I like to use this space to cover all sorts of stuff relating to hip-hop, but this issue, there’s just a butt-load of shows. In addition to Top Dawg Entertainment’s Jay Rock show at the Hawthorne Theatre on October 11 and Kyle’s “Lightspeed World Tour” stop at the Roseland on October 13, here are a few worthwhile opportunities to see hip-hop and R&B in Portland over the next two weeks.
Raquel Divar and Cory O
While they definitely qualify as a hip-hop act, Raquel Divar and Cory O are often booked for non-hip-hop lineups like the SYNT (See You Next Tuesday) weekly show dedicated to dubstep and the “deeper, darker side of bass music” at Bit House Saloon. The last time I saw Raquel Divar take the mic was at the Thesis in August, and it might have been her best performance to date. The crowd was apparently feeling that same energy as Raquel expertly performed challenging verses to dark tracks like “Runners Anthem,” “Snakes and the City,” and “Vandals,” from Divar and O’s new collaborative EP The Reign. There’s no better time than the present to go support this dynamic producer/MC duo. (Tues Oct 16, 9 pm, Bit House Saloon, 727 SE Grand, FREE, w/Penny Wide Pupils, Bodie, One Wub)
Hawthorne Hip-Hop Showcase
A lineup of all-local hip-hop at the Hawthorne on a Friday is a rarity, but with a bill this good and diverse, they might just pack the place out. In addition to six-piece hip-hop/soul/funk band Speaker Minds, there will also be a set by cannabis enthusiast/rapper Stevo the Weirdo, relative newcomer [E]mpress (their 2018 project HeartBreak Hotel is rock-solid), YungShirtMane of the Naturally Grown Misfits crew, and Mat Randol, who released the truly excellent and cohesive full-length Art of Allowing last month. (Fri Oct 19, 8 pm, Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE Cesar E. Chavez, $10-12)
Mic Check Pop-Up
Okay, I know I just covered Mic Check in the last installment of Sneaker Wave, but here they are again, doing another thing: Though the passing of StarChile caused the Mic Check crew to make their once-monthly concerts a quarterly event, this October, the local showcase is hosting a “pop-up” show at its usual spot. The pop-up will feature a beat set from Portland instrumental hip-hop artist Free Tillman; the Half&Half crew from Rapid City, South Dakota; Seattle rapper Onry Ozzborn; and Portland’s own Stevo the Weirdo. (Wed Oct 24, 7 pm, White Eagle, 836 N Russell, $8, w/Trox, OG One)
Obviously you know neo-soul band the Internet’s major 2015 hit “Girl,” from their Grammy-nominated album Ego Death, right? RIGHT!? (“Girl/If they don’t know your worth/Tell ’em you’re my girl/And anything you want is yours.”) Yeah, that’s what I thought. Their follow-up LP Hive Mind, also their first studio album to not be associated with the Oddfuture label, is basically a masterpiece. I’ll be shocked if this album isn’t nominated for a Grammy, but then again, the Recording Academy can’t even be trusted to bestow Beyoncé’s Lemonade with Album of the Year, so... yeah. Hive Mind highlights include lead singles “Come Over” and “La Di Da,” the sultry “Stay the Night,” “It Gets Better (With Time),” and “Look What U Started.” Pretty much all of these songs would make a smooth and easy soundtrack for late-night laptop work, and a logical addition to your lovemaking playlist. Their music just feels good, and seeing them live sounds like the perfect date night out, even if you just take yourself. (Wed Oct 24, 8 pm, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, $32.50-37.50, all ages)