Blueshoes Media and Sportn’ Life Records bring together some of Seattle’s finest hip-hop-R&B acts to put on one fantastic benefit show for Japan relief, May 15, 8 p.m., at the reincarnated White Rabbit (formerly ToST).
Merging street with R&B groove and jazz lines, the popular Black Stax trio (of MCs Silas Blak and Jace ECAj—Silent Lambs Project, and featuring the resplendent vocalist Felicia Loud) has enjoyed celebrity wherever they’ve gigged, and will soon enjoy even more with the official June 1st release of their “Talking Buildings” debut album. Calling themselves the “avant-garde of Seattle hip-hop,” Black Stax produces real music for the people with serious, uplifting messages about strength, love, family, and rising above adversity. The first single – “I Love My Life” – out on February 15th from the “Talking Buildings” album was turned into a winsome video of the band mates in their element, mingling with friends, family and other supporters in a warehouse setting, reinforcing those messages.
They are joined by hip hop artists Steelo, Ayo.O, and SK, who’ve risen in the ranks to become the platinum standard of fusion, strong messages, and having fun.
Steelo (from the Spanish word estilo, meaning style) – A. Uno and Bobby K. – vibe to hip-hop-R&B fusion with an ear toward progressive beats and multi-lingual translations. Uno uses his Iranian and Mexican roots to flavor his urban delivery, while Bobby K. handles the range and the smooth, whether they do acoustic ballads or party dance music. A favorite of the college set, the young ladies, and the darling of networks such as MTV Tr3s and Eye Music, the duo earned national recognition after their debut album “Music” came out in 2009, landing them on the National Sneaker Pimps Tour. They’ve followed up with stints at Seattle Fashion Week, a BMI showcase in Hollywood’s Knitting Factory, and subsequently, the BMI showcase aired them on NBC Mun2’s “One Nation Under Hip Hop.” They’ve got a new EP, “Neon Grey,” ready to rock the world. When they’re not onstage schooling the audience on a new feel for a new generation, they’re in the trenches in schools trying to elevate students’ level of empowerment.
Nigerian artist Ayo was raised on R&B soul, with the success of mainstream artists Earth, Wind and Fire, the Commodores, and the Jackson-5, then hip-hop/gangsta rap with Ice Cube’s seminal 1993 “Lethal Injection.” His music reflects such major influences.
And SK’s new debut EP, “Late Arrival,” is sure to open more doors for the up-and-comer who’s appeared at the Capitol Hill Block Party and opened for Red Cafe, before recently signing on as one of Sportn’ Life Records’ talents.
Don’t miss this opportunity to take in cutting-edge hip-hop, R&B, funk ‘n soul mixed in with some surprising jazz, while helping out the Red Cross for Japan relief efforts. It’s $10 at the door, or purchase tickets in advance from Brown Paper Tickets. Doors open at 7 p.m., May 15th. Twenty-one and older only; bring I.D. The White Rabbit is located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, 513 N. 36th St., Suite E. Call (206) 588-0155 for more info.