What Vanyaland Says: Cliff Notez is a man on a mission. The Dorchester-raised rapper and HipStory founder has a workflow that knows no limits nor deterrents, and keeps his busy 2019 rolling with a late afternoon set at HarpoonFest on May 18. Considering’s Notez’ exponentially growing impact, it’s a performance that guests would be well-advised to check out in the flesh. Since releasing his debut album in 2017, When The Sidewalk Ends — a staggering testament to both his lyrical honesty and early musical mastery — Notez has quickly become a staple of not only Boston hip-hop, but Boston music as a whole.
Of late, he’s organized his Sketchbook series of shows at Atwood’s Tavern, branching out hip-hop and rap acts into the Cambridge venue, as well as Boston Answering, a Dorchester-based local hip-hop showcase coming later this month. This year has already seen multiple killer collabs for Cliff, including tracks with Boston music veterans STL GLD and Somerville rapper Forté, but his debut album still holds its own almost two years later.
As we described last year: “When The Sidewalk Ends presents a brutally honest portrait of dealing with mental health as a person of color — a phenomenon that’s not common in any musical community. Even when the path seems to halt, Cliff Notez keeps paving.”