Tag Archives: Musicians

Seattle Author Daudi Abe Explores Hip Hop’s Political Roots and Seattle Rappers’ Cultural Influence

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. 

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Shelter Fest: An Online Music Festival Celebrating Black Artists and Local Restaurants

by M. Anthony Davis


Fall is here. And with it comes rain, gloom, and days that turn to night in the blink of an eye, as well as a never-ending news cycle that circulates between Trump administration shenanigans (so glad he’s almost gone!) to constant reminders that not only is COVID still a problem, but numbers across the country — including King County —are higher than ever. You know what would be amazing right now? A free music festival!

And lucky for us, Bad Habit Media has announced Shelter Fest, a new online music festival created in response to the shelter-in-place mandate and how it has disproportionately impacted the arts and service industries, as well as communities of color. All day this weekend, Saturday November 14 and Sunday November 15, Shelter Fest will provide direct support to local artists, businesses, and restaurants by fostering a creatively designed music festival that is both socially distant and surprisingly intimate. 

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