Saturday, April 11, 2009

Early April Seattle Hip Hop News

Peace- I'm Julie C, Northwest Regional Director and Editor in Chief for an organization called Hip Hop Congress. We are a national 501(c3) non profit with the mission to provide the Hip Hop Generation and post Hip Hop Generation with the tools, resources, and network to create social, economic, and political change in their communities. Our key partners in this region include such Hip Hop artist, activist, and cultural organizations as 206 Zulu, Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center, B Girl Bench, Global Fam, and others. We have 80 campus/community hubs across the country. We supplement and support the work of our campus chapters, partner businesses, youth service organizations, and media justice/independent media production groups through consultations, event organizing, trainings, youth programs, advocacy, social media strategy and/or just getting the word out the old fashion way.

You can be added to the Northwest Hip Hop Congress mailing list. I manage this list personally, and keep traffic very low, down to only one email a week, if that. What you will receive is consolidated updates on us and our partner's activities in this region, along with opportunities to plug into this movement. I hope you stick around, get a chance to read, and respond to some of the youth, artist and grassroots lead efforts happening in the area. If you have any questions, email me directly at, or you can call me by phone at (425) 223-7787. Thank you and welcome! Enjoy the updates below.
-Julie C


We start our update this time giving it up to an important member of the Seattle Hip Hop community, Gregory "GCL1" Lewis, and his new book. Gregory “GCL1” Lewis is an often under-utilized and underappreciated link between Seattle’s Hip Hop community and its movement potential. He plays a central role as a Shaka (security) for 206 Zulu and un-official advisor to many artists and activists in the Seattle area. He is also a martial arts instructor, soon to be competing in the 8th Annual Kyokushin Challenge April 18th in Bellevue, Washington at Eastside Christian School. Recently, a collection of his work from the late 1990’s was selected, translated to German, and published in a book by Gabriel of the Anarchist Publishing House in Hamburg. When GCL1 dropped through and showed me the book a few weeks ago, I wanted to take the opportunity to get some of his words down, and pass on some Seattle history to some of us younger folks. View and share the full article HERE!

Next theme we got is independent media, so let's start with a party. Coolout Network has been as a Seattle Hip Hop independent media institution for 18 years strong, and the following video by Coolout TV fan and notable videographer on his own right, Scott Macklin, is footage from the Coolout TV 18th Anniversary Celebration. It features Orbitron and Yze, Draze, Silver Shadow D performing with his son Keith, Gabriel Teodros, Sinsemilla, Lady Tazs, Glo Medina, and more! Sadly, as the video indicates, Scott’s camera fell casualty in the process of documenting the night. but rest assured that even at his own birthday and anniversary event, Mr. Georgio Brown was wielding his camera like a Samurai sword in battle, capturing every minute of the festivities. Be on the lookout for that!

Also, speaking of independent media and anniversaries, Reel to Real: Seattle's 1st Hip Hop Film Festival which went down during the 206 Zulu 5th Anniversary celebration, has inspired a "Hip Hop 'Mini-festival" at Langston Hughes African American Film Fest! They will be rescreening three of the movies from Real to Reel: B-Girl Be - A documentary that takes you inside the all female, all Hip Hop weekend at Intermedia Arts Center in Minneapolis, Who is 206 Zulu? - by Georgio Brown, and Masizakhe by Scott and Angela Macklin of Open Hand Reel. If you missed it the first time, or just need more, don't sleep! For 2009 Langston Hughes Black Film Fest Schedule Information, click here.

In keeping with the media vein, check these musings I rattled off in "A New Era in Hip Hop Cultural Production: What the collapse of the music industry means for artists." It was recently published in the April Issue of the People's Tribune, a Chicago newspaper with national distribution, along with articles from other Hip Hop Congress partners from across the country in a two page spread. Anyone who wants a paper or a stack, I have 200 copies at my house, so give me a call (this issues mentions include Suntonio Bandanaz, Hidmo, Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center, and more! HHC will have regular access to these pages and hopefully more in the future, so please send any articles on Hip Hop organizing and political action my way. Those interested in being involved with the Hip Hop Congress media coalition, please reply this email and hit me up as well. We're in the planning and development stages.

Hip Hop Congress is also planning to optimize it's network and coalition growth potential for the Northwest at its 2009 Annual Conference to take place in Seattle, Washington from July 29th to August 2nd, in partnership with Umojafest, Universal Zulu Nation, and Dope Emporium, so it's a critical time to reach out and get down right now! Meetings will be commencing with key partners as soon as next week!

-----------------The Bullet Point News-----------------

* Knox Family is performing this Sunday April 12th at the High Dive, 513 N 36th St, Seattle, WA! Come see me rap, too.

* The following Saturday, April 18th, Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center is hosting "Union Spring Fest," block party style from noon to night, on the corner of 24st and Spring St in the heart of Seattle's Central District, with DJ's OMG and Kuhnex, and performances from Yirim Seck, Rapzy and the Vigilantes (young HEAT in the town, if you don't know, now you know), Geneiva Arunga, and more. Come and celebrate the development of Seattle's very first autonomous Hip Hop youth service and community organizing center in history!

* Speaking of Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center, co-founder Wyking's presentation at "Keeping it Real, Keeping it Green" a Green Festival panel of the role of Hip Hop organizing in the green movement was met with great enthusiasm, so look out for footage on the event soon. Find out more about the Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center's green initiatives at the website, and come through to Sunday meetings at 4:00 to find out how to plug in.

* Hip Hop Congress in Seattle is teaming up with other community groups to support the MAJOR May 30th March for Healthcare this year that will start at 12:30pm at Pratt Park in the Central District. "Welcome to the website for Washington State's largest Health Care Rally EVER. We're gearing up with over 40 organizations (and growing every day) to build the largest ever grassroots mobilization pushing for health care for all and fighting for to win ! " Read more at the link above. Thanks Sunny!

* Thank everyone for their heartfelt reactions to the Hip Hop and Domestic Violence article. I got comments and contributions from women (and a few men) from all across the country. I am so overwhelmed by what everyone had to say either on facebook, email, by phone, or face to face in response, and what everyone is doing in their communitites, there's got to be some next steps on this! I will follow up with each of you soon.

* Much love to members of the BAYAN Regional organizations, PINAY SA SEATTLE and ANAKBAYAN along with other solidarity organizations who recently got back from repping the Northwest at the 3rd Congress of BAYAN-USA and the founding and first assembly of GABRIELA-USA in Los Angeles. We applaud your work in solidarity with the universal struggle for human rights.

* Hip Hop Congress National Partner the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and HHC's Kentucky spearhead Women in Transition were featured in a New York Times article entitled "With Advocates' Help, Squatters Call Foreclosures Home".

* Toni Hill's new album, "Only Love" is now available for download on iTunes, as well as Amazon, eMusic, Media-Net and Napster. Physical copies are available at Sonic Boom on Capitol Hill and Silver Platters in Queen Anne and Northgate. Check Toni's new video "Rose" on Youtube.


Okay, although that's far from all, I'll leave you all here for now.

Stay in touch.

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