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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Band of the Day: Blue Scholars

posted by on July 18 at 15:12 PM

If you haven’t gotten hip to Blue Scholars’ blowup record Bayani, now’s the time. These guys—MC Geologic and DJ/producer Sabzi—are the current face of Seattle hiphop. As smart, politically aware, and talented as they are, we couldn’t ask for better ambassadors.

After fairly sleeping on Bayani for a few weeks after its release, I’ve been feeling it fully recently. Same goes with a bunch of friends of mine—hiphop writers in SF and ATL—who hedged a minute but now herald the album as one of 2007’s best.

Yeah, it’s often self-consciously political and didactic, but there’s no denying Geo’s flow and Sabzi’s hard-swinging, brazenly funky production. And look, someone’s gotta be sincere to a fault in 2007, and as educated and articulate as he is, Geo’s the guy to do it.

ALSO

Geo worked with me on an email interview for next week’s Block Party pullout, and as a sneak peak, here’s a bit that didn’t make it into the print version. This is good shit for all you NW hiphop fans.

Can you talk a bit about longtime fans that decry the move to Rawkus? How do you respond to them? What prompted the decision to move? Can you still maintain your original ideals?

Geo: I would love to address the decrying of our decision to partner with Rawkus. Unfortunately, I have yet to come across any one of those longtime fans. So I canít really respond to something Iím not hearing. But I am finding that most of the people talking bad about the move werenít fans to begin with. We struggled with the decision and weighed all options. Rawkus has been supportive and respects what we do outside of the music. We were confident with the deal because we were already solid without it. We educated ourselves enough to know what to protect ourselves from. Weíve been offered shitty distribution contracts before and rejected them all. Plus, this is our third distribution deal.

As for the third question—my ideals aren’t mine alone. I feel that as long as I stay connected with people whose ideals I share (and they check me), I can stay grounded. If at any point I’m faced with something that compromises my principles, I’ll simply not do it. Such as refusing to have our music used to advertise beer.

Blue Scholars play Friday, 8 pm on the Main Stage of Capitol Hill Block Party. Hopefully they’ll bring the Big World Breaks guys as backing band like they did for their record release party at the Showbox. Those guys killed it. Live hiphop done right is one of the thrillingest live experiences ever.

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geo's on lock.

Posted by sam.ewald | July 19, 2007 1:16 AM

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