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Blue Scholars

Editor’s Note: A good deal of music I hadn’t heard before was sent to the site in response to an appearance on Reddit last month. I am presenting the music in roughly the order I got it. If you sent something and haven’t seen it, pls. send it again. I got a tremendous amount of material in a short time, and organization has never been my strong point.Β 

Above is “Joe Metro” from Blue Scholars. This is from the Wikipedia entry on the duo:

Since 2002, Blue Scholars have been based in the 98118, in southeast Seattle, decreed the most ethnically diverse zip code in the United States by the 2010 Census. The hip hop group first came to be in 2002 as a result of, “two students skipped a class, went and crafted an album” as it says in the track Bayani (album). The two students, George Quibuyen and Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi, were attending the University of Washington at the time. The two met at a meeting for S.H.O.W. (the Student HipHop Organization of Washington) which was organized by classmate and future manager Marc Matsui.[3] The organization had set out to revive an authentic interest in Hip Hop within Seattle which, at the time, had become a solely rock town. This was a result of a series of incidents including a shooting at an Ice Cube concert in the early 90s as well as the Teen Dance Ordinance. George and Alexei soon joined forces and formed their own duo that utilized Geo’s raps and Sabzi’s beats and became known as the Blue Scholars.

Since then the duo has performed in over 400 shows together across the United States including the Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2005, 2006, and 2008, and Bumbershoot opening for Kanye West in 2006. They have opened for and shared stages with such artists as De La Soul, Slick Rick, Wordsworth, Kanye West, Hieroglyphics, Immortal Technique, The Coup and Masta Ace.[4][5] In 2006, the Blue Scholars received top honors in the hip hop category of the Seattle Weekly’s Music Awards Poll, and were also the top vote-getters overall; in earlier years, they had been recognized in the categories of Best Hip-hop Artist, Best Local Single, and Best Album.[6][7][8][9] Over the years the duo has continued to use their music as a tool for social change and DIY activism. Since those formative years in S.H.O.W. at the University of Washington, Geo has continued to promote youth empowerment and support for political groups that include, but are not limited to, BAYAN-USA, isangmahal arts kollective, and Youth Speaks Hawaii.[10] In 2007, Geologic, representing Blue Scholars, went on tour with Hip Hop artist, Kiwi, to promote the Stop the Killings Tour to bring awareness to the deaths of regular people in the Philippines.[11] (Continue Reading…)

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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