Rest in peace, Coretta Scott King. I hope that the importance of your legacy isn't lost on this and future generations.
If you are raising future generations of hiphoppers and looking for some good times this weekend, come celebrate the rich pageant of hiphop culture at Seattle Center's Festival Sundiata. Check out the Pavilion Room and join Seattle's chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation as they celebrate their second anniversary. 206 Zulu is joined by such friends as Silent Lambs Project, RA Scion, Gabe Teodros, Piece, BYC, Cyphalliance, dRED-i, Mind Movers, Alpha-P, Aluzjun, and DJs Topspin, WD4D, Risk One, Surreal, and the Elefaders. Rawkus Records nostalgists will also be interested to know that Mr. Shabaam Sahdeeq will be rocking there as well. Sunday will also feature a break battle with DJ Scene, so make sure your kids have those routines trump tight, parents!
When your mind ain't right/and it's hard to sleep
And you try to hide the pain/but your scars are deep...
Seriously, though, I don't give a fuck, y'all—Jersey City's Joe Budden is the truth. Since his #1 Draft Pick mix tape, through his gold-selling, self-titled debut, and up to his current in-limbo status, "Buddens" has been my favorite underdog in rap; combining intense introspection with gritty street narration, Joey is a supremely gifted lyricist who also happens to have the worst damn luck. From the grumblings about his album sales to a benign throat tumor that almost derailed his career to his battles with Game and G-Unit (where, sadly, it was proven once and for all that money and hype trump lyrical ability), Joe has always been dogged by almost-but-not-quite-there status.
On the other side of the map, physically and metaphorically, is Vallejo's Mac Mall. Mall first came on the scene with 1993's Bay Area classic Illegal Business?, repping Crestside and spitting hard game at the tender age of 16. Mac's debut, which was one of the first to come out on stalwart V-Town indie label Young Black Brotha is widely regarded as his best, but he's remained somewhat consistent with albums since then, most recently 2005's collabo LP with Mac Dre (RIP), Da U.S. Open. If you're wondering why I bring up all of this shit, it's because on Friday, February 24, these two lyricists (Mac Mall and Budden) will be rocking the Premier, alongside local favorite Unexpected Arrival. Backing up this most unlikely bill are up-and-comers Grynch, Speedy Gonzales, Brotha Brown, Young Soprano, and Cash Carter. Whether your steez is Timbalands or creased Girbauds, this show likely has something for you.
Lastly, catch some fuego all-ages hiphop Friday, February 17, at the Vera Project, starring my very favorite Def Jukie, C-Rayz Walz, along with Indianapolis's Mudkids and Kayo. I thought C-Rayz's Year of the Beast from 2005 was judged a trifle harshly in the press—the sentiments of "Black Soap" and "Blackout" were pretty damn stunning, especially amid rap's across-the-board dumb-down and coke-rap deification. Rush, rush, for the yayo!