Forever etched into the granite of Northwest hiphop's Mount Rushmore, Cool Nutz has long reined over the city of Portland as its king of beats and rhymes. Even mentioning so is part of the Cool Nutz (AKA Terrance Scott) legacy: When writing about Portland's most iconic hiphop artist it's par for the course to reference his climb, slinging records—he's been at it since back in the day, in a city known for just about everything but hiphop. Even if his flow and swagger aren't your bag (and you cringe at the word "nutz") you have to pay your dues to the man who laid the foundation on which countless emcees currently stand.

Cool Nutz reps Northeast Portland with bravado, and with respect for the neighborhood that made him the man he is today. That man is a collar-popping entrepreneur emcee who self-releases titles on his own Jus Family label. On his latest, The Miracle, "The Dream" is a wistful track recollecting the early days of Jus Family (which he refers to as "Portland's Death Row"), back when getting product stocked in Tower Records was a triumph, and the label's accounting method involved stashing money in a shoebox. These days Cool Nutz also masterminds the POH-Hop local hiphop festival, hosts his own radio show, and is a constant presence in the studio—The Miracle is album number nine for him, with number 10, Young Obama, on the way in just a few months. Seriously, there are prolific emcees, and then there is Cool Nutz.

Not known to stray far from the stylistic paths he's previously traveled, The Miracle brings a mighty lot of dance floor bangers and boastful West Coast flow ("your rap style pregnant, I'm kicking the fetus") amid a bevy of collaborators. Even if you include the intro and outro tracks, there are only a handful of songs that find Cool Nutz without assistance from longtime partner in crime Bosko, the fresh faces of the new school (Illmaculate from Sandpeople, Karim of Boom Bap Project, and Onry Ozzborn), or countless others. What's constant on The Miracle is the gratefulness of an artist able to do what he wants, when he wants, without compromise—hence the album's title.