Monday, February 13, 2012

Afrika Bambaataa in the 206

206 Zulu is the local chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation, and the Northwest hip-hop organization ne plus ultra. The Zulu Nation was the brainstorm of hip-hip pioneer Afrika Bambaataa who traveled to Africa in 1973 on a quest to find an alternative lifestyle to the gang culture that was tearing apart his Bronx neighborhood. Bambaataa returned to New York preaching the five original elements of hip-hop - DJing, MCing, break dancing, graffiti writing, and knowledge of the past.

In 2004, local MC and graffiti writer King Khazm got the go ahead from Zulu originator Bambaataa to establish a local chapter. Since then, 206 Zulu has become one of the most active and progressive Zulu chapters in the country. They've been at the forefront of using hip-hop as a vehicle for social change, staging workshops in schools, community centers, and juvenile detention facilities — pretty much anyplace that will have them. This week, 206 Zulu celebrates their 8th Anniversary with plenty of live music, DJ battles, b-boy and b-girl competitions, a graffiti art showcase, lots of educational workshops, and much more.

The week of celebration is capped with an appearance by Afrika Bambaataa himself on Saturday the 18th. Bambaataa is performing and hosting a "Zulu Jam" with multiple Seattle hip-hop luminaries. The show is for all ages, and tickets are a super affordable $10.

All events take place at Washington Hall at 153 14th Ave. in Seattle's Central District. For more info and tickets, head over here.

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