Over the past 4 years, I have been lucky enough to tour the western United States multiple times. Sharing stages with some of my idols like Louis Logic, JFK of Grayskul & One Be Lo of Binary Star. On these tours, I also shared stages with a variety of other hip hop acts, big draw, small draw, big talent and no-talent alike. Two things became strikingly obvious to me over the course of my travels.
First: there is an absolute over-saturation of hip-hop going on. This statement should be no surprise to anyone who even feigns interest when it comes to the hip hop world these days. The instant communication via the internet has opened the flood gates to anyone with a radio shack mic, a PC and a Youtube ID to create and share their hip hop “art”. But seeing it first-hand, time and time again really began to hammer this point home. Lucky for us, the crème-de-la-crème does usually rise to the top even when there is a 500 to 1 ratio of awful-to-good. Thankfully and to my second observation, within this group of hip-hop over-saturation, there is a small circle of people that really make the independent world tick. Without them, good or bad, this world would not exist. Some of them are just promoters and club owners looking to make money off the situation. Which is fine, money makes the world go round, right? I understand and actually think it’s necessary. Others are just fans hungry to see their favorite artists in their respective hometowns but the majority are the artists themselves. Hungry to be heard and hungry to connect with other like-minded, hardworking, touring hip hop artists. The 1 out of 500 that is not only good at his/her art, but making a name for himself, making a little money, cross promoting with others and adding his time and effort to this small niche that is slowly-growing and ever-evolving. I call these people the NOISEMAKERS.
They are the workhorses. They are the glue. They are the ones that, like them or not, good or bad, after a while even if you wanted to ignore, you can’t help but take notice. They are the tie that binds this small group of networking, touring artists together.
In Seattle, I have found that, purposefully or not, we kind of aren’t a part of this community. I believe it has less to do with any exclusivity but rather the fact that we, Portland as well, are kind of enclosed in a sort-of Northwest bubble. The next true metropolis is, (don’t get mad Rose City, still love you) San Francisco, a 12-hour drive south. That creates a sense of independence that has helped us thrive creatively and has given birth to a-many unique voice all of our own but that kind of distance isn’t something easy to traverse and makes a touring, poor, indie-artist hesitate…. And they should. Times are hard, man, its just the truth.
The opposite is true as well. If you touring and you are in Boise, Id and you can head up to Montana in four hours, or over to Salt Lake in three and change or down to Reno in five, all of which are closer to other major metropolitan cities or make the trek to Seattle which will probably be a great show but is a nine or ten hour drive and is close to nothing except border patrol……? A touring artist from Colorado, California, Arizona or anywhere really, will probably tend to skip it unless they know it’s going to be a real money maker for them. And if you’re truly indie, the unfortunate truth is that there really is no real money maker on tour. There is only “enough for gas” and with that 9 hour drive vs. that 5 hour drive thought in their head, to Reno they go.
With all this in mind, I decided, I wanted to do something. Try and create the beginnings of a bridge to make that 9 hour drive worth it. I wanted to take a small break from touring to focus on putting a show together here in Seattle that would expose the artists I’ve met on the road with the people that I think are making some real noise here in Seattle, and vice versa. Not only the talented local hip hop acts(Myself, Gran Rapids & Notion) or the fantastic acts that I’ve met on the road (The Chicharones (PDX), Raashan Ahmad (Oakland) Oso Negro (Boise/Ontario) and Burnell Washburn (SLC), but the local business that makes my shirts (Choke Shirt Company), the talented Video director that I make music videos with (Mike Folden Productions), the venue that I most enjoy performing at (Nectar Lounge), The local blog I read most often (WeOutHereMagazine.Net), the group that I work with to make my moves smoothly (#TEAMKUBI) and a local Non-profit that’s supportive of my music as well as is just at the beginning of something long reaching and close to my heart (Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation).
Six hip hop acts, burgeoning in their respectively locales, from around the Western United States partnered with some of the up and coming local businesses carving out a name for themselves, doing quality work. The Noisemakers.
LIVE PERFORMANCES BY
& Burnell Washburn
Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation
Mike Folden Productions
We Out Here Magazine
Saturday, September 8th, 2012
I sincerely hope you make it. I am planning something special for this one and have hope that it will be the first of many to come. Lets make some noise.
$8.00 advanced. $10.00 at the door.
Advanced tickets available through Ticket Web: