It's difficult to eloquently and appropriately sum up Jonathan Moore's contributions to KUBE, Seattle's music scene, and hip-hop in general. Jon was involved in Seattle hip-hop since the 1980's and over the course of the last 30 years, he wore every possible hat within the industry. From artist to DJ to promoter to manager to writer to radio host to mentor, Jon did it all...and more. Simply put, if it related to hip-hop in the city, Jon was involved, if not directly responsible. That's why he will always be known as "The Mayor."
His relationship with KUBE started before Sunday Night Sound Session launched in 2005. Knowing his importance in Seattle, Eric Powers and Karen Wild -the KUBE Program and Music Directors at the time- would often seek his input and assistance. When the station decided to launch an underground hip-hop show, Jon was the first person they called. They paired Jon with DJ Hyphen and Sound Session aired its first episode on May 8th, 2005, with a simple goal in mind: good music & good conversations. The pair programmed the show independently and quickly became known as hip-hop tastemakers nationally, giving countless artists from around the world their first radio spins and interviews. The show has been running for almost 12 years now and is one of the last independent hip-hop shows on major commercial radio.
As accomplished as J. Moore was in his career, and as impactful as he was for artists from around the country, he was even more successful as a friend, husband, and father. He is survived by his two brilliant boys, Upendo and Miles, who will carry on his legacy, with help from the entire Seattle music community.
I'm an only child. Jon was my brother since 2005. I'm heartbroken. Please send all thoughts and prayers to his beautiful family— Hyphen (@DJHyphen) March 9, 2017
Below are just a handful of artists and people who were impacted by Jonathan.
Artist, producer, architect — @JMooreSeattle, who's passed at 47, pushed so hard to move the culture forward. He won't be forgotten.— TIDAL (@TIDALHiFi) March 10, 2017
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
This hurts. Rest peacefully @jmooreseattle. Thank you for all that have you have done for so many of us. Thoughts to your family & children.— Sol (@Solzilla) March 9, 2017
Wow this is sad news, Moore and Hyphen were the first at radio to support Cole in 09. Prayers to your family and may you RIP my brother. https://t.co/4oREyD3mvf— Ibrahim H. (@KingOfQueenz) March 10, 2017
thanks Berto for sharing this story. that's J. pic.twitter.com/vqZKXU1UXN— Hyphen (@DJHyphen) March 10, 2017
Sunday Night Sound Session introduced Seattle and the nation to many up and coming hip hop artists, who are now some of the most famous rappers in the music industry.