206 Zulu’s Hip-Hop Mission

206 Zulu 10th Anniversary

Friday, February 14–Sunday, February 16

Seattle hip-hop is on the verge of a tipping point. You could say that things started to shift the moment Macklemore accepted his four Grammys, but that would undercut the massively talented community that’s been stewing in the Northwest long before the rapper put on a fur coat and pulled off The Heist. The pressure valve for hip-hop in this town is reaching new barometric heights with young artists like Kingdom Crumbs, Porter Ray, Key Nyata, Keyboard Kid, Kung Foo Grip, and the entire Moor Gang all ready to break out at any moment. What’s more, established acts like the Physics, RA Scion, and Baba Maraire are putting out some of the best music of their careers.

Lucky for us, we have 206 Zulu continuing to foster this community. A volunteer-run nonprofit based in the Central District’s historic Washington Hall, 206 Zulu was created to “promote peace, unity, love, and having fun through the utilization of Hip-Hop culture.” The group educates youth inside and outside the classroom about the history of Northwest hip-hop, helping young people explore the transformative power of the art form and the culture around it. The organization’s reach extends into schools, juvenile detention centers, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Beyond the educational component, the group has hosted performances, workshops, community forums, and summits. With so much young talent springing out of the CD, a group like 206 Zulu is becoming increasingly important as a resource for Seattle’s incredibly fertile scene.

The organization turns 10 this year, and will celebrate with a weekend-long celebration featuring legends like Afrika Bambaataa, who wrote the genre-defining hip-hop anthem “Planet Rock” and helped foster the Universal Zulu Nation, the youth-oriented hip-hop-awareness movement that 206 Zulu grew out of. In addition, the celebration will host a breakdancing B-boy/B-girl “Throwdown Championship” with cash prizes, and a “Meeting of the Minds” community potluck dinner. Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., 622-6952. See 206zulu.com for complete schedule. $10 Fri.–Sat., $5 with student ID, children 12 and under free. Free on Sunday.

 
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