A mini Seattle rap fest happened Friday evening on Cthulthu stage at Sasquatch: three acts in a row, young emcees Shelton Harris and BFA (Brothers from Another), then one of the town’s heavy hitters, Nacho Picasso. All are mentioned this recent XXL Magazine Seattle rap roundup.
Shelton Harris. Where did he come from? I don’t know. But it seems like he’s everywhere in Seattle right now. And I don’t mean this exact guy, though he is active. But this type of rapper: teen/20s, post Macklemore, generally positive-leaning (I would cite Sol and BFA and others in this wave, I am forgetting more). Harris raps well and I feel like his energy is contributing to the scene. It was cool to see a flock of 22 year olds swarm him after his party hardy set. New fans!
#squatchwatch: Deejay Nick Beeba from Seattle’s BFA wore a loud and earth-toned outfit. My critical judgement of it was A+. He also did more to hype the crowd in his pre-concert set than most deejays ever do, and probably will do at Sasquatch, dancing all over the stage like he truly did not care (I know he did though). He played to the college aged students by selecting “old school” Paul Wall and newish dubsteppy stuff. During the actual BFA set, emcees Tiglo and Cole displayed why they are kings of the same fresh faced wave Shelton Harris is riding: their songs had a relaxed maturity to them. Except “king” is not exactly right; the movement is more princely. They rapped about wholesome stuff like eating ice cream and drinking Martinelli’s, and bantered about the Seattle neighborhood of Leschi. They are living the college life. The crowd related.
And then there was Nacho Picasso, who caught overflow crowd from ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul apparently cancelling their main stage set. Nacho is a few years older than Harris and BFA, and totally the master of his own very gangster, druggy, accessible and popular rap music — he seemed like a star. His fans rapped all his words. He’s a misogynist in his lyrics, but he’s just got this thing about him. It’s kind of like with Macklemore: fans grasp his character. It’s like you know him. The college looking kids loved him especially when he rapped “congratulations a******/ f*** your graduation tassle.” He also rapped about “kickin out the windows / high on cocaine.” That was a big hit. But if you can imagine it, the negative rap imparted a positive energy. I love that reaction in the front row. Rock star status.