By: Carrick Wenke
As we step two feet into 2018, artistic icon Perry Porter comes forth with long looooong awaited solo project, CHANNEL SURFING. Many know Perry for his paintings; many know him from his work as one half of Seattle legends Sleep Steady. My first introduction to Perry was back in February 2014 through my homie, Sk8god when we did some photo work for a show Perry was performing at. I specifically remember Sk8 telling me Perry was a dope rapper with a vocal tone that had an almost uncanny resemblance to Jay-Z. That stuck with me throughout the years – it wasn’t until 2016 that Perry and my paths crossed again when Sleep Steady’s brand of punk-rap caught my ear and eyes as something very unique to Seattle, the same way my group RUDE (RudeAssMogli & Crow)’s sound caught their ear.I immediately remembered where I recognized Perry’s name and sound from and instantly became a fan of Sleep Steady. RUDE and I spent the latter half of 2016 trading show attendance with them, and I even had them headline the first ever Get Blown show, which proved to be seminal and set the bar for future shows. Shortly thereafter, Sleep Steady released their archetypal debut TRUNK, and even more shortly after that disbanded. When asking Perry about what he had to say on Sleep Steady’s legacy, he told me; ‘Sleep Steady is the best ever!!! You’ll understand one day..”. They say all good things come to an end but I’d like to view that as more of a “everything happens for a reason” situation as both Perry and CiD went on to thrive in their own personal regards.
Immediately jumping into the spring, Perry took an even bigger step forward with his painting and visual arts, doing an art show in New York, and even having an original piece purchased by none other than Marshawn Lynch. The New York trip in particular was memorable for Perry. ‘Brooklyn was wild dude. I (laughs) I had no idea what I was doing but people came? I had no idea people really vibed with what I was doing. After that trip I stepped back and really took this art thing serious. I knew how lucky I was. I had to take full advantage of my lane’, Perry said. It wasn’t until the summer that Perry returned to music as a solo artist under the “Bobby Ro$$” pseudonym with the self labelled “demo” tracks “We On” & “Bust That”, and finally the single “Bobby Ro$$ (Rozay)”. These tracks proved to not only have a more dancy feel (which totally matches Perry’s vibes when you see him in the crowd at shows), but less of an aggressive approach than the Sleep Steady tracks which created more anticipation to see what direction his album was to go in when it finally dropped.
So now, today, the wait is over and CHANNEL SURFING is here. 9 tracks. Styles all over the place. Animated Perry surfing on the cover. The album opens with Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force articulating that he “just got this new album today by Perry Porter it’s called ‘Channel Surfing’ so we’re gonna put it in the X-Box, and we gone like, listen”. Immediately that skit kicks into the high energy chaos reminiscent of the Sleep Steady days with Perry proclaiming, “I’m water whippin’, I gotta get it…..alriiiight”. Once you hit the halfway mark a drop from WWE legend Ric Flair takes over the song, before it kicks back into the energy and subsides to a smooth funky close. Track 2-4 all bring it back to the slick back-cool vibe of “Bobby Ro$$” which all motivate the slow back and forth head bob artists like Dom Kennedy are known for. On to one of my favorites from the project, “Diff. Flavas” which features none other than my favorite Hardy Boy, L.E.X.. The Southern flavor L.E.X. is known for brings an undeniable contrast to the song. Overall the whole album is to me as beautiful as his paintings are, but in a different way. It’s pleasing to me to see from 2014 to now, all of the different stylistic experiments all coming back to meet at the same place, which is Perry.
And what did Perry himself have to say about Channel Surfing? ‘Channel Surfing is just a sampler. I wanted to show range but keep it 100% me. This is only the beginning. I rap a lot (laughs)’.