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Lopez Sez

January 7th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Oregon musician, Oregon singer, Side Notes

In Wednesday’s Oregonian, Luciana Lopez discusses the hip hop scene in Portland.

Portland’s track record backs up Vursatyl’s statements in that feature article.  Lee Morse and Johnnie Ray both were thought by radio listeners to be be black singers. Paul Revere and the Raiders‘ big hit Louie Louie is a reggae song.

Here’s an excerpt:

Yet Portland hip-hop’s conflicts about race and identity have their flip side. One of the city’s most popular hip-hop crews, Lifesavas, includes a white DJ, Rev. Shines.

“We’ve traveled with Shines into places like Houston, where we play all-black audiences,” says Vursatyl, one of the group’s two MCs.

“People are like, ‘Whoa, you got a white DJ?’ They’re not seeing it as often as we do. It’s not accepted.”

In Portland, it’s not a big deal. “We all genuinely have in common a love for what we do,” Vursatyl says. “Race never played an issue with us getting down with Shines. … Maybe that’s because we were born and raised in Portland. We weren’t raised with the same inhibitions or apprehensions.”

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