July is here so that means mucho music from emcees all over the world trying to stamp summertime with their tracks. One in particular we had a chance to check out was very well developed. It comes from Portland, Oregon’s, very own, So-Far-I the Soljourner. The project is creatively titled “Lunchbox: Assorted Flavors for Various Misbehaviors” and is the follow up to the “Evolution In Progress” mixtape, which dropped in April of 2013.
Upon listening to the project the intro kicks off with a cinematic debut. It makes you feel as if the lights just went out in the movie theatre and you are kicking back checking out a 2014 version of the Matrix…. until those burly horns come in play and you time travel back to the Tommy Hilfiger – Wu Wear infused golden ages. The grim horns and boom bap percussion sets up lyrical target practice as compact lines get spit like, “we triple flip on stage/ and pistol grip on gage/ dont touch the trigger, see you lames shrivel, lift off stage”.
The Golden Age feel continues on tracks like “Food For Thought” and “Heated Times”. In fact on the bass heavy “Heated Times” we were waiting for Wu-tang to come through and lay a few guest vocals on this joint. The record itself is so reminiscent to that jazz infused/ east coast/ early 90’s Hip Hop sound that so many claim crafted the best music of the genre. Not to mention the bass line was something that Method Man flow would body. All emcees on this joint brough a different element and killed the record.
One of the album stand outs is rapid paino laced “Free Speech Zones”. This fun energetic record is full of electricity as each emcee delivers a potent dose of reality. A video would bring this record to life even more. So-Far-I spits how he “got back his freedom” and how “these kids are fake and will never change nothing”. The idea of free speech is taken literal as each artist embodies what we all take for granted, the freedom of free speech. This record is one of the stand outs by far. So-Far-I shows his balance on the RnB influenced “Blues Clues” and channels his inner coinscence on “W.M.P”. The versatility of the artist is in tack and that shows a lot, especially in this day and age in Hip Hop music.
Just when we think the project is winding down it kicks up a notch and goes full throttle on the last 2 closing songs. Both of these tracks, “Like That Yall” and “Forever” also are not only amped up intense, gold age inspired records, but prove to be 2 more album stand outs. “Like That Yall” is strictly ride out music. It makes you wanna roll down the windows and blast that record at max volume.
So-Far-I has proven to be not only one of the best emcee’s from Oregon on the come up, but also shows to be one of the very few on the come up with artistry in tack. There is difference in crafting songs and just spitting bars, because thats what rappers do. Being an emcee and an artist is a whole other lane. So-Far-I proves that his witty spit fire lines, track selection and placement, concepts and substance put him in a different realm that a lot of this new generation lost in all the molly poppin and making it reign. We look forward to hearing more from Portland wordsmith. But until then make sure you cop this album below and support and link with him on fb- https://www.facebook.com/SoFarIMusic.
Purchase and Stream here- http://so-far-i.bandcamp.com/album/lunchbox-assorted-flavors-for-various-misbehaviors