National hip-hop conference in Seattle this week



┬áHip Hop National Congress 8th national conference comes to Seattle’s Central District, July 29 to August 2.

Hip-hop is making a stand this week in Seattle.

Starting today, for a week, the Hip Hop Congress 8th National Conference comes to Seattle, at various venues across the Central District. Through workshops and concerts, the conference focuses on developing hip-hop business and educating the next generation.

“Seattle is a hotbed of talent, intelligence and leadership,” said Hip Hop National Congress founder and executive director Shamako Noble. “It only made sense to connect with that energy for our annual conference.”

Hip Hop National Congress is a grass-roots cultural organization with 70 chapters across the world. The nonprofit aims to preserve and move hip-hop forward through concerts, festivals and teach-ins.

Aptly themed “This is our time,” the weeklong Seattle conference moves away from analyzing hip-hop to doing it and being it. In addition to training on management and distribution, there will be screenings of the films “New Muslim Cool;” 2003 Sundance film “The Beat”; and hip-hop and education in South Africa documentary “Masizakhe.”

The Knox Fam will be performing at the National Hip Hop Conference this weekend in Seattle

The Knox Fam will be performing at the National Hip Hop Conference this weekend in Seattle

Independent artists from all over the country will perform throughout the week, including AKIL THE MC of Jurassic 5, The Jacka, DLabrie, Knox Fam, Black Stax, Mic Crenshaw, Quanstar, Toki Wright, Raashan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers, Rahman Jamaal and Congress founder Noble.

“This year we’re just bringing that love and energy to the 206, and we’re gonna take that same love and energy back across the world,” said Oakland rapper DLabrie, who has performed for the past four years at the annual conference.

The conference also offers free studio time with registration. Coordinators plan to compile all the rhymes recorded during the conference into an album.

There’s also going to be an exhibit of photos taken from Dope Emporium, hip-hop arts expos that took place in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Kentucky.

Dovetailing with the conference is the UmojaFest, which includes an African-American heritage festival and Parade. There will also be a youth rally.

“I just want to show people that there’s more than just living with violence … that you can be peaceful,” said youth rally coordinator Darrin Ravenel, 15.

The location of the conference reflects that message as well.

“The conference is in an area where there was a lot of youth violence last year,” said Noble of the Central District conference. “I hope we can contribute to the healing process.”

Marian Liu: 206-464-3825 or


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