Porter Ray’s “Past Life” Video Tells a Story Rooted in Seattle

The video off the rapper’s Sub Pop LP (out tomorrow) features scenes from MLK Way and Lake Washington.

Tomorrow, almost three years after getting signed to Sub Pop by Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler, Seattle’s Porter Ray will release his long-awaited label debut, Watercolor. Through a consistent stream of dusky, noirish EPs, the gifted local MC has been telling the story of his life piece by piece—but on Watercolor, he finally paints the whole picture for listeners—a story he recently told Seattle Weekly in our Spring Arts Guide.

Today, Ray’s released the newest video off the record, album highlight “Past Life.” On the track, Ray reflects back on the eventful ups and downs of his teenage years: the death of his father and brother, friends he and guest vocalist Cashtro lost, and the feeling of being “stuck in the past.” The song’s atmospheric production certainly has a time-warped sensibility to it—echoing, delayed drums and crystalline synth shards that slip in and out of earshot. Director Patrick O’Brien-Smith’s video features Seattle almost as prominently as Ray and Cashtro—the backdrop of MLK Jr. Way and the docks on Lake Washington become characters in and of themselves:

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