Tag Archives: Music

Josh Rizeberg’s Saturday Video Shoot

Saturday afternoon Josh Rizeberg’s family and friends gathered at Hilltop’s People’s Park to take part in the video shoot for his single “Don’t Be Late.” “Don’t Be Late” is the newest single from Rizeberg’s recently-released album, Rize of the Boom. It is a collaborative project he did with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre. Ryan Nielson of Tacoma-based AFATASI Pictures directed the video.

Video producer Ryan Nielson, Boombox Massacre, and Josh Rizeberg talk shop.

Rizeberg is a long-time Hilltop resident and writes a column called “What’s the Word?” for the Weekly Volcano. In addition to Rizeberg and Boombox Massacre, local rappers, including Mr. Von, General Wojack, Ghetto Baby, Abom, Awall, Young Crime, the Koomaniacs, Anaxagorous, K. Coats, and more, attended the shoot.

“Don’t Be Late” is due to drop in about two weeks. Check out a preview of the video here. Be sure to download Rize of the Boom, too. With its strong commentary and powerful beats, it’s worth a listen.

Rizeberg Video Shoot Tomorrow: Don’t Be Late.

This Saturday, Hilltop hip-hop artist Josh Rizeberg will be filming his newest music video and we’re all invited. The video shoot for his song “Don’t Be Late,” one of the singles off his newest project, Rize of the Boom, will take place at People’s Park at 2 pm. “Don’t Be Late” is an energetic track. The video shoot is bound to be fun.

On Rizeberg’s newest album, Rize of the Boom, he collaborates with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre to bring a lively, thought-provoking collection of songs. His style has evolved from his last album, Word to the Wize. The content of his lyrics is similar, but his delivery is better. He is successfully transitioning from his spoken word roots to rapping.

One of our favorite songs from the album, “My Truth,” is a powerful commentary on the realities of Western culture. In “My Truth,” Rizeberg raps about living with open eyes and seeing the injustices around us–steroids in our food, pollution, government control, social class warfare, and more.

Another of our favorites, “Hugs From a Mother,” is a tribute to all the women in the world and the sacrifices they make to raise their children. Rizeberg speaks to single moms and grandmas who are helping to raise kids. The inspiration for “Hugs From a Mother” was a poem he once wrote for his own mother.

Josh Rizeberg collabs with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre on this album.

Don’t Be Late — Josh Rizeberg

My Truth — Josh Rizeberg

Hugs From a Mother — Josh Rizeberg

Check out Boombox Massacre vs. Josh Rizeberg, Rize of the Boom. You can download the album in its entirety on Rizeberg’s Bandcamp page. Remember, don’t be late the the video shoot tomorrow at 2pm at People’s Park.

Nate Dybevik’s Piano Museum

One of our favorite artsy places on Hilltop right now is N. Dybevik Piano Company. It’s located near 13th and MLK in a cluster of Spaceworks Tacoma projects, including Fabitat and Toy Boat Theatre. Dybevik’s space is thought-provoking and humble. It’s a place we could admire for hours.

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Nate Dybevik is a musician and a collector. All of the old pianos in his Spaceworks spot are from his personal collection and he is learning how to bring them back to life with the help of piano expert Obi Manteufel. The space is a work in progress. It changes little by little, but its essence stays the same. The heart of the space, the pianos, are young and old, worn and torn apart, and beautiful.

In addition to the piano museum, Dybevik plays live music and hopes to teach piano lessons in the space. Stop by N. Dybevik Piano Company and visit the collection. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear some live acoustic music. 

For a preview of Dybevik’s music, check out his Bandcamp site. There you can download his latest album. Also visit his website, Facebook page, and Spaceworks Tacoma’s site for more information and press. 

Most importantly, though: Go see the pianos!

Tune-in to Fab-5 Radio on 90.1 Today at 4:00

Fab-5 Radio plays on KUPS, Channel 90.1, Saturdays at 4 and Tuesdays at 5.

Fab-5 Radio broadcasts local music on Channel 90.1, KUPS. Student DJ’s from Hilltop’s Fabitat work together on the project. Tune-in and check it out. Fab-5 accepts local music submissions at radio@fab5.org. For more information, see Fab-5 Radio’s website.

Just Chillin’

EDot is a seventh-grader at Meeker Middle School. He lives on Hilltop and likes to longboard. This is his first rap video. Tacoma emcee/producer Todd Sykes made the beat.

Words with Hilltop’s Josh Rizeberg

Hilltop Tacoma’s hip-hop artist Josh Rizeberg is a storyteller. He studies ancient societies, writes with a conscious voice, and has a fondness for Hilltop. His spoken word touches truths others leave buried. A long-time Hilltop resident, Rizeberg has seen many people and places come and go. His memories of the area are as vibrant as the rhymes he writes.
Rizeberg has lived on Hilltop for twelve years and doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon. In addition to creating music, he works at a bookstore full-time and writes for the Weekly Volcano. In his twenties he rented a Hilltop house and wrote for “The Facts,” a Northwest newspaper that is still in print today. Hilltop was Rizeberg’s beat and through his reporting, he got to know many residents. Listening to him tell their stories is like talking to them face-to-face.With all the empty lots, abandoned buildings, and sketchy characters, it’s easy to forget how rich this part of Tacoma really is. Rizeberg is a refreshing reminder of all that Hilltop has to offer.

“I don’t think this neighborhood will ever be boring or will be totally sterilized or will ever be lost. . . I think it will always be special and there will always be things that will make it a better place to live than a normal street,” Rizeberg says. But Hilltop isn’t the same as he remembers it.
“Now it is devastated,” he says. “There’s no way there will ever again be, like, twenty different African-American niche businesses here on Hilltop.” This is what Rizeberg remembers–a sprawling Martin Luther King Jr. Way–unmarred by Hilltop’s violent reputation and subsequent city control.

Rizeberg recalls a much more dynamic Hilltop. He remembers many businesses on MLK between 9th and 19th Streets. “There were incredibly unique and special places,” he says. There used to be a black-owned martial arts dojo, the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association in a building that is not even there anymore, an African marketplace and bookstore, two mosques, a DVD/record store, a woman’s spa, a record label with a recording studio, an architect’s office, health clinics, the Big Homie Program office, and Friday’s Cookies.

Rizeberg says, “Most people think [Hilltop] was famous for violence, but that’s what it’s famous to outsiders for. People who grew up here or who were part of the community in any fashion back then remember the culture. That’s what it’s famous for, the culture that was here.”

Over time Rizeberg has seen Hilltop businesses disappear one by one. At first he saw rent increases drive out business owners. He thought the city was pushing out local businesses to replace them with corporations like Starbucks, but now, with all of Tacoma’s failed growth, he thinks it was just plain evil. “In terms of what used to be here versus what is here now, there’s nothing,” he says. “[Hilltop’s] just an empty shell. . . It’s just a sterilized vacant business center.” He knows this, because the people who lost their businesses were his friends, his teachers, his mentors. They were part of what, at one time, made Hilltop great.

Rizeberg doesn’t see all this change on Hilltop as bad, though. He says, “All I’m about is preserving the integrity of this area and if you do that, then you’re cool with me. And if you come here and don’t try to change what this place is about, then I’m cool with that, too.”

Hilltop is who Josh Rizeberg is. His artistic roots are in spoken word or slam poetry, an art form he began performing at a young age. That practice. . . and life on Hilltop. . . influences what he writes today. Rizeberg is now an extremely successful hip-hop artist who has performed at venues in other states, as well as in Washington. Many of the places he travels to are places he originally visited as a slam poet in his younger years. “It’s just a natural progression,” he says. “It’s very easy to book shows once you have the connections.”

Rizeberg believes any artist that is active in the community is a good role model for today’s children. He has an immense amount of respect for Hilltop area artists and the work put into teaching youth at places like Hilltop’s Dash Center for the Arts. He builds connections with “damn near all” of the hip-hop artists and rappers in this area.

Rizeberg has released two albums, most recently “A Word to the Wize” in 2010, and “Spoken Worlds” in 2008. His newest album, “Josh Rizeberg vs. BoomBox Massacre,” is coming soon. It is a project he is doing in collaboration with Seattle producer BoomBox Massacre.

Right now Rizeberg awaits the birth of his first child, a son. He and girlfriend Chandra Marquez are expecting any day. We are sure Rizeberg’s son will grow up with a thirst for truth, knowledge of self, and passion for creative expression–just like his father. He will be a storyteller in his own right. 

In his Hilltop home, Rizeberg connects with Andy Hyppa, manager of EvergreenOne.

New Music from K. Coats: Stop. Drop. Roll.

Tacoma hip-hop artist K. Coats has just released his newest song, “Stop. Drop. Roll.” The song is produced by Ra Charm Music and has a strong West Coast vibe.

K. Coats has been writing and recording music for five years. He lives on Hilltop and is currently working on his first album. The upcoming album is different than “Stop. Drop. Roll.” It has more of a soulful vibe. It will drop later this year. “The album is real. It comes directly from my heart and soul–it’s the stuff that’s inside my head,” he says. “I’ve played the background for a while. Some people have heard of me, but nobody’s ever heard me.” Local producers on the album are DJ Semaj and Ill Pill.

"Stop. Drop. Roll." is produced by Ra Charm Music and has a West Coast vibe.

Watch for more music from K. Coats. Find him on Twitter and Bandcamp. You can also find his music page on Facebook under the name K. Coats.