RISE OF THE ETERNALS ~ HIP HOP IMMORTALS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

October 8, 2015 – With the recent launch of the Legacy of Hip Hop exhibit at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) the city has been buzzing with debate about who should top the list of Seattle’s most iconic artists to have represented this genre over the years.

What was most amazing to me as I walked through the MOHAI exhibit was that I saw the names of Bboys that I knew about based on recent performances. Yet, the exhibit had information on them dating back to the early 1980’s.

Because of the vibrant history of NW Hip Hop there will always be heated debate about who was/is/will be the greatest in any one of the 5 elements (Breakdancing/DJ’ing/Rapping/Graffiti/Knowledge). Believe me, it is easy to get pulled into that conversation. However, for purposes of this article I would like to focus on something else; the eternals of NW Hip Hop.

This column lists 10 artists who I feel have never left the game. But have represented the genre for the past 4 decades. I felt like I needed to share the list; because there just isn’t anyone writing about Seattle Hip Hop that actually has any roots in the community.

So here is the list. These are the realest of the real.

Coolout Network. Copyright by Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

10. Gordon (Music Inner City) Curvey and Georgio (Coolout Network) Brown (1990 – Present)

Element:  Knowledge

Two hip hop historians documenting the going-on’s in the hip hop community for a quarter century. Definitely two different personalities; with Gordon engaging in semi-regular public arguments with just about everyone on Facebook. Meanwhile, Georgio Brown keeps it cool. Constantly building bridges and giving local artists stage time at his annual Coolout events (the 25th of which will be celebrated in 2016!) Georgio recently helped design and promote the MOHAI event; while Gordon was less than impressed with acknowledgement of his contributions.

9. Greg (Funk Daddy) Buren and Derrick (Vitimin D) Brown (1988 – Present)

Element:  DJ/Producers

Are these two the same person? Both broke out around 1988. Both hit the ground running; putting out some major beats and haven’t taken a break in almost 30 years. These two have to share the spot, because both are legendary producers in the Northwest. Funk Daddy (aka Greg B) from Seattle and Vitimin D from Portland.

 8. Ishmael (Butterfly) Butler (1988 – Present)

Element:  DJ/Producer/Rapper

Founding member of Digable Planets. Grammy winner. Currently performing with Shabazz Palaces.

 

Copyright Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

7. Derrick (Silver Shadow D/Derrick X) Seals (1985 – Present)

Element:  DJ/Producer/Rapper

Member of the seminal Seattle rap group DURACELL. 30 year history of active performances and musical releases. Vast knowledge of Seattle’s music and hip hop culture from the 1990’s. Current member of 206 Zulu.

Copyright Michael Johnson

 

  1. 6. Michael (Edwag) Johnson (1983 – Present)

Element:  Bboy, Rapper

Edawg was a founding member of the Gail Place Rockers (aka Horton hand-spinners) before launching his music career as a member of the Mixalot posse. Edawg has over 30 years in the hip hop game and is a platinum selling recording artist. Currently hosts E’s Way Radio and regularly preforms both past and current hits.

 5. Carter (Fever One) McGlasson (1983 – Present)

Element:  Bboy, DJ/Producer

Founding member of the 1983 Seattle Circuit Breakers as well as a current member of the legendary Rock Steady Crew. Fever still performs in Bboy contests and also currently DJ’s at multiple clubs in Seattle.

Sire One. Copyright by Nathan Hivick.

4. Nathan (Sire One) Hivick (1990 – Present)

Element:  Bboy, Graffiti Artist, DJ/Producer, Rapper

One of the few artists to represent all 4 of the original elements; Sire One has over 25 years of producing music and visual arts that is as fresh today as it was when he began. Still competing in (legal) graffiti art competitions as part of BAM crew, and performing with both North City Rockers and 206 Zulu.

Coolout 20. Copyright by Dave Narvaez/Studio Narvaez.

3. Dave (Pablo D) Narvaez (1984– Present)

Element:  Bboy, Rapper, Knowledge

Founder and current manager of the North City Rockers; a multi-generational breakdance group in North Seattle. Recognized as one of the Northwest’s most knowledgeable hip hop historians and widely respected for his photo documentation of the hip hop community over the last decade via Studio Narvaez. Currently working on music production with Specs Wizard and Sire One.

 

DJ Mr. Supreme. Copyright by Danny Clavisilla.

2. Danny (DJ Mr. Supreme/Supreme La Rock/Preme) Clavisilla (1983 – Present)

Element:  Bboy, DJ/Producer, Knowledge

DJ Mr. Supreme (along with RSC legend DV One) is the current DJ for the Seattle Seahawks. Founding member of the 1983 Seattle Circuit Breakers. Regularly produces music scores for movies & television. Widely considered one of the foremost experts on both NW music and NW hip hop in the world.

Specs Wizard. Copyright Michael Hall.

1. Michael (Specs Wizard) Hall   (1979 – Present)

Element:  Bboy, Graffiti Artist, DJ/Producer, Rapper

Currently produces a line of comic books for Capstan Media/Healthy Bunch. Regular music releases and performances throughout 2015. Featured artist at the MOHAI exhibit.

 Thank you for taking time to read.  I hope you enjoyed the list!  Let me know what you think!  Agree?  Disagree?