Just last week in this column, I spoke of how bright the fortunes of Seattle's hiphop community have become since this year's grim start; while I wasn't wrong, we have lost someone whose passion for and unbelievable knowledge of hiphop from here (and everywhere else) glowed fire-bright. It is with immeasurable sadness that I say good-bye to James "Talksick" Sullivan, who passed away last week. RIP, homeboy. Talksick was a proud member of 206 Zulu, a hiphop historian, and a stand-up, unflinchingly honest cat who would tell you in a nanosecond if your shit sucked—not because he was a hater, but because he loved this hiphop shit with every ounce of his being. He was on the first track I ever rapped on. He turned me on to cats like Saigon and Grafh, and he provided endless, spirited debate about the rap we loved and hated. These words and this ink are not enough, but I want them to celebrate his life and his spirit. Talksick is survived by his wife, Cassandra; if you want to help with what must be considerable hospital bills, you can PayPal funds directly to Cassandra at Quassia_2000@hotmail.com. Love and strength to her and to James's whole family and crew right now.
You already know Candidt's Rendezvous hiphop monthly the Corner, where Talksick was a to-be-counted-on fixture (out of almost 20 Fridays, Talk only missed one), swigging pitchers (much to the bar's chagrin) and dispensing jewels. The next Corner, going down on October 23, will be in tribute to Talk, featuring Tacoma's OG triple OG Wojack, Yirim Seck (whose debut, Hear Me Out, you need in your life), Soufender Cheezealeo (Prada Shoes and Scrapers coming soon), and Street Academy general Logics. Meanwhile, downstairs in the Rendezvous Grotto that same day, a little earlier, is the third annual Seattle edition of the Asian Hip Hop Summit. Locals Canary Sing, Khanfidenz, Nam, Know Choice, and Lions Ambition will share the stage with touring Southern California talent, including MCs Dumbfoundead and Lyraflip.
Fans of Gossip will also get a dose of Seatown funk on the 23rd, as Afro-punk-rap spastics Champagne Champagne are opening up for 'em down at Showbox at the Market. I seem to remember them doing a couple dates with my other favorite Portland rockers the Thermals last year, too—ha-ha, sure would be awesome to see a rap group signed to a label called Kill Rock Stars.
That motherfucking rap star, the Wizard of Poetry himself, Ghostface Killah is at Showbox at the Market the next evening, with They Live!, PDX's Animal Farm, and Cheezealeo opening. I haven't yet heard Wizard, Ghost's R&B-heavy final album for Def Jam, but I caught that awesomely NSFW "Stapleton Sex" video. Pretty sure the show won't be like that, though, and probably a lot less R&B, even though Ghost is always prone to belting out the old-school cuts when he's under those purple lights, rocking his bathrobe and his beanie—but who isn't?