After 20 months of throwing the hottest monthly rap series in Portland, one might think we’d be pressed to put together fresh new line-ups. In reality, however, we’re just scratching the surface. You may have heard the rumblings, or maybe you haven’t, but tomorrow night we’re doing the same thing we do every First Thursday of every month, albeit with a brand new cast.
TheTHESIS will be headlined by Cincinnati-Portland sensation Th3ory Hazit this month, capping off the 22nd show in 21 months for the local hip-hop extravaganza. He’ll be flanked by budding stars Swiggle Mandela and Bryson the Alien, two emcees unlike any the city has ever seen, and the homie Verbz (who put together a seriously dope flyer for this month’s concert).
Since the release of his 2007 debut album, Extra Credit, Thearthur “Th3ory Hazit” Washington has had the juice. I first encountered the Kentucky-born, Cincinnati-bred rapper/producer at the Roseland – I think he was on a bill with Mos Def, Lifesavas and Lilla D’Mone – shortly after he’d migrated to Portland, and I’ll never forget the look Rockwilder had when Th3ory dropped a handful of face-melting beats enroute to winning iStandard a couple of years back.
A masterful rapper and flavorful producer, the often theologically-driven Th3ory is now 15 projects deep, including his 2016 instrumental EP, The Vape Tape. Tomorrow night, the top-notch emcee with the impressive production resume (Redman, Tope, OnlyOne, Brile, Jon Belz) looks to impress a packed crowd at a show you won’t forget.
Also making his Thesis debut, Portland native Swiggle Mandela aims to bring his brand of hood consciousness to the Kelly’s stage. The calm-voiced, dangerously intelligent rapper has shown amazing growth over the last couple of years, amassing a significant young following in the city while creating something of a movement in the process. Videos for undeniably dope tracks like Portland Parks and 40 Acres And A New Car took Facebook by storm, and his latest single, Stoopid Burger is currently in rotation.
Bryson The Alien is newer to the Portland scene, but the Toledo, Ohio native has permeated the music scene, attracting fans of rock and rap alike with his unique vibe and flow. One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, Bryson reminds me of Nick Cannon with his fun and laid-back demeanor. His sound, like his personality, is more experimental than rigid, and his range of influences and curious collaborators (I hear he’s bringing a band) make for quite the musical product. His latest project hVil mVry has spawned a few creative videos, and I’m excited to see what he has in store for our always awesome crowd.
Once again, We Out Here Magazine and XRAY.FM are bringing a cutting-edge line-up to Kelly’s Olympian in the heart of downtown Portland. I’m honestly excited about this roster because it features 3 very unique and talented rappers who move in circles not always noticed by the Portland mainstream. In other words, there’s going to be a lot of bars and you might even learn something!
In case you don’t know, the place packs out fast, so show up early or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for yourself and your friends. Can’t wait to party with you all tomorrow! #OutHere