[Photo Credit: Jay Scroggins]
Seattle rapper (and the first Sub Pop signee of Shabazz Palaces Ishmael Butler), Porter Ray has shared another stellar new track “Lightro [Looking For The Light]” (feat. Stas Thee Boss)” taken from his forthcoming debut album, Watercolor, out March 10th. “Lightro…” also features fellow Seattleite, Stas Thee Boss of THEESatisfaction, and premiered today via Uproxx.
Uproxx says of “Lightro…” and Watercolor, “Over a wafting cloud of synthy production Ray tackles the grimness of death and the fleeting nature of life, before the track bleeds into Stas’ starlit harmonies….When he starts spitting, you know it’s him immediately. He runs through various cadences and countless rhythms like it’s nothing to change up, but never loses a sense of cohesion in his rapping…In many ways, Watercolor is a distillation of Northwest rap told through the region’s most promising newcomer (see premiere February 21st).”
Porter Ray’s current live dates include a hometown release show on March 8th at Barboza (with guests Jarv Dee, Cam the Mac, and Bruce Leroy), multiple appearances at SXSW March 15th-19th, and Sasquatch Music Festival on May 26th. More live dates coming soon.
Tour Dates + Ticket Links
Feb. 26 - Seattle, WA – Crocodile (w/ Pickwick for ACLU Benefit)
Mar. 08 - Seattle, WA – Barboza (Watercolor Release Party)
Mar. 15-19 - Austin, TX - SXSW
May 26 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
“Lightro…,” and the forthcoming Watercolor, find Ray blending thoughtful portraits of Seattle streets with cathartic biographical accounts of an eventful adolescence and early adulthood, during which his father passed away, his brother was shot and killed, he became a father, and saw his son’s mother go to jail. Possessing insight beyond his years, Ray’s laid back yet captivating style, vivid lyrical vignettes and powerful storytelling are built around a vulnerability and unflinching honesty.
Watercolor is available for preorder in all your favorite formats. LP pre-orders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart and independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on translucent vinyl with magenta swirl in North America & Translucent vinyl in Europe, while supplies last.
Watercolor features original production from B-Roc, Dez Anthony, and Kmtk, and was mixed by Erik Blood. Guest appearances include Cashtro, Stas Thee Boss, Nate Jack, Jus Moni and Black Constellation elders Palaceer Lazaro and Fly Guy Dai of Shabazz Palaces.
What are “The People” saying about Porter Ray? Well, since you asked:
“A star in the making.” [Watercolor] - Uncut
“A natural storyteller, Ray unleashed a series of vivid mixtape portraits of his locale’s druggy highs and lows that painted him as a new school Nas with the lyrical slickness of Roc Marciano. The street-wise intellect certainly lets his slightly off-pitched voice do most of the heavy lifting over the stuttering spacey synthetics, phased keys and warped Rhodes of B-Roc’s atmospheric production.” [Watercolor, 4/5] - MOJO
“As a rapper, Porter’s storytelling skills drive his lyrical content. He tries to paint pictures, never sounding over excited or too energetic, opting for beats which create unique moods….with his effortlessly smooth tone and considered lyricism, Porter carries himself with striking presence and wisdom.” [Watercolor] - Crack Magazine
“Ray is Seattle to the bone, continuing the tradition of Sea-Town rappers with malleable flows and unorthodox sounds that bend along with them….The first taste of his album is a posse cut of sorts featuring Shabazz Palaces,Palaceer, and Castro. They all spit complicated rhyme schemes over a hollowed-out soundscape with dry 808 drums and shimmering, space-age synths reminiscent of THEESatisfaction.” [“Sacred Geometry”] - Stereogum
“Seattle rapper Porter Ray shares another hazy and seductive gem from his debut…“Arithmetic” showcases Porter’s golden voice and effortlessly vivid flow over a dreamy, immersively narcotic beat, elevated by spectral siren calls from the great Stas Thee Boss (formerly of THEESatisfaction) and anchored by a crucial assist from revered Seattle MC Infinite.” [“Arithmetic”] - Gorilla vs Bear
“On the first track from the Seattle native’s forthcoming Watercolor, Porter leads the song with melodic cadences and descriptive verses. Here, he and his collaborators all highlight the narratives that make up this holy equation.” [“Sacred Geometry”] - The FADER