Y'all are going to be mad at the length of the February report, but don't trip. Just remember my solo E.P. is dropping in May, breeze through all the paragraphs below, check out all the artists you haven't heard, scan write-ups of events you might have missed, revel in your shout out, leave a comment, and CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER. Beyond the all the exciting events that went down in the 206 and 425 this month, I was able to spend the last week of February in LA working with B Girl and networking with some very talented, amazing folks, so do take advantage, and let's bridge this I-5 gap a little bit. I'm so appreciative of the people I know, those I've had the pleasure to meet for the first time this month, and the events and shows I've been blessed to participate in, so since I love my life so much, and you should love yours too, here's the theme-video of the month, the BRAND NEW OFFICIAL Black Stax's "I Love My Life" Now for your regularly scheduled review of February, 2011:
Saturday the 5th, I swung down to the Theorem at Electric Tea Garden to watch live produced sets from OC Notes, and Dead Noise with DJ Sho Nuph, and WD40, murdering the turntables. I don't make it to enough non-emcee events, and this night was a definite reminder why I should. HEAT.
I also finally got to connect with my girl, Monica Crystal, a lovely, talented vocalist, and some of the musicians in her band at a jam session way out in Mill Creek. The guitarist/bassist Richie and the other emcee there, Rhino, have a band called Corner State, definitely worth the check out, these cats are dope. Be on the look out for upcoming collabs between Miss Crystal's band, Empress Omni, and me, because we will be lighting up a stage together near you real, real soon.
February 10th marked my very first Everett show at Shotzies up north. I wanna give a super big shout to G Red for getting me out of the Seattle city limits for this one, which was a nice change of scenery, as well as to my girl Sista Hailstorm for rocking with me. We shared the bill with Everett's Royal-T, J Black, Mr. Benjamin, Sir Sleepy, Cali's Hollywood, hosted by James. Also got to connect with DJ Nanino, from Boombox 90.7fm (he invited me to cohost an all female spotlight show with him, so be on the lookout for that in a few weeks!), as well as Madshroom, Corndog, and Wizdum from Black Magic Noize.
On February 13th, Hustle Feet First and Bump Local presented the well-anticipated throwback Valentine's Skate Party, masterminded by Jerm Dee and Zach the Barber, and it was HISTORICAL. A big yellow bus swooped up some of Seattle's finest artists and tastemakers from Lofi, including Rufio, Meli from Obese Productions, Kitty Wu, Cassandra, Haj, O.C Notes, Saqqara, Feven, Larue, King Khazm, Joc, Didit, Kylie, Beloved1, BBoy Jonathan from BYC, Jerz, Mookie, Anwar, and more, and took us to Auburn Skate Connection where we all tried to keep our balance to the tunes of DJ Topspin and 100Proof. The ride there was craaackking, with beatboxin' and three separate cyphers all the way south, and will probably remain one of my fondest Seattle Hip Hop memories for a long, long time! The whole night was truly a feat of genuine community-building, unity, and fun. Watch out for the next installment of this event, as it is sure to catch on and grow. I've already been hearing rumors that part two is in the planning stages.
On February 17th, we headed out to West Seattle for One Time for Your Mind at the Skylark. This show, organized by Page One, featured Kay Bee (check his new video for the track "Do What You Feel" here!), Lojique, Greg & Jerome, Saturday Morning Cartoon, and myself, ft. Hailstorm, Jerm D, Korvus Blackbird, and Bandanaz, as well as Graves 33, and the infinitely fantastic DJ SeaBefore aka "Captain Save a Show". We turned this little venue out that night, so I wanna send super big shouts to everyone who came through a supported us, including Jamal Revels, Jewelz Hunter, Third Eye Bling, Neebor, Cassandra, Dione from the Multimedia Center, the homies from Honozulu, and everyone else. It was a blast! Also, speaking of Saturday Morning Cartoon, remember that collabo cut featuring myself called "Something Brand Nu" I debuted in last month's review? Check out this video of the track, with animation by David Toledo.
That weekend, beginning on Friday the 18th, 206 Zulu's 7th Anniversary was in full effect! The celebration kicked off with an all-day youth summit at Vera project, which brought over 100 high schoolers from different schools in the area together to learn, create, and connect over Hip Hop Culture. I was blessed to be asked to rock a few tracks and speak to the youth, along with Jus Moni, Massiah, Star, Suntonio Bandanaz, Massive Monkees, Big World Breaks, and more. It was super live. That evening, I performed with Bandanaz, along with Neema, Endrwon from Portland, and Massiah, just MINUTES before the legendary Percee P took the stage at Washington Hall! All this was going down as the BBoys and Girls lit up the floor beneath us, and the graff writers tore up the canvas out front. Big ups to 206Zulu for making our city shine as always.
That night was also Larue's going away bash at Chop Suey, and what a night that was! DJ Intylekt (check out his new blog by clicking the link), DJ Swervewon, Yirim Seck, Black Stax, and the man of the hour himself joined forces to bring Seattle a farewell show to remember! The vibe was sexy, sophisticated, and grown, as some of the town's most seasoned artists delivered a potent and powerful showcase to a packed house. Larue sent himself off in style, and although he will be missed as he packs up and heads to Florida, we can't be too sad because we know no one ever leaves the young town for long!
The Los Angeles Section:
While in LA, B-Girl and I caught up with the Hip Hop Congress homie DLabrie who was out and about promoting his new mixtape "Operation Upgrade Vol 2" dropping free this month (www.DLabrie.com) and his debut album MR NETW3RK dropping 5/31. He was hitting the All Star Weekend industry parties and as always running late, but we got our deep dish on. If you don't know Labrie, you will soon, cause if he's not currently at or leaving your city, he's on his way.
On Tuesday, February 22nd, LA I was grateful to score a feature slot at "Natural High", a weekly open mic in Culver City at the Industry Cafe & Jazz (thank you so much to Shamako Noble, and Tamika for hooking this up!) When I walked in, "Natural High" bandleader Hank G was holding down the venue, playing guitar and drums at the same time he was rapping and singing, with a 6 year old rhythmic genius, Singha, playing bongos. It was nuts! Soon, he was joined by the host, OSmith, a very talented vocalist and emcee, warming up the stage as the band behind him grew every minute. The vibe was so authentically dope, I was happy to ditch my beats and do my tracks over their music. Although I didn't catch everyone who was up there that night, notable emcees, singers, poets, and musicians that touched the stage included Mark Minor, Ayce Sly, Lady Basco, Ms. Sho (also Cali Quake football player #28), Verbs, Jazz Oh, Substance TGL, Spiv, Ashley-Dominique, Devi Wonder, and of course my girl Kandi Cole. I gotta send extra love to Jazz and Devi for opening up their home to us for the afterparty kicking it. These are incredibly gifted individuals, and hopefully we can get them to come join us up here on the tip of the west coast very soon.
On the 23rd, Kandi Cole brought us to the show in Silverlake at a spot called Little Temple, where we got to meet Devious, founder of (SIS)TEM: an LA female emcee conglomerate, and see some local cats rock. The night marked the release of Medusa's new single "Chocolet Giddy Up." In addition to DJ Tommy Blak, Val the Vandal, and the queen of LA underground herself, we saw some cold performances from Alter'd Ego, 5 Footaz (This is a raid! Everybody lay down and behave...), and Tabernacle.
Couple days later, on the 25th, I got in the studio with Veteran Eye from Veteran Assassins and Kandi Cole, laying some HEAT. I also got to reconnect with the super duper fresh n dope DJ Eskimo One, and got to meet North Carolina's Luv Jonz too. Rapping, laying tracks, eating some amazing BBQ, and chilling with good folks? Hard to beat, for real. Be on the look out for that track and more...
On February 26th, Spiv, one of the artists we connected with at Natural High invited me to come out and rock at "The Grind" presented by GorillaMic and Streets of Venice at Westfield/ Fox Hills mall, hosted by Verbs & Ashley-Dominique. It was too good an opportunity to pass up! The all ages event featured prizes and giveaways, live silk screening, henna tattoos, hair cuts from Snagneto (also a dope emcee!), half pipe S.K.A.T.E Competition, Live Art by Annie Preeze, Rae Kiaha, and more, as well as music from myself, The Sirens, CHUUWEE, Belvi, Richard Wright, and Kleeo Williams, plus selectas DJ Lord Ron and DJ Swoops.
The Extra Shout Out Section:
Big ups to indy journalists and singer/emcees Entrigue and Vivid from UntappedMusik for interviewing me before the Skate Party. It was great talking to these savvy sistas, and Seattle, stay on the look out for their new mag and website spotlighting untapped Northwest talent, linked above! I also have to send tons of love to the amazing Jen from Jennifer Mary Photography, and Danielle Wolfe, M.A.C Makeup extraordinaire for HOOKING ME UP on my photoshoot this month. (And also to Roderick Johnson of FlavaNews for hooking up the cameras!) If any of y'all artists need flicks or makeup, these are the people to get at! Also thank you Page One of Mean Mouse Designs for my super official ambigram and business cards.
In addition, I wanted to shout out all the LA People I didn't quite catch up with on this round: MP from 90.7fm KPFK and Rebels to the Grain, DJ Cheddy, and Big Rube, Mykill Miers, Asher Underwood from Mind of Makaveli, Lamar Glover from J.U.I.C.E., DJ Mark Luv from Zulu, and Seven Davis, Jr. I'm sorry I missed y'all, but I'll be back soon if I don't see you in the 206 first.