By Erica Thompson
Last Monday, Associate Director of the MCDM Program Scott Macklin received the 2013 King County Executive’s Award for Excellence in Hip Hop – Community Service. Other awards are given for Innovative Performer and Business, all honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in King County through hip-hop and speech. The ceremony took place at Dimitrious Jazz Alley with featured speakers and performances by groups such as the Massive Monkees and The EriAm Sisters. Tony Benton, CEO and President of MUSICA Entertainment as well as the Master of Ceremonies for the night, said, “The event was a beautiful success. Scott Macklin’s recognition for his work within the hip-hop community is well deserved and a wonderful example of vision in service of community.”
Macklin has done a number of projects that earned him the award, including a film he created with his wife Angelica called“Masizakhe: Building Each Other.” When arriving in South Africa, the team originally set out to explore the post-apartheid education system and work on developing technology with township schools, but quickly realized after hanging out with teachers and principals that “a lot of the education was happening in informal settings outside of school, and a lot of that was through hip-hop and spoken word and those contexts really motivated the youth.”
This film, along with his other work, portrays Macklin’s dedication to making stories with communities, not just about communities.
“The idea is to help communities be able to tell their story to shine light on the work that’s going on,” Macklin said, “but then to be able to catalyze and instill the skills and competencies so those communities can continue telling the stories from their own perspective.”
Macklin said he came to hip-hop through his appreciation and love of the word and love of spoken word – in addition to the layering of beat making, the DIY mentality of making beats, the rhythm, the joy of watching b-boys and b-girls dance, and the imagery in graffiti. When all these elements infuse “it gives everyone a platform and a place to play from where they’re at.”
Macklin moved to Seattle in 1996 after living in Toronto for three years and said the area is rich with talent of not only hip-hop artists, but hip-hop teaching artists.
“Part of this award is the recognition of the deep talent in Seattle around hip-hop and how it’s having an effect and impact on community and youth,” Macklin said.
Check out more of Macklin’s videos here. He also wants to recognize some “brilliant media makers” in the area and highlight some of their recent works:
–Georgio Brown: CooloutNetwork
-Ted Warren: Associated Press photographer