by James Allred

I met Dice on a spit of park under I5. It was our second or third time meeting. She welcomed me with a hug and a huge smile and then dapped me like a true friend would; no awkward miscues, or misreads on the sign language either.

If you didn’t know, I’ve been living in Seattle for the past four years. Extending the branches of WOH northward is something I’m excited about doing and so it was with the quickness that I asked Dice to meet. I’ve been hearing about her brainchild, Hip Hop Kitchen, for a while and I figured this the perfect way to finagle a spot at the table.

Born in California, Dice moved to Seattle about three years ago after brief stops in every offbeat, second tier city in Washington (shouts to ‘fucking Yelm’ lol). We sat in the rare sunshine and chopped it up about the city, the scene, coffee and good food.

When the conversation inevitably turned to Anthony Bourdain and HHK, she described her creation as “The Basement meets No Reservations”:

“HHK was originally started by me and 5-Flat. We shared a shitty little spot and had two laptops and a booth. We were always kicking it and making hella music, so we started having people over and freestyling while I would make food. It became a weekly gathering; we’d drink, smoke and freestyle…what opens up somebody’s mind like good food? It just puts people in a good spirit, and then, when everybody’s belly is happy, you can chop it up and make music together.”

Dice keeps a tight circle, but once you’re in, you’re family. The same warmth that she showed me here threads through her music with sweep and substance. During lulls in laughter, she spoke freely to me about her loves, ills and fears in a way that instantly endeared her to me. Plus, SHE RAPS! Well!

Her new album, “Reflections In Broken Glass” boasts production credits from the region]s heaviest hitters: Trox, Vitamin D, Brainstorm and MTK, among them. She’s keeping collabs in-house with features from Sol, 2nd Family and a few majors she’s keeping quiet. This is the first chance for people to really hear the “inner-deepest recesses of (her) mind” and the first time, she says, “it’s all me”. If experience is any indicator, RIBG will bear soul and invite you in.

Can I get a plate?

Hip Hop Kitchen will be hosted at The Nectar Lounge, tonight, August 25th. Doors at 8pm. $10 show. $25 VIP with food and beer. Food served from 8-10.

Dice has shows with Jean Grae on August 31st, and Opio/Aceyalone September 28th. If you would like to keep up with Dice (Facebook/Twitter, etc.), it’s @OnlyOneDice on pretty much every site there is.