Monday, April 21, 2014

CHURCH! 7/8 Recaps and Warrior Tour Announcement

As we fly past CHURCH!'s half birthday, we have a very exciting announcement to square away our third quarter for our 9th installation. Do that math. May 11th: CHURCH! The West Coast Warrior Tour Takeover. Be sure to join us at Black Coffee, this time from 5pm to close to network, build, learn, share, and grow the movement of self-determination and decolonization. 

As you all know now, we keep CHURCH! free and accessible to all, but we are encouraging folks to donate to the Warrior Tour's Indiegogo campaign. These extraordinary artists and community builders keep it ground level and grassroots and deserve our financial contribution for the important work they are doing, regardless of how big or small. Donation buckets will also be available for the day of. 

Until then, enjoy a recap of our last two events, some pics courtesy Sic Ill, and some video courtesy of Charles Conatzer.

The 7th Chapter of CHURCH! went down on March 9th, where we celebrated the born day of our amazingly talented co-organizer Diogenes, as well as the release of his beat tape entitled "Swap Meet" with Tacoma's beatmaker elite QuiVive, both repping the Filthy Finger's United squadron. The tape is available both online from the above link, as well as in the form of an elegantly packaged cassette (see our cake rendition of this to the right, shouts to Cheeks One on the baking and Hailstorm on the fondant), and is an enthralling auditory experiment in sampling and creativity. Be sure to cop that!

On the emcee tip we were elated to have Paradame, the songstress/emcee femme fatale from Audiodose crew, who also recently dropped an album entitled Rebel's Advocate. Paradame, who was joined by her husband J. Lee (the two make up the group Active I) and vocalist Kara Dodsen, came with an impressive, highly polished set. Poet and emcee Nikkita Oliver who was in the crowd wrote, "Paradame's set was hot. Her beats were raw, and I loved how they hit hard with reggae and trap. She had a ton of stage presence. Not only can she spit, but she has some real nice vocals. I stayed with her through the entire set." Check out video from this set below!

Topping off the night was my Alpha Platoon brethren Asun, better known as Suntonio Bandanaz, who was joined on stage with the youngest member of our crew B-boy Zaim. Asun rocked the crowd like the Seatown bedrock he is, enchanting listeners with his trademark rapid fire style and ridiculously sharp crowd control. To sum up the night, our super special guest back in the town from Oakland, the Multi-Media Lab's Dione Johnson, wrote, "The Multi-Media Center was excited to see the resurrection of a communal space for culture, art, and community! Black Coffee definitely reflected the diversity and intersectionality of the artists, organizers, and cultures in Seattle. Black Coffee feels like a mesh of The Mecca, Hidmo, and Faire, with an overt Hip Hop energy! This is a good look for the town as these venues are some of the only places our youth artists can come to authentically practice and live their culture and art in a safe and supported space! And the homemade cassette tape cake was dope. The most important piece here is that the gap that Black Coffee is filling in the loss of these other venues [is critical in that] city-owned spaces and even in some cases, organization-owned spaces, do not lend themselves to young/new artists feeling free and supported in expressing, practicing, and living their art." Check out the video from this CHURCH! below.

The 8th Chapter of CHURCH! on April 13th was an equally engaging affair, and for this night, we were pumped to introduce the debut of vegan soul food from Jerm Dee's Mattie Belle Catering available for a modest $5 donation. The barbeque tofu and greens flew off the tables, in addition to the vegan biscuits donated by Brown Girl Bakery's Cheeks One. This new addition to CHURCH! is a perfect complement to your favorite all ages Hip Hop monthly, and we're going to keep it coming. Shouts out to Page One of Mean Mouse Designs/206 Zulu for hooking up the signage, and also big ups to Sic Ill, emcee/town documentarian for providing the photo album for this event. 

In the absence of Diogenes, who spent the 8th CHURCH! chilling in redwood trees, Araless of Black Magic Noize held down cohosting with me as we featured two other BMN/FFU staples Corn Dogg and Wizdumb on the beats. In lieu of an MPC due to technical challenges, Corn Dogg brought us a neck snapping vocal set with his characteristic off-the-chain energy, and Wizdumb, with his thoughtful, almost understated style (for the depth and potency of his music) provided the perfect balance for this, lacing the crowd with sophisticated bars before opening up the mic for emcee audience members to cypher on his magnetic beats. Gotta love these guys and the breadth of styles this crew incubates.

Our emcee line up was also rich for the 8th CHURCH! Opening up the evening was Dakota, who seamlessly intertwined emcee excellence with indigenous tradition. Tabitha, who was in attendance wrote, "It was beautiful to see Dakota, a young warrior rising, have the space to share his work which is so important in renewing culture and spreading positivity and power." Next up was another native artist Tiny Lokota aka Ananya Dreamwalker, who for her debut performance brought an entourage of artists including OG Native, Kali Redbone, and JG to rock with her, which we love. They most certainly made their mark, and we will definitely be welcoming them back in the near future. 

Wrapping up this CHURCH!, we were very fortunate to have a town original, Yirim Seck, taking the place of his Black Aries brother LaRue who couldn't join us. (Don't worry, he'll be back for a make-up show in the near future, so stay tuned!). Jazmyn Scott, owner of The Town Entertainment, blessed CHURCH! with her presence for this event, and had this to say about the performance: "Yirim, in my opinion, happens to be one of the dopest emcees in the Town. A skilled and seasoned entertainer, with well thought out content that often pays homage to not only this city where he resides, but also Senegal, the country from which his family originates. [As the headliner] Yirim was well worth the wait. He came through immediately engaging the crowd and blessing us with his impeccable flow over unique beats. It was just what I needed to cap off a beautiful day in Seattle."

For more pictures from Sic Ill from this event, visit this album here, and enjoy the video with performances from Paradame and Asun shot and edited by Charles Conatzer below. We'll see you May 11th for CHURCH! The Warrior Tour Takeover. GHOST!

CHURCH! March9th from Charles Conatzer on Vimeo.

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