Hear this—the word Fundamentals is no longer purely the province of Christian terrorists and white basketball, it's also the name of the latest project from the CD's son Porter Ray, and it's a shot of life much needed in this very strange time. He is officially Ishmael Butler's first signee to Sub Pop, the label that built this city on rock and roll. If I'm not mistaken, the Pop's signed more hiphop than anything else since 2011, and there's now officially enough black faces on the SP roster to make an SPD cruiser slow down. Will this signal a scene-climate sea change as did the wondrous discovery of the banjo? Other NW labels, do you have the cojones, taste, or ability to market hiphop? I'll wait.

Back to P, tho—this, his fourth project to date, is another chapter of his young-life old-soul tales of expensive taste, fast sex, and easy setups, interspersed with phoned-in reminiscences from his behind-the-wall homie D-Bleeze. With a contemporary sway and a natural, uncontrived grasp of classic Seattle hiphop's watery essence, Porter and company—Nate Jack and Yung Ike—never fail to paint the CD blocks, our people, "this city of art and grass," as sharply as a young Nas so graphically did of his native Queensbridge. And that's no hyperbole...

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