December 1, 2017 FAT LACES – the Life and Death of Seattle Hip Hop is an eye-witness account of the who/what/where that happened on the Northwest Hip Hop scene from 1982-1994. The historic Dance Clubs, iconic Breakdance Crews, seminal Graffiti Artists, legendary Dj’s, and platinum selling Rappers are all waiting inside.
Sir Mixalot’s early job as an arcade vendor? The New York City Breakers defeat at the hands of Seattle’s High Performance crew? Edawg’s shady domino technique? The stories are finally being told in the extremely detailed book on the golden age of Seattle hip hop by acclaimed Seattle artisan David Toledo.
David Toledo’s writing embodies the genius of hip hop in all its chaotic beauty. The raw emotion of teen angst and first loves with the wisdom of an old soul. The hunger, passion, and wide-eyed optimism of youth tempered with a life-time of loss and disappointment. His first-person writings of Seattle’s hip hop history, iconic characters, and historic events take readers to a place of wonder and excitement as he jumps quickly from past to present and back again, from happening to happening, introducing multiple characters and conversations. Providing an emotional potpourri that perfectly fits the subject he is writing about. Hip Hop at its roots is contained-chaos; a whirlwind of emotion and art that somehow fit together like a hand in a fingerless glove.
November 28, 2014 ~ The timing was perfect as earlier this month Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed November as Washington State Hip Hop History Month; following the lead of Mayor McGinn and the Seattle City Council who in 2010 proclaimed November Hip Hop History Month in Seattle.
Washington Hall celebrated Hip Hop History with an all-star performance line-up of Seattle’s biggest names in rap music; along with some of the nation’s top break-dancers sharing the stage. Musical artists participating in a freestyle open-mic “cypher” included platinum selling artist E-Dawg, along with city favorites Suntonio Bandanaz, B-Ragg, Sammy Tekle, Ernesto Iraheta, and more!
On stage were DJ’s Able Fader, Cues, Sureal, and A.C. who kept the place rocking from start to finish.
There was a delicious potluck buffet and a toy drive to help the B.U.I.L.D. Seattle Christmas giving-tree.
The event was sponsored by 206 Zulu, Seattle City Breakers, Unified Outreach, and Studio Narvaez, in partnership with 4Culture and Rane. It was organized by Nathan (SireOne) Hivick and hosted by the North City Rockers Ernesto Iraheta and Pele’ Ross, along with the fabled Specs Wizard.
The event will be the last break-dance celebration at Washington Hall for the next nine months as the facility begins to undergo renovations to restore the historic building and the install a new elevator; allowing special needs and wheel-chair bound visitors to enjoy the facility without limitations.
The elevator installation will be a blessing to special-needs artists with limited mobility, such as 206 Zulu founder and President Danny (King Khazm) Kogita who has been in a wheelchair since childhood. Also other artists such as Clayton (B-Ragg aka C-Dogg) Bragg who has limited mobility due to cerebral-palsy.
Clayton is a rapper from Lynwood, Washington who as has a video channel on YouTube which provides regular album reviews for NW CD releases. Clayton has been spending time in the studio and is expecting his album out in early 2015. It was after reviewing the E-Dawg CD “How Long” that Clayton was contacted with a special invitation to attend the November 28th performance as E-Dawg was headlining the event.
David Toledo (Unified Outreach) made all arrangements and acted as Clayton’s personal assistant throughout the evening; physically carrying the artist up 3 flights of steps to the performance hall and making sure that Clayton had full access to E-Dawg and the other artists as well as great seating for all performances.
“It was great having B-Ragg attend the event. He’s doing a lot with his video blog and he’s hard at work in the studio. The crowd really enjoyed hearing him rap tonight; and with his own album coming out we believe that one day he’ll be headlining one of the shows.” David Toledo said.
Clayton said he really enjoyed the show and is especially excited about the people he was able to meet in person including E-Dawg, Seattle City Breaker’s founder Carolos (Slam) Barrientes, King Khazm, and most importantly DJ Sire One and Pablo D who occasionally act as guest hosts on Boom Box Radio; a Everett-based rap program that broadcasts on Friday nights at 10pm on station KSER 90.7 Fm. Clayton is looking forward to having his new album break on the show.
The event was also attended by a bevy of local celebrities including Georgio Brown from Coolout Tv and Dave (Pablo D) from Studio Narvaez; the two partnered in October for a Hip Hop Celebration at the Experience Music Project (EMP). Also attending were TYRONE “the Working Class Hero” Dumas, members of the North City Rockers, the Vicious Puppies, Massive Monkees, Seattle City Breakers, Circle of Fire, and other famous groups.
Highlights of the night were an all-girl breakdance cypher which saw the return of Seattle’s old school b-girls Amber Jamieson and Jojo Tabora-Dyckhoff to the dance floor; as well as a “Seniors Classic” which featured “Seattle’s first b-boy” Junior Alefaio.
Judges for the night included the incredible Rigo Jones, Seattle City Breakers founding father Carlos “Slam” Barrientes, and consummate b-boy Rafael Contreras.
Wrapping up the evenings events Sam “Preach” Dumas, founder of the (Masters of the Prep aka Party People in Action dance crew) issued a challenge to 1980’s dance rivals “the Ducky Boys” to meet at the same time next year for a “prep only” dance off; reviving a rivalry that goes back to 1985 and the Seattle Bandstand television show. Will the Ducky Boys accept the challenge? We’ll know in exactly 12 months!
With construction estimated to take 9 months the event organizers hope that everything will be ready in time for the 2015 Hip Hop History Month celebration. Next year’s event promises to be on for the ages!
2015 JP Scratches
Story and photos may be reprinted in their entirety.
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.