Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Warlord Solomon “Raz” Simone’s Black Umbrella company received $83,250 for his recording studio in 2019.
The infamous 21st century warlord reportedly owns prime real estate and rental properties as well as having received an $83,250 grant from the city of Seattle to open a studio in a building he acquired via a third party loan.
Simone’s company, Black Umbrella, slowly grew to prominence with the help of partner Sam Lachow during the middle of the past decade after EP releases and touring, eventually grabbing the attention of top hip-hip CEOs Lyor Cohen, Todd Moscowitz, and Kevin Liles.
On the Black Umbrella website, the biographic for Simone reads:
Raz Simone owned a club by the age of 19, bought a Tesla, and still hasn’t made a cent off of a record; or even tried. He’s from the hood in Seattle, which most people don’t even know exists. He is also the CEO & founder of a music company called Black Umbrella. When he sings, raps or speaks you can feel how genuine, heavy & real each word is. He’s released 4 projects and several videos in the past 2 years.
The company itself hosts three artists and three producers in the Seattle area focusing on hip-hop.
Growing up, Simone told MTV that he didn’t have a radio and found his passion for rhyme through poetry. “Growing up I didn’t listen to any music, I didn’t listen to anything. I didn’t know who’s who or anything like that,” he recalled.
On the fund for Simone’s company, the Seattle Cultural Facility Fund writes:
The construction of a recording studio on the 2nd Floor of the building housing Black Umbrella will expand their programming capacity to include vocal, instrumental, and sound engineering opportunities, increasing Black Umbrella’s ability to fulfill its mission of fostering the growth and development of artists, providing a resourced community and driving force in the creation of a supportive, inclusive, and nationally vindicated hip-hop scene in Seattle. Additionally, Black Umbrella plans to host weekly drop-in studio hours free for educational use, and discounted rates for people within the community.
Simone also reportedly owns a fancy Tesla, Jaguar, and BMW–aside from his exclusive fashion line, smoke shop, and social club.
The Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was subject of broad controversy as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan slammed President Donald Trump’s offer to deploy the military to clear out the zone to restore order. Mayor Durkan called potential military intervention “unconstitutional” and “illegal,” while defending the makeshift anarchist commune as “peaceful.”
Over the weekend, the Autonomous Zone recorded a fatal double shooting as police were impeded to reach the scene by angry crowds. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best reported that 911 calls had more than tripled in the zone since the local police precinct was abandoned during the peak of the George Floyd riots in an effort to ease tensions.