In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to a lot of Nacho Picasso, which you should do too. But, while I was balls deep in Skyrim last night and had my iTunes on shuffle, my computer was sure to remind me who Seattle’s best rapper is. Don’t get me wrong, Nacho has an incredible flow, but he’s got a long way to go until he can spit with the same intelligence and passion that you get from Sol.
His self-proclaimed title as “Seattle’s Prince” is all too fitting. He just recently graduated from the University of Washington and is now focusing entirely on his musical career. Sol’s first full album The Ride has a semi-serious feel to it that gives you insight into how determined he was to be a musical star from the start. His rap style reflects a sort of Biggie Smalls meets Snoop Dogg with a zen-like flow. After The Ride Sol followed up with three EPs released over the course of 2 years, Dear Friends, Vol. 1, 2, and 3. These three EPs took the sound of nirvana Sol had already achieved, refined it, and threw in some comedic elements for good measure. Vol. 2 saw the rise of his hit So Damn High, hitting #1 on Hype Machine (surpassing artists like Kanye West).
Sol’s greatest accomplishment is by far his dedication to his fans. They may just be titles, but when you listen to all three volumes of Dear Friends you feel like he really does appreciate all of his fans. He takes his tranquil flow, adds a lovable stonery character to it, and then throws in a serious side, that makes you not only love him, but also respect him as an artist. I don’t generally go out and buy music, anyone that knows me knows I’m not huge on paying for music. But when Sol released Yours Truly earlier this January, I happily shelled out the $10 to support him and would’ve happily paid more.
The first video to come off of the album, 2020 is the hardest I’ve seen almost any rapper ever go on one of their songs. His voice makes you feel his passion and dedication and not just feel it, but understand it. Yours Truly is easily the best album I’ve heard in a solid couple of years. Every song has its own story to it. Sol raps about the things that he cares about, and maybe it’s just because I’m an 18-year-old in Seattle, but all of it is relatable. In his song Ugly Love he raps about the ugly side of love, the one-night-stands, the hook-ups that you regret right after, the relationships where the physical aspect is all that’s keeping together. I’m not much for commenting on love, but his rhymes just make you sit there and go “Yeah, this dude’s got it!” The whole album is gold, and it’s easily worth the $10 on iTunes. And if you’re not sure you wanna shell out the money just yet, then check out his website here and download all three Dear Friends EPs for free. In this blogger’s opinion, Sol is the best rapper in Seattle right now, and he’s only going up from here.