Donte Thomas Drops Expansive Geography in Video for "Never Know • Fade 2 Gray"

Donte Thomas is at the core of Portland Oregon's rising rap scene. In August, the rapper released his debut album, Grayscale. The project is certainly a solid debut, Thomas's deep voice and steady flow over beats that carry a heavy bass and salving samples of natural piano, drums, and horns. I liked Grayscale, in particular, for its acknowledgment of human-experience complexity. Donte Thomas is careful to address the personal and intimate, as well as the political. On the title track Thomas raps, "mama told me being young and black is never ever fair / but never make excuses when they want us dead or in jail," reminding us that the political is always personal.

The visuals for two tracks off the album, Never Know and Fade 2 Gray come together in a two part video directed by Christian Nishioka. The first half feels melancholic, with the rapper set against white-wall gallery art and sometimes Portland imagery. The second half is the expansive outdoors. The videography is a nod to the rapper's potential power, with the camera zooming way out (I assume it's a drone) and giving the watcher that sense of natural awe.

Logistics: You can purchase Grayscale on iTunes for $9.99 and stream it on all the standard places. Follow Donte Thomas on Twitter and checkout his website.