My first music blog might as well be in regards to a record on which I'm featured, no?
The production duo known as Northe'n Lights - comprised of Sonny & Terminill - have created a record which exists outside the bubble known as Northwest Hip-Hop. By capturing the voices of a variety of artists and melding them over hi-energy, synth-heavy beats, NL has created a sound which shatters the perception of local music. Long known for it's grimey, underground sound, the NW Hip-Hop scene is forever changed by the level of production offered by the duo's freshman project.
As eclectic as the creators themselves, the record draws from a variety of sources yet manages to maintain a shared vision. To name just a few, Cut 'Em Or Pay 'EM boasts features from:
- Portland-area mainstays Cool Nutz, Braille & Kenny Mack
- Battle circuit heavyweights Illmaculate & 9DM
- Nationally recognized non-local artists Playboy Tre and Punchline
- R&B veterans Toni Hill and Arjay
Throw in proven up-and-comers such as Luck One, Grynch, Mikey Vegas, Serge Severe and... *ahem* Mac Smiff (shameless plug, I know) and you've got as diverse and talented a cast as could be found on any commercial record. In all, 33 artists grace the album with their voices
... And make no mistake, this IS a commercial record. Despite a cast of largely underground artists, the production work on the album is top notch, making it consumable by the widest variety of hip-hop fans. No basement recordings or stock beats here, Terminill and Sonny have delivered a high quality product which by all accounts seems ready for mass distribution.
So don't sleep on this one! Check it out, and pay special attention to track 13 "For The Gifted"... Why? Because that's my song and it's hotter than liquid lava. I also seriously dig Cop Cars (Kenny Mack), Soldier's Burden (Toni Hill) and On Dat Other Shit (Playboy Tre). But - to quote Lavar Burton - don't take my word for it; check it out for yourself. Cut 'Em Or Pay 'Em is available for download and preview at the following sites:
If you prefer your music on a disc and in a case, holler at me here or on my Twitter page and I'll be sure to hook you up. By far the best $10 you'll ever spend.
Northe'n Lights - "Cut em Or Pay 'em" from Chase.Freeman on Vimeo.