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WHAT'S THE WORD?: Wearing the crown

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Wearing the crown

So who has the crown right now for Tacoma hip-hop? Many would say Leezy Soprano is running the show. He had a breakout year last year and this year he's keeping his buzz big with the release of his newest project, United We Ball, available for download here. The first

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Reppin'

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Reppin'

Remember a few months ago when I said Blak Mic was too good not to release an album for our listening enjoyment? Well, he was either listening or my wishes were granted purely by coincidence, because in December Blak Mic released a free 13-track album at blakmic.bandcamp.com. Blak Mic has

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Bubbling culmination

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Bubbling culmination

It looks like EvergreenOne, a big part of CityHall (along with Todd Sykes and DJ Hanibal), is set to release his first solo LP with a big show at The Space. The show is put on by The Warehouse on goes down Saturday, Feb. 25, featuring Fly Moon Royalty, The

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Year of the crew

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Year of the crew

Think back to 2010. Darxiide was perhaps the biggest underground local hip-hop crew making street music. But in 2011, Darxiide was noticeably absent from the scene. They took the year off to regroup and slim down their roster. The head of Darxiide has always been and still is Sic Ill. Like

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Loose ends

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Loose ends

Before we get ahead of ourselves with the New Year, there's some clean up I have to do. I need to mention a few things I missed in 2011. One of the biggest and coolest singles of last year came by way of a Gazmo the Great and Bruce Leroy collaboration

Saturday, Dec. 31: Hip-Hop New Year's Eve

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Saturday, Dec. 31: Hip-Hop New Year's Eve

$krilla, one of the best party-throwers/planners/promoters in town, is throwing a New Year's Eve show at Krickets in Spanaway with The Gonzo Family, Blue Nose Music and hosted by Tak Patron. I can personally attest that $krilla consistently throws good New Year's Eve shows. He has the performances wrap

WHAT'S THE WORD: That’s a wrap

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD: That’s a wrap

That's it. 2011 is a wrap. It was definitely the strongest year for Tacoma hip-hop ever. Local artists continue to improve and make strides.   I'm not going to give ya a formal 2011 "best" list or anything, but the big news in 2011 surely includes: the emergence of the Gonzo Family

WHAT'S THE WORD?: On the map

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: On the map

Nonstop, all day, every day I hear: "When is someone from the Tac' gon' get put-on? Hit it big? Put the town on the map?" It gets old hearing this over and over again. There have been numerous artists that have broken out of the state and gotten a chance to

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Major heat

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Major heat

Major heat is dropping right now. Artists know they only have a few weeks left to make their mark in 2011. So there are still plenty of quality projects being released.  For example, go to djsemaj.bandcamp.com and download DJ Semaj's new LP, Painting Jimmy.  There are video accompaniments on YouTube -

WHAT'S THE WORD?: On the dial

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: On the dial

I can't believe I've gone this long without writing about local hip-hop on the radio. I probably will miss some hip-hop radio shows in this run-down, so please hit me up and tell me what I'm missing. I'll update local hip-hop radio in a future column.  As far as I know,

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Finishing strong

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Finishing strong

As the year draws to an end, local artists are really dropping some quality work, trying to finish the year strong. First up this week, we have the second release from Farid Xan - an MC from San Francisco who moved to Tacoma to go to college. Once here, Xan hooked-up

WHAT'S THE WORD?: From our own backyard

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: From our own backyard

Hip-hop is a big-ass tree. The roots run deep. They're more permanent than concrete and asphalt. They'll outlast steel and grow through metal. The branches of the tree are vast and multiple. Many branches emit from the common trunk that grows from these roots. The branches of hip-hop are all

WHAT'S THE WORD?: True to the crew

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: True to the crew

There have been a lot of new artists to emerge this year. Many of these artists belong to two hip-hop families/crews - the Gonzo Family and Blue Nose Music Group. Both camps have been extremely active, releasing songs and albums and doing lots of shows all over the state. The Gonzo

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Staying strong

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Staying strong

There is only one month and some change left in this year and the scene is staying strong. It's not dying down at all. There's still so much local music dropping that I'm once again having a hard time keeping up. So here it goes. ... Riding the national buzz from

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Up and comers

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Up and comers

So what's new? Who's got the fresh shit? Who's got next? His name is Micah B. Young man's got skills. He's extra sharp and expressive on the mic, making him the youngest MC in the local scene worth keeping an eye out for. Micah B reps Lakewood and he makes really

WHAT'S THE WORD: Looking for diamonds?

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD: Looking for diamonds?

Could the biggest MC from Tacoma be someone ya never heard about? I think it could, and his name is Clemm Rishad. Rishad has been the Boy Wonder of Tacoma rap ever since his days at Foss High School, circa the early-to-mid 2000's. He's been respected by other MCs in the

WHAT'S THE WORD?: D’Rocc’s “Last Call”

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: D’Rocc’s “Last Call”

One of the major artists in our scene last year was D'Rocc The Gentleman. He made his presence known when he hit us with "The Anthem" video, and then kept it going with lots of big local shows. Currently D'Rocc is gearing up to release a new album; the first

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Holing up

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Holing up

It's def' fall out there. That Northwest gray is back. I welcome the rain. I know it means artists are tucked away in their studios, bedrooms and basements - writing, producing and recording all that ill-ish that makes our music scene special and unique. To start off the new season, check

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Leezy Soprano, Todd Sykes, Tha Deacon and Knucklehead Banga

Music

WHAT'S THE WORD?: Leezy Soprano, Todd Sykes, Tha Deacon and Knucklehead Banga

It's officially fall and the summer is over. A new season and new music await us. One of the hottest artists this past summer was Leezy Soprano. It looks like fall will be no different. He's hitting it hard with two new videos in September alone! Go to YouTube and

Friday, Sept. 30: Last Free Ya Mind open mic

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Friday, Sept. 30: Last Free Ya Mind open mic

Finally, lastly, and sadly, this Friday, Sept. 30 is the last open mic at Tully's on Broadway in downtown Tacoma. This open mic, run by Stella Haioulani of Free Ya Mind Inc., has been a fixture in the city since 2001! That's hecka long run for an open mic. I've

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