Talking Buildings Some Live Within and Some Live Without…Black Stax

Silent+Lambs+Project

Silent Lambs Project-Jace ECAj and Silas Blak

I didn’t know SL back in the day, but I know them today and have chosen to educate myself on their sound as I desire to understand their passion for Hip Hop.  The passion and respect is felt when you engage them in conversation about who they are, why they stay true to this art form of storytelling, cadence and beats, that for some feel it is known to be a lost art form…Nonconformity rings true, as at times these two Pacific Northwest West MC’s are misinterpreted or misunderstood as they stand strong on their values of what is right when it comes to respect amongst those that claim unity within the Hip Hop community.  Today I know them as Silas Blak & Jace ECAj, the MC’s of Black Stax but still known as Silent Lambs Project.

They humor me at times as I share my thoughts and ask questions since I did not come up as a Hip Hop Head but am so intrigued by this art form and culture.  Their kindness and patience warms my heart as they explain, give examples and share their personal stories to help with my education and understanding of Hip Hop.

Yirim Yiddim Seck, Jawaan LaRue and Mike Mack & Harlem were other local influences as to my initiation into Hip Hop of the Pacific Northwest and honestly anywhere.  Yes, to be honest Black Stax along with the artists I just listed have a big influence as to the kind of Hip Hop sound I love and about I have come to understand of Hip Hop.

I find Hip Hop to be so very controversial, with a variety of sounds and styles within it’s own.   Some would say it is Self Expression of their life and surroundings to those that would say that it is selling out to what the mass media says is selling and needs to be created, Gimmick Rap.  It is said that this is what has led to the dumbing down of this art form and culture, with an attempt to create it’s own culture, Rap.  I joke on my radio show that I am going to come up with my own term for the variations of Hip Hop…lol

Yes, I am known to be opinionated about Hip Hop…questioning the commitment to quality creations and authenticity of sound.  In my opinion, there are too many creative souls wanting to be a MC or Rapper blurring the two in the mix,  in the end causing confusion as to what is True Hip Hop.  Yet, I will admit that many of the genres these days have taken on variations along the way.

Maybe it is my age and up bringing that draws me to the sounds of the evolution of Silent Lambs Project as they marry their lyrical flow with the soulful sounds of Miss Felicia Loud, adding the musical cadence and jazziful flava from trumpeter, Owuor Arunga.  Today this collaboration, collective is known as Black Stax who was formed in 2009.  Black Stax has taken on a new feel, as the merge the combinations of genres as they blend their way in and out of playing their role and respecting the sense and need of the experience for self and others to hear and feel.  You may wonder what I was just trying to say.  You know how when you are in the kitchen cooking and you deviate from the recipe but the taste is just perfect…Black Stax does this on a regular, if you have ever had the opportunity to see them perform LIVE.  You may fall in love with their sound on a CD or, Mp3 downloads,  but to experience them in person…each show is different, even if they perform the same tracks the feel is always different with special seasonings added.  I tell them all the time, that it is clear to me that they play off their own energy and the energy of the audience that gives the feel and experience a sense of newness.

As the doors open up for Black Stax…a sense of excitement is felt when you now experience them performing with the master musicians known as Klyntel with Derrick Lockhart on percussion, Marvin Shields Jr on bass, Walter Finch on guitar, Curtis Seals on keys and Ivan Payne on drums,  it takes the experience to a whole new level as we experienced at “The Family Affair Event” at the Hard Rock Cafe and STEM + ART Event at  The Triple Door.  I don’t know if the two separate groups even realized before hand how they would create magic together those nights.  With the blend of Hip Hop, Soul, Blues, Jazz and Funk in one piece,  opens up the doors for all of these artists to cross over into and in front of other audiences that have not experienced their sound separately.  I don’t know for fact, but I sense that there will be more collaborations coming between Black Stax and Klyntel in the future.

Black Stax opened my eyes to a new genre, culture and lifestyle that has challenged me and drawn me in, wanting to understand and respect what is known as Classic Hip Hop.

Black Stax are being played on stations around the globe and have been written up in a variety of media publication such as the latest, a feature in XXL Magazine’s article Black Stax is listed amongst the “The New New: 15 Seattle Rappers You Should Know” May 23rd, ’13 • by Dan Buyanovsky:  http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/05/the-new-new-15-seattle-rappers-you-should-know/14/

Of course all that I say in this blog, on my radio shows or in person is my opinion and feelings I have about Black Stax…but I have not ever met such amazing, talented, family oriented, community based and loyal people.  Black Stax does  not conform and I think that is where people choose to have negative things to say and share.  At times it feels that people do not respect and believe that SL and Felicia Loud are truly connected and are Black Stax even though all can perform and have performed as individual artists, such as Owuor Arunga traveling and touring presently with Macklemore.  They are still HERE!  Black Stax as not gone anywhere and have not drift away to be a memory of the past,  but to be known nationally and internationally as a Classic Hip Hop Soul creative unit,  creating new and refreshing recipes that have a relevance for the new and old listeners of their sound.  Along with opening the doors to draw in those,  such as myself that is new to this art form called Hip Hop Soul.

Seattle has so many exciting, talented and deserving artists that first deserve recognition from their home here in the Pacific Northwest to then being deserving of the masses experiencing them across the states and nations.  For me, I am proud to be apart of Black Stax team and family who plays a role in gaining what I feel is deserving recognition and respect.  Sometimes, I question what I do in supporting artists and then I have a conversation with one,  if not all of my Black Stax family and through their love and support of me as Lady Flava,  it makes sense all over again.  We reinvent the wheel of what we do.

I thank you Black Stax for who you were yesterday, who you are today and who you will become in the future and I am blessed to be on this journey with you at this point in your musical career.  “I Love My Life”

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Black Stax with Klyntel, Sistah Luv at STEM+ART at The Triple Door

To find out more about Black Stax at: 

www.blackstaxmedia.com

http://http://www.flavanews.com/Pages/BlackStax.aspx

Lady Flava of Flava News

Artists Advocate, Mentor, Promoter and Cheerleader

Seattle, WA

http://www.flavanews.com

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