Evergreen One & Todd Sykes
Authenticity plays a big role in if an act is legit and they bleed authenticity all throughout their music. I became a fan of the Tac town based duo long before I got a chance to meet them in person and meeting them in person just cemented my belief in them even more. When it comes to embodying the blue collar, hard working, hard luck spirit of Tacoma these guys don’t just represent it in rhyme they’re the flagship.
Checkout: Milk on Wax EP
Google em: Evergreen One & Todd Sykes
Anytime I mention a group outside of the hip hop arena then they must really have something good going on. For those that don’t know, I’m a hip hop and R&B head through and through but good music is something that speaks to the soul…SweetKiss Momma’s Revival Rock CD which has been top 10 in sales on indie music site CDBaby.com speaks volumes on not only making good music but just how good Northwest Rock & Roll is and how it continues to evolve. The front man for the band told me that on their trip to SXSW last year that some commented they sounded more like southern rock then the actual southern rockers.
Checkout: Revival Rock
Google em: SweetKiss Momma
CDBaby.com ßGet that disc titled “Revival Rock”
When you call yourself Helladope…you better be Helladope. No worries there, the duo from the southend consisting of Jerm (of Seattle hip hop staple Alpha P) and Tay Sean are redefining the Northwest hip hop scene with a funked up, spaced out mix of smooth melodies, dope rhymes and hard hitting beats. The Cloud Nice disc sounds and feels a lot like ATLiens but with an undeniable Northwest twist to it.
Checkout: Cloud Nice
Google em: Helladope
Rock & Roll
There’s something happening in Tacoma’s Music scene that is like a little secret. To all Seattle heads who never dare venture south of Safeco Field, you’ve got some talent on your heels and it’s coming from all directions. One of those groups is BigWheel Stuntshow who I had heard about consistently but never had a chance to see live until GritCity Fest. All I can say is if you ever get a chance in your long legged life to see this band it’d be well worth you time. Ohio transplant and front man Evan Nagle is 2 parts James Brown, 1 part Hendrix 1 part alien and all parts a freak of nature on the guitar and the mic. Oh yea, the rest of the band is just as talented as well! Haha. There’s not much you can say that wouldn’t describe just how good this band is. Do check them out.
Checkout: Brand New Bag
Google em: BigWheel Stunt show
Seattle via Upstate New york
I’ll admit, for a while I kinda pigeonholed the Seattle scene centered around Capitol Hill as weirdo, hipster, scenester, disco party music with an electro/hip hop beat. All of that pretty much changed one night in early August at a club in Mill Creek when I got the chance to see Katie Kate. She was quiet, kinda shy and was always within a yells reach of out for stardom DJ Terry Radjaw. On getting a chance to talk to her I found out she’s a classically trained vocalist and piano player. She plays a slew of other instruments but instead of joining a symphony she decided to rap. Oh yea she makes her own beats. Oh yea she’s pretty ill on the mic as well. She’s a little girl with a huge stage presence and with the right things in play she could be on her way to superflippinstardom.
Google her: Katie Kate
Strik n’ Krusal
With production from the good folks at 253, my big homey Tryfe and others, Strik n Krusal are back to bring that good hood music back into the forefront of the Northwest hip hop landscape. It’s refreshing to hear some music like what Strik n’ Krusal produce, it’s commercial ready and danceable which is just the opposite from what a good deal of Seattleites pride themselves on. Let’s face it, Seattle loves a good politically charged, locally centric rap act and Strik n Krusal who mind you are just as locally minded as any other hip hop group have what I call the BET appeal: They reach the deepest corners of the hood and mainstream America in one fell swoop.
Checkout: The new CD which is yet to be titled
Google em: Strik n Krusal
SOTA (state of the artist)
The idea of the hip hop group is back, matter of fact, all of the good ones are back as one group called SOTA. Take 3 parts Tribe Called Quest, 1 Part The Lox (minus all the shooting) and just West Coast/Northwestify ‘em up and there you’ll have 3 MCs strait spittin’ it like it’s supposed to be spit and keeping it all the way flashy at the same time. This is another group with a strong following in Seattle but I wouldn’t be surprised if this following expands as far north as Canada and as far East as South Beach because they have that appeal. The live show is just as dope and the CD is one that you’ll keep in rotation in the whip –I know its been that way for me!
Google em: SOTA, Seattlecalifragilistic
Bandcamp em: SOTA
Mike Mack & Harlem
These young brothas are special. Every time I get a chance to hear their music or watch them perform live I feel like I’m watching the movie Brown Sugar minus all the mushy lovey stuff. Reason why? Mack & Harlem is hip hop at it’s essence no imitations no limitations which is more than what I can say for a LOT of Seattle “hip hop groups”. The samples are soulful and jazzy but not predictable, the overall sound has a jazzy swing and feel to it that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside that makes me wanna get up and yell “I AM HIP HOP!”. Be on the lookout for these cats, they are seriously dope.
There’s something about a singer that when they get on stage or you hear them sing you know is real. It doesn’t feel forced, doesn’t feel rehearsed, doesn’t feel gimmicky, Tiffany Wilson is one of those singers who like Jill Scott is such an intimate and real person that you’ll feel like she’s performing in your living room even in a crowded club. She’s got a powerful, sultry voice and real lyrics. Emotion just kinda oozes out of her vocals and as a listener, you feel em. She’s on a steady rise in the area music scene and I’d expect it to keep rising.
Simply put, Luck One is the Northwest’s Nas. He’s deep and lyrical, he’s a student to life, he makes epic music and oh yea, he can rap circles around anyone who tries to compare to him. He’s an absolute beast of an MC and he’s what I’d call this areas real, true MC. Funny story about Luck One was I was a fan of his long before I met the man. He played a show for Artifakt in Tacoma a couple years back and as I looked him up on myspace I found his music to be legit as can be. I highly recommend you check this brotha out while he’s still around in the NW because big things lie ahead for Luck.
Google him: Luck One, seventh science
Other acts more than worth internet stalking.
Doughkain (Tacoma) hip hop
Spaceman (Seattle) hip hop
Boom Zzilla (Seattle) dance/electro
Boom Zzilla (Seattle) dance/electro
Candidt (Seattle) hip hop
Black Stax (Seattle) hip hop/R&B