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What's The Word?: Farewell

Music

What's The Word?: Farewell

In the late 90s and early 2000s, I worked for the Tacoma Facts newspaper. The Facts is the oldest, longest running African-American newspaper in the Pacific Northwest and they still publish in Seattle. I was given the job because owner/editor Dennis Beaver liked my spoken word/poetry. Beaver let me write

What's The Word?: The rise of Tacoma hip-hop groups

Music

What's The Word?: The rise of Tacoma hip-hop groups

The quality of Tacoma hip-hop has really increased. There have always been talented artists doing their thing here, but even just a few years ago there was a lot less dopeness out there. I remember only being able to really like and appreciate a handful of the hip-hop that our

What's The Word?: Hilltop hip-hop

Music

What's The Word?: Hilltop hip-hop

Many blogs and websites will let ya know who are the hottest MCs in the game. I give kudos to those spots. I frequent them often. These sites have a plethora of trendy, hipster, white guy, frat-hop and cool guy fashionista hip-hop. One thing these online entities usually lack is

What's The Word?: Easiah is the real scrappy hustler

Music

What's The Word?: Easiah is the real scrappy hustler

The world is forever changing. Remember when it was standard procedure to burn CDs or get some CDs of your album made? This is happening less and less as most music has fully moved onto and become digital. This affects Tacoma in many ways. One thing happening is the emergence

What's The Word?: DJ Reign in the Tacoma hip-hop scene

Music

What's The Word?: DJ Reign in the Tacoma hip-hop scene

It's no accident that the Holy Trinity of Hip-Hop, the godfathers of our very culture, was DJs Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. Hip-hop would be spoken word and mimes if it was not for the DJ laying down the musical landscape, the audible soundtrack to our lives. The

What's The Word?: Tacnology Entertainment and Awall's new video

Music

What's The Word?: Tacnology Entertainment and Awall's new video

Tacnology Entertainment is a four-man, hip-hop group consisting of Sleezie, Bounce, CoopDavilleone and Shadow. If ya pay attention to 253 hip-hop, then you definitely have seen, heard or met Bounce. I believe I met Bounce just over five years ago. He was $krilla's hype-man. If you are a 253 hip-hop

What's The Word?: El Potrero is back on the hip-hop scene

Music

What's The Word?: El Potrero is back on the hip-hop scene

Hip-hop is in full swing in Tacoma. There are often shows at The New Frontier Lounge, The Loch's, Jazzbones, El Potrero, Latitude 84, Backstage Bar & Grill, Vinum and O'Malley's. I'm sure I'm missing a couple other spots. I feel as if hip-hop has finally broken through in Tacoma. There

What's The word?: Sonny Bonoho will represent the 253 at SXSW

Music

What's The word?: Sonny Bonoho will represent the 253 at SXSW

Sonny Bonoho - one of the few Tacoma artists to break into the underground national hip-hop scene - has been busy preparing new material for this year's SXSW, which is in Austin, Texas March 12-17. I thought it would be a good idea to bring to light what Bonoho has

What's The Word?: Starr of the South Sound

Music

What's The Word?: Starr of the South Sound

Who are the streets talking about? I have been hearing Starr's name a lot. He is a diverse MC - who is respected on the battle-circuit, but also for making good music. This double - threat has eluded many a hip-hop artist. I know we can all think of dope

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Meet Mr. Tak

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Meet Mr. Tak

One of the more successful rappers from Tacoma is Tak Patron. Tak has steadily gained true respect from the streets, his lady fans and now nationally. Slowly but surely, with a steady grind of thinking man hustle; he's calculatingly taken chess-like steps to advance his career. What Patron has done

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Abom and Micah B. and videos

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Abom and Micah B. and videos

I thought I would start off this column by playing some catch up. I figured I would bring ya'll up to speed on one of your favorite artists from the area, Abom. Last year was huge for Abom. He grinded out a handful of mixtapes, did hella shows, and gained

WHAT'S THE WORD?: ILLFIGHTYOU

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: ILLFIGHTYOU

It is a fresh 2013. Who is going to make noise, as far as music? So far ILLFIGHTYOU has been garnering big buzz in Tacoma and Seattle. Every single the group has dropped, such as "Gertrude" and "92," have garnered press by the likes of The Stranger and Seattle Times.

WHAT'S THE WORD?: StoryLab program is live

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: StoryLab program is live

  The futures of Tacoma youth and hip-hop are intertwined. Generally speaking, hip-hop and music are huge outlets of creativity for young people. When I was growing up, there weren't hip-hop classes - may have been a breakdance class here or there, but nothing sustainable. Hip-hop had few if any positive

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Klowns Over Everything

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Klowns Over Everything

Tacoma MC Motamouth Jones has been spearheading a fast-growing, grass-roots, community hip-hop, movement - K.O.E. If you have been keeping your ear to the Tacoma hip-hop scene, then you're aware of the K.O.E. moniker, which stands for Klowns Over Everything. The name reflects the unity its members feel toward each

Saturday, Jan. 26: Hip-Hop 4 Homeless

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Saturday, Jan. 26: Hip-Hop 4 Homeless

I usually do not write about Olympia hip-hop. I like to let my man Nick Leonard cover Oly. That said, I can't let Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless go by without giving it some props. This is by far my favorite Olympia hip-hop event of the year. The whole scene

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Hip-Hop 4 Homeless

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Hip-Hop 4 Homeless

I usually do not write about Olympia hip-hop. I like to let my man Nick Leonard cover Oly. That said, I can't let Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless go by without giving it some props. This is by far my favorite Olympia hip-hop event of the year. The whole scene comes

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Fresh Blends returns to Tacoma

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Fresh Blends returns to Tacoma

Fice, Can-U, EvergreenOne, Todd Sykes, D.J. Reign and Rockwell Powers: These are just a few names of people that I met at Fresh Blends about five years ago. Back then, MySpace was dying, blogs were popping-up everywhere and Tacoma hip-hop was in a huge growth spurt. Today in Tacoma, there

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Shao Sosa

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Shao Sosa

Is Shao Sosa the friendliest, nicest dude in our local hip-hop scene? It could very well be. He was not always such a stand-up guy though. Like many grown hip-hoppers, Shao spent his youth creating trouble and rebelling against the system. He didn't spend his youth in Tacoma where he

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Remembering Hilltop's Peter James

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Remembering Hilltop's Peter James

It is tough times out there. Just when there are some rays of hope like marijuana legalization and marriage equality; there are also ugly reminders about the unhealthiness of our planet and human culture. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, our country argues over gun safety and the root causes

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Q&A with Jusz Nyce

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Q&A with Jusz Nyce

A month ago I mentioned Bruce Leroy's Leroy and Boombox Massacre and Awall A.K.A. 2-Piece's Boomman and Mobbin as two possible local albums of the year. Another huge possible contender for that title could also be Leezy Soprano's, All Due Respect. I am throwing one more album in the hat

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