Jonathan Moore/Wordsayer was my mentor. And not just MY mentor, but our mentor. There are probably hundreds of people that would identify him with the same title within the Seattle Hip Hop community and beyond. And as mentors do, Jon taught me. Some of the things he taught me were direct words of advice. Others I picked up through observation.
He taught me that as an MC our job is to not only move the crowd, but storytelling. That oral tradition is our medium and how we keep our stories alive, passing them on to the next generation. If you came wack, you had to pass the mic. But that didn't mean that you didn't come back. It meant that you needed to come back sharper. It meant that you had to continue to refine your craft. And quit cupping the mic.
Jon was a lot of things. But at the core, he was an MC. I studied him. The way that he moved on stage, the way he commanded a crowd. The way he projected his voice. I payed close attention to the tools he used and the way that he kept the audience engaged. I watched how he conducted himself and tried to adapt those methods to become part of my tool kit. He was comfortable with who he was, and that confidence was magnetic.
When Jon gave you dap, your hand smelled like Egyptian musk for the next 3-5 hours. I liked the smell, so much so that I bought the same scent. Looking back I imagine it was really intense when both of us occupied the same space, reeking of the same essential oil. I wonder if he knew.
But what really sticks out about Jon is how he made me feel. He made me feel apart of community. He made me feel like what we were doing was important. He made me want to be better, as a performer and a human. Having a conversation with Wordsayer, as a 15 year old was a big deal. He never talked down to me. He never sonned me. He encouraged me and made me feel like I belonged on the stage as much as anyone else.
He was an ambassador of the culture. Our mayor. And the foundation of what Seattle Hip Hop was, is and always will be.
I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for Jon. You will be deeply missed my friend. Love -B