Early Thursday morning, Aug. 11, 2023, on 2544 Beacon Ave. S., South Seattle creative and street art catalyst Crick “Dozer” Lont unveiled a heartwarming dedication to hip-hop’s 50th anniversary — a 90-square-foot aerosol portrait of a man named Charles, the local legend known to many as “Seattle’s biggest hip-hop fan.”
Continue reading New Mural Is a Beacon Hill Tribute to Seattle’s Biggest Hip-Hop Fan
by Grace Chinowsky
(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The City of Seattle’s stance on graffiti remains as staunchly “anti” as ever, with Mayor Bruce Harrell doubling down on his graffiti abatement efforts, but the legal and social outlook on street art in the city has evolved significantly.
The City is currently awaiting the results of their appeal against a federal court’s injunction of an ordinance banning graffiti — effectively legalizing it until a judge makes a ruling — and one of the city’s most high-profile taggers is now out on bail after being arrested for the second time last month. Meanwhile, the City is partnering with a local nonprofit that connects people in need of employment with work cleaning up graffiti, reaching businesses in the Chinatown-International District (CID) hit hard by graffiti writers.
But is graffiti the big problem our mayor has made it out to be?
Continue reading What’s Going On With Graffiti in Seattle?
by Troy Landrum Jr.
Rapper, hip-hop artist, and Emmy Award-winning songwriter Draze released his highly anticipated single “Mazvita” on March 10, along with a sensational music video that showcases the depth and layers that have been permeating in his mind over the last four years.
Continue reading OPINION | With His New Single, ‘Mazvita,’ Draze Builds Toward an Album and a Grassroots Movement
by M. Anthony Davis
Michael Hall, better known in Seattle as Specs Wizard, has been involved in hip hop culture since the 80’s. Specs grew up in a family that was into music and that early exposure set him on course to becoming an artist himself.
Continue reading Specs Wizard and Friends Celebrate Black Comic Book Hero ‘Achiever ’
by Beverly Aarons
Crumbling brick buildings litter a once thriving business district. Two-story homes blackened with soot sit boarded up and abandoned. Children find pipes and needles in sandboxes. Twenty students share five books in a freezing classroom … no heat. No food tonight, just too expensive. No new shoes — wear your older sibling’s pair and line the holes with newsprint. This is America: Late ‘70s and ‘80s. To be clear, this is America’s urban ghettos: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and yes, even Seattle. One generation earlier, much of Black America fled the vicious Jim Crow south seeking safety and opportunity in the north only to find itself pinned into economic wastelands with no capital and little opportunity for growth. And it is within this context that hip hop was born. During my interview with Daudi Abe, a Seattle Central College professor and the author of Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle, he shared his thoughts on hip hop and its political and cultural impact.
Abe, who was born and raised in Seattle, teaches a class on the history of hip hop at Seattle Central College. Most of his students are in their late teens and early 20s, and they have a hard time understanding the context from which hip hop was born, he said. But context is key to understanding why hip hop survived and thrived while other music genres such as disco faded into history.
Continue reading Seattle Author Daudi Abe Explores Hip Hop’s Political Roots and Seattle Rappers’ Cultural Influence
by Gui Jean-Paul Chevalier
A man a many sorts. Performing Artist, Painter educator among others.
After getting a personal tour of his new Pioneer Square Art studio, I sat down with artist Perry Porter at a bar on First Avenue to discuss his art, vision, process and future plans.
Continue reading Artist Perry Porter Talks Art, Hip-Hop
by Jacob Uitti
Seattle rapper Raz Simone is obsessive, verbose, and prolific. His mind moves a million miles a minute. If he ever met the Energizer Bunny in a standoff, he’d surely intimidate.
Continue reading Rapper Raz Simone Discusses His New Music Video, “Hatred”
by Reagan Jackson
If you haven’t gotten your sugar fix yet, you have a few more days to purchase a “Seattle Sweeties” cupcake from Cupcake Royale. With your purchase of any of the six new flavors, Choco-latte, Vanilla Dream, Chai Cinnamon, Caramel Delight, Lemon Cherry Blosson, and Banana Cream, a portion of the proceeds will go to Runway to Freedom. Continue reading Seattle Sweeties: Cupcakes, Women, Hip Hop, and the Fight Against Domestic Violence