Portland’s Tope adds to his already impressively prolific output with his latest album, Broke Boy Syndrome, and the stellar record is one that is not only one of Portland’s best of the year, but hip hop in general’s.
Songs like “Let It Go”, “Almighty” and the title track are instant winners featuring clever wordplay and some fantastic production, but for me the centerpiece of the record is the absolute banger that is “Red Light.” A fantastic soul sample and some Hammond B3 organ during the intro set the stage perfectly for the eventual beat drop, and when the drums kick in the song becomes literally impossible to ignore. It’s here that Tope’s myriad of talents are on display, and his influences, from J Dilla to jazz, are abundantly apparent and presented with razor sharp focus. I found myself having one of those “Oh shit!” moments the first four or five times I heard the track.
Tope told me in our interview that, “I’m 100% honest in my music so you get humor, anger, pain, party, love, everything” and attempting to bring all of that into any piece of art is a Herculean task, but with Broke Boy Syndrome, he has done just that. Tope hasn’t just made a very good local record, and he hasn’t just made a very good hip hop record, this is just a very good record. Period. Here’s to hoping it and he get the attention he deserves in the coming months. »
– Donovan Farley