Saturday, February 2, 2008

NW HIp Hop News February 2008

February 02, 2008

Local to Global Networking for the Northwest Hip Hop Community
February 2008
B Girl Media206 Zulu

Notable January Recaps
The breakdown of last month's events...

-Project Mayhem and Laced Up launched the first episode of Water, on January 23rd at Columbia City Theater in South Seattle, a Northwest Hip Hop collaborative production that defied all odds, keeping community-building its core momentum. It was grind-level Hip Hop at its best, with some of Seattle"s most underrated, top-notch crews. "All Independent local artists, $15 bucks at the door, in the South End and it worked," said Open Hands of SleepWalkers , an emcee duo who, along with Waves of the Mind make up Mind Movas. Combine Mind Movas with Alpha P, BYC, and B-Girl Media , and that's the backbone of Project Mayhem, a conglomerate crew who, along with MadK and others are central organizers of 206 Zulu. Confused? It doesn't matter. As a diverse collaboration of some of Seattle's most networked artists, crews, and supporters, Water was a multifaceted Hip Hop Powerhouse, built from the ground up.

"The vision was connecting everyone with everyone," said Andrew Rotherford of BYC, key organizer of the event, "and cultivating a powerful shift with that energy."The film photographer and editor linked up with Jeremy "Jerm" DuBois of Alpha P to produce Water after they caught the spark exploring a new film idea. Drawing from years of relationships, family ties, and the concrete network the collective boasts, the duo pulled together a line-up as fluid as movement and invited the town to break bread courtesy of Princess Franada Catering, build, and rock with some of Seattle Hip Hop's best kept jewels.

From the opening music spun by DJ Intro Cuts of Poster Midget, to the final tracks cut by DJ Audeos of NW Gear, the collective brought it hard. Illtop, GodSpeed, Good Medicine, LaRue, and Project Mahyem, blessed the mic with Amos Miller and Language Arts as special guests. BYC (Money Mike, BeNo, B-Boy CleanUp, and Apple 1) held down the floor along with Mikeski from FunkySneakers and Remi from FraggleRock.

Respect to the 206 Zulu Camp along with GCL1 of 21st Century Martial Arts and Block Teamsters Union for holding down the security and William Brody of Red, White, and Boot Productions for holding down the stage management, and shouts to Yirim Seck, King Khazm, Sista Hailstorm, Rogue Pinay, Lulu Carpenter, Jai Bird, Mario, Jen Johnsen, Macklemore, Merm, and everyone else who came through and brought their people together to kick off the launch of Water. Check the next episode of Water, on February 27th featuring I.Gang, Black Senate, and Parker Brothaz of Block Teamster's Union, and 4BC Musik's Silent Lambs Project, when we bring it to Neumos on Capitol Hill.

R.I.P Antwoyn Elijah King, age 19 * January 20th, 2008

-Shouts out to Wyking of Remix Marketing and Seattle Hip Hop Youth Council for winning the MLK King County Hip Hop Pioneer's Award on January 19th, an event that was a part of the county's MLK Celebration. Laura "Piece" Kelley-Jahn and Jen Johnson from Seattle Debate Foundation were also honored as finalists, and Hip Hop debaters from Seattle and Tacoma, along with teaching artist and debate coach Rajnii Eddins graced the stages at both events. What? You didn't know that Martin Luther King Jr. County had Hip Hop Awards? Don't feel bad because most award finalists themselves didn't know until few weeks before the ceremony itself. What do winners get? A plaque, some recognition, semi-good publicity opps if media picks it up, and hopefully a platform to address some important issues impacting Hip Hop's constituency in the region. Here's what Wyking had to say:

"I appreciate the work that we've been doing in our community with hip-hop being recognized and honored witht he MLK County Hip-Hop Award. I don't think there is anything more MLK than hip-hop so I think it's a supreme opportunity to challenge people's perception of what hip-hop is and also what Dr. King stood and gave his life for. A lot of people talk MLK but they are far from his walk. If this is going to be MLK County we need it to be that in principle and policies not just name. We need to get away from the Rufus King Plantation policies and politics that are displacing us from our communities and miseducating and sentencing our children to incarceration and death. Dr. King stood up and took sacrifices for what he thought was right. We are in a time where people need to stand up be willing to put something on the line to make our communities and world better."

Musica Entertainment's CEO Tony Benton said he started the Seattle awards five years ago to reach out to city government and dispel stereotypes about local hip-hop venues, according to an article in Tacoma's News Tribune.

"There was essentially a misunderstanding of what hip-hop was," said Benton , also the community affairs director for Clear Channel's Puget Sound radio stations, which include hip- hop-oriented KUBE-FM (93.3). "It's more than just gangsta rap music." Benton said he believes progress has been made in Seattle.

...the talk sounds good, but you've got to appreciate the irony of this exerpt given the role media conglomerates like Clear Channel have knowingly played in perpetuating stereotypes through 'ish like payola ...are these words of an insider, an ill-informed reformist, or just another person who's full of it? Folks can read more about the awards ceremony from Marian Liu at the Seattle Times .

-The same time the Hip Hop Awards were crackin' off, Pinay SA , CARA (Communities Against Rape and Abuse), Youth Speaks Seattle, 206 Zulu, KBCS, Bayan-USA, Hip Hop Congress, and B-Girl Media presented INDAYOG 2, the second annual all women's Hip Hop show to a PACKED house at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, featuring performances by Chief Sealth Filipino Youth Club, Melissa Noelle Green, Beyond Reality, Piece, Beloved1, Gigi, Southern Komfort, Kontagious, Onion, Julie C, DJ B-Girl Chillz, SKIM, and more!

" Indayog is a manifestation of the thoughts and emotions that build up inside me from years of being made to feel silent and invisible," said Rogue Pinay of Pinay SA, organizer of the event, " [last year's] show was a discovery of female voices in the hiphop community and the resulting barrage of energy that burst forth...[this year's event] is a more focused and intentional space to address the intersection of current issues that affect me on a daily basis- imperial agression, gentrification, violence against womyn and the commodification of our art (and hiphop in particular), which are all tools of state repression."

In preparing the program for the night's event, Pinay SA asked performers to answer the question: Why would you do a show on state repression? Here are some of exerpts of some answers:

"Hip Hop is a progressive social movement, with revolutionary origins, and subersive potential. Created as a reaction to the systematic deconstruction of the civil rights movement, hip hop functions as a safe space for urban youth seeking refuge from crime and drug culture."
-Laura "Piece" Kelley-Jahn

"State repression most drastically affects those who see what is wrong in the system and are planning or working to change it. Many artists fit in this catagory by definition. We are both educating and inspiring audiences while also working to effectively counteract repressive tactics."
-Angela "El Dia" Dy

"Division itself dilutes power and continues to draw borders between groups of people who are struggling. If everybody decided to work together and support each other as a whole, we could take back out power in the local and regional music markets."
-DJ B-Girl Chillz

"Just as energy cannot be destroyed, but only transferred from one form to another, oppressive societies and governments must be redeemed, starting with individuals. I believe Hip Hop offers a form of redemption..that's why I'm an emcee and b-girl, and that's why I'm part of Indayog II, the rhythm of movement."

-Chukundi "DJ Kun Luv" Salisbury of Seaspot Media Group and was keynote speaker in Cleveland High School's 2008 MLK Celebration, as a part of the ongoing partnership between Seaspot Media Group and the Family Empowerment Institute. See the press release here.

-Silas Blak of the legendary Silent Lambs Project dropped a video this month for the song "Breathe Easy (Mind Click)," featuring Yirim Seck . The song is from Blak's solo album "Silas Sentinnel." Click Here to Purchase!

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