Seattle brings in as many people from LA as it does send them down. Justin Hale found himself in Seattle a handful of years ago after spending most of his life in Los Angeles. For reasons mainly involving his daughter he set up shop around town and did what any other singer/rapper/model/father does—he got to work.
Since 2017 Justin Hale‘s put out a 7-track album, 2 EPs, and 4 singles. Today sees the release of his second EP this year titled, “Rain City.” The 5-track EP comes with an intro and outro, and three poignant yet uplifting cuts. Each one brings you deeper into his meditations on being a driven young man in a new city that is known to be cold.
Seattle can be exclusive and prone to giving the cold shoulder, especially in the local music scene. After spending his most recent summer in LA working on another project that’s dropping in early 2019, Justin came back to the 206 right at the start of fall. He began to notice a shift in both himself, and the people around him as the weather grew cold. It was this sensation of the on-set of seasonal depression that brought the title track “Rain City” into existence. After penning the track, the next three weeks saw him fleshing out two more songs with an intro and outro to form the concise EP. Hale made note saying this project wouldn’t have come to be without the encouraging words of his day-1 Brandon Ochoa. Bump the project below and drink-in the clear mixing work from Sendai Mike.
The intro comes in on a rainy day weather forecast over the airwaves to set the mood off correct. The first song and title track “Rain City” sees smooth booms and baps over a washed-out filter that emulates the vibes of Seattle at its wettest. The lyrical content finds Hale blending R&B vocals with a hip-hop cadence touching on his own personal ambition and drive, and the nature of people to shun those with powerful personalities. The hook goes “sunny days, everybody loves them, baby, can you stand the rain?” He reflects on the way people largely regard winter as “cuffing season” and how that can be a cop-out for finding self-love and your own reasons to see the sun again.
Solid production from CXDY and Lucid Sounds continues as the second cut “After Hours” slides in on a somber, yet groovy-ass beat. Justin Hale comes in with some sensual bars about the way people act when the club closes. Hale highlights way people quickly congregate outside after last call and frantically order Lyfts with the person they’re trying to take home. He comments on everyone’s need to keep the party going for better or worse. In the wake of the decision to call it a night, or rage until you drop Hale asks “what’s it gonna be?”
Aptly concluding an EP about Seattle’s less favorable seasons is the last song, “Winter.” The song fades in on some warm harmonies until the beat drops. Hale croons about how easy it is to “fall in love” while in the druthers of winter. He talks directly to all the lonely women out there that end up out drinking and looking for love in all the wrong places. You then get a proper set of bars from local spitter Erskine that drops further introspection on the topic with a flow so saucy you gotta hear it for yourself. This song is Justin Hale’s ode to the depression winter can create in the PNW, and how finding love for yourself far surpasses the fleeting nature of “shacking up for the winter.”
“Rain City” ends on an intimate conversation between Hale and his significant other, while you can hear a thunderstorm in the background. This is meant to emulate the immense love this man has, despite anyone or anything that tries to taint it. This is a dude with immense drive and talents to offer that draws his power from forces like love, family, positivity, and confidence. Between modeling for Heffner, recording, performing, being a dad, and holding it down as a budtender at Uncle Ike’s on 23rd & Union—Hale’s steady grinding for a good cause. Peep “Rain City” on all major streaming platforms and keep your eyes on the moves this man is making in the coming year. You won’t want to miss out!
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(Swipe to the side) “Is it crazy that I want the throne? You know I had to spend the summer home…Long flights turn to Long nights…I touch down in the city when it’s Winter time..” – #RainCity . . Wow honestly just wow…..I can’t thank all of you enough for being my friends, fans, family, etc. it’s such an amazing and humbling experience to watch as you all listen and share this project that I hold so close to my heart…you’re one of the reasons I share my art amongst a few others so for that Thank you!! S/O to @brandonxochoa @sendaimike.mixing @erskine.davinci @5thlxtter @thecxdy @lucidsoundz @respectmyregion.us @uncleikespotshops @1937farms @myraculousmedia @sleepy_mgnt @ibemilo and so many more….I owe this one to you…❤️✨⛈ (Link In Bio)