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Arts & Life

The Miseducation Of Portland Hip-Hop

Portland is known for many things: Hip-hop is not one of them. But once a month, a collection of music lovers converge on Mic Check, a showcase that features some of the best Portland hip-hop acts.

StarChile takes on hosting duties at Mic Check every month at White Eagle in North Portland. This night, before anyone blessed the stage, StarChile and Trox set up a perfect tribute to Hip-Hop legend Prodigy (of Mobb Deep), who died in June after losing his fight with sickle cell anemia. He was 42.

StarChile takes on hosting duties at Mic Check every month at White Eagle in North Portland. This night, before anyone blessed the stage, StarChile and Trox set up a perfect tribute to Hip-Hop legend Prodigy (of Mobb Deep), who died in June after losing his fight with sickle cell anemia. He was 42.

David Stuckey/OPB

Portland is known for many things: Hip-hop is not one of them. But once a month, a collection of music lovers converge on Mic Check, a showcase that features some of the best Portland hip-hop acts for a night of ferocious, brilliant rhymes and a deep appreciation for the culture.

On the last Thursday of June, Mic Check held its one-year anniversary of professionally structured cyphers.

But the question remains: Will this be the boost the city needs to make Portland a force in hip-hop?

Portland’s hip-hop scene is probably one that feels disrespected. For a major metropolitan city, and the most listened to music in the world, you would think the scene would be robust.

But what Portland may lack in quantity, it makes up for with quality.

Mic Check, a monthly showcase of that “hidden” talent, is a night for pure hip-hop heads. And if you’re craving truth in the form of music in the Rose City, this (for now) underground musical gem is where you’ll want to catch the next blistering scene of hip-hop.

These? Blacks started the night off, containing an energy that is only found in the world-wide phenomenon known as Hip-Hop. During the entire set, you had to keep your ear and mind open. These? Blacks are true lyricsts who will make any crowd jump, listen attentively and most importantly: think.

These? Blacks started the night off, containing an energy that is only found in the world-wide phenomenon known as Hip-Hop. During the entire set, you had to keep your ear and mind open. These? Blacks are true lyricsts who will make any crowd jump, listen attentively and most importantly: think.

David Stuckey/OPB

ADDverse Effects mixes funk, soul and lays the foundation of their groove with Hip-Hop. These musicians play, sing and rhyme with a love for the music that makes anyone embrace their brand of bohemian beauty. 

ADDverse Effects mixes funk, soul and lays the foundation of their groove with Hip-Hop. These musicians play, sing and rhyme with a love for the music that makes anyone embrace their brand of bohemian beauty. 

David Stuckey/OPB

ADDverse Effects drummer Boyd Littell passed away in late October.

ADDverse Effects drummer Boyd Littell passed away in late October.

David Stuckey/OPB

During Vinnie Dewayne's headlining set, he froze the entire crowd with at least 32 acapella bars about the vicious, racist attack on the MAX train that left two dead. The verse was talked about in back corners of the White Eagle long after it was done. St. Johns stand up.

During Vinnie Dewayne’s headlining set, he froze the entire crowd with at least 32 acapella bars about the vicious, racist attack on the MAX train that left two dead. The verse was talked about in back corners of the White Eagle long after it was done. St. Johns stand up.

David Stuckey/OPB

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