While running through my daily hip-hop Youtube session about a year ago, rather than my usual 15 seconds of painful ad before each video, I was introduced to one of the hottest names in Portland music. I continued getting ads for PropaneLV, a rapper/singer doing great remixes of popular songs. 6 months later, after an introduction from the homie Jacob Keller, PropaneLV and his right-hand man Colin sat down for an interview in my living room to talk about the music industry, pop vs. hip-hop and “going viral.”
The idea of the “entourage” is well-connected to the idea of a modern rapper, but Propane is not your average modern rapper. The small, hard-working team he has assembled around him, known collectively as LTRMN, have come together to get Propane’s music to the masses. They have built LTRMN as a brand, in the same vein as Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang or Drake’s October’s Very Own. “Kids might not wear t-shirts with Wiz Khalifa’s face on them, but they put ‘Taylor Gang or Die’ in their Twitter bios,” says Colin Landforce, Propane’s right hand man and viral guru. Most of the team met while at OSU in Corvallis, but have since migrated to Portland, “a good starting point.” However, with the hip-hop scene in Portland still gaining momentum, they decided to take over the internet first.
There is no recipe for “making it,” especially when it comes to the wild west that is the internet. Propane has made the biggest strides with his Remix series, recording his own versions of popular songs by Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and even pop acts like Lady Gaga and Avicii. He wasn’t sold on Colin’s idea at first, but after his first remix to Drake and 2Chainz’s “No Lie” made it onto Worldstar, “the internet went crazy.” With calls from music labels and a growing fan-base, he kept delivering remixes and steadily became one of the hottest newcomers in the game.
His first full project, Varsity Blues, released in October and is full of Propane’s usual brand of passionate raps and pop choruses. Produced primarily by Californian producer D.Shuts, the album is a strong first project for the up and coming artist. Upfront, the project is easy to listen to and will have everyone from your little sister to your car full of homies nodding their heads to the project. However, what really comes through is Propane’s ability to tell intricate stories of love, inspiration, ambition and more within these 3 minute songs. His story is not the “industry story,” which will be clear if you ever get to see him outside of Youtube or a live show. “I feel most at home in the studio,” he said, explaining that writing is his favorite part of the the process. He is now focusing on writing tracks for his upcoming project and other artists, “tip-toeing between the internet and the industry to work our way up.”
You can check out Propane and the LTRMN crew for yourself at Peter’s Room on Feb. 1st! Buy your tickets and check out the artist at http://propanelv.com/.
Check out all the videos here.