Recap: Getting up close and personal with Raz Simone
While touring, rising star Raz Simone pays his hometown a visit for the Capitol Hill Block Party and gets intimate with the townfolk.
Photos: Kevin Lee / July 28, 2014
There wasn’t much hip-hop at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle this year, so the handful of rap acts had to stand out of a crowded field to get noticed, and Raz Simone was up for the challenge. Taking a break from his 52-city tour, the 300 Entertainment signee returned home to rock an altogether too brief 30-minute set on the smaller Vera Stage, which he spent as much time as possible away from it. Instead, he floated into the crowd, often on top of the crowd, which he did on three separate occasions. He spent a fair amount of time on the ground as well, getting the crowd to form a circle so that he could perform within, and also at one point having those in the front sit on the ground cross-legged, giving the duration of one song the setting of a b-boy cypher. He shouted more than just call-and-response instructions, telling the kids in front to sing, start crowd surfing for this song (“I need volunteers,” he says sorta needlessly), collapse the circle and throw him into the air on his mark, and to hold his feet up while he tried to crowd stand (“I saw Method Man do this once”, he explained). In all, coupled with his intensely personal rhymes and lyrics (a kind of trap music with the drug dealer perspectives but without the ratchet), resonated perfectly with his among-the-people approach to showmanship, and his people responded in kind.