Seattle has become a hip-hop factory — or at least hip hop with a PNW twist: Blue Scholars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Wanz, Common Market, Grieves, Shabazz Palaces. And, like most hip-hop scenes, Seattle is dominated by male artists. Then there’s THEESatisfaction, an R&B-leaning hip-hop duo made up of Stasia “Stas” Iron and Catherine “Cat” Harris-White.
THEESatisfaction will be one of the headliners for the Out/Loud queer women’s music festival, and they will offer something completely different from the rest of the roster. Their sound has been described as “black jazz,” “Sunday morning soul” and “funk-psychedelic feminista sci-fi epics.”
“There’s always some sci-fi influence there,” says Stas. After a slew of mixtapes like Sandra Bollocks & Her Black Baby (2011), they released their debut full-length album, awE naturalE, with Sub Pop Records (Dum Dum Girls, Nirvana). “QueenS,” the only song on the album accompanied by a music video, features a driving, supernatural techno beat, honey vocals and the all-important command “Whatever you do / Don’t funk with my groove.” Cat’s vocal jazz training shines through most on slinky tracks like “Existinct” and “Earthseed.” On “Bitch,” Stas raps with her distinctive cool, calm and collected delivery.
Cat says their music often focuses on the “constant struggle to feel completely comfortable in our skin.” It seems, at least in Seattle, they’ve carved out a comfortable and growing niche. And similar to other Seattle hip-hop artists, THEESatisfaction has been incredibly prolific in a short time. They released another mixtape in 2013: THEESatisfaction Loves Erykah Badu.
THEESatisfaction plays 8:15 pm Saturday, June 1, at OUT/LOUD, Kesey Square; $6 UO students, $8 public.