Karma Rivera
Karma Rivera Courtesy of the artist

This week’s list of updates is pretty much all rap, rappity-rap. There’s a new EP from Portland rapper Milc and producer Opsv Sound, a promising girl power-packed showcase on Sunday, and—perhaps most excitingly—Kendrick Lamar tickets are about to go on sale for a summer stadium show at the Moda Center!

One can’t miss upcoming show.

Sunday Sessions: Karma Rivera, Veana Baby

Rontoms’ return to its regularly scheduled free music shows has included an absolutely delightful onslaught of lineups—from space-aged soul duo Brown Calculus to eclectic band Night Heron. The next installment features Portland-based rapper Karma Rivera, who will likely (hopefully) perform some of her more recent singles, like “Work On Me,” “Got Me Hot,” and “Can’t Trust,” in addition to older cuts like “Tacos and Tequila,” and “Everybody Watchin.” Stellar R&B singer Veana Baby will share the stage, treating the Rontoms audience to some of her smooth soulful tunes and lovable personality. (Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, Sun May 22, 8 pm, FREE, w/ DJ Monique Simone)

One great new release from a locally relevant artist.

Mr. Blanco's Opus, Milc, Opvs Sound

On May 6, Portland-based rapper Milc dropped Mr. Blanco’s Opus, a collaborative EP with producer Opvs Sound. Following up Milc’s 2022 EP Windbreaker, and 2021’s notable Tiger Milc, the eight-track project’s name is a nod to the 1995 film Mr. Holland's Opus, which was shot in Portland, and used Grant High School for its school scenes. The project sees Milc delivering lots of Rip City references, including a shout out to rapper Mic Capes, and a nod to Everclear. Album highlight “Hummingbird Feeder” features verses from fellow Portlander SOOP DREAD and 1000gramkilo, and is currently the only song from the project that’s available on Spotify. Other highlights include electrifying album opener “Dat Piff,” the sinister “Fuck Elon Musk,” and “Clay,” which features stalwart Portland-based emcee Mat Randol. Check out the EP in its entirety on Bandcamp:

Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Kendrick Lamar

In support of his excellent new album Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar is coming to Portland on his Big Steppers Tour, with bill support from Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. The prolific rapper now boasts a basically perfect catalog of albums, including good kid, m.A.A.d City, To Pimp A Butterfly…, and his Pulitzer Prize-winning DAMN, and that’ll all make for one stunning stadium setlist. If the new music videos for the songs—like deep-faking “The Heart Part 5,” swiftly followed by the beautiful black-and-white “N95”—are any indication, it’s safe to say the visuals and on-stage theatrics will match K.Dot’s incredible onstage energy. And I think we’re all patiently waiting to see the visual for that domestic-dispute-turned-coitus track “We Cry Together ft. Taylour Paige.” Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public this Friday, May 20, at noon; (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, Fri Aug 26, 7:30 pm, all ages, w/Baby Keem, Tanna Leone, tickets here.)