I feel some internal pressures—not just the gassy kind, though those are definitely present—to review some local releases, some new, some that I haven't yet spoken on. Join us for the lightning round.
Billy the Fridge's Old Fashioned features the keen rapping that Fridge has always demonstrated, and which Fridge explicitly wanted this album to showcase—with contributions from MTK, Sabzi, and Jake One, all producers seemingly handpicked with the intent that Fashioned be taken seriously. Well, the guy still wears a rubber doughnut on a chain around his neck—and while Fridge is undeniably in possession of some great punch lines, clever wordplay, and proper beats, he lacks any kind of subtlety, from vocals to the frenetic beats. As a result, his songs do bear a certain steel-chair Juggalosity, no doubt by intent. Yes, he takes a good-natured shot at me on "Just a Bill," one of the album's better tracks, and I love him for it.
Notorious Shoreline-based NW G-rap dynasty, the house that D-Sane built, Street Level Records is back on deck with its newest artist, Rainier Beach–raised Mac Minati (fka Mac Gamer), who just released his Paranormal Mactivity mixtape. Minati's blunt-object flow isn't the most adept, but he's able to switch it up, speak from the heart (always in demand), and display enough wit to keep it interesting (hardly surprising to find, then, that he also moonlights as a standup comedian and actor). My favorite moment is the slow-rolling, G'd-up janet. of "Don't Care" featuring Lac of Respect's own A-Train.