The unrelenting march of technology has permanently altered the musical landscape. Now more than ever, cheap and easy access to recording gear and the proliferation of websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp have made it easy for just about any musician to be heard.
Nowhere is this more true than in hip-hop, where unofficial online mixtapes have pushed aside the traditional album format, and artists can self-release their latest stuff by simply uploading it to sites such as DatPiff, HotNewHipHop and DJBooth.
In other words, rappers no longer need record label execs to put their music in the ears of listeners. On Monday night, the Domino Room will host a hip-hop show headlined by a couple of out-of-town MCs who have become hot names by following this model.
The better known is IamSu!, a rising star from the Bay Area who did release a fine debut album called “Sincerely Yours” in 2014, but not before putting out seven mixtapes of playful, pop-leaning hip-hop over the previous four years. Su’s music is all about minimalist beats, melodic synths and good times.
Also on the bill is Rome Fortune, a big-bearded rapper who’s part of Atlanta’s ridiculously colorful scene alongside white-hot artists like Young Thug, ILoveMakonnen and OG Maco. Unlike those three, he hasn’t yet scored a breakout hit, but his two “Beautiful Pimp” mixtapes put him on the map, and last year’s “Small VVorld” tape — featuring guest verses by Makonnen and Maco, plus production by Four Tet and Bassnectar — showcased his artistic ambition. Fortune’s a rapper to watch from a town spilling over with rappers to watch.
IamSu!, with Rome Fortune, Dave Steezy, Mani Draper and Chandler P; 8 p.m. Monday, doors open 7 p.m.; $20 plus fees in advance (ticket outlets listed on the website below), $23 at the door; Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.randompresents.com or 541-408-4329.
—Ben Salmon, for The Bulletin