When the founders of local breakdance group Massive Monkees were teenagers, dance and hip-hop culture in general were a productive and unifying focus for them. “We weren’t saints,” says crewmember Brysen “justBe” Angeles, “but the time and energy we put into being the best crew we could be meant we weren’t out running the streets.” Since then the group of 29 b-boys and b-girls has shared the stage with an A-list of hip-hop acts—LL Cool J, Ludacris and Public Enemy—and ruled at a number of international dance competitions. But a permanent studio for practice, classes and performances proved elusive to the nimble, super-fly crew. Help from Seattle Storefronts in December 2012 scored them a free temporary stint in an empty space in the International District, which they named The Beacon, as an ode to Beacon Hill, where the group was formed. A successful Kickstarter campaign raised more than $32,000 in the spring of 2013, paving the way to make The Beacon permanent, and in August the group signed a long-term lease, securing a guiding light for the next generation of pop-and-lockers.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.