I'm still shaking my head at a rather odd story I just read on Huffington Post about Seattle, music, and branding. The story is called Seattle to the Bone and is supposed to be a piece about folks owning their own brand and having swagger about doing so. The usual Seattle musicians are referenced: Eddie Vedder, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, etc, but when it comes to hip-hop, things get a little fishy.
On one hand, Peter Schwartz, the author of the post and head of Knowledge Mosaic, a local financial security and regulations firm, probably has good intentions in wanting to not only highlight his own company, but also Garfield High School where so many of the city's popular musicians got their start. But on the other hand, it's rather strange that when mentioning Garfield High, the only hip-hop alum that he writes about are Shankbone and Macklemore. Huh? I don't know a ton about Shankbone, and, okay, Macklemore is an amazing MC, who one day, could be mentioned in the upper echelon of Garfield grads.
But what bothers me is the amount of people the author leaves out.
Schwartz mentions that Garfield is located in the heart of Seattle's black community, but doesn't mention more recognizable graduates of color like Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces/Digable Planets, Vitamin D, DJ Topspin, or DJ Marc Sense just to name a few. If I was from Seattle, I could name a bunch more. It's like Schwartz wants to highlight Garfield's diversity, but only focuses on white rappers for a point of reference. Those are the slight oversights that drive me crazy about Seattle, especially when we're talking about press on a national level. I'm glad to see Macklemore get mentioned on Huffington Post. I'm shaking my head at everything else about the article. Nice try though.