Contributed by Ramona Ridgewell
On Saturday, November 29th, the “Eternia” EP Release Listening Party took place at Vermillion on Capitol Hill. It was a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-released “Sista Hailstorm presents the adventures of SheRAW Flowz”.
If you’re not familiar with Sista Hailstorm, you should be. She’s a powerful hip hop artist who hails from Los Angeles, but she’s been an active member of the Seattle music scene for eleven years. To get a taste of her style, here are some snippets from the up-coming album.
JulieC, who often performs with Sista Hailstorm, got the crowd riled up and later sang together with her. They both also performed at the All Native Hip Hop Concert last March at Daybreak Start Indian Cultural Center. See the Northwest Music Scene article.
Later, guests artists Jack the Gaffle and Pryor Prism (Graves33 & Dox One) really had the crowd moving. An important part of the hip hop culture is to promote other artists, so it was no surprise to see these musicians performing.
A poignant part of the evening was a discussion about recent events in Ferguson and the protests that have happened in the aftermath, and the recent massacre of 43 students in Mexico. This was followed by an open mike where artists and audience members expressed their frustration and grief through music. It was a wonderful experience that brought together a diverse group of supporters from all over Seattle, from anarchists, Hip Hop heads, the Native community, educators and community activists, to the average Capitol Hill night life goer.
Special guest Leilani Finau of Lei & Daisy Chain played her ukelele and sang several songs, including Control, Crazy Game, and Animal. The change to the upbeat Hawaiian flavor of Leilani’s music was a nice addition to the otherwise thumping hip hop beat. You can find out more about Daisy Chain and listen to some of their music.
The crowd really started to rock when Sista Hailstorm came on at midnight. She performed several cuts from the Eternia CD, including “Audio Shrine”, “I Want Some Weed”, “Loked Out”, “SpkrrBoxx” and “Beast Warz”. With a commanding stage presence, she powered through the songs and finished the evening leaving the crowd wanting more.
The evening could not have happened without the hard work of DJ Zeta and DJ Wizdumb, who never missed a beat getting the next song up. 206 Zulu was there for support and to keep the crowd safe.
Special call out to Diana Adams, the owner of Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, who is a big supporter of the local hip hop scene and artists in the Seattle community. Vermillion is a space where artists can fully express themselves without any restrictions or limitations. Diana is a good-hearted woman who doesn’t ask anything back from the artists she supports.
Sista Hailstorm is not only a hip hop artist. She is also an influential member of L.A./206 Zulu Nation, whose mission is to work with and empower local communities, including projects involving music, art and culture. Native Youth Movement (NYM) is another organization she is associated with that promotes Native peoples and inner-city youths.
Beyond her work as an artist and her work with Zulu and NYM, Sista Hailstorm is affiliated with Fresh Chopped Beats, MADK Productions, and BGIRL Media. And, she recently announced her very own beer label, SheRaw Flowz Brown Pale Ale, provided and created by Boom Bap Brewing, which was available for tasting during the event.