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Monday, March 26, 2007

Straight out of Seattle

posted by on March 26 at 13:30 PM

We must not forgot, even for a moment, what is truly amazing about the distribution deal that the Blue Scholars struck with Rawkus Records: It came into being for no other reason than the immense size of the duo’s local support. Rawkus recognized the Blue Scholars because Seattle recognized the Blue Scholars. Without Seattle, no Rawkus. For the main of established artists based in Seattle (be they writers, filmmakers, architects, and so on) the opposite was the case: Local recognition only came about after achieving national recognition. But the Blue Scholars made their music for local consumption, they addressed local hiphop history, conflicts, realities, and the music itself seemed entirely indifferent to national trends and shifts. This is what impressed me most when I first reviewed their debut CD back in 2003. And as their press coverage widened in 2004, this localness, coupled of course with high production standards, is what impressed their growing number of supporters in the metropolitan area. By 2006, the incredible size of this local support resulted in the national distribution deal. Seattle can make hiphop giants from its own stuff. This fact, this lesson, this awareness stands above all disagreements and debates on the matter.

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Posted by jz | March 26, 2007 1:57 PM

Good stuff, but why is the link calling this a 'controversy'? That implies that somebody is up-in-arms over this. Is there?

Posted by Matt | March 26, 2007 6:30 PM

absolutely, co-sign, all that- especially the last line. Just one thing:

Local recognition only came about after achieving national recognition.

in the case of local established artists on Rhymesayers, that's just not true. We're talking about:

Vitamin D
Jake One
Boom Bap Project

All of these cats were locally well-known, if not straight-up revered before they linked up with RSE. Then, (at least with 'Skul and BBP) heads in town seemed to stop caring! Hopefully this ambivalence is a thing of the past as town developments continue.

that said, god bless everybody makin it happen.

Posted by lar | March 27, 2007 2:54 PM

The RSE acts have never been able to sell out the Showbox on their own though. BS are truely unique in that sense. The old story around town is you've gotta leave Seattle to make it. You've gotta become relevent nationally before the locals will warm to you. BS are exceptions to this oft proven rule.

Posted by Pusha & Malice | March 28, 2007 1:16 AM

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