Originally posted at So Much Good Music:
While most of the world was talking about the loss of actor Paul Walker, something happened that was, for me at least, closer to home. I'm connected to a lot of the Seattle hip-hop world and my work with Seaspot Magazine was probably the most seminal and important work I have done. It brought me the connections I have now. I had to double check a few times to make sure the horrible news was true and my old connections confirmed it.
Seattle hip-hop legend Byrdie left us.
It really pains me to hear that we have lost him and that his career did not explode as it should have. When he launched his debut album, I wrote a snarky review for a school newsletter that was sarcastic about his work. I was young and ignorant and disrespectful, as one would expect. Byrdie deserves a whole lot more than that. At the time, in 2004, Byrdie was going against the flow. Seattle hip-hop had not taken off as Macklemore has made it do - he put quite a bit of confidence in to the art and really broke new ground.
Resources on Byrdie on the internet are unfortunately scarce. The Stranger wrote that he died from complications from a long bout of cancer. Here is one of his most famous songs, which I was able to find after alot of searching:
A little bit more - here is him with Reggie Watts:
Another link - him on KUBE 93. Notice that the announcer are saying they had "never" done a "local cut" from an artists before, back in 2001. Sir Mix A Lot was the only rapper to break through to the mainstream world from Seattle. Before Macklemore, being a rap artist from Seattle was like trying to push a massive boulder up a hill. If you have newer music or more information I could post, please let me know. Rest in peace, brother.