Maarquii
Maarquii Padraic O Meara

February might very well be getting colder, but the music scene is heating up. We also might be going to war as a country… Good afternoon!

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Just locally speaking, there’s actually a lot to get excited about: Maarquii finally headlines The Thesis in March, we have two new noteworthy rap releases, and reggae fans can rejoice over the fact that Koffee is on tour and ON HER WAY. Read on for the full scoop!

MUST-SEE:
One can’t miss upcoming show.

The Thesis: Maarquii


Next Thursday, The Thesis monthly showcase welcomes back high femme rapper—and singer and trained dancer—Maarquii for a headliner show that’s sure to wow the crowd. Although the artist played a farewell show (PHREAKBISH at Polaris Hall) in late October, it looks like Maarquii is sticking around for a while longer before inevitably (and sadly, for us) moving to Los Angeles.

Audiences can expect to take in Maarquii’s cheekily delivered sex-positive lyrics, flawless vogueing skills, and her charming on-stage personality.

Here’s hoping she’ll perform highlights from her 2018 project C.A.B.O, like the catchy “Roll Up” and “Full Outfit,” as well as newer releases like 2021’s “U KNOW WHO IT IS.”

For those looking for a little Maarquii tease the week ahead of the show: This Friday marks the reception for her art exhibition, PussyKat Loading... at PSU’s Littman + White Galleries, which promises to be a fun night of food, drinks, curated music, and art viewings, as well as an opportunity to score some merch from the artist.

The Thesis: Thurs March 3, 9 pm, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, $15 adv, $20 door, w/ Roulette Delgato, Nia Joe, Refugio, DJ Verbz, tickets; PussyKat Loading… Reception: Fri Feb 25, 5 pm, Littman + White Galleries, 1825 Southwest Broadway, SMSU 250, FREE

MUST-LISTEN:
Two great new releases from locally relevant artists.

“Reloaded 2.0,” Mic Capes, featuring DAME D.O.L.L.A


Yesterday, Mic Capes dropped a new track featuring none other than Dame D.O.L.L.A., AKA Damian Lillard. The Blazers’ point guard has been out with an abdominal injury for several weeks, so it makes sense he had time to hop on a track with his favorite Portland rapper, Mic Capes. Produced by Dontā and MoorDope, the high energy song is a remix of Capes’ “Reloaded (Freestyle),” a standout track from his 2021 album In Spite Of…. Dame definitely brings something new to the song (and some AutoTune on his voice). In typical Dame fashion, he talks his shit succinctly: “I do unthinkable shit on the daily / crazy how so many people could hate me / I just be winning, I get to the chicken / Roll out the red carpet for all of my babies.”



“Georgia O'keeffe,” Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon, Archibald Slim


On February 18, Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon—AKA the space-themed collaboration that merges LA producer duo Pioneer 11 and Portland-based rapper Bryson the Alien (who, full disclosure is my fiancé and the father of my pending unborn child)—dropped a new track featuring rapper and sometimes producer Archibald Slim of POW Recordings. Over mesmerizing galactic sonics by Pioneer 11, the track sees Bryson the Alien rapping in his oft-utilized chill delivery: ‘My wolves drooling from the beef / Street smart, make a killing on the beat / Back in Maui for the week / Hit Makena Beach, sand in my sneaks.” Archibald Slim then comes in with his own clever wordplay: “I’m lightning striking twice / Living life like it’s a dice game / Paying the piper’s price for a proper slice / Ain’t no stopping time / That’s probably why I’m not polite / Trying to get rich and die trying, long as it’s not tonight.” The collab track got a shout out when it appeared on Stereogum yesterday.

ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Koffee


Jamaican reggae singer Koffee is bringing The Gifted Tour to Portland’s Roseland Theater on April 12, along with Nigerian singer/songwriter Ayra Starr. The 22-year-old reggae sensation is gearing up to drop her debut full-length Gifted on March 25.

The one and only other time Koffee has played in Portland was when she opened for Daniel Caesar with an acoustic set at the Roseland in 2019. We’ll hold tight until April and look forward to seeing her perform the forthcoming album, and recent singles like the upbeat bopper “Pull Up,” as well as the titular song for the 2021 Western film The Harder They Fall, which starred Idris Elba, Regina King, and LaKeith Stanfield.