by Porter Ray


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Watercolor is the proper debut from MC Porter Ray, a Seattle native who has been writing music for much of his life, but only began releasing mixtapes in 2013. The album appears on Sub Pop, which signed Ray in 2015 after he met Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler, leading to a guest appearance on THEESatisfaction's EarthEE that year. Ray's lyrics reflect all of the tumultuous occurrences throughout his life; his father passed away in 2005, his younger brother was killed four years later, and several of his friends have been shot or become incarcerated due to gun violence. He's faced numerous personal demons, and has often turned to drugs and alcohol for alleviation. On top of all of this are all of his myriad relationship issues. His clearly stated lyrics address all of these concerns, and express his confusion, fear, loneliness, and aggression. The subject matter is usually quite intense, and his rapping style is urgent but not threatening. The music is generally calm and ethereal, verging on cloud rap, and often consisting of billowing, atmospheric synthesizer textures. The sample-free tracks were mostly produced by BRoc, with a few other Seattle-area producers providing beats, including Dez Anthony and Kmtk, so they maintain a consistent mood. The album's best tracks are the ones that seem to push slightly over the edge. "Arithmetic" features trippy, echo-covered vocals by Stas Thee Boss of THEESatisfaction over a fractured rhythm. "East Seattle" laces a tight, clapping beat with spacy whirring while Ray delivers his tragic street scenes. Watercolor's most touching moment is the cautiously optimistic "My Mother's Words," which actually ends with Ray's mother giving him life advice and congratulating him for his work and achievements. The album undeniably seems like a labor of love, and Ray is undoubtedly dedicated to his craft.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2017
Label: Sub Pop
UPC: 0098787118827
catalogNumber: 71188
Rank: 241656

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Porter Ray   Primary Artist
Vitamin D   scratching
Erik Blood   Bass
Black   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jusmoni   Vocals
Aslan Rife   Vocals
Stas Thee Boss   Vocals
Joy Brannon   Vocals
Aaron Michael Sullivan   Vocals
Thad Moore   Vocals
Ray Shinez   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ishmael Butler   Composer
Erik Blood   Composer
Stasia Irons   Composer
Alana Belle   Composer
Tendai Maraire   Composer
Bridget Beorse   Art Direction
Aslan Rife   Composer
DJ El Grande   Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Porter Sullivan   Composer,Art Direction
Thad Moore   Composer
Jaycee Coleman   Composer
Geoff Gillis   Art Direction
Dez Anthony   Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Brian Ovalles   Composer
Tele Fresco   Producer

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