Song of the Day: Draze - The Hood Ain't The Same

Local Music, Song of the Day
06/17/2016
Janice Headley

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is "The Hood Ain't The Same" by Draze from his 2016 self-released album, Seattle's Own.

Draze - The Hood Ain't The Same (MP3)

Take a quick drive through the Central District, and you'll see: local rapper Draze knows what he's talking about. "These used to be all black families and black-owned businesses," he told the Seattle Times. “Nobody is here anymore.”

Draze grew up here, the son of marimba superstar Dumisani Maraire, who moved here from Zimbabwe and later became an ethnomusicologist at the University of Washington, and Lora (Sukutai) Chiorah-Dye, an internationally respected dancer, singer, and Mbira player. His brother Tendai "Baba" Maraire is half of Shabazz Palaces. Music is clearly in his genetic code. With his own songs, he's driven by authenticity, whether rapping about social justice, relationships, or just life on the streets.

With today's Song of the Day, he's truly hit a nerve running through Seattle. "The city is thriving," he told the Seattle Times, "but my community is dying. That doesn’t feel good." Against a funky rhythm, he raps an eulogy to his neighborhood, with shout outs to Sammy's Burgers, The Silver Fork restaurant, Helen's Kitchen, and Franklin High School. The music video, posted below, is equally power and poignant, not only showing these places now, but featuring guest appearances by Seattle activists Eddie Rye, Kawanna Perine, Rev Aaron Williams, the Senior Pastor at Mt Zion Baptist Church, and more. We may not be able to stop gentrification, but with Draze's song, he can at least tell the story.

Draze will be performing LIVE on Street Sounds on KEXP this Sunday, June 19th at 7:00 PM PT, as part of our day-long Juneteenth programming. You can also catch him this Saturday, June 18th at Block Party at The Station, a free, all ages annual music and arts festival in Beacon Hill.

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