By Mike Ramos
In the last year or so, local rapper Jarv Dee has developed from Cloud Nice crew member and hypeman into one of the hardest-working, multifaceted artists in the city. From his modern take on Seattle street rap with Nacho Picasso and the Moor Gang (their crew of fellow rappers, producers and goons), to his perspective-laced experimental hip-hop approach with group Kingdom Crumbs, to the cruising, Southern rap lean on his breakout solo album Dopamine, Jarv takes on a combination of styles but somehow manages to never sound out of his lane. He found time to catch up with us the day before a quick trip to Alaska for a Kingdom Crumbs show.
Jarv Dee plays Capitol Hill Block Party Sunday at 6:20 p.m. on the Vera Stage.
Q: Have you been to Block Party before?
A: Yeah, I performed with Nacho (Picasso) last year, and I think the year before that I jumped onstage and did “Extrahelladope” with SOTA – I know them all very well and Thad’s (Thaddeus David) a part of Moor Gang.
Q: What was the first year you went to Block Party? You’re a Seattle native and it’s been happening for a while.
A: I wanna say the year that I performed with SOTA was the first year I went. That’s the first year I really like paid attention.. I didn’t know it was poppin’ like that. When I even got into this – the whole ‘music scene’ – me and Nacho, man, we’ve always been doin’ our thing, always been around town. We know a lot of people, but didn’t know there was a music scene like that. So it was surprising when I started noticing, you know, just checkin’ out the scene. how many people there are, how many different styles there are…
Q: What made you realize it was a “scene?” Was there anything that you saw in particular?
A: Just seeing the same people that are on the same grind, and how people associate with each other… Seattle’s like, everybody kinda knows each other, know what I’m sayin’? If you know this person, this person knows that person. And if you’re really from the Town you’re gonna know some people”
Q: Any good or bad memories from past Block Parties?
A: Just even that time I showed up with SOTA man, I didn’t know what to expect from the show cuz I had never heard of Block Party like that.. that it was that much of an event.. and then just to show up there and see how big the crowd was. I was hella pumped. It was just crackin’. A whole different scene.
Q: Do you kick it around Capitol Hill a lot?
A: Man, the Moor Gang, we up there. We be up on Cap, man. Those are our lil’ stomping grounds, we just go there, have fun, wile out. We’ve been actually going out there for a minute, just chillin, then it really started becoming the kick-it spot, cats just started coming up there hella more. We been had many blackout nights there, we just have a story everytime.
Q: Any really good ones?
A: There’s so much that happens, I’ll just say the most recent was some dude throwing up on my pants, man.
Q: In a bar?
A: In the bar! We were at 95 Slide and I’m sitting there talkin to Nacho at a booth or table or whatever, and I see dude stumbling through holding his mouth. I look down and there’s just throw up on my pants. I just look at Nacho like “Did this guy really just puke on my pants?” The dude was so loaded. We came back out and security kicked him out, and we left later. He was still outside partying, not knowing what the happened. Throw up all on him. I couldn’t even be mad at him. I was like “This dude is too turnt up right now.” Throw up on his shirt, still crackin at the ladies.
Q: You mentioned that Capitol Hill has become the new ‘kick-it spot.’ Any impressions of the new Capitol Hill crowd?
A: People are just ready to party when they hit Capitol Hill, that’s all it is man. People are really trying to kick it super tough. It’s the new hot spot.
Q: You perform a lot – with Nacho, you mentioned SOTA, anytime there’s a Moor Gang anything, and with your group Kingdom Crumbs – and they all have a different sound to them. What can people expect from a Jarv solo show?
A: Jarv! I dunno man, all those different groups I mingle in, those are all just a piece of me.. I’m not one-sided. Just expect to have fun, expect for a crackin’-ass show to go down. And I’m playing with a live band. Raised Byy Wolves is playing guitar. It’s gonna be a heavy event. I definitely got a DJ too. I’m gonna do a couple songs with the band and a couple regular songs. Try to turn up a little bit, man. Bringin’ it real Moor Gang style.