats with an eclectic sound. Usually, the song is set in the present day and time. This time however, the two Portland artists take us back to a boozy, jazzy and somewhat prohibitionist nostalgia. Neill continues to show his variety with heavy bass drops and a blend of old and new while Dodgy continues to impress with her unique ability to bless your ears and ride the beat effortlessly. Be on the lookout for their joint album “Bone Music” dropping February 3rd. Press play.
Let’s set the record straight, We Out Here Magazine is a publication that writes about Northwest lifestyle. This doesn’t exclude those who have been to the Northwest, even though they may reside elsewhere. I’ve decided to venture out and look into a few artists from the Bay Area.
I first met C.I. Bang, the Oakland native, when I was living in Eugene going to school last year. Bang was on his way South, heading back to Oakland with Brookfield Duece and they decided to stop by. I was surprised to see how generous and charismatic he was with a 10+ hour drive ahead of him. We’ve always talked about working together but times have been busy.
Bang sent me a link to his newest video release, titled Run My City. Bang is working to become an heir in Oakland, which explains the song title. He teams up with Vallejo’s own Willie Joe on an uptempo track produced by Sideshow Beats, each rapper exchanging laid back lyrics with a Bay Area bounce. The video, directed by Jaron McReynolds, shows just another day in the neighborhood. Lots of cars, plenty of dance moves and overall a dope vibe. Check out Run My City below. We Out Here.
I think it’s safe to say that I don’t have to explain who Brookfield Duece is, or what he does for the Portland music scene. In the City of Bridges, Duece brought his talents all the way from Brookfield to share his life story through music.
I last saw Duece after performing at The Thesis: Two Year Anniversary. Since then, a lot more has happened. So much, that I can’t even explain it all in one article, but I’m going to try. Let’s just say he’s setting the tone for how to move in 2017.
In the last month, Duece has been further establishing his brand after signing to Damian Lillard’s Front Page Music Inc. The label was recently announced after a series of freestyles on Sway In The Morning, where Duece showcased his street conscious lyrics and a trap sprinkle or two.
The announcement of Front Page Music was capitalized with a 9 page feature in SLAM Magazine’s first music issue. I liked the SLAM article because it detailed the past times of Duece, Dame DOLLA and Danny From Sobrante, instead of just announcing their moves for them. Front Page didn’t just step on the scene, they set the trend with a nationally acclaimed publication, proving that they’re here for business.
I could go on about what Duece and Front Page are doing, but I have some music to share. Duece followed up the announcement with an announcement of his own. He’s assured us that his next EP is on the way. ‘One Day It’ll All Make Cents’ is Duece’s return to releasing music since putting out Boondock Saints 2 with John Blunt. This EP is a witty twist on Common’s album, titled “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”. He gave us a sample from the Cents EP with a single called ‘Unwilling’, which was premiered by a SLAM Magazine Twitter post.
The single is a fresh reminder of what it takes to make head way in the music industry. Duece simply points out that many artists “ain’t willing to die to make a killing”. This Hip-Hop reminiscent track is backed with the smooth Reggae vocals of JR Toots, who Duece has known and planned on working with for the better part of a decade.
If you’ve ever wondered about what it takes to make it, listen to this and digest. We Out Here.
As you may have heard, superstar basketball player/rapper Damian Lillard is dropping his Dame 3 “Rip City” shoe today, and tomorrow he plans to celebrate the launch with you – the fans!
Once again, Dame and adidas are tapping Amine to perform at the release – you may recall that Amine rocked Dame’s initial signature shoe event in 2015 – and the burgeoning star will be supported by a few high-quality locals in Jon Belz, Donte Thomas and Karma Rivera in what organizer Starchile has called “a tribute to the PDX hip-hop scene”. Of course, the Dame 3 “Rip City” and other exclusive adidas products will be available for sale.
It all goes down this Friday at Flex Space in NW Portland from 3pm to 10pm, it’s FREE, and it’s open to the general public. Come check it out!
I’d been hearing about these Dead Phone Dummiez, but after doing a little research, I’m seeing some major potential. The PDX/Vancouver camp is ripe with talent and creativity, and I’m excited to announce that they’ll be bringing their high-intensity set to February’s edition of TheTHESIS, joining Bocha and Foday for a show full of deep lyrics and young energy.
Much more to come on this dynamic rap crew, but for now just check out this video for their interpretation of Rae Srummurd’s We.
A-RU$$ didn’t skip a beat heading into the new year. PDX’s most swagged out singer is right back at it, dropping new heat barely a month after the release of his EP, you know who you are.
The skillful soprano has really upped his marketing, picking up over 6,000 Soundcloud plays on day one and currently approaching 25K total streams on his latest diddy, Private Party. Word has it A-RU$$ will be down in LA later this month opening for the homie Demrick. Great look for the kid! If you have a friend in the City of Angels, let them know to check him out! #OutHere
I picked my favorite projects of 2016: Mic Capes with Concrete Dreams, Donte Thomas with Grayscale, and ROBy with Cartoon Summers ’16. I caught up with all 3 artists, asked them some questions about what happened in 2016, whats next, and took some fresh shots!
Below, I’ll talk about why I picked each album, and also some Q’s and A’s with each artist. Enjoy!
Concrete Dreamsis the album I’ve been waiting for from Capes. Mic comes with some real ass lyrics about his life growing up. Some beautiful words for black women and even some turn up songs (5 Finger Discount is one of my fav songs on the album) I keep saying this but it’s been inspiring to watch Mic grow as an artist. He’s changed the way the city views Hip Hop by being his authentic self. Cannot wait to see what happens for him in 2017!
Foday decided to step onto the scene with a video called Perfect, but now he’s ready to show us how imperfect America is. The 23 year old Northeast Portland native reminds us that even though it’s a new year, we’re in the same place.
Foday brings us a new visual called ‘Never’ which was produced and written when he was living in Eugene. After being told that his beats were trash, he decided to lash back with a point that few could hate on.
‘Never’ is a video directed by Meta.8, who you all might know as Justin Gabriel. The two teamed up to deliver a lyrical PSA that blends visuals of intense red lighting with a 1st person account of Portland’s protests at the end of last year. The overall theme of the video doesn’t really hit home until the beat drops and Foday decides to deliver a spoken word about the President Elect.
‘Never’ is on Foday’s upcoming project, titled ‘Prod. By Foday’. And yes, it all actually is produced by Foday himself. Fopop has continued to surprise and impress me with his versatility; we even have some music in the works for you all!
Take a few minutes to remind yourself that we have to prepare for the next four years. Check out ‘Never’ below. We Out Here.