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 crewNo automatic alt text available.
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.

Image may contain: Gregory Buren, smiling9. 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.

Image may contain: 1 person 8. Ishmael (Butterfly) Butler (1988 – Present)

Element:  DJ/Producer/Rapper

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

 

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.

Image may contain: Terrell Johnson, hat and closeup6. 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.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, beard and outdoor4. 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.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people dancing, shoes and indoor 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.

 

Image may contain: 1 person2. 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.

 

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

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?

4 Generations of B-Boy’s come out to celebrate 30 years of Hip Hop Culture at the “Seattle City Breaker’s Reunion!”

Seattle’s Pioneer Breaker Dancers “Pablo D” and “Sir Slamalot”

By ZiggyFan2012

One year after Seattle’s historic event we take time to remember how awesome it really was!

Seattle, WA. May 13th, 2011 – It was a historical night in West Seattle as the Unified Outreach non-profit Arts Program hosted the “Seattle City Breakers Reunion” celebrating 30 years of hip hop culture in Seattle.

This event brought together some of Seattle hip hop’s legendary Breakdancers and B-Boy’s/B-Girl’s in a multi generational event that took many through a time-warp and back to the early 80’s when group’s such as the Emerald City, Seattle City Breaker’s, Fresh Force, 1st Degree Breaker’s, and DeRoxy Crew ruled the dance floor.

The event featured guest speaker “Nasty” Nes Rodriguez who was the first radio DJ to host an all rap music show back in 1983.  Having the honor of sharing the DJ booth with Nes were legendary DJ’s  B-Mello (KUBE), Mr. Supreme, SoulOne, SuReal, NaNino, SeaBefore, Khazm, DV-One, and DJ Tecumseh (from Bamboo Beats).

The venue provided by West Seattle Christian Church featured a 600 person event center/performance hall which quickly filled to capacity with four decades of B-Boy’s and B-Girl’s crowding in to see the Seattle’s original break dancers.  Event organizer’s David Toledo and Carlos Barrientes provided a special seating area for a group of 20 special needs youth to attend and to participate in some of the “open floor” breakdancing.

The star of the night (who flew in from Hawaii for the event) was Ziggy “Zig Zag” Puaa; a breakdancer who rose to stardom in Seattle during the 80’s and then disappeared at the height of his career.  Rumor’s had circulated for years about Ziggy’s demise during a surfing accident; only to have Ziggy shock many old friends and fan’s when a video surfaced on YouTube featuring Ziggy breakdancing in Hawaii last year.  Also a surprise to many was the attendance of Danny Molino who has been in a wheelchair since a gun shot wound to the head paralyzed most of his body in the early 1990’s.

Other legends to appear at the event included “Seattle’s first Breakdancer” Jonathan (Junior) Alefaio, as well as Rafael Contreras, Spencer Reed, Danny Molino, Carlos (Sir Slamalot) Barrientes, Li’a Cat (Wacky) Talaga and Dave “Pablo D” Narvaez.

Staying true to the idea of Hip Hop’s “4 Elements” (DJ, MC, Breakdancer, and Graffiti Artist) the house was full of other pioneers as well; including Specs Wizard, Sam Sneke, KeepOne, Tyrone Dumas, FazeOne, Gerald Carpio, Curtis Tauiliili, Mr. Cool Anthony Espinoza, Vince Nguyen, Bublz, Kevin Lundeen, and Kid Silly.

The event culminated in an awards ceremony celebrating the “Heart of Hip Hop” in which 8 “Old School” legends received individually colored award plaque’s celebrating individual achievement.  Receiving awards were Carlos Barrientes (Red/Power), Spencer Reed (Yellow/Joy), Ziggy Puaa (Orange/Passion), Dan Clavesilla (Dark Blue/Knowledge), Sam Sneke (Light Blue/Creativity), Danny Molino (White/Pure Style), Michael Hall (Purple/Magic), and Nes Rodriguez (Pink/Universal Love).

The event welcomed 4 decades of breakdancers to participate in the open floor; from the original’s, to current hotshot’s Massive Monkey’s and the Vicious Puppies, to a group of toddler B-Boy’s/B-Girl’s it was a full-filled family event welcoming all ages.

It was a night to remember and something that will not be duplicated soon in Seattle as many legends and icon’s of the Seattle Hip Hop Community came together for a night of reminiscing, educating, and celebrating a our shared history.

For more information on the event, current, and upcoming event, please visit the Seattle City Breakers group on Facebook.