206UP FIVE YEAR (2009-14) – “Dispatch From the Summer Music Journal of Hollis” by Hollis Wong-Wear

FIVE clear206UP continues its run of special features in celebration of the blog’s five-year anniversary.

Today, we’re super pumped to be handing the keys to the blog over to the uber-creative Hollis Wong-Wear. Hers is the third entry in 206UP’s series of guest posts written by different members of the Seattle hip-hop community.

I met Hollis for the first time back in 2010 at Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, where she performed, along with fellow MC/singer MADlines, as one half of the duo Canary Sing. Since then, Hollis’ various musical projects have led her back to NY a grip of times, most notably with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis during their three night Madison Square Garden run last winter, and for a handful of shows with her own band, The Flavr Blue. Hollis wrote this essay in early July, on the eve of the electro-pop trio’s third and fourth shows in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Like many people — myself included — she has an intensely romantic relationship with New York. I’m always struck by how easily the ethos of the relatively low-key Seattle music community vibes with the perpetual turnt-up-ness of Gotham. Blue Scholars, THEESatisfaction, Shabazz Palaces, The Flavr Blue, and, of course, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have all experienced success here, which is a testament to the Town’s hustle and universality of its music. NYC can be a shark to those brave enough to swim in its entertainment waters, but none of those Seattle cats have ever gotten eaten.

Read more from Hollis below the jump.

206UP 5 Year Anniversary 206UP Exclusive 206UP Exclusives Features Guest Posts

VIDEO: “The Weapon” – MADlines (prod. by Bean One; dir. by DJ Agana)

Maddy Clifford, aka MADlines, aka one half of indispensable Seattle duo Canary Sing, seems to have found her lane with last Fall’s reggae-infused, party-while-remaining-conscious EP, Love Child. “The Weapon”, a track from that Bean One produced six-tracker, has a fresh video attached to it now directed by the Bay Area’s DJ Agana. Watch and learn a lesson.

And, while we’re at it, from the throwback files is the Canary Sing clip below: “Freak Show”, featuring a before-she-was-famous Hollis Wong-Wear. Just kidding, Hollis was always a star.


NEW MUSIC: “Ghost” – The Flavr Blue

Ghost - The Flavr Blue

“Ghost” — as in, “get ghost” and “Casper the Friendly” — is the new track from electro-pop/dance crew The Flavr Blue. This trio is taking off, as evidenced by recent successful live outings in and around Town, and this year’s upcoming edition of Bumbershoot where they’ll be performing. Enjoy your Friday and subsequent weekend, fam. Dance your way into summer.

Audio Downloads

VIDEO: “I Need a Moment” – MADlines (dir. by Spenser T. Nottage)

You know MADlines as one half of Canary Sing (Hollis Wong-Wear is the other more conspicuous fifty-percent). Nice to see this talented MC going for dolo on the soulful “I Need a Moment”. Check the wardrobe changes, the chopped-up sample, and the sexy nuance of the video, conceptualized and directed by Spenser T. Nottage.

Audio Downloads Video

VIDEO: “Agonia” – Bocafloja (feat. Gabriel Teodros & Hollis Wong-Wear)

Bocafloja is a Mexican MC with strong ties to Seattle by way of frequent collaborator and Town representative Gabriel Teodros. “Agonia” features assists from GT and Canary Sing’s Hollis Wong-Wear.

You are what you eat and we are increasingly unsure of what that is. Does Monsanto run the world? At least partially.


DOWNLOAD: “Bridges Between Us” – Know Choice (feat. Hollis Wong-Wear & Nam)

Click image to D/L.

Know Choice, Hollis Wong-Wear and Nam tackle the generational gap within the Asian and Pacific Islander community. Based on their bars, I assume all three are children of immigrants. With that bearing comes a certain set of responsibilities and expectations. I’m adopted Korean-American, possessor of that dreaded hyphen that so haphazardly connects the two classifications. I was mercifully spared the parental pressures commonly associated with being the child of immigrant parents, but somehow still can’t escape that “old head” mentality of the aging Korean set who wonder openly when I’m going to get around to learning the language or start attending a Korean church. It’s a weird place to be, man, but I’m stubborn and resilient. These three MCs are doing the right thing, holding onto their microphones and riding it out the best way they know how.