Google+ Q Dot: Helladope? I think so.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Helladope? I think so.

Freshcoast hip hop is coming a long long way from the uhh…not so long ago, no so great days of local music production. It used to be that nearly every cat you heard reppin’ the 206 or 253 on wax had one of the following in common: 1. The CD cover was a cheap No Limit rip-off, complete with graphically generated diamonds, dogs, airplanes, cars and whatever else you could use to stereotype a rapper of the 90s. 2. A picture of the space needle on the artwork. 3. Lackluster rhyme skills and rip-off bay area production. As recent years have passed I’ve found that the Northwest is starting to become the kind of hip hop community that produces the type of music I like: Music that is commercially viable and can compete with everything on BET or MTV, sounds great and reaches a broad audience.  Intro Helladope.

A couple months back I had the good fortune of opening up for the legendary Goodie Mob with a group who I’d only heard whispers about prior to the show that goes by the name Helladope. Tay Sean on the rhymes and beats, Jerm on the rhymes and licks. Whenever I’m thrown onto a bill I go and research everyone I’m performing with just to get myself hype for the show and get a feel for who’s doing what. Google, ::insert Helladope:: that search led me to the Helladope myspace page and one cut stood out like a sore thumb to me. Rainwater.

At the ensuing show that took place at Neumo’s to a sold out crowd I shared merch booth space with the duo and got a copy of the new CD. Cloud Nice – aptly named after the collective of South End MCs founded by Tay Sean of Helladope.

I could save every word of this post by simply telling you their CD has not left my deck since and you should most definitely grab yourself a copy of it. They remind of an even more funked out, sophisticated Outkast with that freshcoast flavor that’s undeniable and illuminated throughout the disc.  Just so you know is the name of the track just before Rainwater that is worth listening to on repeat and which you can hear on Juice Radio (

If anyone is going to, as they say, “blow up from the town”? Helladope is definitely in that conversation somewhere near the top in my opinion.