Glenn Waco curates all-ladies lineup for his summer concert series (and Portland homecoming) this Wednesday.

The first We Take Holocene showcased The Resistance artists Mic Capes, Rasheed Jamal Mikey Fountaine and Glenn Waco, while the second put Brookfield Duece and Dame Dolla in the spotlight. Both shows were a success and garnered lots of attention, thanks to dutiful organization from Waco. And since I’ve known the rapper/activist to also be a bit of a feminist, it comes as no surprise that he would give the mic to the ladies of Portland hip-hop for the next We Take Holocene show. These four chicks have been holding it down when it comes to representing Portland artists. Zin and Rivera performed at our all-ladies lineup of the Thesis last July, and all four of these baddies were part of the highly lauded Portland Female Cypher from last Summer. Each artist has been putting in major work ever since. (Now would be a great time to revisit the dope video by V1 Creative.)

Now in his third installment of the summer concert series, which will be hosted by DJ Samarei, Glenn Waco explains what inspired him to create the platform:

“The idea had been swirling around my head for a while, but 2015 is when I decided it was time for me to take matters into my own hands essentially. I wasn’t about to sit around and wait for promoters or anyone else to put me on shows, I wanted to organize my own, I wanted to show my peers that they didn’t have to depend on anyone to do anything for them, that they could do themselves. It’s something that has been instilled in me through my experiences. At the same time I’ve always wanted Portland to have a summer jam type event, an event they could go to and know they’d be catching some of the best art they’d find in Portland. And at the same time they’d be investing into the artists that were providing that. The brand name “We Take Holocene” came at a time where tension with hip-hop and police was pretty turbulent up to that point, the feeling in the air was that Portlandia didn’t want us there and it’d do what it could to keep us from making any blemishes on its image. “We Take Holocene” was something that I came up with in the spirit of ‘we’re here’. We’re just as much as part of this city as any other genre of music, Portlandia might not have wanted us, but like it or not we are the city of Portland. Hip hop deserves the same respect as any other genre in the city and in a time where many people of color are being gentrified out of their own neighborhoods.”

Image courtesy Alia Zin instagram. Photo: @streetportaitsLA
Image courtesy Alia Zin instagram. Photo: @streetportaitsLA

Alia Zin

A year ago, when I asked Mac Smiff where all the female Portland rappers at? I was immediately directed to a tweet referencing PDX newcomer Alia Zin. After looking through her Instagram account, it was obvious to me that she was 1) extremely woke, and  2) a true lyrical talent with a penchant for vivid storytelling. She got our attention when she performed at the first-ever all-ladies lineup of #theThesis in July, and  Zin has been building anticipation for her upcoming project Wiccan ever since. After a few weeks of “Wiccan Wednesdays” drops, the project will be out in October. In regards to the Holocene show, she’ll be showing Portland a bunch of new stuff she’s been working on, and it’s pretty likely we’ll hear something wicked off her album.

Photo by Samantha Sutcliffe
Photo by Samantha Sutcliffe

Um, what don’t I like about Blossom? She’s hands-down the most established and well-known performer on the bill. From her soulful, jazzy vocals to her fun-loving attitude, and constant “SASS” —  the Trinidadian kween has been putting in mad work over the past three years, and creating quite the following for herself around here. Her biggest problem? Saying no to shows. Her schedule is usually packed with performances all over P-town, otherwise she’s working on her own album under the local label EYRST, to which she’s signed. She also headlined Girlfest NW this year. So yes, Blossom really is #outhere and blooming. I’ll be looking forward to seeing her perform the not-yet-released song “Love’s Comin Atcha,” as well as her new reggae-vibed “Black Magic Woman” and “Charge it to the Game.”

Photo by Jay Murgas
Photo by Jay Murgas

Karma Rivera
OH MY GOD do I love me some Karma Rivera! When I first saw Karma on the mic at the Thesis I immediately jumped on board with her foul mouth, infectious attitude, and overall badassery. Her rhymes are blatantly honest, at times hilarious, and almost painfully accurate. A particular lyric from Karma’s verse on “Ride With Me” by Jai Kelly comes to mind: Are you done with the games yet? Can we communicate other than that plain text? Cuz my tolerance is thinner than a latex and niggas now days make me wanna fuck the same sex. Her fierce delivery on the mic makes her set un-missable. Since the Thesis, the rapper has been on bit of a hiatus from performing (although she did do a couple shows over the last month or so, no doubt in preparation for next week’s big gig). Just recently, Karma switched it up, releasing a couple of slower, calmer tracks: “EverythingILove” this week, and “Tacos & Tequila” in April.

Photo by Reymundo Vargas
Photo by Reymundo Vargas

The curly-headed emcee was raised in Oregon, and has only been steadily doing music for the past two years. Promptly after curating and putting together the Portland Female Cypher video, Vytell moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles, where she’s been making serious moves and flourishing as a recording artist and performer. But just because she moved to Cali doesn’t mean she’s not still involved in the PDX scene; she’s the first (and only) female brand artist for Jordan Carter’s BroPluto clothing (watch out for a merch table at the show!), and will help in developing its women’s line. In addition to her new song “We Can Make It,” let’s hope we get an even bigger taste of the mixtape she’s working on, which will be created from Youtube beats exclusively.

The third installment of Waco’s summer show series is sure to feel like a reunion of sorts, and I have a feeling this all-girls showcase will be the best Holocene takeover yet.

“We Take Holocene” to me made a statement that whether you give us the opportunities to escape the realities of our conditions for a few hours or not, we’re going to take what’s ours,” says Waco.  

“What’s ours? Productive spaces where artists can share therapeutic art, put on great shows, get paid & make a name for themselves. I have nothing but love for the staff over there and believe the only way from here is North”


WTH3 Flier


Wednesday, May 25, 2016


$8 Advance, $12 at the door


Buy Tickets on Ticketfly!

Feature image by Renee Lopez