The Seattle-based hip-hop group’s new mini-album Robed in Rareness continues its trek into the future.
by Jas Keimig
Music fans have been bombarded with so much recently. Whether it’s fake Drake tracks composed by artificial intelligence or two-minute TikTok viral mashups of Baby Keem and Mazzy Star, music production and consumption seem to be on a hyper-highway of profit and frivolousness. That’s why it is a huge relief that Seattle-based Ishmael Butler’s music project Shabazz Palaces is dropping a new record steeped in its iconic brand of flagrant wisdom, charting a course through the future that feels authentic, embodied, and fly as hell.
Celebrating 24 years of evolving a distinctly Seattle hip-hop culture, Massive Monkees will kick off their yearly celebration, Massive Monkees Day, on Saturday, May 27. The three-day event will include a hip-hop breaking competition with cash prizes for the winners, outdoor events with vendors and food, and live performances from Seattle’s legendary B-boy crew.
Welcome to our moon-synced movie review show, hosted by Saira Barbaric and NEVE. This duo of South Seattle creatives make multidisciplinary work together and individually. For this show, they’re ecstatic to join their love of astrology, ritual, and pop culture.
Stream this month’s podcast at the New Moon Movie Review official podcast website.
If we haven’t met, I’m Saira B. I’m a performance artist, filmmaker, and a huge nerd for movies, magic, and social history. I’m one-half of the podcast New Moon Movie Night with Neve, who you may know from this recent story in the South Seattle Emerald. In each episode, we discuss astrology and pop culture in sync with the new moon — traditionally a time of clearing, reflection, and intention setting.
The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission.
After success from his last single, “Black Wealth,” that not only accumulated over 2 million views across social media platforms, but launched multiple Black marketplace events that showcased Black businesses nationwide, hip-hop emcee and musician Draze is back with another new single, “Born to Win.”
Both singles will be included in an untitled album set to release this summer. “Born to Win” pays homage to Draze’s Zimbabwean roots with a new sound that he calls “Ancestral Art.”
“Being a Black man, and being from both Seattle and Zimbabwe, it was the merging and the meshing of these two worlds,” Draze explains. On “Born to Win,” these two sounds are merged seamlessly. The track opens with Ngonidzashe, who is Draze’s younger cousin, singing in their native language. His melody smoothly washes over hip-hop drums, before he transitions to English and is followed by Draze who delivers a verse that explores nuances of being a Zimbabwean growing up in Seattle through lines like, “ I remember the third grade them n***** they had waves, I had them beady bees you know the Zimbabwean grade, so they threw shade.”
East Coast, West Coast, Bronx and Compton, this is what most fans think of when pondering hip-hop history. But what many don’t realize is that Seattle has played an important role in the maturity of a genre that has grown from the urban streets to the global scene. And Seattle hip-hop has its own unique story and sound. To illuminate that fact and celebrate Black Music Month, arts organizations LANGSTON and Wa Na Wari have partnered for 2(06) The Break. The seven episode series will put a local ‘spin’ on the live-streaming DJ sessions popularized by cultural icons like Questlove and DJ D-Nice via social media for the past two months. Each week, Jazmyn Scott, a Seattle hip-hop supporter and co-curator of the 2015 Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI, will pair two Pacific Northwest hip-hop DJs to collaboratively program and record a set composed exclusively of songs by local hip-hop artists of a specific era, from the 1980s to the present.