SEATTLE — Seattle rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot is partnering with other artists to help music venues in Washington state survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Live music venues like The Crocodile and Neumos in Seattle were some of the first businesses to close due to COVID-19 and they will be the last to reopen under Washington's Safe Start plan.
"I hope that people realize that these are real businesses," said Sir Mix-a-Lot, "They are not just shady rooms with some big rich guy sitting on top of a mound of money bringing in artists every week - no, that's now how this works."
That's why Sir Mix-a-Lot and other Seattle artists like Pearl Jam and Macklemore have partnered with Keep Music Live, a COVID-19 relief fund for small, independently owned venues across the state.
Keep Music Live is trying to raise more than $10 million to provide venues with critical financial support for expenses like rent, insurance, staffing, PPE, and safety modifications.
"We're trying to make sure it's not about us, the artists, but it's more about the people that this is their way of life, how they live, how they pay their rent," said Sir Mix-a-Lot.
He also said it's not just about saving the music venues, but the small businesses and communities that thrive along with those venues.
"For every ticket that sells, an average of $32 is spent elsewhere," said Sir Mix-a-Lot, "whether it be the coffee shop before the show or a restaurant, pizza after the show, the neighborhood is what it's all about and it's the soul of Seattle."
"I give artists advice, but if they have no where to polish their craft, Seattle will change, the ecosystem is huge," said Sir Mix-a-Lot, talking about the vibrant music community in Seattle.
People interested in donating or learning more about the project can visit Keep Music Live's website here.
"Keep Music Live Washington, that's what it's about, man, look us up, donate, don't give me nothing, just take care of your city," Sir Mix-a-Lot said.