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9/5 Music Monday

9/5 Music Monday: Mic Capes, Gifted Gab, RZA of Wu-Tang and the newly formed Banks & Steelz, and Emily King.

Music Monday this week features a ton of new stuff, as well as a bunch of fairly recent tracks that simply haven’t gotten the shine that they deserve. This week’s #MusicMonday is predominantly a collection of hip hop, R&B and other chilled-out, jazzy, indie and electronic beats.

You can file this one under WTF: Legendary rapper RZA of Wu-Tang Clan has teamed up with Paul Banks of early ’00s indie rock band Interpol. The two began working together in 2011 when Banks provided vocals for a RZA track. Their album Anything But Words features Ghostface Killah, Kool Keith, Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine, Masta Killa and Method Man. The unexpected duo creates a new, innovative sound together and with a bit of help from their friends.

When you think of the Northwest, hip-hop is not something that typically comes to mind. Seattle-based Gifted Gab and Portland-based Mic Capes and Mic Crenshaw turn that assumption on its ear; so do the R&B/hip-hop hybrid Neka & Kahlo. Historically known for its vibrant grunge, punk and riot grrl scenes (as well as indie rock), the Northwest’s hip-hop scene carries that same DIY punk in its attitude.

“We live in a society where food, clothes, shelter, education and the necessities of life are less and less of a guarantee. The degree to which there is an assault on working class people is constantly escalating. In this environment, keeping oneself, one’s family and each other healthy, strong and positive is heroic indeed. We don’t look to Hollywood or Washington, D.C. for inspiration, we look to each other and help ourselves,” emcee and spoken word poet Michael “Mic” Crenshaw says of his uplifting track, “Superheroes.”

Emily King is an incredible, Grammy-nominated queer singer/songwriter. Signed back in 2004, she started her professional career by working with Nas, simply going by Emily back then. Since then, she has worked with John Legend, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Emeli Sande, Chaka Khan as well as many others. Her song “Good Friend” closes out this week’s playlist. Enjoy!