Well folks, while it’s a weird time to be in the business of live local music—so many performances have been canceled or postponed as of late—we can at the very least enjoy some quality new material that’s being released. This week, Rose City rappers Mic Capes and Talilo Marfil each dropped a new music video that are worth a couple watches, and We Out Here Magazine launched a must-catch new interview series.
Great new releases from a locally relevant artist.
“W.W.J.D.,” Mic Capes
North Portland rapper Mic Capes recently released a new music video for “W.W.J.D” (What would Johnny Do?), a stand-out track from Capes’ latest LP, In Spite Of…, which dropped last summer. The single’s about carrying on despite adversity, and modeling his actions (“stay humble and hustle”) after his late father, Johnny Caples Sr., who passed away last year. The video sees Capes standing in a field of wheat, holding a photo of himself as a young boy crawling on top of his dad’s back. He also walks down Interstate Avenue, stopping in front of The Palms Motor Hotel, rapping about growing up poor and piling on the floor to sleep at nearly every motel on the strip, and how his father always guided and supported him. The work is beautifully shot by J. Brown Visuals, check it out below, and make sure to read the Mercury’s review of the project.
“122,” Talilo Marfil
After 2021 saw 90 homicides—making it the deadliest year in Portland’s modern history—Portland rapper Talilo Marfil lost one of his mentees, 18-year-old Dante Mcfallo, on January 1st, and the local hip-hop scene recently lost 30-year-old Drae Steves (born DeAndrae D. Stephens) a few days before Christmas. Marfil’s recently dropped a new single to help people remember those lost, and paints a picture of what it takes to make it out of Portland’s underserved neighborhoods. The video also sees him encounter a mural featuring the rapper himself. Over production by soSpecial, and with featured vocals from Olawale, Marfil raps about the often forgotten 122nd Avenue on the titular single: “Hard to be looking out past those steel bars/ And seen how art can heal hearts/ And that ain’t even the ill part/ These circles brought me healing, I built a life on a street that could have killed me.” Marfil also cofounded an award-winning youth center called Ascending Flow with his fiancée, that helps to aid youth who have aged out of the foster care system via art, music, and teaching life skills.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
We Out Here Magazine
Mac Smiff of We Out Here Magazine—who, full disclosure, is a friend and sometimes colleague of mine—just started a new interview series on Instagram live called "Back In The Mix." The first episode featured Raaqel (FKA Raquel Divar) as the guest. Raaqel is a hip-hop artist currently living in the Bay Area, but says she’ll be back in Portland next week (YAY), and has started to release new music since changing her name and going separate ways from former music partner Cory O. Her upcoming track “Feel Alive” will follow September’s “Chips (featuring Xakra)” and before that, her August single “BURRR.” In addition to music, they also discuss social Justice and NFTs. Listen to the full conversation below: