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The 25360 Awards

A list of cats who do their thang-thang from or represent The 25360

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(Don’t start trippin’ if you ain’t in here!)

So, I’m leanin’ back enjoying my fall of 2008 (my presidential candidate won!) contemplating all of my years as a contributor, creator, writer, journalist and editor with many different publications from Seaspot in Seattle to RapSheet in Los Angeles to The Source in New York and Xxplosive in The Bay. I have always wanted some recognition to be made for artists from The Pacific Northwest region because there are powerfully talented people up here (even if the business sense has ALWAYS been absent — not for the rockers, but definitely for the hip-hop heads) … so along with Live From I-5 Radio’s Awards, I decided to put together a list of cats who do their thang-thang from or represent The 25360 … Here goes … The 25360 Awards. You may or may not agree … That is not a big deal unless you use your voice to vote and make a case for the 2nd Annual. Enjoy at your own risk!

MC of the Year: Xperience (Olympia)

Undeniably talented, the Chicago-bred, Olympia-brewed MC’s charisma combined with his lyrical prowess and willingness to be here, there and everywhere to perform crown him with ease. Battle-tested, hood-approved!

DJ of the Year: DJ Drastik (Olympia)

Defining the art and skill of a DJ, the down-south ‘happy-to-be-there’ transplant is sure to get your party/club crunked-up. Drastik, with his signature smile to accompany his skills, is one of the few who within moments of placing his fingertips on vinyl ignites crowds … Dope.

Man of the Year: Lawrence Stone (Tacoma-Eastside)

Plain and simple, this rehabilitated man is a servant for GOD and the youth on the street struggling through terrible parenting, irresponsible public institutions and a rough world … Stone is familiar with these obstacles, he survived them.

Woman of the Year: Stella Haioulani (Tacoma-Hilltop)

The CEO of Free Ya Mind, she endures as a single parent and dedicates herself to the cultural, educational, artistic and spiritual development of her community. From working with incarcerated adults and juveniles to leading the Tacoma Debate League for youth, Haioulani sets a great example of success, endurance and redemption.

Promoter of the Year: Homeland Security (Olympia)

Hands down in the South Sound — these cats are cool, crafty and consistent. They have not only held a bi-weekly series of locally-strong hip-hop shows at The Royal Lounge in Olympia since spring 2008, but they extend their hands in brotherhood to cats all over the Puget Sound. HS are very inviting and enthusiastic representatives of the Olympia vibe.

Album of the Year: Dawhud, Basement Sessions (Olympia – Hawk’s Prairie)

Seek it out, the Olympia-bred Indianapolis transplant dropped a gem. Dawhud’s three-year project defines the art of creativity as he captures the second golden-era of hip-hop with a fine composition of drum beats, skits and amped lyricism that has long since been discarded to the land that legends created. Take a listen and enjoy this work … should make 25360’ers proud. East Tanglewilde REPRESENT!

Song of the Year: Savage Family, “Eagle Feather In My Rearview” (The Rez!)

The contingent of Native American MCs dropped a killa with this one. Always honoring the Native culture and spitting science, these brothers dropped verses over beats that speak to something greater than earthly possessions. Peep the game.

Video of the Year: SP aka Slo Poke, Talk About Us (Olympia)

The Source Unsigned Hype Alumnus keeps his slow and deep drawl at the forefront of this almost MTV-ready video. The quality was well done and complimented SP’s vivid tale of relationship challenges. 

Producer of the Year: Big Squigg (Tacoma – Eastside)

Block-tested and hood-approved, this friendly beatsmith has been solid on his game since before the millennium having worked with his brother and partner, JD at Way Out Records. Their label has been putting in work since the ’90s and Squigg continues to up his game as a soundman, engineer and overall studio pro. Know his name!

Come Up of the Year: Tilson and The Saturday Knights (Parkland)

Tilson is a monster MC … Since his relocation to Seattle he has blossomed. He has been a lyrical giant since the ’90s and with the collaboration between he and his bandmates of The Saturday Knights, they are poised to do big, BIG thangs … they actually have their business game tight. Look out.

Hustla (That’s spelled correctly) of the Year: Jay Barz (Tacoma)

He’s EVERYWHERE … nuff said, getcha bread! Take notes — all of y’all!!!!

Club/Nightspot of the Year: The Royal Lounge (Olympia)

The Royal captures the aesthetic and organic feel of the Olympia’s welcoming demeanor. It’s not a segregated club … it’s not genre specific. What is most impressive about The Royal is its atmosphere that welcomes ALL. The Gz, the Greeners, The Tacomans, The hippies, the yuppies — all are welcomed for a good time with great party rockin’ DJs … You will not find this environment many places.

Organization of the Year: Hip-hop for The Homeless (Olympia)

Feeding, clothing and providing resources for the homeless and those in need during our coldest weather seasons and gathering support from the community and legendary artists, speaks for itself.

Radio Show of the Year: Live From I-5 (West Olympia)

Hey … It’s one of the few hip-hop shows making thangs happen in the Northwest and specifically The 25360 … let’s get some more shows on KAOS, KUPS, that I-91 station, and beef up the rap-radio competition. C’mon … The 25360 is the birthplace of KFOX! Word to Nasty Nes and Nancy G!!!

Model of the Year: Miss Lady (Tacoma)

She badd ... She badd … This caramel-covered female is constantly hustlin’ and grindin’ to get herself in position … take notice. She’s Latina or something brown and ‘purdy’… Long hair, always next to the celebs — she be doin’ her thang-thang! Check her out on Myspace. She puts it down for the Tac-Town.

Athlete of the Year: TIE! Mike Sellers of the Washington Redskins (Hawk’s Prairie —

Thompson Place) and Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers (Lacey)

These two are a generation apart but went to rival high schools … Sellers at North Thurston and Stewart at Timberline. Sellers earned his first Pro Bowl invitation in 2008 and Stewart was a tremendous rookie tailback for the playoff favorite Carolina Panthers. Stand up! There’s talent in the O!

Music Shop of the Year: Rainy Day (Downtown Olympia)

If they ain’t got it — they WILL get it! For the longest Rainy Day has been a hip-hop haven and much more. World music, indie rock, reggae/dancehall, rare finds — WHATEVA! The staff at Rainy Day are in touch with the arts scene and the atmosphere is a crate-digger’s sanctuary.

Eatery of the Year: TIE! The Fish House Café (Tacoma - Hilltop) & Old School Pizzeria (Olympia)

These are clear choices and there is obviously still fair room for argument, but what sets these two joints apart is that they are undeniable landmarks for their cities and hoods. The Fishhouse is a Hilltop center for food, conversation and warm smiles from the Muhammad family and Old School Pizza’s ambiance and Olympia-esque environment make it unmistakable and irreplaceable in the O! Straight up and down!!!

Losers of the Year: Everyone playing with the game and not pursuing dreams and not using their gifts … Winning and losing are choices. Choose!

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