Tristan Michael Pelton

Student Historian

Tristan Michael Pelton is a senior at the University of Washington. He is studying English. He also hosts a local hip-hop oriented radio show on the UW radio station: Rainy Dawg Radio. He has been involved in various pro-underage music programs, particularly as a writer and editor for the all-ages website Mercurialsound.com. He also is vice-president of a local community group which eases the transition from high school to college for local students called Tyee Alum Group. His career goals include writing a book about the history of Seattle hip-hop.

Mary J. Blige (1971- )

When Mary J. Blige was born on January 11, 1971, in The Bronx, New York, few observers would have imagined her becoming one of the most successful rhythm and blues (R&B) artists within a musical world increasingly dominated by hip-hop. Blige’s father abandoned the family when she was four.  She … Read MoreMary J. Blige (1971- )

Def Jam Records (1984- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Def Jam Records, created by hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons, is one of the most successful black-owned record labels in the history of the United States.  Its success and influence on music and popular culture are paralleled only by Motown Records in … Read MoreDef Jam Records (1984- )

Sean “Diddy” Combs (1970- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Born November 4, 1970 in Harlem, New York, Sean “Diddy” Combs is a multi-platinum selling producer, rapper, and successful record company executive. Combs was raised in Harlem, where his father was killed when Combs was three.  His mother moved the family … Read MoreSean “Diddy” Combs (1970- )

Motown Records

Kim Weston (with microphone) and Other Early Motown Entertainers, 1963 Image Ownership: Public Domain Founded in 1959 by former auto-worker and songwriter Berry Gordy, Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, Motown Records would become the most successful black-owned record label in history. After co-writing hits for Smokey … Read MoreMotown Records