My Philosophy: White Rapper Spekulation Is Retiring to Make More Room for Black Artists in Seattle Hiphop

Loren Elliott

In case you missed it: Seattle rapper/producer/agitator Matt "Spekulation" Watson recently announced that he's retiring from rapping. (You can read it on his personal FB page—I only got so much space here.)

Despite some mixed feelings, I respected this decision and the thought process greatly. It seemed quietly revolutionary to me. How do "we" stop White America from appropriating Black culture, which has been happening forever? We can't. Only "they" can, and for the most part, they wouldn't dream of it. Do you really got to fight for your right to party? (Could you also bring a dish? Help clean up? Be the one that talks to the cops?) Obviously, I had questions. So I asked him.

You started off your status update saying that "Seattle hiphop shouldn't look like me." Considering the demographics of Seattle, why do you think that?

Witnessing the changing demographics in Seattle over the last decade has just made me more certain that Seattle hiphop shouldn't look like me. I know how powerful hiphop is, and I know that this music, and the identity behind this music, is essential to the particular communities that are rapidly being driven out of this city. Every time I pick up a microphone, I take away from that, because of what people who look like me represent in this city.

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The Adorable Love Story of TAM Director Stephanie Stebich Makes the New York Times Weddings Column

There she is atwirl in her Alexander McQueen! Stephanie Stebich (now married to Anne-Imelda Radice, unpictured) is glowing in her wedding pictures. Congratulations!
There she is atwirl in her Alexander McQueen! Stephanie Stebich (now married to Anne-Imelda Radice, unpictured) is glowing in her wedding pictures. Congratulations! Photo by Leslie Ferrin

In a flouncy short Alexander McQueen dress and golden flats, Tacoma Art Museum director Stephanie Stebich was married two weeks ago in a ceremony that made the New York Times Vows column yesterday!

Stebich and her wife, Anne-Imelda Radice, director of the American Folk Art Museum (and before this, first director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts!), have known each other for years, but only began dating this spring. They will continue their relationship long distance, they say.

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Today in Stupid: Giuliani Says He's Saved More Black Lives Than Beyoncé

Rudy Giuliani was on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss, among other things, Trump's moving-target immigration position. The panel also touches on Beyoncé's performance last night at the VMAs, a performance Giuliani called "a shame."

What's causing the consternation of the Fox & Friends crew is a vignette from the pop star's breathtaking and politically-charged medley from her visual album Lemonade, which took home a haul of 8 Moonmen at the awards show. In the vignette, set to album opener "Pray You Catch Me," Beyoncé is surrounded by a coterie of women, dressed in angelic garb, who collapse to the ground in pools of red light.

"That was supposed to symbolize cops killing black individuals,” Ainsley Earnhardt explains, helpfully. The Fox & Friends co-host also prefaces the conversation by saying she wants to ask Giuliani about "the war on cops," so you know right away this is going to be a balanced discussion.

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Gene Wilder Is Dead. Gene Wilder Will Never Die.

Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein and a stupid, though devout, admirer.
Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein and a stupid, though devout, admirer. Ryan Schierling

Gene Wilder, one of the most distinctive and original comedic actors in the history of films, died yesterday at age 83, of complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in Variety. Wilder's persona—the gentle facade concealing an explosive yowl of neurotic panic—was among the least-likely and most endearing ever to appear on movie screens.

His staggering performances in such films as Bonnie and Clyde, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, and a few others will make him immortal. His presence could even transform lesser works, like the odd 1971 adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, into essential classics for generations of children. Likewise, though the films they made together are not great, Wilder will go down in history as the defining screen counterpart of two very different and very important American comedy legends: Richard Pryor and Gilda Radner (to whom Wilder was married when she died of cancer in 1989). Gene Wilder expanded the vocabulary of comedy. He made the world sweeter and weirder.

Clips from several of his most memorable moments are below.

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The Clinton Campaign Is Courting the Christian Left, Which Hasn't Really Existed Since Reagan

Remember this Clinton campaign ad from four months ago? Did it have a religious vibe to you?

Maybe not overtly, but a New York Times piece from yesterday puts it in fascinating context.

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Right On, Colin Kaepernick: America's National Anthem Celebrates Racism and Slavery

"I have to stand up for people that are oppressed." Helga Esteb /

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick won't stand for America's national anthem, he says, because people of color are oppressed by police. He's being vilified by conservatives.

Seahawks defensive linesman Michael Bennett supports his right to protest however he sees fit.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said. "To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

For instance, just this month, a Department of Justice investigation concluded that Baltimore's police department is unconstitutionally racist and violent.

Here's another reason not to stand for the anthem: Like the Confederate flag, it represents white supremacy. The song celebrates slavery and the vengeful killings of slaves seeking freedom.

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Food News: Tilth Turns 10, Pink Door Does Good, and Five Places I Love on Beautiful Days Like Today

If youve never eaten outside at Rays Boathouse, today would be a good day to try it. Theyre open from 4 pm to 9:30 pm on Mondays.
If you've never eaten outside at Ray's Boathouse, today would be a good day to try it. They're open from 4 pm to 9:30 pm on Mondays. Courtesy of Ray's Boathouse

Wallingford Restaurant Tilth Turns 10 This Week
The James Beard Award-winning chef Maria Hines' beloved restaurant Tilth, the "first local restaurant of its reach to be certified organic," turns 10 later this week. Tilth is hosting anniversary dinners on September 1 and 2. "For $150, diners get 10 courses with wines (to include St. Jude’s albacore, King’s garden melon, Skagit River pork belly with roasted apples and padron peppers, and much more), along with a 15-page scrapbook profiling the producers that helped build Tilth’s first decade," reports Seattle Met. More info here.

The First Hill Whole Foods Is Officially Under Construction
It's right on the border between First Hill and Capitol Hill and it will have 265 units of "luxury apartments" above the 40,000-square-foot, two-story grocery store.

Heres what the construction site looks like as of this morning.
Here's what the construction site looks like as of this morning. Christopher Frizzelle

The Whole Foods building will be 16 stories tall. Capitol Hill Seattle blog has been on this story from the beginning and they have more details here.

The Pink Door Brings Back a Pasta Dish and Donates All Proceeds to Earthquake Relief in Italy
The Italian restaurant with a gorgeous deck looking out over Puget Sound is "bringing back a signature dish from the Pink Door’s 1981 menu: bucatini all’amatriciana, or Amatrice style," reports Seattle Met. "This pasta sauce comprising of fresh tomatoes, cured pork cheek, and pecorino romano cheese hails from Amatrice. And starting today through September 15, 100 percent of the proceeds from this dish will be donated to the Italian Red Cross, aka Croce Rossa Italiana. It’s $17 more than well spent."

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kanye Were Very Much At the VMAs Last Night

Theres always room for more Lemonade
There's always room for more Lemonade DANIELA VESCO/PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT

As you may be aware if you have internet access, MTV's Video Music Awards ceremony was last night and they had lots and lots of exciting stars, including Beyoncé (who did a big Lemonade medley), Kanye West, Rihanna, some thing where Drake expressed love for Rihanna, and some weird thing where Britney Spears got overshadowed by people who are either better or more famous than she is. I didn't watch it because I don't have MTV, and I'm not a great scholar of choreography, and I'm 43, and also I don't actually believe that fashion is an art form. Plus, I knew there would be videos of the Beyoncé bits (see below). But you know who DID watch it? All of Twitter. Also: The New York Times. Oh yeah, and Esquire even has all the performances, if you dare.

The 20 Best Things To Do In Seattle This Week

Spend your Labor Day weekend at Bumbershoot, Seattles biggest music and arts festival.
Spend your Labor Day weekend at Bumbershoot, Seattle's biggest music and arts festival. David Conger

Our music critics have already chosen the 26 best concerts this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn. Here are their picks for the best events in every genre—from PAX-related parties to the First Thursday Art Walk, and from Hooded or Being Black for Dummies to, of course, Bumbershoot. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Bard in a Bar: Richard III
Shakespeare would no doubt approve of Bard in a Bar: rowdy, crowdsourced, and boozy presentations of his plays. This time, watch an irreverent performance of the terrifying Richard III.

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How Uber and Lyft Reduce Taxi Cab Racism

Old school taxi cab racism thrives in Uberless Vancouver B.C..
Old school taxi cab racism thrives in Uber-less Vancouver B.C.. Charles Mudede

Vancouver B.C. does not have Uber or Lyft, the ridesharing service I mainly use in Seattle and New York City. But the city does have plenty of cabs in its main areas, and the drivers tend to be honest and know how to get around their town. But the absence of ridesharing companies in Vancouver has meant the persistence of a problem that, in my experience, pretty much vanishes from the surface of things when you have an account with Uber or Lyft: taxi cab racism. And it's not so much that this problem vanishes for the black person, but we do not have to deal with it any more, as we have a way around it. Indeed, I had all but forgotten this form of racism until this weekend, when I found myself in downtown Vancouver unable to hail a cab. They just simply passed by me, though many were not engaged. At first I thought I was not visible enough to drivers, but after a few cabs passed by my increasingly theatrical waving, I remembered the color of my skin.

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Our Bacteria, Ourselves: Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes Exposes the Life-Forms Within Us


In his remarkable first book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, science writer Ed Yong asks us to consider the humid forests of our armpits, the arid deserts of our forearms, and the dark caves of our bowels, all of them teeming with life. "It can be weird to think about our body parts as rolling landscapes," Yong admits, but if we follow his vision, which he lays out with clarity and conviction, the results are transformative: "We can compare the gut of a person with inflammatory bowel disease to a dying coral reef or a fallow field: a battered ecosystem where the balance of organisms has gone awry."

Perhaps it should be no surprise that Yong, who chose to invoke Walt Whitman in the book's title, writes in energetic, generous, and visceral prose. I Contain Multitudes is a deeply researched book—nerdy and technical, with a Notes section that is its own odd pleasure to read—but Yong's words also pulse and glow with carnality and wonder.

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The Stranger Is Looking For a Fall Editorial Intern!

We’re looking for a hardworking intern to help The Stranger’s editorial team this fall. You must be a current journalism student or recent graduate with excellent research, news judgment, and writing skills. You should be energized and engaged with what is happening in Seattle, including local news, politics, and the arts, as well as national news and pop culture. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

See more details about the position here.

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Savage Love Looking For a Fall Intern!

We’re looking for an intern to help wrangle Savage Love and the Savage Lovecast this fall. You must be a current journalism student or recent graduate who is extremely organized, self-motivated, and professional. You must be comfortable with content that would normally be NSFW. You should possess excellent research skills, know what’s going on in the world, and have a great eye for a great question. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Read more details about the position here.

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Anthony Weiner Caught Doing What Weiner Does

Everyone's favorite "disgraced" ex-congressperson Anthony Weiner was caught swapping sexts again. The New York Post has the goods. For the last year and a half Weiner was flirting and swapping sexts with a woman in California—a woman who's a Trump supporter, as it turns out. She shared the lurid screen grabs with the Murdoch-owned, rightwing tabloid, and they went big with it:


Lemme say this first: Weiner clearly has a reckless, self-destructive compulsion, and I feel bad for his wife, Huma Abedin, and for his kid. Now back to the New York Post:

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The Morning News: Seattle Remembers "Uncle" Bob Santos, Greenwood Thief Caught on Camera, and a Trump Visit

^Have You Seen This Thief? The person in the surveillance photo, above, broke into an office safe inside The Baranof in Greenwood on August 14. Bar-owners are reaching out to the community for help finding him. Seattle Police officers are investigating whether previous robberies targeting other Greenwood bars are connected to this one, KOMO reports.

Rest in Power, "Uncle" Bob Santos: The beloved civil rights and International District leader passed away at 82 on Saturday. Memorial plans have not yet been announced.

Local Journalist Remembers Uncle Bob's Work—and His Humor: "For all the serious revitalization efforts he’s led in Chinatown International District, Uncle Bob was a funny, animated guy who stressed to me and others the importance to let loose a little in midst of difficult work that we do for the community," writes Alia Marsha for The Seattle Globalist.

Seattle Homeless Encampment "Sweeps" Push More People to Rainier Valley: Nearly a dozen tents have cropped up next to the onramp from Rainier Avenue to I-90. Encampment residents Eric Jordan and Lisa Hooper say that, as their community has grown, so has their trash problem. "I’ve offered to pay for my own porta-potties and trash can. And [state officials] didn’t even want to agree to that,” Jordan told KUOW. Paying for these amenities would send the message that camping on the site is allow, a state spokesperson told reporter Joshua McNichols.

Seattle Businesses Take "The Pledge": Twelve businesses across the city are displaying stickers in their front windows to let people in need know if they use the bathroom, charge their phone, or get a drink of water inside the shop, Kaylee Osowski reports for Capitol Hill Seattle. "The Pledge" founder Devin Silvernail is hoping to get 15 businesses on board by the end of the month.

Silvernail said he’s spoken to many businesses that declined to participate in The Pledge. Their biggest concerns were safety, liability and the stereotype that homeless people are aggressive.

But participating businesses haven’t seen an impact in operations or had an negative issues, he said.

Donald Trump Will Be in Seattle and Everett Tomorrow: He'll be campaigning in the city's Xfinity Arena, KPLU reports. Anyone with an extra $2,700 lying around can meet the outspoken racist and xenophobe at a fundraiser in Seattle. According to the invitation, the reception's location will not be disclosed without an RSVP.

Danny Westneat Imagines a Conversation with Trump and Campaign Manager Don Benton: An excerpt, from his latest column:

TRUMP: Look at this place! There are cranes everywhere. You can score a tax break as easy as Donald J. Trump scores hot model wives! But I’m supposed to pretend this is a socialist hellhole? It’s a billionaire’s paradise! My buddy Marty Selig says you can be a developer billionaire here, and they’re all so squishy and compassionate that there’s not only no income tax, but they let you slide on your electric bills!

BENTON: You can’t say any of that down there.

TRUMP: This place has Trump written all over it! Why haven’t I built a monogrammed tower to myself here? It would be the greatest in history — I could put it over there, T-R-U-M-P, in front of the view of that snow-covered mountain. Plus, if I sold it — no state capital gains. Winner!

The First Eight Months as a Refugee in Seattle: "Eight months, because that’s when refugees without families stop receiving small federal payments," reports Liz Jones for KUOW. She tells the stories of Osman Mohamed, Peiman Karimi, Neda Sharifi Khalafabadi, and Tu Tu as they find their way in the city.

Suncrest Fire Burns Nearly 500 Acres East of Leavenworth: Winds helped spread the fire up dry hillsides in Chelan County and about 110 homeowners have been ordered to evacuate. Despite this, tourists are still flocking to the kitschy German-themed town, KIRO reports.

False Reports of Gunfire of Los Angeles International Airport: Authorities got word that there was an active shooter inside LAX on Sunday night, but the reports were, thankfully, false. The scare "caused 281 delays, two cancellations, and 27 flight diversions, according to LAX, which also said that one person was injured from getting trampled," ABC reports.