This one’s for everyone in the network: friends, family, partners, fellow artists, affiliates, and leaders in the arts, media, activism, and youth service communities in Seattle, we need your participation:
In a press release that went out this week, Hip Hop Congress proudly announced its 2009 National Conference, themed “It’s Our Time” to be held in the historic Central District of Seattle, Washington, July 29th to August 1st. Click here to read the full release. Thanks to our extraordinary local and national partners, this year’s conference is positioned to make a lasting impact in the region and beyond, and we’re looking for more of you to join forces. For registration information click here. In this update about the work, you’ll find articles on the youth-lead Hip Hop summer school in the CD, a protest at the Urban League Village, the Hip Hop and Politics Movement, and more. But before that, get ready for a list of real live, real critical events you won’t want to miss in the next few weeks of May! Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center, Black Stax, B-Girl Media, Heidi Jackson Presents, and 206 Zulu have some exciting events rolling out, so get out your calendars, too. This is a personal invitation for all of you to attend, and there’s something for all of you next week:
* Sunday May 17th: In celebration of Malcolm X Day, the Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center will be hosting the “Malcolm X Day Hip-Hop Conference & Music Fest” at the UPC (located on 24th & Spring). Workshops based on the philosophies of the late human rights leader Malcolm X will begin at 10:00am and go until 1:00pm with special guest, former congresswoman and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney giving the keynote address. Artists such as Shamako Noble (Hip-Hop Congress), Maineak B (Stahi Bros.), Thee Satisfaction, Wojack, Jus Moni, Delton Son, and many more will be performing. To check the poster by Zechariah Tha Barber, and to read more click here. Also, you can view footage from Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center's last event, Springfest. It's here, on Seattle Hip Hop's newest media maven, NYA's, blog.
* Friday May 22nd: Revolutionary poet, Ursula Rucker, and internationally acclaimed, producer/dj, King Britt, will make a special Seattle appearance at Chop Suey. Also appearing is Black Stax, the avant-garde of Hip Hop. The group combines the conscience, gritty and thought provoking lyrices of Silas Black and Jace ECAj, founder of Dope Emporium, featuring the powerfully soulful voice of lead singer Felicia Loud.
* Saturday May 23rd: Knox Family Record Release Party at Chop Suey featuring Black Stax, Black Aries (Yirim Seck and LaRue), and Rapzy and the Vigilantes! Knox Family is myself and Jerm of Alpha P, and B Girl.
* Sunday, May 24th: 206 Zulu is back at Folklife Festival for this year's Zulu Jam! Last year's first Zulu Jam at Folklife Festival was a great success with full capacity and energized crowd. This year's festivity will take place at the Seattle Center's Vera Project and features Silver Shadow D, Mic Crenshaw, Yirim Seck, Dim Mak, Hella Dope, DJ's Grimrock and Gumbeaux, and breakin' cyphers with Raw Action! This ALL-AGES event is FREE and is from 7-10pm!
Here's some Headlines:
* Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center will be making history by opening its Center for Hip Hop Culture, Business & Technology in the Central District of Seattle, Washington this summer, and we need YOUR SUPPORT! The center is the first of its kind that will serve community youth, particularly dropouts, high-risk youth and those under the criminal justice supervision. It will feature a digital recording studio, computer lab, video production studio and a library/reading room. The summer school at the Center for Hip Hop will coordinate culturally enriching entrepreneurial based activities to address social and community development through daily, open-door element and technology workshops, study sessions, and classes. An initial glimpse at the program schedule reveals DJ and producer clubs, Young Kings and Queens Leadership Development, and class titles that range from “Music History” to “Hood Politics”. Through launching a youth-led, community-centered approach to outreach, education, and violence prevention, Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center is putting revolutionary social change theory to practice with Hip Hop Culture. 18 year old Imani Kang, the youth committee president of UPC, is development director for the summer school at the Center for Hip Hop Culture. As a drop out, she can’t tell you the benefits of a diploma, but she can quickly break down how the social construction of knowledge through dominant culture in traditional classrooms alienates youth today. Read the full article here.
* On Tuesday April 26th, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League visited Seattle and attended a reception in his honor on the stolen grounds of the Urban League Village. Community members of all different ages and backgrounds, including leaders of Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center and Hip Hop Congress, participated in impromptu demonstrations and other forms of protest around Colman School all day to mark the occasion. They took to leaflets, posters, flyers, emails, megaphones, and picket signs to send a clear message to both the local and national branch of the Urban League: Get down or lay down. Click here to read more, and to see footage of the protest.
* Khingz releases new album “From Slaveships to Spaceships”: Gun violence. Drug abuse. Disillusionment. Self-hatred. Journey through the mastermind of Seattle-bred emcee Khingz with his highly-anticipated solo album- "From Slaveships to Spaceships", debuting Juneteenth, 2009 on Fresh Chopped Beats / MADK. "From Slaveships to Spaceships" is a testimony of transformation, a voyage through time and space, a continued search for freedom of mind. Khingz breathes life into art with his rapid spitfire delivery, heart-filled thought provoking lyrics and infectiously thriving beats provided by a wide array of producers. Read more on the 206 Zulu Website.