I guess it's time we had that talk. Look, I can see that you love this NW hiphop shit as much as anybody, and with a good two years of fandom under your belt, you're itching to help spread the word. But before you rush over to WordPress to anoint yourself the latest voice on the block, please remember a couple simple rules, as follows: Know your shit. As a newbie, it's on you to know of what you speak, because brittle older heads like me will delight in roasting you for the slightest slipup. See, nobody cares what you did or didn't grow up listening to, Lupe Fiasco. If you're going to quote Tribe, get it right. Don't be a groupie. Being a groupie, stan, or dick-rider will only guarantee you zero respect, especially from the artists you adore. Imagine gushing over an artist online only to have them trash you to other people IRL.
This is just some of the advice I'll be giving to aspiring writers, artists, and entrepreneurs at the Seattle Hip-Hop Career & Business Expo at the Vera Project on Saturday, October 9 (9 am–6 pm), which I encourage anyone who's trying to be involved in the local hiphop sphere in any capacity to check out. There's going to be live music, workshops, panels, and networking galore with dozens of very respected, time-tested pros in the local music game (plus: me). The Expo is part of the City of Music Festival, which takes place during the whole month of October. Major, major props must go to my fellow City of Music commissioner K. Wyking Garrett for putting it all into action, as Shabazz Palaces put it.
If you're old like me, you remember when comic books cost less than a dollar, and possibly you even recall a little series called Marvel Team-Ups (if you were a strictly DC head, may god have mercy on your tepid soul). In MTU, you'd get an unlikely pairing of superheroes, usually somebody from the Marvel Universe's third string (Brother Voodoo and Jack of Hearts come to mind) and, say, Spider-Man. Looks like Sportn' Life and Portland stalwarts Focused Noise have embraced this concept and one-upped it with their best talent. October 9 at the High Dive is Deadly Duos, a one-off show featuring three once-in-a-lifetime pair-ups of NW MCs. On this night, you will witness the combined powers of Fatal Lucciauno and RA Scion (an unlikely-on-paper teaming that proved dynamic onstage during Fatal's Bumbershoot performance this year), Spaceman and Luck-One, and 503ers Gen.Erik and Serge Severe. Will egos clash? Will the time-space continuum be somehow irreparably damaged? Will you just shut up and go? The answer lies within, true believers.
Last but not least, Slaughterhouse fans take note: The boy-boy Joell Ortiz is hitting Nectar on Wednesday, October 13 (also Hell's Kitchen in the Tac on October 10); backing him up are Luckyiam, Cadalack Ron, Rollin Rockers, Mestizo (his latest, Elecholo, is FIRE), Kap Kallous, plus Grindtime battles hosted by Lush One and Plex. Rap for rap fans! That's what I'm talking about.