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Upstream Music Fest + Summit, 2017

Seattle supports local music scenes

Upstream’s first year was focused on educating the Seattle music scene about how technology & community are helping drive better business in music. And also gave them a place to show off their skills live. Upstream’s potential is educating other local scenes by recording the panels and making an effort to distribute them online. In turn driving more people in the music industry to come, so they can in turn see what’s happening in Seattle and other local music scenes.

We did find plenty of musicians this year coming from other local scenes to perform. My hometown Minneapolis had quite a few I adore, but I really only went for one local Seattle musician. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Gabriel Teodros play while I was there, but I did get to watch his panel during the summit. After, I introduced myself and had the chance to tell Gabriel how his music has affected my life and the blog. He recognized Silence Nogood’s name (I hate saying it in public), but when I got back I had to look up the brief conversations we had over the years. There were some gems.

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Hiero Day 2015

Annual festival in Oakland

Hieroglyphics is a hip hop group out of Northern California. Each year they celebrate new hip hop talent with their own festival in Oakland on Labor Day. I got the chance to cover their show this year and even though there were over a dozen quality performers to see on each stage, I was there for one.

It took me over three hours to get to Hiero Day, public transit wasn’t doing so well. When I got there the temp had to be hitting on 90 and everyone was looking for shade to sit in. But I had to find Anderson .Paak. The main reason I was there.

I caught him right before his performance on the Third Eye stage. I ran up to him like a giddy fool and blathered about my love for his music. When I realized how foolish I was sounding, his manager assured me that they all felt the same way too. We talked a bit longer about other LA emcees, I actually told him the only other one that could compete with him was Doja Cat. He got a kick out of it.

His performance on stage had just as much character as his music, along with the short time I talked to him. The day was a highlight I’ll be holding on to at least until next Labor Day.

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Music that Got Me Blogging About Music (Part 2)

All along the West Coast (minus The Bay)

In the second installment in our “Music that Got Me Blogging About Music” series (first), we’re going to be covering most of the West Coast. The only part we’re not is The Bay Area, which’ll be covered in Part 4 (out of 5). In Part 2, however, we’ll be going from the Pacific Northwest all the way down to SoCal.

The SoCal picks you may know, if you know your West Coast hip-hop, but my Pacific Northwest choices are some of my most prized. Take a look at ’em and tell me what you know, I bet you’ll find something you’ve never heard before – and if you don’t, hit me up, I may have a blogging gig for ya.

Check ’em Out »

[audio:The-Elixer.mp3|titles=The Elixer]

The Beautiful by Abyssinian Creole

"Beauty is your true nature."

Banner of Gabriel Teodros and Khingz

First, I gotta say a little on AbCreole before I get to the featured song. Back in the early days of this site, I featured an album by AbCreole, Sexy Beast. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time. I wanted to get their music out, again, because I feel most of you probably haven’t searched that far back on the site, and they are definitely worth mentioning, again… and again. Unfortunately, they haven’t created anything new since, other than collaborating on some solo projects, so I decided to put a favorite of mine from Sexy Beast. If you like this one then check out their others in my original post on Sexy Beast. And so with that I present you the feature, “The Beautiful” by Abyssinian Creole…

The reason I chose “The Beautiful” is because of the lyrics (if I wanted to go for the beat, it would’ve been “Unconfined”). Although, every track on Sexy Beast has its own deep meaning, this one especially rings true for me. The two MC’s, Teodros & Khingz, spit such inspiring lyrics that seem to flow more fluid than syrup on waffles (they’re the lyricists, not me). Most of their music, including this one, deals with their African roots, but like I said in the original post – their music may not directly relate to everyone, but it can be appreciated by anyone.

Another funny note about my post on Sexy Beast – Khingz from Abyssinian Creole commented on the article, pointing out my mistake in thinking they were under the Mass Line Media label. Let’s just hope my research skills have improved since then…

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[audio:TheBeautiful.mp3|titles=The Beautiful]

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No Label (Esma Remix) by Gabriel Teodros

"If we label this, just picture what we might miss."

Banner for Lovework

I’ve been following Gabriel Teodros on Facebook for a while now (yes, I’m an Internet stalker, selectively though :D). He made an interesting comment a little while back about a guy who wanted to fight him ’cause the guy thought he was a terrorist! It reminded me of my friend’s story about flying out from Tucson when a kid came up and asked if he was a terrorist. Now, I can understand why a kid would say this; kids speak their mind (that’s the beauty in ’em), and don’t usually mean anything by it, but in Teodros’s case, it’s inexcusable. As Lincoln said, “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”.

But this isn’t a politic blog (thank god!), so let’s get to the music. Teodros has created some damn fine music. With Khingz in their group, Abyssinian Creole, and his solo works, not to mention his side projects (well, I guess I just did), Teodros has created some inspiring lyrics on soulful beats. His style stems from deep African roots with a NorthWest flavor, covering topics on racism (hmm… wonder why), sexism, and basically anything but the usual bubblegum pop. His lyrics may not be relatable to everyone, but can be appreciated by anyone!

I decided to feature No Label (Esma Remix) first, so check it and tell me what you think… (I do like hearing your opinion, occasionally ;))

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[audio:NoLabel.mp3|titles=No Label (Esma Remix)]

(Download Link in Full Article)

Sexy Beast by Abyssinian Creole

"Try 'n' find the awe."

Banner for Sexy Beast

Sexy Beast is Abyssinian Creole’s first full length album, which premiered in late 2005. The album clearly expresses the group’s African roots in a raw and poetic way. Each song is a unique perspective of the two emcee’s history, which may or may not pertain to everyone, but can be appreciated by anyone.

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[audio:Unconfined.mp3,Elixer.mp3,TheBeautiful.mp3,CrushesHeaven.mp3,AbyssinianCreole.mp3,SexyRhythm.mp3|titles=Unconfined,Elixer,The Beautiful,Crushes Heaven,Abyssinian Creole,Sexy Rhythm]