Blue Scholars


Blue Scholars

Infobox musical artist
Name = Blue Scholars
Img_capt = Sabzi and Geologic
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Seattle, Washington, USA
Genre = Hip-Hop, Northwest hip hop, Alternative hip hop
Years_active = 2002 - Present
Label = Mass Line Media
Associated_acts = Common Market
URL = [http://www.bluescholars.com Official Site]
Current_members = Geologic
Sabzi
Past_members =

Blue Scholars are a hip hop duo based in Seattle, Washington. The duo was created in 2002 while the members, Geologic and Sabzi, were a part of The SHOW (Student Hip Hop Organization of Washington) at the University of Washington (Seattle). The group consists of one DJ, Sabzi (Saba Mohajerjasbi) and one MC, Geologic (George Quibuyen).

The name "Blue Scholars" is a play on the term "blue collar," which is an idiom for workers who often earn meager hourly wages for manual labor. Their music and lyrics often focus on struggles between socioeconomic classes, challenging authority and youth empowerment, as evidenced in the songs "Blink" and "Commencement Day." These themes are often specifically addressed in relation to the Seattle region, as in "Southside Revival", "North by Northwest", and "The Ave."

The duo has performed across the United States and made appearances at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in 2005, 2006 and 2008, and Bumbershoot opening for Kanye West in 2006. They have opened for and shared stages with such artists as De La Soul, Slick Rick, Wordsworth, Kanye West, Hieroglyphics, Immortal Technique, The Coup, Masta Ace, Mos Def and Little Brother. [http://www.hob.com/tickets/festivals/sasquatch/2006/artists/bluescholars.asp Sasquatch! Music Festival review] ] [ [http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/bluescholars05dec.asp Blue Scholars —The Long March | Three Imaginary Girls ] ]

In 2006, the Blue Scholars received top honors in the hip hop category of the Seattle Weekly's Music Awards Poll, and were also the top vote-getters overall; in earlier years, they had been recognized in the categories of Best Hip-hop Artist, Best Local Single, and Best Album. [ [http://www.seattleweekly.com/music/0619/winners.php Seattle Weekly music winners] ] [ [http://www.seattleweekly.com/music/0519/050511_music_awards.php Seattle Weekly music awards, May 2005] ] [ [http://www.seattleweekly.com/arts/0531/050803_bestof_arts_critics.php Seattle Weekly art critics' awards, August 2005] ] [ [http://www.seattleweekly.com/music/0419/040512_musicawards_winners.php Seattle Weekly 2006 Music Awards poll, May 2006] ]

The music video released for the song "Back Home" makes a very personal call to support the US troops by bringing them back from Iraq. The video, produced by Sabzi's brother Zia, has received critical praise from blogs across the web. [ [http://analoggiant.blogspot.com/2007/06/new-video-by-blue-scholars.html Analog Giant: New video by the Blue Scholars ] ] The video was followed by the November 2007 release of a video for "Joe Metro," which features Geo riding the 48 Metro bus around Seattle and walking the city streets. [ [http://www.mtvu.com/music/video_premiere/blue_scholars/ "Joe Metro" video.] MTVu.com. Last accessed November 19, 2007.]

On the group's website, they announced that 2 EPs would be released before the end of the 2007: "Joe Metro EP" and "Butter & Gun$ EP" (essentially an EP for the song "Loyalty"). Each features the EP's "title" track, a remix of the "title" track, videos, and a few other remixes and new songs. [ [http://bluescholars.livejournal.com/16954.html "Friday mixdown."] Bluescholars.com. September 30, 2007.]

In 2007, the duo presented and headlined several shows for a Seattle hip-hop showcase they dubbed "The Program". [ [http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/10/get_with_the_program "Get With The Program."] The Stranger Blog (aka "Slog"). October 4, 2007.] The 5 shows all took place at local venue Neumos from December 18 through December 22, 2007. All shows were closed out by Blue Scholars with several other local groups performing each night, including Common Market, The Saturday Knights, Dyme Def, and many others. The lineup for the first show of "The Program" included a "Secret Special Guest". The group opted to hold a series of shows instead of a single year-end celebration in order to showcase the best that hip-hop has to offer and because they were "sick of working on New Year's Eve." [ [http://bluescholars.livejournal.com/17222.html "The Program."] Bluescholars.com, posted by Sabzi. October 4, 2007.]

Members

Geologic (born George Quibuyen; also known as Prometheus Brown, Geo) is the vocalist for the Blue Scholars and has also performed as a spoken word poet. The son of Filipino immigrants, he lived in various locations along the west coast and Hawaii as a child until his family settled in Bremerton, Washington. Geologic attended the University of Washington and worked as a community organizer with isangmahal arts kollective, both experiences which have influenced his lyrics. [ [http://www.bluescholars.com/bio.html Blue Scholars official bios] ] [http://blog.nwsource.com/entertainment/archives/2006/06/062106_blue.html Seattle Times entertainment blog, June 2006] ]

Sabzi (born Alexei Saba Mohajerjasbi; also known as Saba) is an Iranian American jazz-trained pianist and previously performed with and wrote music for a punk and ska band before his work on beats and turntables with the Blue Scholars. He attended Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington before attending the University of Washington. He met Geologic as a result of an initiative to foster more youth-accessible hip hop on campus and throughout Seattle. [ [http://www.seattleweekly.com/music/0548/051130_music_bluescholars.php Seattle Weekly music section, November 2005] ] Sabzi is also the DJ for Common Market, another Seattle hip hop duo. Sabzi is a Bahá'í by religion, and their album Bayani contains a Bahá'í prayer chanted by Behnam Khoshkhoo as the first track. The listing of songs on Bayani starts with number two.

Record Label

Opting to create their own record label rather than sign with an existing company, Blue Scholars members Geologic and Sabzi, along with MCs RA Scion of Common Market and Gabriel Teodros, launched MassLine Media [http://www.masslinemedia.com] in 2006. [ [http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=37586 The Stranger, June 22-28, 2006] ] The label's mission statement includes the goal of using hip hop as a means of grassroots community organizing and youth outreach. MassLine entered a joint venture with legendary hip hop label Rawkus Records in 2007 for the release of the June 12, 2007 release of their new album Bayani; the name derives its meaning from two different languages. In Tagalog it literally means "heroes of the people" and in Persian "Bayan" means "the Word." The June 12 release also commemorated the anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898.

Good Medicine

Good Medicine is a supergroup that features MCs Geologic, Macklemore, Gabriel Teodros, and Khingz Makoma. Thus far, the group has only performed live at various festivals and has produced no recorded output. In the past, Sabzi has performed DJ duties for the group.

Discography

* 2004: "Blue Scholars (Pacific Northwest release)"
* 2005: "Blue Scholars (International release)"
* 2005: "The Long March EP"
* 2007: "Bayani"
* 2007: "Joe Metro EP"
* 2008: "Butter & Gun$ EP"

Videography

* 2004: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wN10msgz88 "Freewheelin"]
* 2007: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En8DwCeKa6M "Back Home"]
* 2007: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz79goWQrYU "Joe Metro"]
* 2008: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHDyPvF0KL8 "Loyalty"]

See also

* Filipino hip hop
* [http://www.jceps.com/index.php?pageID=article&articleID=71"Hip-Hop and Critical Revolutionary Pedagogy: Blue Scholarship to Challenge 'The Miseducation of the Filipino'" by Michael Viola]
*The Ave

Popular Culture

In [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_Software Valve Software's] game "Half Life 2: Episode 2" the Blue Scholars' name can be seen on the front of several radio boxes throughout the game along with the radio station "FM 89.50".

References

External links

* [http://www.bluescholars.com Official Website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/bluescholars Myspace Profile]
* [http://www.masslinemedia.com MassLine Media Official Site]


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