On the eve of his debut album release on Sub Pop, rising Seattle rapper Porter Ray drops a dream-like video for previously unheard track, Past Life.
Filmed in Porter’s hometown of Seattle, the visual is directed by Patrick O’Brien-Smith. The bittersweet Past Life - featuring Cashtro and Black - finds Ray reflecting on his eventful teenage years, lost family and friends, highs, lows, misadventures and more. The rapper’s laid back yet captivating style, vivid lyrical vignettes and powerful storytelling are built around a vulnerability and unflinching honesty.
Porter Ray signed to Sub Pop after catching the attention of Shabazz Palaces founder and label A&R Ishmael Butler, his debut album Watercolor drops tomorrow AND he plays at SXSW next week.
Porter Ray’s current live dates include multiple appearances at SXSW March 15th-19th, and Sasquatch Music Festival on May 26th. Additional live dates will be announced soon.
Mar. 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Swan Dive Patio
Mar. 19 - Austin, TX - SXSW - Dozen Street - Kosher Dillz Show
May 26 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
Watercolor is out tomorrow, March 10th, on CD / 2xLP / DL / CASS from Sub Pop right over here and in finer independent record stores the world over. LP 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, Nate Jack, Jus Moni and Black Constellation elders Palaceer Lazaro and Fly Guy Dai of Shabazz Palaces.
[Photo Credit: Jay Scroggins]
What “The People” are saying about Porter Ray:
“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 ShabazzPalaces, 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 StasThee 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