I love the looks I get when people first find out how much I love hip hop. What I love even more than that is convincing hip hop haters that they can like the genre too. One of the artists I’m quick to introduce them to is Seattle rapper Sol. He tends to create very melodic hip-hop music that borders pop music. He just put out two new tracks called “100 Songs” and “Happiness” that I’m sure just about any can get behind. Check for yourself, and listen closely to the lyrics on “Happiness.” So good.
31 days up, and 31 days down. Per usual, the team over at Sunset has gotten together to bring you the best new songs to be put out in August. Phenomenal list, as always!
Highlights this month:
Kygo released not one, but two random piano tracks. Chance The Rapper made an appearance this month. Skizzy Mars keeps on releasing dope remixes. Oh, he also hopped on his buddy, Allday’s “Grammy.” Oh, Be Clever flexed their muscles with their latest release, “River.” The recent out pour of Gallant’s “Weight in Gold” remixes is intimidating, but we decided to give you a standout from Sweater Beats. Sol dropped some wise knowledge on us.
Hit the jump for the Soundcloud stream and download!
Sol just let this little goodie loose on his Soundcloud page. Straight from the Seattle rapper himself:
“Never let anyone or anything get in the way of doing what you love…”
At first, I thought I was listening to Jack Johnson before Sol’s voice comes in. With an easy instrumental, and smooth verses, Sol’s latest is simply something to lift up your mood. Plus, who doesn’t like trumpets in rap songs? No word on whether this is a single for something bigger or just one to share with the world. If I were a betting man, I’d go ahead and say it’s the latter.
Seattle, known for its rainy weather, gets a beam of sunlight from Sol and his latest SoundCloud upload, ‘Trojan.” I’ve been a ‘Zilla since Sol released his first mixtape, and am truly blessed to have watched his career blossom to where it’s at now. I’ve always loved the way Sol raps with the tempo and rhythm of his tracks, and the unique way he does it, always sounds nice the earbuds. You want passion? You want thought-provoking lyrics? Listen to Sol. Here is an excerpt from Sol on this epic track:
” ‘Trojan’ was recorded in 2011 at Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Studios and is produced by Jack The Ripper with additional production by Teal. “
I’ve had several times in my life when I’ve felt lost and looked for any reason to get away from the fast-paced world. One of these times came as I was starting college and realizing I was entering what was going to be the time of my life, but I didn’t want to lose sight of reality around the rest of the world. I wasn’t sure what kind of impact I could have, but I owed it to myself and to the world not to be ignorant. So I dedicated my college years to studying Human Rights and did my study abroad in Kenya. It was an experience that opened my eyes to bigger things in life than some of my other passions like technology and sports. I learned that when resources are scarce (which they always were, particularly in the rural areas I was living and studying in), the focus doesn’t need to be on what we don’t have, but making the most of what we do have. Things like human relationships, trust and care took on a whole new meaning for me. Today, six years later, I find myself working in technology sales, but I never lose sight of what I learned, and truth be told, I often find myself feeling lost and itching to get away again.
Seattle hip-hop artist Sol had a similar revelation a bit over a year ago when he put music on hold for a chance to travel around the world and learn more about himself and life. While it was likely upsetting to his fans to see him drop music like it was nothing, I got it. And though part of me wondered if he’d be able to pick up rapping again after seeing reality in countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, Haiti and India, I believed deep down that he would use the experience to tell a better story in his music. And that’s exactly what happened.
Sol didn’t always impress me with his storytelling skills in the past, but today’s release of Sol’s Open Eyes EP is a whole new story. Songs like “Old Him” are a genuine representation of what Sol learned and provide a refreshing perspective on the rest of the world, not just the extravagant one we tend to hear about through hip-hop today. Sol raps: “My belly’s empty, and not because it’s Ramadan/ I simply lost my appetite seeing children starve/ And that’s what’s really hard/ Not your silly bars/ Not your grill, not your cars, not the pills you pop.” Suddenly Sol has a story to tell that’s so real, and it may not quite resonate with everybody right off the bat, but to me it’s an opportunity for Sol to enlighten his listeners on bigger things in life. This EP is Sol’s first step, and he’s got an open lane ahead of him that not enough artists are riding in right now.
There are still songs on the EP like “Jump In,” which still show a bit of the old Sol; it’s poppy, it doesn’t carry too deep a message with it, but it’s still fun to listen to. It’s one of those tracks I turn on every time I want to bounce around a little, and frankly, I appreciate that Sol included a track like that (and bonus track “Dope”) on the collection, because it helps him appear more human than if had he only included serious tracks with preachy messages that might be distant for some of his fanbase or potential fans.
Altogether, I think Sol has taken a leap forward in his career. It goes to show that taking time off, slowing down, and getting one’s bearings doesn’t have to be seen as a pause or a step backward…if done well, it can be a huge step forward. It has helped me tremendously in life, and I think this EP is proof that it has absolutely helped Sol. It helped him craft a new sound, deliver a new message, and gain perspective on life. Sol describes it best in a letter that went out to his fans and promoters today. Hit the jump for the full EP stream and to read the letter from Sol.
We’re about one month into summer so it’s only right for the Sunset Fam to give you a dose of our favorite songs of the season so far. We’ve compiled a list that’ll make you want to cruise to the beach with your windows down, with no worries in the world. Here’s our top 20 must-have tracks to get you going for the rest of this lovely season.
1. Netherfriends – Uptown Boys
There’s not much I can say other than this jam by Netherfriends is one of the coolest songs I’ve ever heard. If I could only transport back to college and just drive around campus blasting this song with my windows rolled down. Fuck it, though, I’m just going to put my headphones on, play this song on repeat, and strut around living like it’s a summer day every day. It’s easy to dream when you’re always high. – Lydia
2. La Plage – Rendez Vous
3. Sol – Jump In
To be honest, I go back and forth on Sol. Sometimes I think his content is lacking substance. But when it comes to a summer tune, sometimes the last thing you want is heavy content. That’s part of what makes this song so perfect. It’s light, airy, and catchy as ever. music is my baby, she drive me crazy – Lydia
It’s Sunday, which means a few things. 1. It’s pizza night in my household, and 2. the best songs of the week are here. Check out this weeks best new releases below!
The debut single from Hoodie Allen’s producer, RJF and David Brook that is infectious, and an impressive debut. The sample is catchy as fuuuuuck, and I already can’t wait to see what this duo has in store next!
It’s summer. Everybody knows that (at least I’d hope so…). So people tend to release summer sounding music. Sol does just this as he is back from his travels overseas and he lets loose the first single from his upcoming EP out September 10th.
Another first single from another upcoming EP, as Collin McLoughlin gears up for his new EP, Tears of Tempo, with his first single off of the EDM infused project.
A good pop song that’s constructed to be easy on the ears, but dreamy at the same time. Jaymes swoons in over a simple instrumental
I know you’re not supposed to put EP’s on this, but IT’S SO GOOD. ALL OF THESE COULD BE THE BEST SONGS OF THE WEEK.
Again, I know you’re not supposed to put EP’s on this, but IT’S SO GOOD. ALL I WANT TO DO IS DANCE BECAUSE ALL OF THESE COULD BE THE BEST SONGS OF THE WEEK.
Sticking with the whole “singles dropped before an EP theme,” I’m gonna round out this week with Carousel’s latest as their distinctive sound will take over your speakers and put you in the best mood you’ve been in all day.
After Sol returned from his (literal) trip around the world, he dropped “Dope” and has since been relatively quiet, presumably working on new material. And up to this point, I haven’t really heard a better song from him than “This Shit.” Man, that was my shit when it came out two years ago. But I think the self-exploration during his travels have really helped him express himself clearly. Every word here is important in either portraying an emotion or following up on a punchline, making it at least comparable to “This Shit.”
“Jump In” is definitely not a song that takes itself too seriously and should make its way right in the middle of your summer playlist. Keep a lookout for Sol’s Eyes Open EP, which is due out September 10th.
P.S. Hahahaha I said “lookout” and his EP is called “Eyes Open.” #so #funny
P.P.S. Here’s a dope remix of Sol’s last single.
P.P.P.S. Hahahaha got it again!
I’ve had this song on my iTunes ever since it came out last week, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. Just a few minutes ago, however, it came on shuffle, and I immediately stopped what I was doing (scrolling through Twitter–I don’t do actual work) and went to see whose song was playing. Lo and behold, it was Sol who just returned from his ten month creative retreat around the world. It took a random occurrence a whole week after its release for me to understand just how dope “Dope” is. I think that’s dope. I can see influences on this song, ranging from Big Sean to Coldplay, which is also dope, and I’m stuck–probably will just stop describing things all around from here on out.
Welcome back, Sol.
Sol, another favorite rapper of mine who hails from Seattle, just released a new track today called “Old Him.” It was written while Sol was traveling on the night train to Bangalore, India and recorded in Chennai, Mail Nadu, India while he was critically ill from food poisoning. He sent this track over to me today from Tanzania and let me know that it was produced by The Zillas. And this is me, typing to you, letting you know that I think this track is fantastic. Bam. Fact. That’s all for today, folks!
More humble than he’s ever been/ Sun up on his golden skin/ Feelin’ something like a fugitive, somethin like a fugitive/ Runnin’ from the old him
I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that I like about Sol so much. It could be his voice, it could be his beats…to be honest, he doesn’t always have the most impressive rhymes. They’re often simplistic, nothing too complex about them. But he makes it sound so good somehow. It’s definitely an art that I have to commend him for. Again another nice tune from Sol, this one serving as a goodbye song before Sol circles the globe for 9 months. Anybody catching him at Sasquatch?
Tickets to Sol’s Seattle Farewell show at Showbox Market & other West Coast tour dates are available here.
Engineered & Mixed by: Elan Wright
Mastered by: Kevin Bressler
Photo by: Chris Jespersen
“I’m Good” is the last leak off of Grynch’s upcoming album Perspective, set to drop March 2nd. He is joined by the always likable and fellow Northwest rapper, Sol. Equipped with a refreshing and carefree beat, Grynch and Sol team up and do what they do best – spit those crazy feel-good rhymes. With so much talent oozing from the Northwest, it’s hard not to take notice of the solid tracks it continues to produce. Enjoy this below, and be sure to support the album once released.
Life is Good, Life is Great.