by Karla Ash
The number of hip-hop artists from the Pacific Northwest that are known on a national level can be counted on a couple of fingers, with the once ubiquitous Sir Mix-A-Lot being the most famous – or infamous, considering how controversial his rear-loving “one-hit wonder” single was. The problem is that there is no Seattle rap sound in the same way that grunge defined rock & roll in the Emerald City. What is Washington hip-hop like? There’s a lot of poseurs in the Seattle rap underground, and too many people thinking they’re thugs, which comes across as totally bogus because there isn’t any gangster culture in this town.
Yuns (http://www.yunsmuzik.com) comes closest to developing an identity for rap in the Pacific Northwest. The repetitive acoustic strings of “Hold My Head High” certainly reveal its Seattle roots; it has a folksy feel to it, originating not from an urban jungle but the relaxing atmosphere of downtown. There aren’t any lyrics about killing people with machine guns or raping women, the usual shock clichés of hip-hop that are about as dated and welcome as yesterday’s fashion.
If local station KUBE had a brain, they’d be drooling over this album as it could very well ignite a new rap movement in Seattle, one that we could call our own. Oddly enough, grunge lit up modern rock by burying itself in its own agony; Yuns’ idea of a revolution is for us to stop bitching and look for hope in a hopeless world. It’s about time.