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Best of Tacoma 2010 Readers' Poll: Best Local Hip-hop Artist Or Group, EvergreenOne and Todd Sykes

Organically Tacoma, gritty, blue-collar sound

EVERGREENONE AND TODD SYKES: Loyal to the soil, photography by Patrick Snapp

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Recognition in the universe of hip-hop rarely comes easily, if at all — but following their 25360 Award for Best Video (“’90s Shit” directed by Erik Soderquist), the duo known as EvergreenOne and Todd Sykes have been christened once more by the South Sound hip-hop community as Tacoma’s Best Hip-Hop Artist or Group in the Volcano’s 2010 Best of Tacoma Readers’ Poll. The duo is known for its organically Tacoma, gritty, blue-collar sound — original, creative and loyal to the soil.

“Being selected as the best hip-hop coming out of the city is a great feeling,” says EvergreenOne on a busy Sunday afternoon. He’s cleaning his house on a nearly 90 degree day, just hours after rocking a dope show at Hell’s Kitchen where he and his team, City Hall (including Todd Sykes and DJ Slimrock of Olympia), shared the stage with Fice and the legendary MC/Producer Warren G.

“I’m glad our work isn’t going unnoticed,” says EvergreenOne. “Although we’re a little overshadowed by the Seattle scene … I feel honored to be given this award and just want to keep Tacoma rooting for us.”

Tacoma has been rooting for EvergreenOne and Todd Sykes (as has Olympia) for years now, despite the duo’s relative youth. EvergreenOne feels the love he and Sykes have received is just an inkling of what is yet to come from and for Tacoma’s hip-hop community. “There is a lot of talent lurking in this city,” he explains. “Out of all the Tacoma hip-hop I hear, it always seems to sound honest and gritty as fuck.”

Of course, in that vein, he’s also honest about where the 253’s coming from.

“I think we could use a little more unification between artists, promoters and clubs,” he notes.

Todd Sykes and EvergreenOne first hooked up by chance, meeting at KUPS 90.1 FM in Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound’s college radio station.  They both appeared on-air during a show hosted by Amy (thanks for repping hip-hop on-air, Amy!).

According to EvergreenOne, he and Sykes began “chugging Busch tall cans in the parking lot” and ciphering during the show.  After a while a cohesion and chemistry grew between the two, and they recorded a track here and there. Before long, BANG! 

EvergreenOne and Todd Sykes made it official. They were a duo.

But that wasn’t good enough. They wanted more. A DJ was sought; and very recently a DJ was procured. Though, as a duo, EvergreenOne and Sykes emerged victorious this year in the Best of Tacoma Readers’ poll, from here on out they may make the most noise as the trio City Hall, which includes the super-talented DJ Slimrock. Their sound as a threesome remains similar to the foundation built by EvergreenOne and Sykes, but with a DJ thrown in for good measure, adding some Bay Area flavor and a love for the imperfection of hip-hop.

“We had been bugging DJ Slimrock for such a long time.  We had seen him spin and really like what he was doing,” says EvergreenOne. “He and Todd like to collect records, he knows his shit, stays humble and is damn talented.”

From the get go, it’s been obvious that City Hall is prepared to go hard — not surprising considering the established hip-hop work ethic of all three members.
Expect action from City Hall this year, including a project called “Milk On Wax” at the end of August, and (if all goes as planned) an official EP by the end of the year.
Basically, more of the best from City Hall — and your winners this year, EvergreenOne and Todd Sykes — is yet to come.

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South Sound Music Calendar: Wednesday, Aug. 11

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