Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hip Hop at Hempfest 2012

Hella People.
If you're not hip to Seattle's legendary Hempfest, it's only the world's LARGEST Cannibus Culture celebration/protestival EVER, and since it's humble local beginnings in 1991, under constant attack from all municipal angles, it has managed to not only survive but grow and thrive, all while perserving its roots as an all-volunteer, utterly organic community effort in innovative resistance.  

Hempfest's continual success draws tens of thousands of people from all over the world to Myrtle Edwards Park on Seattle's waterfront each summer, making its"Share Parker Memorial Mainstage" a coveted venue for any artist to rock. Thus, I was honored to be a part of the Hempfest 21st year celebration last Sunday, and ecstatic to share the stage with some of my favorite people: Sista Hailstorm, Suntonio Bandanaz, DJ Seabefore and Daisy Chain. It was a beautiful day! Check out the footage below, courtesy of Ready Roxx Media, to see some of the action:

So in acknowledgement of the folks that got us there and that held it down, big ups to Jim Goettler (the permit guru of Seattle), Vivian McPeak (Hempfest founder and executive director, be sure to check out his book Protestival: A 20 Year Retrospective of Seattle Hempfest), Levi Lyon (LyonPride Music, Hempfest entertainment committee organizer, and golf cart crowd-navigation extraordinaire), and of course to the countless other Hempfest organizers and volunteers, all of whose combined efforts make this possible year after year. You guys are amazing. I also want to shout out 206 Zulu's King Khazm Jocie Luv, Jessica Diaz, DJ Audeos of Crisis Clothing NW, Hollis of Hollis Photography & Ian Wiggers of Everything Rap Bremerton, DeRox of Ready Roxx Media, Heidi Jackson, Nicodemus, Korvus Blackbird, Jai Bird, Zaim, Charys, Lingda, Daway, CB3, Felisha, Josh Rizeberg, Matt E., Rufio of Ruf-Top Productions and all our other official and unofficial sponsors, endorsers, homies, and fam who came out and supported us on Sunday. Also shouts to Potluck, Jay Barz, Funky 2 Death, Kokane, Traffik, and Goodybagg featuring the amazing Olisa "Spyc-E" Enrico, always a pleasure to see her murder it up there. The lineup was heater. 

The Random Bonus Editorial "Hip Hop at Hempfest"

Context: I was asked by Vivian to write a few words on this topic that might help fill potential social or generational gaps in understanding between diverse groups of cannabis advocates. I found this to be a fun and challenging exercise on a few different levels, but I was happy and honored that the result was printed in this year's program. In case you didn't catch it and are curious, here it is. Excuse the corny ending:

"Rap music and weed-smoking has long been linked in the mainstream consciousness. Unfortunately, this association often paints an inauthentic (or at the best, incomplete) picture of both Hip Hop and cannabis culture. The synergy between the two is deeper than the glorification of blunts and a few contagious marijuana anthems.

Cannabis repression is rooted in colonization, racism, state-instituted socioeconomic violence and the oppression of common people. It is from these very forces that Hip Hop emerged as reclamation of space, voice, autonomy, & freedom of expression. The cultural legacy of Hip Hop, like that of jazz, blues, and reggae, is creative resistance, and this collective memory is transmitted through the artistic practices of tried & true DJs, b-boys/girls, graffiti writers, & emcees. That’s why Afrika Baamaataa, Godfather of Hip Hop Culture, cited “knowledge” as the 5th element of Hip Hop way back in 1973, when he unified street tribes of youth in NYC by founding Universal Zulu Nation.  

Hip Hop is of the struggle, of the movement, and most importantly, of community. Despite what you see in the mainstream, it’s not just another product you consume from corporate media or an image to be bought /sold.  It’s a vast & diverse network of amazing creators in your city you should get to know  & support as we continue to build the 21-year-Hempfest Protestival community of resistance.

This year at the Hip Hop Review, acts such as Sista Hailstorm, Suntonio Bandanaz, & DJ Seabefore not only exemplify artistic excellence on the stage. They actively work every day ground-level with youth, families, and grassroots organizations to embody the message in the music. That’s real Hip Hop. So whether you already knew or want to learn, whether you’re looking for those true school breaks or hood slaps, or whether you just want to kick back to an incredible soundtrack, join us for our Sunday lineup. I got 5 on it you’ll be glad you did."

Leilani, Hailstorm, Bandanaz, Jules C Before the Set

Merch Table Set Up

Ready Ready!

Golf Cart There

Golf Cart Back
Daisy Chain, Hailstorm, Cheeks, Ilyana

The one and only!
Heidi, Joc, Khazm

Bandanaz and Hailstorm Rocking
Bandanaz Goes Maniacal

B-Boy Zaim, youngest member of Alpha P Goes Maniacal

Merch Table in Full Effect

Hailstorm and Rufio

Seabefore, Hailstorm, Homie
Good times.

Until next time, stay up! Drop a comment on the blog. 


  1. it was great see'n ya Julie . u guys merked it , thnx for the mention sweets

  2. thanks for mentioning me in your recount... It was a great day