Mic Check - Thank You Portland
June of 2016 introduced a new, monthly event to fans of hip-hop in Portland. Every last Thursday of the month McMenamins White Eagle Saloon would host Mic Check, a platform for local rappers with a focus on lyricism. But also a place the local scene could network and build .
The event would be hosted by long time promoter Starchile and producer Trox would handle duties as the resident DJ. I would hold my position as the third member of the crew, mostly helping with curating lineups and playing the background.
Over the last three years Mic Check grew in popularity and hosted artists who are veterans of the Portland hip-hop scene as well as those still honing their craft. It grew into a sister event - Mic Check LAX, partnered with Team Backpack to feature some of Portland’s best, hosted emcees from LA, the Bay, Seattle, Nebraska and Oklahoma, has been supported by local and national companies including McMenamins, XRAY FM, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Yanagida Projects, Cascade Record Pressing and Ear Trumpet Labs.
In April of 2018, Starchile lost a battle with cancer [R.I.P.]. Star was not only the creator & host of the night, but also the heart and soul of the event.
I expanded my role beyond curating to also hosting the event. I recruited DJ O.G. One, Starchile’s long time DJ and producer, to join the team and for the last 3 years we’ve continued to tradition, working to honor the legacy of our friend and continuing to serve the Portland hip-hop scene as best we can.
We recently celebrated our 3 year anniversary event, a great night headlined by Portland’s Vursatyl The Great.
Taking time to reflect, it seems we started doing this not so long ago. It seems like just yesterday Star, Trox, René Lopez [our original photographer] and I were sitting at Produce Row, planning what this event could be. But time truly does march on.
I am grateful for the opportunity and very proud of what we’ve been able to do with Mic Check. Providing a stage for local rappers and producers, creating an event that built community.
In August, we’ll be presenting our final Mic Check of this series before going on an extended hiatus. We’re excited to have Portland based MC JxJury headline the night. The energy he brings to the live stage will be memorable for sure. We’re also excited to welcome Cam Archer from the Inland Emprie to the city, along with Portland by way of Chicago MC Rambo Rich. Portland based producer Beats by Sheed will hold down the final beat set and of course resident DJ's Trox and O.G. One will be on deck.
I look forward to what’s next for Mic Check PDX, an opportunity to do more special events, album releases…
Whatever the future holds, it’s been a great pleasure to do what we’ve done - represent Portland Hip-Hop!
Thank you Portland.