With the opening chords of her latest single “HOT,” Dodgr nails the kind of strength most gun for but few achieve: she sounds unbothered. Gliding on a dreamy, theatrical waltz that evokes Philly upstart Tierra Whack, “HOT” sees the rising Portland hip-hop star in a cocoon of self-assurance. “Enough is enough is enough, ain’t it?” she muses in the bridge, unburdened by any showy rage that might undercut the sentiment.
She has reason to flex. This summer, Dodgr (formerly “The Last, Artful”) appeared beside Alicia Keys on Mark Ronson’s low-lit Late Night Feelings; this weekend, she’s headlining her first show at the Roseland. Red Bull Presents: Dodgr is the result of a years-long relationship between the musician and the energy drink (ain’t 2019 wild?), and it’s hosted by Portland music giants Portugal. The Man, who met Dodgr on the set of the music video for their Grammy-winning hit “Feel It Still.”
“Those are my buddies,” Dodgr says, laughing. “They’ve been to all of my shows, or as many as they could make it to. Got kicked out of my Doug Fir show for being too ratchet.”
Portugal. The Man won’t be playing on Saturday, but a stacked roster of up-and-comers will: LA DJ Falcons, Seattle/LA duo Blimes and Gab, and Portland’s own Maarquii, whose 2018 full-length C.A.B.O. was one of the most assured debuts in recent memory, locally-produced or otherwise.
“[Dodgr] approached me a while ago and just told me to save the date [for this show] on my phone, so I did, no questions asked,” says Maarquii, adding that they see the show as an opportunity for joy after a bumpy summer.
That’s by design. Dodgr picked her bill-mates deliberately—Falcons is the only artist on the lineup who’s not queer, or a woman, or both. “I wanted to do some stuff that Portland doesn’t normally see. If I was gonna do the Roseland my way, I really wanted to do it my way,” she says.
Both she and Marquii are sitting on a mountain of new music (Dodgr’s forthcoming LP will be called Hits of Today, but there’s no release date; Maarquii released the grimy, too-brief boast “Day Ones” last month), and they plan to play it on Saturday.
“I want people to feel like they just got a glimpse of the future,” Dodgr says. “I want people to feel like, ‘Holy hell, I got to be a part of this moment that nobody else got to be a part of.’”
8:30 p.m. Sat, Oct 19, Roseland, $5–10