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Album: “Slump”

Artist: Sapient

Rating: 3 out of 5 Ice Creams

Highlights: “When,” “The Dapper Mob,” “Seeking New Skin,” “Went Like This,”


Slump is the name of the latest album from Portland hip-hop veteran and Sandpeople affiliate–Sapient. Now, if you’ve been paying attention you aren’t at all surprised to discover that Slump is not, I repeat, NOT rap music. On the other hand, if you’re new to Sapient, you might be feeling confused or disappointed and you might be thinking, “But-but-but, if it ain’t rap music, what the f*ck is it?”

Well, it’s Slump.

No cookie-cutter music over here; from the production and live instrumentation to the singing, Slump is all Sapient. Sounds that were lurking in the shadows on some of Sape’s previous works step up and take center stage. Overall, the soundscapes are fresh and subtly complex forming an album that definitely plays well from beginning to end.

I realize that I just told you it plays well but when I first listened to Slump, I wasn’t feeling it. Something was missing. I was experiencing what professional therapists refer to as Stage One-Two, One-Two Rap Withdrawal Syndrome. There’s no doubt the dude can carry a tune, but Sape’s gentle crooning gets hella monotonous on tracks like Notroh, Opera Pigs, and Out From Under. As a result, it was touch and go for the first few listens. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pull through, then a strange thing started to happen as I continued listening; I started to kinda like Slump.

Sapient Plays Live at Holocene during Soul'd Out Music Fest
Sapient Plays Live at Holocene during Soul’d Out Music Fest

Especially the idea that a “rapper” like Sapient would walk away from his “bread and butter” and experiment with some new sounds. If the NW is going to continue to expand and get its proper respect, it will be because of the people taking risks and blazing new trails.

“Ay, ay where’d you learn that from? The nerve to change. Is that what you needed to do?” – Sapient on Notroh