On Wednesday, March 8th, Seattle hip-hop pioneer Jonathan Moore passed away at the age of 47. While details of his death have not been shared, friends and fans knew he had been ailing. Just last year, The Physics and Jake One held a benefit show at The Crocodile for his medical fund, after Moore's body rejected a much-needed kidney transplant.
It's hard to know where to start in listing Moore's accomplishments and contributions to the Seattle hip-hop scene. He was a founding member of the Source of Labor rap crew, performing under the name MC Wordsayer. (Watch a Source of Labor performance via long-running video series Coolout TV above.) He booked hip-hop shows at legendary local venue RKCNDY, a club mostly known for hosting "grunge" acts at the time. He was the host of "Sunday Night Sound Sessions" on KUBE, breaking new artists on the airwaves with every show. And KEXP was fortunate to have Moore serve as a member of our Advisory Council, and to have his invaluable assistance on the KEXP Documentary series, Hip Hop: The New Seattle Sound.
His death is an incredible blow to the Seattle music scene, but the impact he had during his too-brief life will live on forever at every hip-hop concert, on every hip-hop radio show, and in every rhyme a young future MC begins to craft. KEXP sends our thoughts and love to his friends and family.
A documentary produced by KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone for the EMP (now MoPOP) in 2001.
Watch Moore speak at a hip-hop peace rally at Westlake Center after a shooting in Pioneer Square in 2000.
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