Northeast Legends is a new album from Portland-based hip hop artist, Prxscott. This five song EP features sparkling synth-driven backbeats and a casually dreamy ambiance. The songs often build in intensity as Prxscott’s crisp and no-nonsense lyrical delivery keeps the vibe action-packed. Solid rapping fundamentals are demonstrated throughout, and it should be noted that the album includes contributions from several worthy guest artists: Tony Ro$e, Tedd Lokc, Yd Laze and Cabbage.
Part of what makes this release enjoyable is that Prxscott doesn’t neglect the musical aspect. The focus isn’t restricted to the lyrics or to his persona. These songs are complex and melodic, at times incorporating elements of R&B and pop in a mesmerizing fashion. The most musically dynamic tracks are What I’m About and On My Own, both of which showcase some impressive vocal serenading. (What I’m About is sampled from an artist known as Cool Nutz, who is recognized as a pioneer in the Portland hip hop scene.) The guest vocals serve to enhance the songs melodically but also help to convey an image of a friendly, party-like atmosphere.
There’s a lot to be said for the lyrics themselves though. Prxscott’s verses are rich with substance, specificity and detail as he relates stories and pays respects. There’s more than just flash here. His performance maintains an underlying sincerity and continuously demonstrates a sense of community. Lines like “Everything we did was to protect the essence,” exemplify this abstract commitment to friendship, family and even the city.
In fact, My City (featuring samples from Portland rap group, Kant B Caught) pays a realistic homage to Portland itself. Prxscott’s punchy delivery combine with a catchy chorus (“ain’t no squares in my city, just lions and tigers and bears in my city”) to make this song and instant local classic. My favorite track on the album is probably Gotti, which has a perfect intro, and Prxscott picks up the torch and carries the momentum all the way to the finish line. Each song is distinctive though, so listeners will be able to choose their own flavor.
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