Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thoughts, Post Go! Machine

I returned to Seattle 54 days ago. Just in time to see probably my favorite rapper of all time grace the stage of Key Arena. I sat at the top of the stadium that once housed the Sonics and was awed. Four days ago I experienced the same feeling standing in the crowd at the Crocodile for the first night of Go! Machine, an event that's been described as Seattle's (Hip Hop) Woodstock.

We all knew it was coming. Radjaw and the rest of the OFS crew put in the work they have a reputation for and threw a great couple of shows. My return to Seattle was inspired by the fact Jigga was coming, but my staying was wholly connected to the music happening here. When I heard Pomz say this summer “Who get's to say they were in Seattle when Grunge was blowing up?”, we both new that those in Seattle circa 2009 are the lucky few who will get to say they were part of something new, something different, something inspiring once again found within the artist community here.
Get it here!
Hip Hop has a long history in the town. From “Baby Got Back” to Helladope, Tribal and The Language of My World the music has been marinating and maturing for years. From the moment I first moved here the talk was “will this be the year?” Gone are the questions. 2009 Seattle artists don't care. We aren't waiting for anyone to validate us. We're taking our goals, hopes and dreams. If you can't get with it then stand to the side.

And that's the beautiful thing: No one is standing to the side. The petty “beefs” and stylistic differences that exist between artists are being tossed aside in exchange for stellar collaborations and musical magic. Hearing Jake and Vita unify with the Sport N Life fam, hearing (and seeing – Go! Machine night 1 highlight minus the feedback) Fences rock with the Champagne gang, or Grynch getting called to the Neumos stage by Warren G – all of these events and more have brought me tremendous joy since coming home.

This return has been a bittersweet struggle as I continue to look for work and hope for something, anything to keep me here in the town. My own personal drama's are eased by the love that is in the scene. Knowing that a set from Fresh will abate all worries for at least a few minutes gets me by. The quarter of my iTunes that is Seattle music, guaranteeing a NW tune is never far from play in shuffle, makes me smile. Being able to tell friends that “Yes, Seattle has Hip Hop – and it's fucking dope!”.

Scrunch Yo Face!
These and a million more things prove to me that I'm doing the right thing being here. Music has always been my life, my savior, my friend and sole companion. Never once have I lived somewhere that what I loved so much was also coming from the same soil I call home. It's a special feeling that gives me hope. Hope for this writing shit. Hope for the music still to be made. Hope for a music industry that has been ravaged. Hope for a future I saw once before.

Mad Rad's Go! Machine might just be a time traveling device - they didn't lie, they are traveling from the future and giving the people something for the dark times. If you still aren't on board just step to the side. Otherwise, I hope you have recovered well enough from the weekend cause the OFS camp is giving the town an encore tonight, performing for the first time at Showbox Sodo to a sold out crowd. What's a Kid Cudi?

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