WAXED OUT WEEKLY delivers new music to keep your record collection fresh and stacked to the ceiling
words + photo by @Evan_Gabriel_
Standing in his living room with Star Wars blaring, Stewart Villain seems anything but worried. In fact, he’s nonchalant. The twenty-four year-old producer-rapper has managed to make a living selling his beats, defining his niche in a city that former Portland-based rapper Luck-One deemed “so racist Police are sent to every rap show.”
If only Luck-One’s January statement hadn’t rung so true during his return show Saturday night at the Blue Monk. Yet even among the vast political and personal drama that is tethered to the bouncing ball of local hip hop, it’s artist like Stewart Villain that remind you it’s all about the music.
Stewart and his crew of SOAR Losers (fly dudes who don’t like to lose…) which includes artists Tre Redeau, Manny Monday, Myke Bogan and now Spoon, have come up together and are now primed to take a seat at the front of the Portland scene. With a cast of real spitters and a sharp soundtrack supplied in large part by Stewart Villain, these guys are one of the hottest crews in town. They will all be playing shows at SXSW, so look forward to more E+E x Soar Losers content soon!
What is the Stewart Villain sound?
“I swear I don’t have one. I deal with a lot of different kinds of rappers. I can make all kinds of shit. From super electronic shit to soulful boom bap, to trap shit. I bounce around a lot. Right now I’m super into cloud rap, like airy-ass beats with crazy vocal samples. That’s my shit right now.”
Who are some of your influences? “Even though my music doesn’t sound like it, 9th Wonder is one of my favorite producers of all time. Him, and of course Just Blaze, Dilla of course. I used to try to be 9th Wonder back in the day!”
When you aren’t making beats or rapping, what might you be doing? “Playing video games. PS3 or 4.”
Despite the lack of Portland hip hop artists to “make it,” Villain has adopted a steady work pace that has only grown since he began producing during his sophomore year of highschool. This routine grind has landed Villain production credits for artists like Danny Brown and Nipsey Hussle.
Villain also has a stack of solo releases, including recent projects like January’s minimal but noteworthy “Leftovers” beat tape, or February’s experimental “No Donuts,” which finds Villain blending contemporary cuts atop smooth soul samples, re-flipped from J Dilla’s legendary “Donuts” album.
Who designed the cover for “Leftovers?” “My Homie Maximum Damage. That’s one of my best friends. We used to be roommates. Back in the day when he started doing graphic design and I was putting out hella beat tapes, we would just crank shit out and he would do all my covers.”
In your song, “I Tell Em” you use Kanye’s line, “they even make me show i.d. to get inside of Sam’s Club.” Why is that? “That song is so random! It’s funny how it came together. But that’s just such a classic Kanye line, and it just rhymed so my buddy in the studio said I should keep it. I hate that song, but everyone loves to hear it live.”
Best place to party in Portland? “I mess with Tube. Or EastBurn to kick it.”
Villain plans to drop his next rap album, “By All Means,” sometime before summer.
What can we expect from that? “On this one I’m taking a different approach. There’s a lot of EDM and trap shit, but really high energy.”
Stewart Villain is scheduled to perform at SXSW on Mar 18th and 22nd.