Co-Directed By: Atuanya Priester
Editor: Francisco Lopez
Camera operator: Anthony Rowe
Camera operator: Claire Buss
Camera operator: Mindie Lind
Camera operator: J. Brad Wilke
Camera operator: Marcus Anderson
Draze is riding a huge wave of momentum with the recent placement of his music on Empire (Fox), ESPN Sportscenter, NFL Networks Total Access and several other national programs. His first single “Seattle Sweeties” is currently #3 on the national college radio charts.
Set to the soulful sounds of rhodes keys and a live saxophone Irony On 23rd captures the thoughts, pain, and reactions of a community experiencing gentrification. Through the power of story, Draze paints a picture of how numerous ironies appear to meet at the intersection of 23rd and Union. With lines like "How many brothers went to jail on this corner for using dime bags? In a week he's doing, what, a couple hundred grand?", Draze challenges Seattle leaders and citizens to look at the painful realities of it's politics. "To be honest, releasing this track was not a part of our plan, but sometimes the people connect with something and the music becomes more than a song; it becomes a movement," Draze continued.
"To create this record, I went out on the corner of 23rd and Union one night, posted up, and watched the energy and movement of the people. It was crazy to just sit in silence and watch it all go down. I immediately heard the melody in my soul an Irony On 23rd was born that night," said Draze.
In his new Irony on 23rd music video, Seattle hip-hop artist, Draze, offers a front row seat to one of the countries most heated debates concerning the impact of recreational cannabis retail outlets on communities. Seattle’s 23rd and Union intersection, which falls within a traditionally Black neighborhood, has become the epicenter for the city’s ongoing gentrification debate. Draze’s video gives viewers a first-hand look at the incongruous (and illegal) geographic relationship between Uncle Ike's Pot Shop and its next door neighbor, Mount Calvary Christian Center, as well as spotlighting some of the youth that frequent their Teen Center just across the street.
Draze, in collaboration with the Seattle chapter of the NAACP, ex-gang members, community groups, and neighborhood residents recently shut down the intersection of 23rd & Union for hours to protest the location of Uncle Ike's Pot Shop. The music video includes footage captured during the actual protest. "Recreational marijuana use is only legal in Washington and Colorado. The eyes of the country are on us to see how to navigate this new environment. This song is about making sure all sides of the story are being told. We all voted to legalize marijuana, but putting it this close to a local church’s teen center just ain't cool," said Draze.
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