Happy July music fans! This week we’re stoked for Lambo Lawson headlining the Thesis  on the Fourth of July, a new song by Portland-based rapper Majik9, and Childish Gambino and Willow come to the Moda Center this September. Get into all the happenings you can Hear in Portland!


Upcoming local event(s) featuring local artist(s).    

The Thesis feat. Lambo Lawson

It feels appropriate for me—a longtime Thesis supporter—to recommend the series this week. After all, I just married rapper Bryson the Alien, whom I met via the monthly hip-hop showcase, back in 2016.  Yep, the Thesis is out here arranging marriages y’all! This month, the local lineup heats up the Fourth of July, with headliner Lambo Lawson, who will no-doubt be performing melodic tracks from his May full-length, Final Trap Fantasy—which is named with a nod to samples taken from the Final Fantasy video game series. Also onstage you'll find MoneysportMjay performing radio-ready hits from recent album Blue Slime. Emcees Tinizee and Sev Knots round out the bill, and of course, this columnist’s wedding DJ, DJ Verbz, will hold it down on the 1s and 2s. Lollipop Shoppe's Eastside location is also a good place to spy the Waterfront Blues Festival's kick-off firework show over the Willamette River. Those pop-off, starting at 10 pm. (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Thurs July 4, 9 pm, $15 adv, $20 day of show, tickets here, 21+)


New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist. 

“Leave Ya Man,” Majik9

Portland-based hip-hop artist Majik9 dropped a new single last month, offering up the catchy empowerment anthem “Leave Ya Man.” The upbeat twerk-worthy bop was produced by Evv’n Flo (who also lends guitar) and includes flute toots from local "saxoffinist" Matt Sulikowski. On social, Majik9 explained the track was "inspired by Destiny’s Child 'Jumpin’,Jumpin,'" which is pretty easy to hear right away. However Majik9's lyrics center on hyping herself up ("and she oh so thick, move that booty up and down like a Pogo stick”), not being controlled, and enjoying life, keeping consistent with her single from last summer “Coconut Water.” Self-care and staying hydrated; those are two things to remember as we head into this weekend's heat and as you use “Leave Ya Man” as a jumping off point to dive into Majik9’s growing catalog.


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Childish Gambino

In keeping with his style—as one of the most unpredictable creators of his generation—Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover dropped a full album on us this past May. He described Atlavista as a “finished” reissue of his fourth studio record 3.15.20, but it clearly counts as his fifth as he also announced a sixth album, a soundtrack for his new film Bando Stone & the New World, which he directed and stars in. The new soundtrack, he says, will be the last album he makes under his genre-defying alter ego / music moniker—though he's certainly alluded to that before. The music video for Altavista's country-infused “Little Foot Big Foot,” effectively and uniquely merges Glover's passions for storytelling, theatrics, dance, and music, showcasing them alongside an element of unsettling weirdness reminiscent of Glover’s Atlanta. And into this sudden, welcome deluge of material, we're also now getting to hear the first single from Bando. Released July 2, "Lithonia"—which means "city of stone"—is a driving indie-adjacent anthem that seems to describe the fall of a man named Cody LaRae, declaring "he had a break / he's finding out / that nobody gives a fuck." Regardless if you believe this is Glover's final Gambino project, you'll doubtlessly want to catch him live. He's ALSO announced tour dates for shows in North America and Europe. And he’s bringing Willow Smith along to support him, with her fan favorites, like “Wait A Minute,” as well as songs from her new album like “Symptom of Life,” and “Home.” Just don’t come expecting to hear “Whip My Hair.” Willow has done a great job developing her own sound and style, effectively distancing herself from her breakthrough image as a nepo baby hip-hop and pop star. Check out her recent concert on NPR Tiny Desk for a taste of what the young alternative soul artist and her stellar band have in store. The premise of this being the last Childish Gambino tour means these tickets are going to be pricey and sell out. Prepare your wallets now. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, Tues Sept 24, 8 pm, $75-499, tickets here, all ages)