Easy MCcoy
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Easy MCcoy

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Soul




This band has no press


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


As Easy McCoy preps the release of his self-titled fourth album, the Seattle-born rapper finalizes his transition from acclaimed artist “Soul P” into one of hip-hop’s most thoughtful and progressive new emcees. “This is me now,” he says, eyeing his latest project as a symbol of musical rebirth. “After 12 years of working, touring and learning, I’ve grown to understand who I am and now I’m comfortable being Easy McCoy.”

Born and raised in Seattle’s tough Yesler Terrace neighborhood, he describes his first musical experiences as purely organic. “As a kid in inner-city America, hip-hop music was a big influence on our lives; we listened to music to escape,” he says, citing influences that span both coasts, such as Nas, Talib Kweli, Ice Cube and NWA. But a turbulent childhood, which found him constantly in-and-out of jail, delayed his career until he completed his final stint at 18-years-old.

While rap played only a minor role in his earlier years (“I knew I could do it, but with the ills of the streets I couldn’t focus on music”), McCoy admits that he penned some of his best songs during his time behind bars, giving him a platform to responsibly speak about his struggle. “It becomes a way of life,” he says, of his time in the streets. “We didn’t do it to look cool, we did it to survive and to eat and that’s why I choose not to glorify it in my music.”

At age 14, McCoy’s legal troubles transplanted him to Portland, Oregon, where he would eventually connect with local producers, rappers, and engineers in the city’s tight knit music scene. He released both of his first albums, 2003’s  Simply Soul and 2006’s The Soul Affect, via independent label Simply Soul Entertainment, but struggled to pin down his sound, after being introduced to the market as a Christian/Gospel rapper. The pervasive religious content in his songs—“I spoke a lot about God and what I felt Jesus Christ did in my life”—made him a hit in the Christian niche, but despite meeting peers who shared similar lifestyles and struggles, McCoy wasn’t able to create the music that he wanted to.

With topics ranging from racial profiling to police brutality, The Soul Affect showcased a “raw and more political” side of Easy McCoy, setting up the foundation for his transformation into one of hip-hop’s conscious emcees. His third LP The Premiere, released on Beatmark/Sony Records in 2006, was the final push in a new direction, ushering in a fresh start for his fourth LP. “It was a growth process, as I collaborated with new artists, explored new song concepts and incorporated new and unique elements into my music,” he says.

A new record deal with Liquid Assets, combined with over a decade of evolving and experimenting has culminated in Easy McCoy’s most self-definitive album to date. With the aid of Grammy-nominated producers, Incorporated Elements, the Portland-based rapper has crafted a lineup of songs that showcase a broader range of his work. On one of the album’s lead singles “My Life,” he still references his faith, while exploring life revelations over an upbeat R&B-tinged track. “It’s an honest, open letter,” he says of the song. “People relate to the simple things we say, so I rap in a way that people can understand me on a basic, human level.”