The sanguinary, NSFW (if your W sucks) above video for Gorgeous Children's "Grassnlean Dreams" was posted two months ago, and the rapper/producer duo's self-titled debut release has been available on their Bandcamp page for almost one. I somehow came across both last week, and nearly dismissed them (Fuck you, Internet, for conditioning me to doubt every new thing I find) based solely on their more obvious, cliche elements — the gold grills, weed/lean references, and generic goth/CVLT aesthetic that seems to be all over today's rap, fashion, rap fashion, and fashion-rap. I mean, I already listen to Skull & Bones. And Key Nyata, Nacho Picasso, and Avatar Darko. But the whomping electronic horror-trap beat, the blunt, repeatable hook, and the Purple City Byrd Gang/Iversons references made me take a closer look and listen.
Gorgeous Children, it turns out, is Denver producer Gila Monsta and rapper Face Vega, who currently lives in Olympia and has been releasing solo stuff on his personal Bandcamp since February of this year. His April release Black Lodge Vol. 1 is just as Twin Peaks as it sounds, with menacingly melancholic rhymes over moody "#based"/"cloud"-type beats by Clams Casino, Lyle LeDuff, Shawn Kemp (the producer alias of Richmond, VA's Lil Ugly Mane), and local favorite Keyboard Kid.
Though Vega says he was born in Oklahoma City, and Olympia is even farther from Seattle than Tacoma is (no shots!), his solo and Gorgeous Children stuff seems to fit in line with the recent darker "wave" of local rap that actually sounds like it's from the gloomy, damp, sunless forest that is the Northwest. And though it might seem overly negative to some, it's a fair balance to a lot of the other Seattle hiphop that's popular at the moment. As was once said on a track from another local group with ties to Olympia, "its hard to have constant positivity without negativity."
Download Gorgeous Children's self-titled album here.