Sabzi Wins Big Tune Beat Battle National Title

Seattle, WA / November 2, 2007 – The Redbull Big Tune Beat Battle National Championships took place at Seattle’s Neumo’s last night, November 1, and pitted the top two producers from each Big Tune city against each other. 12 individuals from 6 different cities (Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Chicago), went head to head, showcasing their hottest beats for the title of the country’s best beatmaker. The night was hosted by superstar Northwest producers Vitamin D and Jake One, and featured performances by Just Blaze and De La Soul. The winner received recording gear and a choice to record at the new Red Bull studios in LA with their choice of Redman, Young Buc or Talib Kweli.

Seattle’s DJ/ Producer Sabzi (from Blue Scholars and Common Market) took 1st place in a landslide, proving the exploding hip hop scene in the Northwest is real and going national.

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About Blue Scholars

Seattle’s own Blue Scholars continue to carry the torch for Northwest Hip hop. With two full-length albums (Self-titled, 2004 and Bayani, 2007) and an EP (The Long March, 2005) in their pack, they hit the road to promote their new digital single and EP Joe Metro, to be released November 6, 2007 by MassLine and distributed by Rawkus Records.

With equal attention paid to the stage and the studio, Emcee Geologic and DJ/producer Sabzi bring an innovative yet familiar sound distinguishable from what’s currently blasted on MTV or BET and their past releases have received nods from national press; Vibe Magazine praised their first EP as “depth in its melodically driven, Latin-flavored instrumentals and intellectually stimulating rhymes” and URB Magazine said “a notable display from MC Geologic as he mingles personal themes with political observations, and beatsmith Sabzi scores points with unpretentious tracks.”

The Blue Scholars recently appeared at CMJ with Q-Tip in New York City and on the main stage of Seattle’s legendary Bumbershoot festival performing in front of a crowd of 22,000.

Prior to the duo’s formation, Geo made local rounds as a battle emcee and spoken-word performer, while Sabzi honed his skills as a classical and jazz-trained pianist while coming up in the indie ska and punk scene. This unlikely partnership set the precedent for what distinguishes the group from the vast sea of independent hip-hop artists – the ability to strike a balance between worlds usually seen distant from one another. Poetic lyricism with beats you can dance to. Marxist theory with Baha’i spirituality. Musical influences ranging from Thelonius Monk and Aphex Twin to Marvin Gaye and J Dilla.

However, the bridge between the two artists goes far beyond musical interests. Blue Scholars is as much rooted in the music as it is in working in the community. Their experiences as college students provide an intellectual dimension to their craft, while their backgrounds as second-generation sons of working-class immigrants keep the music grounded.

Less sloganeering and more storytelling, Bayani showcases a more focused Geologic and a polished Sabzi coming into their own as a premier DJ-emcee duo. Released on local upstart label MassLine in partnership with the legendary Rawkus Records, Bayani debuted at # 37 on the Billboard Hip Hop chart and #25 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, as well as reaching #9 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart and #1 on the Amazon West Coast Hip Hop Best Sellers chart. In addition, the critically lauded album spent 6 weeks at #1 on the CMJ Hip Hop chart.

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