CWU News

Race, Class, Culture and the History of Hip-hop in the Northwest

Sir Mix-a-Lot in concert

From its beginnings in 1979, to Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse on Broadway" to Macklemore, Northwest hip-hop has been informed by local history as well as the diversity that defined the scene.

Central Washington University's Museum of Culture & Environment and Humanities Washington have partnered to bring Ellensburg a dialogue on hip-hop in the Northwest, at 5:30 p.m. on March 1, in the Dean Hall lobby.

Author and professor Daudi Abe will discuss how Northwest hip-hop is a living document of our region's social and political movements, styles, and ideologies, and how it embodies a unique sense of community.

The history behind not only the Northwest's Grammy-winning rappers, but its world champion break dance crew, its internationally read hip-hop magazine, the producers who collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, its world-renowned clothing designers, and the grassroots organizations dedicated to community service and education will be discussed.

Abe is a Seattle-based professor, writer, and historian who has taught and written about culture, race, gender, education, communication, hip-hop, and sports for more than 20 years. He is the author of the book 6 'N the Morning: West Coast Hip-Hop Music 1987-1992 & the Transformation of Mainstream Culture and From Memphis and Mogadishu: The History of African Americans in Martin Luther King County, Washington, 1858-2014, at

His work has appeared in The Stranger and The Seattle Times, and he has appeared on national media such as MSNBC and The Tavis Smiley Show. Abe holds an MA in human development and a PhD in education from the University of Washington. His forthcoming book is Emerald Street: A History of Hip-Hop in Seattle.

Parking on the CWU campus is free after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, contact the Museum of Culture & Environment at or (509) 963-2313.

About Humanities Washington
Humanities Washington LogoHumanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state. For more about Humanities Washington, visit

About the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau
Speakers Bureau is one Humanities Washington's oldest and most popular programs. A roster of 31 cultural experts and scholars provides low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn and engage in conversation. These diverse and engaging speakers cover a variety of topics, including popular culture, photography, architecture, literature, food, film and history. Best of all - these presentations are free and open to the public. For more about Speakers Bureau, visit

Photo: Andrew Mager via Flickr

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,