Browse or search our archive of 326 Seattle hip-hop record reviews


Stas Thee Boss


Released August 2017

Stas Thee Boss subtitles this record, “An aquatic explanation of failed female companionships.” Pitchfork described it as “a collection of innuendos that deliver bravado and honesty with ease.” There are 11 terrific tracks here, the sum too short at 23 minutes total running time. Most songs are dense 120-second pops. French chefs have a name for their tiny, tasty morsels: “amuse-bouche” or “entertaining to the mouth.” Let’s call these songs “amuse-oreille” because they greatly entertain the ears, as little explosions of audio delights. Back in September, I was talking with Stas outside a party and she said this record is made from “hella samples” and that for her, samples contain life and soul. In each track, the individual elements breathe at their own pace. Songs slowly coalesce as though you were half listening to multiple stories all at once… When magically their grooves transfixingly lock step. I wonder if this is a reflection of Stas’s prolific DJ life, always queuing up a new joint while the current one shakes the speakers. On December 21, Erykah Badu quoted this memorable verse from “Tried It” to her 2.6 million Instagram followers: “How you got the sage and the incense, but still got the rage in your intent?” These are songs you can listen to 10 or 20 times through and still hear something new. That’s the beauty of breath, and of samples that have souls.