Since forming in 2002, DJ Sabzi and rapper Geologic, who make up Blue Scholars, have been dropping beats and slingin' Seattle's praises while simultaneously slammin' The Man. Perhaps "50K Deep," a tune based on 1999's WTO protests in Seattle, best speaks to the duo's overall sound and ethos. A slow and low, morose Sunday-afternoon beat stacked with electronica and tasty guitar is the foundation for Geo's eyewitness account. With typical PNW quietude, Geo peaceably riffs on what went down that day: "Rich kids went and got arrested on purpose/But was it worth it?/My first inclination/Globalization is the root of the pain." Geo's relaxed earnestness and apparent desire to effect change through music will either persuade or dissuade listeners from embracing their brand of hip hop.
Considering the dearth of superstar rhymesayers from the PNW—props to Sir Mix-a-Lot—it's time somebody rose up from the Emerald City. At minimum, Blue Scholars have the ego and the chops for stardom, referring to their music as "cinema art rap." I'm not one to normally quote YouTube comments, but the following gem sums up the buzz surrounding the Blue Scholars' mellow, downtempo stylings: "Fuck the coffee, this is Seattle's best."
Blue Scholars play the UC Ballroom Wednesday, May 4, at 8:30 PM with Illmaculate, Cool Nutz, Frodie, Koshir, Overtime and Dice. $12/$10 advance at Rockin Rudy's and The Source.