Blue Scholars members are emcee Geologic and DJ/Producer Sabzi. Before forming Blue Scholars, Geo was a Seattle emcee and spoken word poet, entering local rap battles and performing spoken word in slams across the Pacific Northwest. Sabzi was a classical and jazz pianist that also performed and wrote music for punk and ska bands in the Seattle area. The two met at the SHOW (Student Hip-hop Organization of Washington) at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Blue Scholars is a play on the term "blue collar". As children of hard-working blue collar immigrants (Geologic is Phillipinoand Sabzi is Persian), their music and lyrics reflect on socioeconomic struggles, usually in relation to Seattle. The two are strongly involved in community events and labor organizing. Geo is involved with Bayan-USA, an organization that fights for genuine freedom in the Phillapines. Much like Ozomatli, the two have played thousands of community events to raise awareness of socioeconomic struggles and injustices.
Before their first album, self-titled Blue Scholars
, was released, the duo had performed close to 300 shows with the likes of Kanye West, De La Soul, Immortal Technique, Matisyahu, Zion-I, Gym Class Heroes, Flobots and The Coup.
In 2004, Blue Scholars
was released in the Pacific Northwest region and released internationally in 2005 on their own record label, MassLine. In 2005, The Long March
EP was released. Songs like "Self-Portrait", "Freewheelin'", and "No Rest for the Weary" all showcase the duo's style.
In 2006, the duo added Sabzi's side project, Common Market (DJ Sabzi and MC RA Scion) and MC Gabriel Teodoros (of Abyssinian Creole) to their MassLine label.
In 2007, Blue Scholars started their own Pacific Northwest hip-hop festival called, "The Program" which sold out all five nights at the Seattle nightclub Neumos. Also, in 2007, they partnered with Rawkus Records to release their second LP, Bayani
. Bayani means "heroes of the people" in Tagalog and "the word" in Persian. It represents both musicians ancestry and the album sticks with the politics of the first release. 2007 was a busy year because they also released a digital-only EP, Joe Metro.
In 2008, the newest addition to their discography, Butter and Guns
was released. Currently, Blue Scholars are touring. They just finished SXSW and on March 25th played a show with Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine and The Night Watchment).
Official website: http://www.bluescholars.com