Photo by Avi Loud/Courtesy DomeCare Solutions

Seattle Hip-Hop Legend Jonathan Moore, 47, Passes Away

Beyond his own artistry and mentorship, Moore was also one of the architects of the hip-hop scene we know today.

The local hip-hop community is in mourning today after news of Jonathan Moore’s passing, which spread throughout social media platforms last night. He was 47. While the details of Moore’s passing haven’t officially been announced, the news itself has been lighting up timelines of fans, musicians, and acquaintances of Moore.

It’s hard to find the proper category to describe Moore’s work, his reach in the city was far and wide. He was an artist, performing with the classic Seattle hip-hop group Source of Labor as MC Wordsayer, he was a manager (founder of the Jasiri Music Group), and he was the host of Sunday Night Sound Sessions on KUBE, where he kept the music of local artists in heavy rotation. He was instrumental in bringing hip-hop from the Central District to Seattle’s Downtown music scene, helping book crucial early breakthrough shows for local artists at the all-ages RKCNDY nightclub, which closed its doors in 1999. His list of credits and credentials go on and on.

Jonathan Moore was an ambassador of hip-hop culture, acting as a bridge to promote the work of artists throughout the city. But above that, he was a mentor and a friend. I was on Twitter last night watching the feed as tweets and retweets surfaced coming not only locally but from national artists like prolific producer JustBlaze, who Tweeted “Can’t believe the fam @jmooreseattle is gone. Will never be forgotten. One of the few genuine ones in this business and culture. Love, bro.” But the most touching posts came from local artists, who all shared sentiments and gave thanks for mentorship and well-wishes for Moore’s family. Local rapper Khingz thanked Moore for keeping him out of jail when he was a teen. Nacho Picasso called Moore “the Jiminy” to his “Pinocchio.” DJ Hyphen wrote that even as an only child, Jon had been his unofficial brother since 2005.

It was no secret that Moore’s health had been ailing—last year, locals The Physics and Jake One held a benefit show at The Crocodile for his medical fund, fighting the rejection of a kidney he received after a needed transplant.

Whether you had the opportunity to get to know Moore personally, or, like me, you remember staying up late on school nights to listen to Sunday Night Sound Sessions, take a minute today to reflect on and remember the legendary Jonathan Moore. He impacted many lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Moore and his family.

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