Look, I'm far from an authority on Seattle's hip-hop scene. From what I've heard, however, a lot of it sounds like reheated De La Soul. Which is all good and well: Plenty of people like this sort of hip-hop, and it can lend itself to better live shows than more production-heavy varieties. It's also the sort of hip-hop that college radio stations love.
The reason why I bring all this up is a lot of ink has been spilled on how the 206 hip-hop scene is about to explode nationally. I'm dubious. Why? Because I lived through a local scene -- in St. Louis -- that exploded nationally on the coattails of Nelly, that cute-as-a-bug's-ear purveyor of gold-toothed, blunt-smokin', ass-shakin', sing-songy, hook-heavy, ghettolicious, super cheesy rap. All of these adjectives can be similarly applied to the even more explosive Atlanta scene. None of them can be applied to Seattle hip-hop in general. Which is why I have a tough time figuring out how Seattle hip-hop ends up being more than a critical darling that fails to catch fire on a national scale. I sure hope I'm wrong, because I have tons of respect for members of this scene and their obvious talents -- but I feel like things have gotten a little too rah-rah of late in the face of cold commercial reality.