Aminé remains Portland's banner rap name (for now), but our scene beyond his technicolor antics is plenty vibrant too—see the Last Artful, Dodgr's success and the talented up-and-comers platformed by the Thesis, to scratch the surface. Rose City rapper Mic Capes’s new project is just more proof of what the city has to offer. 

In Spite of…, Capes's fourth studio project, dropped earlier this week, to much fanfare:

The North Portland rapper's new album is a nine-track-long overview of Mic Capes’s musical journey and the work ethic that allowed him to achieve his dream. His current #19 spot on iTunes proves that not only does he have something to say, but also that you do not need to move to New York or LA to make a chart-climbing album.

Capes has already made waves in the Portland community and connected with some of its most famous members: he's received shout-outs from the likes of Damien Lillard, who argued Capes is the best rapper in Portland right now in an interview with Nardwuar. It's praise that Capes uses to open the album's sixth song, "Reloaded (Freestyle)."

Achieving your dreams, and the hard work required to make it dominate the songs on In Spite of.... “Can’t pay no mortgage off of no hype,” Capes says at one point.

The flow and sound are evocative of J. Cole and BIG K.R.I.T.'s older works, but it's never derivative: the reference points lift Capes's performance and strengthen his message. All in all, it's an excellent project.

Listen to the full album below:

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