Music

Porter Ray - "Past Life" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo: Jay Scroggins

Subtlety is an underused skill in hip-hop, but Porter Ray has it down on "Past Life".

Mike Schiller: Subtlety is an underused skill in hip-hop, but Porter Ray has it down on "Past Life". Over beautiful, hazy production, we get high-speed raps about everything but this moment. We hear about memories, we hear about dreams, we hear reminiscing about the past and looking toward the future. If it feels a little ethereal, that's probably its intent. [7/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Porter Ray and guest Cashtro get personal on "Past Life", a lyrically rich song that puts rapping skill at the forefront. Luckily, both of them have that in spades, and their speed and rhythm keep the otherwise simple song moving. We learn a lot about them as they rap about their histories and struggles, and Porter Ray proves that he knows how to engage a listener while staying grounded. It’s shy on melody and hooks, making it a less than memorable track, but it’s not there to be a pop object. "Past Life" tells a story, first and foremost, and does it well. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: A Seattle rapper signed to Sub Pop, Porter Ray ruminates on death and loss with a strong, powerful track from his debut album, Watercolor. It's shocking to discover that this is his debut -- the single leaps out of the starting gate with rapid-fire rhymes, vivid imagery, and an edgy, sparse production. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.00

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