Seattle hip-hop duo Blue Scholars should change their name to Blue Collar Scholars. Such is the steady work ethic of the grassroots Northwest team, who, on April 29, will release their new EP, Butter&Gun$ (Massline/Rawkus), whose title is an allusion to a government’s tough economic choices.

Together for five years, with two albums and several EPs to their credit, the Scholars’ emcee Geologic and DJ/producer Sabz have never shied from exploring political and social justice themes in their music, a fact which makes them unique in a “rims and chains” rap landscape. As second-generation children from working class Filipino and Persian families, Blue Scholars have forged an intellectual lyrical perspective and polished sound that’s earned them a strong college and university fan base.

Currently, they’re finishing a tour with Oakland legends Hieroglyphics, and have scheduled upcoming dates with GZA of Wu-Tang Clan (performing his legendary Liquid Swords album).

Blue Scholars will release the digital-only Butter&Gun$ EP via Massline, in partnership with Rawkus Records. The four-song EP, produced by Sabzi, includes the previously-released “Loyalty” (from their album Bayani), the EP title track, and the politically-charged “The Ballot or the Bullet,” which outlines the group’s oft-asked stance on this year’s presidential elections.

A video for the song “Loyalty” will be released simultaneously in conjunction with the EP, and be directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi (who also directed the group’s “Back Home” and “Joe Metro” videos).

Butter &Gun$ Tracklisting
1. Loyalty
2. Butter&Gun$ (Loyalty II)
3. 27
4. Loyalty (instrumental)
5. Butter&Gun$ (instrumental)
6. 27 (instrumental)

Tour Dates
03/08 Oberlin, OH: Dionysis Night Club
03/15 Austin, TX: SXSW
03/28 San Diego, CA: Canes*
03/29 Los Angeles, CA: El Rey**
03/31 San Francisco, CA: The Independent**
04/01 San Francisco, CA: Independent**

* = w/ GZA performing Liquid Swords
** = w/ GZA