The Seattle hip hop scene is a mixed bag. Most of it is glitch hop and lacks the hard, fast sound characteristic of rap music. However, Gifted Gab aka Gabrielle Tical is an exception—her songs bring soulful groove to a city with developing street culture.
The Most High is, at surface level, audio art about marijuana, which is legal in the state of Washington. Implicitly, it talks about the need to feel powerful while also admitting that you’re normal. It’s about feeling on top of the world while succumbing to base instincts, like lust, envy, and the need to escape. With a sound reminiscent of Ms. Hill on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Tical takes the influence of 90s R&B à la D’Angelo and makes it her own. Seattle hip hop native Antwon Vinson produced a handful of the tracks on the album, giving it a relevant sound, with fades and drums that still sound modern despite the throwback soul.
Moor Gang Hip Hop
“Gettin Smokay” with Jarv Dee toward the end of the album is more uptempo, and my favorite track is “Sonny”. The hip hop scene in the Pacific Northwest has so much to gain from artists like Gifted Gab, who’s part of Seattle’s Moor Gang. Moor Gang is a hip hop collective that was originally called Bad Ass Yellow Boyz, with Jarv Dee, Nacho Picasso and Steezie NASA. Nowadays, Moor Gang is comprised of a bunch of different artists, all contributing to the local, regional, and national scene. Keep an open mind when listening to The Most High and realize that not all rap follows the same formula.