Fresh off rocking a live-band set at Capitol Hill Block Party on Friday--not to mention earning a slot on the Bumbershoot lineup, rocking his first headlining gig at the EMP Sky Church, and graduating with honors from the University of Washington--it seems a long and eventful spring for Sol could be no better capped than with the final installation of his Dear Friends, EP trilogy. The prelude to his sophomore full-length due out this fall, Vol. III sports production from Budo, DJ Nphared, and Jester (among others)--"a little bit of classic hip-hop, a little bit of genre-bending, and a little bit of baby-making music."
Photo by Nick Feldman Sol performing with The Clipse and Mike Posner at UW's Spring Show.
From the shout-along chorus of concert favorite "This Shit" to the sing-along AutoTune of "Addicted," from the nostalgic Budo-produced and Grieves-featuring gem "The Times" to the jaded, Dice-assisted "For the Love," Vol. III is full of new milestones for Team Zilla. It's easy to talk about improvement when you talk about Sol--probably because, since his 2009 debut The Ride, the Seattle MC has been on a consistent upward trajectory. Kicking it in his Capitol Hill apartment after hearing the project for the first time, he reiterated that stagnation isn't an option:
"Complacency is something I hate to see in artists, not just in a technical way but spiritually and personally too. You've always got to evolve, and I think your truest fans will embrace that. They're the ones that will support you when you try new things, and they're the ones you owe it to to keep experimenting. And that's what I've been doing the past two years with these Dear Friends, projects."
Sometime between his fall LP release and June 2012, Sol will embark on a new journey: As one of seven UW undergrads to receive a Bonderman Travel Fellowship, his only requirements are that he plans a journey at least eight months long that takes him to at least two regions of the world. As he triumphantly echoes on the final track of the EP (and series): "Say farewell 'cuz I'm gone!"