About Rafael Vigilantics
Philadelphia , PA
“RAFAEL VIGILANTICS knocks hip-hop out of its slumber” –Clark News
Rafael Vigilantics is search-and-destroy hip-hop.
At least that’s what he says, standing on his rooftop and peering down at the strip club thoughtfully. He’s 27 and stirring up the hip-hop world in Portland, Or.
He showed up out of nowhere July of last summer at the Jolly Inn on the bill with local hardcore/punk heavy hitters The Altarboys and emceed 8 songs full of lo-fi beats that he tangled together on his computer, played with no DJ. The crowd clapped, sang along with their arms thrown drunkenly around each other’s shoulders, and tossed empty cans of beer at him. It looked like a punk house show, but it sounded kind of like Sage Francis was drunk and giving Bukowski a piggyback ride. Kind of.
Less than 6 months later and Rafael Vigilantics was hitting the stage with Strange Famous Recording artists like B. Dolan, Dan Le Sac vs. Scoobious Pip, and Sleep. Packing venues that ranged from the Doug Fir to the Tube for their only live hip-hop show ever. In the thick of it all recording an album that got signed to Horns Up Records with west coast killers like MDC, My Life In Black and White, Get Dead, My New Vice, All Bets On Death, and more.
His debut album “Bury Me Standing” is nervous and sincere. Rafael Vigilantics lays down intricate verses about anything from prizefighting, restraining orders, sex magic, and bicycle accidents. This time the beats come from the likes of Dj Izm, Shine Language, Tyler Tastemaker and Chicago’s esteemed producer Nappy Nat. The album features a cameo two songs into the record from hard working Portland emcee Mic Crenshaw and track 6 has a full band behind it with the help of The Altarboys. It switches back and forth like this between fast-lipped punk rock and stripped down hip-hop almost seamlessly.
Rafael Vigilantics can’t be passed off lightly as another hip-hop trend, and there’s no indication he’s following down any known paths. Bury Me Standing might not be the album for you if you already love hip-hop, but it might be the album for you if you need a good place to start looking at a new side of it. Its fierce and unrelenting, with few apologies, a lot of whiskey, fistfights, and even a couple anthems. The main track on the album “Still Fighting” sums it up pretty well in the chorus…
“Im breaking bottles still
And I still get my thrills on the road at night
And I still miss you
And I still fistfight
And I’m still no good
And it’s still alright”
Check out the raucous live show:
AUGUST 24th @ DOUG FIR w/ Sleep 9pm, $5 (SE 830 E. Burnside)