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HIP-HOP IN THE 25360: It's battle time

Plus: Strik and Krusal, Nine and Smooth Da Hustlers

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Yo! Spring is upon us all (or at least a couple months away, depending upon the ground hog) and naturally the urge for rappers and MCs to joust for lyrical supremacy arises. Fresh Blends MC Battle Feb. 4 at Hell’s Kitchen in Tacoma. The lineup includes Tacoma standout MC, John Crown with DJ Reign on the tables. The battle is set to host 16 MCs with a cash prize of $100 to start. Getting paid to smash MCs is always a nice thang. In addition to the battle in T-Town, get ready for The Luvv for Hip-Hop show in Olympia at The China Clipper on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Word has it that Asliani and Nicatine will be in the house.

In my pursuit for an independent hip-hop radio network of DJs and public stations out here, I come across some cats doing their thang. An MC duo from Eastside Tacoma have made their foray into radio (online that is) … Strik and Krusal (“Crucial”) formerly signed with Way Out Records, have a new online broadcast that you have to search for on the net. Tac-Talk Radio is set to showcase local talent, music and interviews — uncensored of course. Check these two out on-air as they push their agenda and an independent outlet for music, where we don’t have to hear the same 24 songs throughout the day. 

If you are looking for more news and information on the hip-hop community, look here … Former 360 representative and filmmaker who has made his way to Atlanta, Winfield Ezell, a Washington State University and Edward R. Murrow School alumnus, is a content manager for The Urban News Network (, and he continues to run with the technological and entrepreneurship baton of the Pacific Northwest professionals. The former Centralia resident shoots footage of artists, videos and blogs. Peep the game, straight from The 25360 to The A and worldwide.

Big shout out to The Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program and the students at Green Hill and Maple Lane who are incarcerated and surviving the difficulties in life. As part of Gateways’ interventions for the students at Green Hill and Maple Lane schools educational, cultural and self-esteem building programs are provided to support the students as regular activities. This Friday is a special event, however, where The Evergreen State College and students in The Gateways class who visit the incarcerated youth host a special event. The Gateways Prom is hosted annually at Evergreen in West Olympia and raises proceeds from ticket sales and donations to fund program expenses for Gateways! That’s dope, and on top of that supa MC Gabriel Teodros and Canary Sing will rock the microphone between the sets of DJs and dancin’. This is hip-hop! The Gateways Prom goes down this Friday, Jan. 30 at 8:30 p.m.

The Most Valuables

I had a chance to rummage through my tapes, vinyl and CDs for this week’s Most Valuables segment of The 25360. Two singles that surely sparked the minds of MCs and hip-hop heads overall were bangin’ through speakers in 1995 and 1996 respectively. When you are ready for a slap, look for Nine’s “Whutcha Want” and Smooth Da Hustlers “Broken English.” Each of these tracks embodies what an MC is! Nine attacks his track with an uncanny flow, a voice that is still unmatched (yet almost paralleled by Mr. Meth’s) and lyrics that invite listeners to join his catchy hook. This one is perfect for the speakers and summer jeeps. Smooth Da Hustler kills “Broken English” and this one is more for those who love lyrics and wordplay than beats, although the beat is a simply murderous piano riff. The voice, the lyricism and the timeliness of the track is unforgettable.

Winners Train, Losers Complain … Do Yo’ Thang!!!

Peace & Love
Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. is an editor, writer and producer. A graduate of Washington State University and student at The Evergreen State College, he writes and edits the Pacific Northwest section of OZONE Magazine and hosts and produces Live From I-5 Radio (since ’89) every Friday at 3 p.m. on KAOS 89.3 FM ( in Olympia.

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