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Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Seattle, Washington, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Hip Hop R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




A native of Seattle, Scribes has an album engineered by Macklemore -- 2007's Sleepwalk -- in his catalog. But he left his devoted fan base behind and has been in L.A. for a year now. But he's finding a home here; he has a unique, half-R&B, half-rap style, and is clearly on the come-up.

Tomorrow, September 17th, sees the release of his SeaCal Drive EP which chronicles his journey transplanting here. We spoke to Scribes about making the leap.

You do the MC thing as well as R&B. What makes you determine what you want to do over a beat?

A lot depends on the beat and the production, as to whether I take it in a rap direction or an R&B direction. It also depends on if I already have concept in mind and I'm looking for the production side. It really depends, but usually I'll start with the hook first. It gives me a goal from a writing perspective with what I'm trying to say, and I'll build the verses around it.

You're from Seattle originally, but then moved to Los Angeles last year. What prompted your relocation?

Personal and professional reasons. From a professional standpoint, there's certain opportunities out here I didn't see in Seattle. I love my hometown and my city and it's a huge part of my identity as an artist, but I feel there's a certain feeling I couldn't accomplish [certain things] out there so I took the risk from a professional standpoint to come out here. From a personal standpoint though, I never went to college and never traveled much outside of my city so I felt, if it doesn't work out professionally, at least I have to go out just see what it's like living some place that's not my comfort zone or safety net.

Have you found the opportunities you've sought in Los Angeles?

Some of them. I guess, when I got here, I realized I wanted to work on a different sound, a different style of music. This project I'm about is what I want to push around the scene and network off of. The last project I dropped, What Was Lost, I stand behind it, but it got stolen from the studio and so the concept behind the album was trying to re-record it. When I dropped it I was 23-years-old, but when I had written it I was 19. As an artist I feel I've evolved more. With this project I wanted to come correct and show people my development and my evolution.

Was it challenging transplanting into the L.A. hip-hop scene?


I'm flying by the seat of my pants and learning as I go. There's definitely differences in the Seattle scene and the L.A. scene for sure. I'm trying to figure out those differences while trying to develop a new style. I don't want to say I have an identity crisis, but I'm definitely developing a style of sound and the entire package changes, including the live performance. It's figuring out how I'm going to push that in a scene I'm not entirely accustomed to.

Has Los Angeles changed the way you write?

I think I try to stay more consistent writing every day and not let the overall grind [overtake] what I'm writing about. When I was in Seattle, I was going through hard times, difficulties and issues with the scene, so I felt all I was writing about was struggling as a rapper. It was time to have more life experiences to give me content that was more relatable, more broad than that.

Your 2007 debut Sleepwalk was engineered by Macklemore. How did you two first link-up?

My stepmom is best friends with his Uncle John, the uncle that "Same Love" is written about. When my dad married my step-mom, I went to a few parties at their house and met them a few times growing up. Really, I never hung out with them or anything. I remember his mom had given me his first CD when he was Professor Macklemore when I was in sixth grade. When I was rapper for three years, by the end of high school, I needed a new spot to record at. I reached out to him and did the whole project at his spot.

What was it like shooting the "Backseat" video?

It was cool but it was stressful. We had a short period of time to shoot everything in and there was a lot to try to put together on a limited budget.

Is it harder to shoot a video in L.A. than Seattle?

There's definitely worries about getting your camera taken or people being like "No, do you have a permit?" But L.A. is also more set up to do entertainment. There's so many resources out here at your fingertips which, Seattle has a very small percentage of actual resources for entertainers so you're working with very little to establish something. - LA Weekly

"Scribes - Seacal Drive (FreEP)"

Lead by the Captain Midnite-produced "Backseat (New Ride)" (watch the video here), Seattle's Scribes comes through with his new extended-play. Stream/download below. - 2dopeboyz

"Scribes’ Theft Redemption"

"I'm kind of waiting for the system to die," says 21-year-old Seattle rapper Scribes of his makeshift recording equipment. He's seated in front of an ancient-looking Dell PC in his Capitol Hill apartment, showing off the first steps in his process before taking his material to a professional studio. First he rhymes into a rickety microphone, records all his tracks with Pro Tools, and uses a bootleg of another program called ACID to chart the song's different layers, from vocals to sound effects. Seattle native Henry "Scribes" Kleaveland's pessimism extends beyond his "system." Since dropping his politically-minded debut disc, Sleepwalk, not long after graduating from Nathan Hale High School in 2006, he's experienced a maddening combination of good and bad luck. Although he secured financing for his second album from Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, all the money and hard work literally vanished when the album—the digital masters and various pieces of recording equipment—was stolen in November from Forevergreen Studios. As a result, one suspects the quality of his system is the least of his worries.

"I got to be kinda quiet," he says, pointing up to indicate his neighbors, before playing an early version of the song "Do You Hear Me Now" off his new EP, Summertime Sampler 2009. He's releasing the disc May 16 in connection with a show at the Vera Project that night. The track he's playing was recorded by Seattle producer Captain Midnite, with backup vocals by Camila, and is a mournful breakdown of the difficulties of maintaining his integrity while trying to break into the recording industry.

The lyrics have an acidic flavor that hints at Scribes' hard-won lessons. But it's not until the song's end, as the drums lazily pound in the background, that Scribes' philosophy becomes most apparent. Speaking directly to listeners (and doubtlessly to himself), he declares: "When it comes down to it, it's about me and those people who support me."

The role struggle plays in the life of artists, no matter the medium, is of course an old story. Scribes walks down this rutted trail with impressive grace on the EP's five tracks, except for the Bush-bashing "The Bush Is Over"; the Sebino-produced cut feels like a holdover from the fiercely, if somewhat naively, political debut he recorded at local rapper Macklemore's home studio.

He opens strong with the only other track produced by Captain Midnite, "Forgive Me." It deals with the moral sacrifices people make for financial success. It's here that his lyrical wit shines through with clarity as he ponders: "I'm asking what's your role, homie, you a rebel with C.R.E.A.M?/Or are you just a piece of metal in the devil machine?" Scribes sings this chorus, as well as the entirety of the Nick Rapp–produced "Outro," with an effectiveness that brings hip-hop crooners like André 3000 and Mos Def to mind. And it's to his advantage here that his voice, whether singing or rapping, vibrates with a haunting quality that mirrors the EP's raw-wounds theme.

When one considers that after his full-length was stolen, Scribes had to completely re-record these songs from scratch at Isaac Meek's Undercaste studio, the quality of the work becomes even more impressive. "I would be further along, sure," says Scribes, a coy smile cracking across his boyish face, when asked how the theft impeded his progression. After all, he was to release his original disc, Thruourmusic, produced by BeanOne, at a February show on his 21st birthday. Sadly, Scribes couldn't afford to hire BeanOne again for the EP, but, he adds, echoing advice that McCready gave him after hearing the bad news, "I'm almost glad it got stolen. It forced me to be kinda resourceful."

McCready says it's his firsthand knowledge of young musicians' hard-knock lives, coupled with the good impression Scribes made on him both as a person and an artist, that led the veteran rocker to finance the album after they met at the gym where Scribes works. While the loss of the album was a definite tragedy, McCready, whose financial stake in it was more as a benefactor than an investor, maintains that such difficulties are a necessary evil.

"Within the struggle, you become a better musician and a better human being—if you don't let the people who are saying 'no' to you get you down," says McCready.

To his credit, Scribes knows what he's up against—and how to combat it: "The longer and longer that you don't put music out, you become less relevant," he says. "It's just a matter of getting better."
- The Seattle Weekly

"Scribes's What Was Lost and DJ Jacks Green's Take Me Home"

Fans round this piece no doubt know the name of Scribes, who dropped his debut, Sleepwalk, almost five years ago now; his earnest, dead-serious lyricism and passion for the music shone through, especially on the standout "Soully," where the young MC displayed a surprising (at the time, at least—this was before every rapper caught a boner for Drake's So Far Gone) knack for melodic hook writing. A couple years later, while building up a local following via all-ages shows (such as the 206 Stand Up series he curated at the Vera Project), Scribes lost a good deal of what was meant to be his second record in a break-in at Aaron Angus's home studio—one that fucked up more than a few local artists' plans at the time. Appropriate then that he titled his long-awaited second album What Was Lost.

No less serious a character than with Sleepwalk, Scribes does have a lot more fun in his rhyming on Lost; blending a refined gift for mid-'90s Hilfiger-and-a-knapsack East Coast rap inflection with the breezy, dragging-in-your-girl's-ear melodies that he first demonstrated on "Soully," he finds a fresh style with skill and personality. "I wouldn't really call myself a singer," he admitted to me, "but I can confidently deliver something vocally that's working. I notice that a lot of rappers who try to sing will lean one way or the other: They sing good but the raps are falling off, or vice versa—I wanted to come with my A-game on both. I think as a rapper, you can't just sing anything you want—you can't Boyz II Men your shit—it's gotta stay somewhat relevant to the persona you have in your verses. Basically," he concludes, "you can't sing like a bitch!" Scribes does double duty Friday, February 4, over at Nectar, where the CD release for What Was Lost goes down; the all-ages show at 5:00 p.m. features KnowMads, Kung Foo Grip, and Icarus Swift, while the drunkard set includes SuperFire (I suggest you maybe check for their EP Off the Clock at their Bandcamp page), JFK, Hush'd Puppies, and the Pre Wrecks. Both shows are hosted by khaki enthusiast Grynch and include the stylish blends of the File Jerks' own Astronomar.

While you're pondering that, check for Portland-based producer DJ Jacks Green's choice EP Take Me Home. Clocking in at just four tracks (including a short instrumental intro), Green brings a most welcome sun-dappled warmth to notable tracks from three of the town's favorite MCs: the aforementioned Scribes (the seriously wistful "Day Job" would've been a standout even on his own album), Sol (the classy space-age courting of "Kickitwitchu"), and Prometheus Brown aka Geo of Blue Scholars (who authoritatively laces the title track with one of his best performances). This EP, as small and unassuming as it seems, could in fact be a seminal piece of NW collaboration to help set the stage for a stronger Cascadian union. And I could be (and frequently am) talking out my ass there, but I say: If you can dream it, be it! Makes sense, right? - The Stranger (Larry Mizell Jr.)

"KEXP Q+A: Scribes"

With a recent KEXP in-studio under his belt, and a brand new album droppin’, Henry “Scribes” Kleaveland is a Northwest hip-hop force to be reckoned with. We got to chat with Seattle’s young MC. Here’s what he had to say.

Growing up, what were some standout albums that really shaped you as an artist and even a person?

I don’t know. I’d say that as a kid I didn’t really listen to albums. I mean I’d listen to my dad’s albums which were a lot of soul and rock n’ roll albums… Motown, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Al Green… stuff like that, but i mean up until middle school I was probably just bumpin’ the shit I heard on KUBE and other stations. I was a rap fan during elementary school. I’d buy albums like Master P, Dr Dre, Cash Money, Snoop, and Outkast. I didn’t totally appreciate anything but the singles on the albums until i got a little bit older. Then everyone started downloading mp3s for free.

When I was in middle school Napster and Morpheus were becoming really popular so I feel like most people listened to all their music in mixes. I bumped mixes that were compilations of all the shit i liked. Once i got into high school and started rappin’, I started bumpin’ full length albums. I’d grown up listening to 2pac, Nas and Biggie (and just about everyone else) but because of all the mixes I hadn’t really listened to their songs in album order. Listening to their albums helped me put their careers into perspective.

I’d say from that point, some of the hip-hop albums that really influenced me were 2Pac’s All Eyes On Me & Me Against The World, Eminem’s Marshall Mather’s LP, Nas’s Illmatic & Stillmatic (among others), Immortal Technique’s Revolutionary Vol 2, DMX It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, Blackstar…

I was influenced by a lot of shit that wasn’t hip hop, too. Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aaliyah, TLC… Part of what makes me the artist i am is that I appreciate shit that sounds good. I don’t give a damn about what you have to say if you sound bad. I love melodies and soul, but I’m also a hip-hop head and i love lyrics. I try to put both of those in my music.

What albums have you been listening to lately?

At work I’ll put in the iPod and play all sorts of old albums anything from Justin Timberlake to MJ to Kanye. Most of the time I go to YouTube to look for and listen to new music.

As far as contemporary music goes, I’ve been downloading and bumpin mixtapes. I’m really feelin Nipsey Hussle and J. Cole. I can really appreciate Nipsey’s sound and attitude. The songs are bangers and they set the mood, but his lyrics have hella heart and are well written and delivered.

I don’t know, i think that albums are kinda goin out… haha it’s all about recording short albums and callin em EPs or recording full-length albums and callin ‘em mixtapes… Maybe i should of called my album a mixtape…

What do you think of the rising hip-hop scene? What roles in it do you see yourself playing?

Honestly, I’m not a fan of the hip-hop that most local establishments are reinforcing. Sorry, just bein’ honest. I think there are some really talented people in the Seattle metropolitan area and I have nothin’ but love for them and the fans and people of Seattle. As far as the local shit that’s gettin put on, it’s really kinda ridiculous. It’s basically a clique. That’s not to say that I don’t like some of the people in that clique, as people; I think that some of them are talented… but as a whole I don’t like it.

It’s sad because I think that a lot of the most talented people in Seattle get ignored if they don’t join the clique. And being in [it] definitely doesn’t bring you success… It just means you’re a “cool kid” that has other “cool friends”… In the end it forces a lot of the most talented artists to have to pursue promotional opportunities in other cities, ultimately keeping Seattle’s scene forever local. I don’t think that any of the artists tryin’ to put seattle on through their music with the exception of Macklemore and maybe a few others, will ever rise past a local following.

Much of who I am as an artist is a result of my unwillingness to pledge my allegiance to that network of people and play their game. Nobody’s given me shit or helped me out. I’ve had to put in overtime and hustle harder than a lot of folks to get to the same place that some of these lazy, local, socialite, wannabe rappers are at. Again, I’m not sayin’ that about Seattle rappers in general… I think there are a lot of good artists here.

Ultimately it’s made me a smarter and stronger business person. I’m not bitter about any of it. i’m just focusing on doin’ my own thing and doin’ it right… My focus is my own art and career… not theirs. I want to be down for the city but at the same time i want to expand. I always want to perform and be around Seattle but i want to be national as well…. I don’t know whether Seattle will be the root or hometown of my business… I’d like for it to be. We’ll jus - (Jon Harthun)


Speaking of the North West… here goes a new album from Seattle’s own, Scribes. Featuring guest appearances and production from JFK (of Grayskull), Thig Nat (of The Physics), Captain Midnite, BeanOne and more. Shouts to the man that will be fixing our ongoing server issues, Lee Huffman, for the heads up. This is dope.

Tracklist + Download link after the jump… - (Shake)

"206 Stand Up, Massive Monkees' 10th Anniversary, and Dyme Def"

All eyes on the dude Scribes, by far one of the brightest and hardest-working talents of Seattle hiphop's next generation. His album Sleepwalk flew under the radar of a lot of the older gods, but the kids didn't miss a beat (or rhyme), packing out his shows, such as the 206 Stand Up showcase series he's been curating at the Vera Project. So don't snooze on Saturday, May 16, and get to the fourth edition of 206 Stand Up, which is also the CD-release party for his latest, the optimistically titled Summer-time Sampler. There you'll also catch Fatal Lucciauno, Camila, Shankbone, and homegrown B-boy crew BYC.
- The Stranger

"Sportn' Life's 4-Star Friday, 206 Stand Up II, Ladies First"

On Saturday, February 2, the Vera Project hosts a show presented by the homey Scribes called 206 Stand Up II. This all-ages extravaganza brings together the talents of Dyme Def, Scribes, KnowMads, GMK, Solstice, and PhilHarmonic. It also features dance performances (you know the kids just love the dancin') from BYC, Miechia Taylor and the girls of Kutt'n'Up (Renton High School's dance team, son), Burgerlicious, and Samantha Hanson. And it's hosted by that dude of dudes Khingz of Abyssinian Creole (go pester him for his brand-new Bigger Than Jeezuz mixtape, and get me one, too!).

Scribes himself dropped an ill album in '06 (that I zzzzzzzzzzzzz'd on) called Sleepwalk. If you can't find it, you can cop it on his MySpace ( Trust me, give it a listen—dude goes hard and grabs your attention from word one, with a flow and ear for beats (from Sound Dialect and my man Sebino) that's both classically minded and original. I definitely look forward to hearing more from him.

- The Stranger

"Sportn' Life's 4-Star Friday, 206 Stand Up II, Ladies First"

On Saturday, February 2, the Vera Project hosts a show presented by the homey Scribes called 206 Stand Up II. This all-ages extravaganza brings together the talents of Dyme Def, Scribes, KnowMads, GMK, Solstice, and PhilHarmonic. It also features dance performances (you know the kids just love the dancin') from BYC, Miechia Taylor and the girls of Kutt'n'Up (Renton High School's dance team, son), Burgerlicious, and Samantha Hanson. And it's hosted by that dude of dudes Khingz of Abyssinian Creole (go pester him for his brand-new Bigger Than Jeezuz mixtape, and get me one, too!).

Scribes himself dropped an ill album in '06 (that I zzzzzzzzzzzzz'd on) called Sleepwalk. If you can't find it, you can cop it on his MySpace ( Trust me, give it a listen—dude goes hard and grabs your attention from word one, with a flow and ear for beats (from Sound Dialect and my man Sebino) that's both classically minded and original. I definitely look forward to hearing more from him.

- The Stranger


SeaCal Drive EP (2013)

What Was Lost (2011)
This album was #25 on KEXP 90.3 FM's Variety Charts and #3 on KEXP's Hip Hop Charts. It is currently for sale on iTunes and available for free download at

Summertime Sampler (2009)
This ep has gotten radio play and has been streamed on internet radio. The leading single is "Roll My Way".

Sleepwalk (2007- Engineered by Macklemore)
This album has gotten some play on radio stations in and out of seattle and also on different internet radio stations. The leading single is "Soully". "Reachin' " the final song on the album which features Macklemore recieved some airplay.

Music video for the song "Roll My Way" off of "What Was Lost":

Music video for the song "Pass You By" off of "What Was Lost":



Scribes is a Hip Hop and R&B artist from Seattle, WA who is currently living and active in LA. He is well known in the Northwest and is now up and coming in LA. Though independently established… He built a large following and gained the respect of listeners not only for his abilities as an unparalleled vocal talent (rapper/singer/lyricist) but also for being one of the hardest working talents in the northwest region. While constantly evolving as an artist, he has become known over the years for his unique Rap and R&B sound.

After finding success in the underground he realized he wasn’t in route to his true personal and professional goals. Knowing it was time to make an extreme change in the direction of his music and brand, in 2012 he began to seriously focus on redeveloping his sound. His recent project SeaCal Drive is a strong example of his growth.

Flawlessly mixing together both Hip Hop and R&B, Scribes is known for his greatness as a live performer. In the past he has sold out multiple notable venues as a headliner, opened for many big names, and was also a featured performer at both Sasquatch Festival and Bumbershoot. From House of Blues and The Troubadour to Bananas he has graced the stage all over LA and toured with artists such as Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Grouch, Zion I and others.

He also previously collaborated and worked with many notable names.. Ray Dalton, the members of Pearl Jam, Leezy Soprano, Freeway Ricky Ross, Jon Jon Augustavo, SOL, Jorge Peniche (Nipsey Hussle/All Money In), Macklemore, Bean One, JFK of Grayskul, and others.

Scribes is currently in the studio working on new music…


"he has a unique, half-R&B, half-rap style, and is clearly on the come-up."

- Chaz Kangas, LA Weekly

"This is dope."

- Shake,, regarding Scribes' album What Was Lost

"This @ScribesOne record is really impressive. Dope writing, raps, singing and beats. I'm inspired to hit the pad after hearing this"

- Macklemore, via Twitter, regarding Scribes' album What Was Lost

"This Seattle rapper’s 2nd album is an impressive set of straight-up, ’90s-influenced hip hop combining Scribes’ smart rhymes, confident flow and catchy, sing-a-long choruses with a variety of banging beats, most of them courtesy of acclaimed Seattle DJ/producer Bean One.”

- Don Yates, KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle 1/28/2011 (Program Director), Regarding What Was Lost

“This has been one of my favorite records from the town in the past few years. In fact, it’s one of my favorite “local” tracks that that we’ve played in Sound Session’s history, so it’s great to see it get some more shine through dope visuals. I think Scribes is the most underrated MC in Seattle, but hopefully that will start to change as more people hear his music.”

- DJ Hyphen, KUBE 93.3 FM Seattle… Regarding Scribes first single “Roll My Way”