Even with a few breakouts like Macklemore, Seattle still has a pretty introverted rap scene. Most of Seattle’s hip hop artists can’t go around Seattle without everyone knowing who they are, but at the same time, they don’t have much draw outside of Seattle. People like Sol are changing the game and doing it with a local perspective. You would be hard to find a Seattle hip hop artist (a good one at least) that hasn’t at some level worked with or have been mentored by Sol. From Grynch to Brothers From Another, Grieves, and Otieno Terry, Sol is everywhere, and having just done a US tour, he has clear goals of making his name larger outside of Seattle, and it seems very promising. Though I won’t validate the idea of “intelligent rap” because it is a dumb idea that rap isn’t inherently intelligent, and normally this term is sparked by racism, Sol has draw in the area of slower and non-traditional hip hop along with some draw from the Seattle hip-hop scene, that keeps him legitimate.
As a person that normally drifts toward traditional hip hop and hip hop that branches from the billboard top 100 like J Cole., Nicki Minaj, and their kin, Sol isn’t necessarily in the genre I prefer, however, the way that he works, and his wordsmithing charms me, and I have a true soft spot for him. With his latest album “The Headspace Traveler”, Sol again showing his ability to keep a slow vibe and mixing it with interesting jazz inspired beats, and working with my favorite hip hop artist Dave B., keeps me very interested and playing with Seattle sweethearts Brothers From Another and Otieno Terry will create a fantastic night of Hip Hop, vibes, and dancing.
Sol is playing at the Showbox on Friday and has an encore show at Neumos on Saturday. There are still some tickets to the Neumos show, and I suggest you snag one.
MARCUS SHRIVER | KXSU Head Reporter