Like clockwork, here we are again, one week away from the raddest Hip-Hop show series in PDX, TheTHESIS.

First Thursday is our shtick and we’re stickin’ to it at Kelly’s Olympian on November 5th. The weather’s getting cold so I recommend the Hennessy neat. Our friends at XRAY.FM might prefer the Jameson, but really it’s all the same thing, right? Strong drinks and hot new hip-hop is what we promise the latest lineup will not disappoint.

Thesis Image

Mat Randol‘s extremely thorough new project alignment has the town buzzing. Possessing an amazing vibe for an album that that does not depend at all on guest features, Randol’s long awaited release lived up to expectation; something that few artists accomplish. His co-star and recurring partner in music, Jon Belz, is fresh off of a performance at Hip-Hop Day and I hear his loooong awaited Loud Pack project is on the way.

Its still Thursday, right? Quick story… Just over a year ago, I got a call from Mat. He said he was up the street from me at his grandma’s house in the North and I should meet him there and ride with him to Belz’ showcase at Hungry Hungry Hip Hop – a town staple thrown at Mississippi Pizza. Jon was on the way to pick him up, he said, and he was DJing. I wasn’t doing anything so I rode my bike the 10 or so blocks and we mobbed to the show in Jon’s whip where I played some spades, chowed down on pizza and watched Slick Devious get down as the opener. A rapper’s rapper, Jon Belz’ once again proved himself a strong showman, reeling off slap after slap from his impressive catalog. But it was the final song of the set that stood above the rest, as Mat stepped from behind the wheels and joined in for their collaborative single, Home Is Where The Heart Is.  When I saw this, I knew I had to book these two together. So… Here we are!

Soopah Eype was an easy selection. The genius lyricist will be spinning for Mat, playing a beat set and providing a special set for your listening pleasure. One of the town’s best kept secrets, Eype is one of the best to do it and a highly respected figure in the underground rap community, and we’re super excited about bringing him out. His summer release, Cassava, should not be missed.

Much like Randol, Grant High alumni Packard Browne – who moonlights as a damn good basketball player – is a leader in rap, pioneering The Flvx Society and collaborating with rappers across the region. Fun fact: the first time I saw Browne, he went by PeadieX and convincingly won a beat battle at an event where Jon Belz won a rap battle. Everything comes full circle, right? Packard made waves last year with his very Portland single Bike Laneand continues to push the creative envelope.

Not a show you’ll want to miss, I assure you. First Thursday, Kelly’s is the place to be. $5 cover. Show up early. Stay late. Nod your head the whole time. #WeOutHere

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