Myke Bogan Keeps the Dream of the 90s Alive

You have to sympathize with the city of Portland. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Alridge revitalize the Trail Blazers franchise to the days when Kevin Duckworth haunted the forests surrounding Mt. Hood,...
By    June 3, 2014

You have to sympathize with the city of Portland. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Alridge revitalize the Trail Blazers franchise to the days when Kevin Duckworth haunted the forests surrounding Mt. Hood, and yet Young Thug and Bloody Jay steal the city’s mantle with Black Portland. The city keeping the 90s torch lit has produced its fair share of indie rock bands, but standout rappers have always been rare. While Seattle has yielded Shabazz Palaces, Nacho Picasso, and that blonde guy with the Steve Nash haircut, Portland has pretty much been bereft of a nationally recognized rapper since Lifesavas (and I use nationally recognized loosely).

Myke Bogan might be the best rapper I’ve heard from the greater Pioneer Square vicinity. “Here We Go” interpolates Domino’s “Geto Jam” with hazy stoner flair. The motivation is the message, reminiscent of Outkast’s “Git Up Git Out” or Jeezy and Kellz’s “Go Getta.” He has dreams of overdosing like Hendrix, crosses his fingers for his own survival, and hits the blunt as a way to enhance and quell the paranoia. Bogan’s got his own flow and face-down on the floor stoner aesthetic, but the music is effective enough to come from the left-field wing of TDE. His more recent video, “Pool Balls” is more polished than it’s predecessor and full of art-rap signifiers like nude mannequins in a forest and an ersatz V. Stiviano visor. But there are shout outs to all the weed smoking fornicators so the sense of universalism is there. He’s not at the point where he’s going to get his trademark Voodoo Donut, but he’s closer than any Portland rapper has been in recent memory. Now maybe he can teach Damian Lillard to play defense in the off-season.

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