Yo, my life includes Garvey, no Barkley or Bailey, operate daily, at ATB...
For all the noise that new, young local crews are making, it should also not be lost on you that this much-celebrated scene renaissance is very much evident in the renewed moves and music being made by time-tested scene veterans: My man Candidt comes to mind, or Onry Ozzborn—ahem, Cape Cowen—with Darktime Sunshine, or that Vitamin D Bornday EP. Then there's the Black Stax debut LP, Talking Buildings; Black Stax, if you aren't savvy, is Jace ECAj and Silas Blak, aka the Silent Lambs Project, teamed up with the powerful vocals of Felicia Loud. As a unified movement, they represent the best of the SLP's famously fractal rhyme attack with the well-known warmth and clarity of the ever so soulful Ms. Loud—a maze of challenging rhyme and soaring song that reminds me of some of my favorite Wu-Tang moments circa Forever crossed with Mystic's evergreen ode "The Life." Their CD-release party is going down at Nectar on May 27 with DJ Gumbeaux and LaRue, which means "the street" in French but equals "dope MC" in Seattle-ese—make sure you download his mixtape LaRue or the Streets at www.reverbnation.com/larue206. That same night, at the brand-spank Hard Rock Cafe downtown, Victor Shade headlines the inaugural Gigs4Good, with proceeds to benefit Seattle Against Slavery—along with Sol, Dice, B-Mello, and Tilson. Big ups to Team Up for Nonprofits for putting it together.
May 29 at the Showbox at the Market sees the return of the one and only Reflection Eternal—Brooklyn's Talib Kweli and Cincinnati's DJ Hi-Tek—whose classic debut single, "Fortified Live," was the first new vinyl I ever bought. Their 2000 Rawkus long player Train of Thought caught much burn and set the bar for thinking-man's boom bap for the new millennium. After a decade of solo LPs of varying potency, they've thankfully reunited, hit the high road, and are prepping the release of the sophomore RE-lease Revolutions per Minute, an album title a legion of conscious rappers must be kicking themselves for not taking when they had the chance. Opening up are L.A.'s flyguys with deep Seattle roots U-N-I—and Mad Rad, perhaps an odd match on paper, or four years ago (back when you were still kufi shopping). It's a new day, however, and everybody is now aware of the transformative power that little things like "fun" and "dancing" can have at hiphop shows.
Speaking of, y'all know Folklife is about to go down, and hiphop is in the building—and not in the field, where the dirty, dirty hippies beat their drums. May 30 is the 206 Zulu Showcase at the Vera Project, where at 7:00 p.m. you can catch Helladope, Suntonio Bandanaz, Hi-Life Soundsystem, Marissa & SK, and DJ Dev-j. Bring the rug rats out and reprogram 'em with some of the town's finest rhyme spouters. Also don't miss the Rainier Valley Boys & Girls Club "You Can Make It" talent show on May 31 at 5:00 p.m. at the Bagley Wright Theatre, put together by my man Tendai Maraire from the mighty Shabazz Palaces. Both events are more than great excuses for skipping the dream-catcher booths, the incense/oil dude, and the noodley-dance seminar this year.