Google+ Q Dot: The guys down the street.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The guys down the street.

I see the guys up the street. They're in their own fraternity of sorts, albeit morbidly incestuous, fucking with one another or simply fucking one another over. Spoiled with the luxuries of being the big street in this area, they're often too blinded by their own conveniences to notice anything else happening around them. With good reason too! It's easy to be shortsighted when your little fraternity has so much to offer but that street has a curse like a fairytale land handed down by an evil queen of sorts that forbids the inhabitants to venture outside of their bubble. They carry on lives as though they're the only ones to exist in this part of the world and since perception is everything in the life, they may as well be right.

To speak plainly, they're the guys and gals of the hip hop scene within the Seattle city limits. They play their Seattle venues with crowds filled of their own Seattle friends. They all live on this "street" and yes it's a big street but by no means is it the only. But by listening to a conversation with anyone who lives there, you'd think it was. A quick view of many of the popular Northwest blogs will reveal the same. Radio station playlists when they play "locals" will tell a quite similar story and many lineups at hip hop shows deliver the status quo. Removing the astronomical success of Macklemore from the equation, they're the ones who get the big local festival dates and the continual write-ups in the papers. Something as miniscule as an album release of a beloved Seattle born and bred MC can be the talk of the "town". In short, the northwest hip hop world spins on Seattle's axis - if you ask a Seattleite.

Then there's the guys down the street who don't have any sort of fraternity system to rely on, just their own determination. The street is admittedly smaller and less attractive, it has it's perks but not enough to keep it's inhabitants in one place but that's it's advantage. It's lack of having anything substantial forces everyone in it to go venture elsewhere in a nomadic state, seeing, being, going and doing everywhere and everything. Gaining notariety in the biggest of circles by slaughtering anything in their path like a band of medieval warriors they generally return to their street - less sung as hometown heros but more revered on streets away from their own - or the one up the street. Their the guys with the names that when mentioned to any one "up the street" evokes a response like: "oh yea, I think i've heard of them." Still shrouded by their shortsightedness - those who live "up the street", save for a few brave souls who dare venture outside of it have no clue of the rumblings beneath them.

To speak plainly these are the guys literally down I-5 in cities like Federal Way, Tacoma and Olympia. They have names like Leezy Soprano, Xp, Writer's Block, Q Dot, The Parker Brothaz, Bruce Leroy, Free Whiskey, 253, Tryfe and countless others that maybe for a little bit of recognition when something huge happens (like Writer's Block penning the hit "Fly" for Nicki Minaj) here and there they go mostly unnoticed by big brother to the North. Where the smallest of events for a Seattleite in Seattle can warrant gushes from bloggers, even the largest of happenings from someone down the street are received with little fanfare. But they just keep on plugging. One of the main openers on Macklemore's The Heist tour is from Olympia but did it get much mention in the rumblings of the scene? Eh, a little. Grammy nominations, billboard hits, platinum hits, videos on every main music video outlet, touring around the country and still, venue owners, hip hop promoters, bloggers, even the recording academy in it's effort to create a hip hop business event didn't seem to realize that some of the biggest industry moves are being made by the guys down the street, in the neighbors back yard per se.

Hope you all enjoyed this little narrative. =) Happy music making.