|Tired and cold|
Touring life has caught up withme. From a mixture of a lack of sleep—the fierce prairie winds had been shaking the tent all night—and proper nutrition, I felt depleted. It was like when I went on canoe trips: there was always that point when I began to wish it would just end. But at least we were out of the bush and back to civilization. We arrived in Winnipeg that morning where we did some site seeing and much needed eating out.
|Chowing down on some tasty Ukrainian food|
We had been invited to camp out in a backyard in the city, but this was no ordinary acquaintance. He was rap record producer. Martin had contacted him over the internet looking for shows and instead he invited us to stay. Given my cranky-old-man disdain for rap music and culture, this experience was going to put me outside of my comfort zone.
Inside the house were four white males in their 30’s. The only person of colour was a young black female intern from the university of Lethbridge. Is this the modern face of Canadian rap ? We met the owner, named Shea, but hereafter referred to as Abstract. He wore low rise pants, a flat rimmed cap with the sticker still on it, and emphasized his ‘H’s when he laughed. Another rapper, named Matt, but hereafter referred to as Rash, commented on the lack of vaginas, as if we were expected to roll in with another carful of hoes.
|For some reason, hotels double as beer stores here|
Then there was Daryll, the only rocker of the group. He was happy because our presence no longer made him alone in his musical inclinations. He took us about the neighbourhood as we searched for meat and beer, talking with us about his music career and rock in general. He referred to a hipster band he knew from Montreal. Did he think we were hipsters? Indeed, wearing my plaid shirt and stylish blue shorts that day, I looked a regular Win Butler.
|So much meat!|
|Jamming, rapper style|
We returned to make a delicious meat dinner, a pleasant change from a diet of pasta and peanut butter sandwiches. Meanwhile, the rappers threw down some freestyle for us while Greg played along on the violin. Although I knew little about hip-hop, these guys seemed pretty legit. Soonafter, the others had departed for the bar, but we were going to stay behind and try some recording in the studio. Rash, in a state of early inebriation, was somehow left behind. Just as he left to join them, Rash boasted: “Yo fuck. I’m going to come back with seventeen vaginas,” to which I responded, “Well that’s good because there are five penises here.” Failing to understand the tongue and cheek nature of the comment, he began counting, “1,2,3,4,5, 10. There are 10 penises here." He then went on to state: "Yo if I don’t come back with a pussy later, I’m going to shoot myself.”
|The crew at the bar|
We arrived at the bar an hour or so later where the rappers had assembled. Rash, fortunately, was succeeding in his goal, cuddling and making out with a blond female on a chair. Surveying the group, I noticed that these were not the kind of girls I was used to hanging out with, not that they paid us much mind anyways. I spent the time thinking what to make of this group of people. Then Rash and the girl got up to leave. Her friends expressed concern: “Where is he taking her?” She was so drunk she could barely walk. Soon enough, they chased after them realizing his base intentions. Indeed, earlier in the night, Rash commented to Abstract, “Yo. I’m going to get some pussy tonight!” within an earshot of all her friends.
|Rash was doing push-ups in the middle of the road|
|Abstract was awesome|
The posse rolled back to house at 2. It was a long walk given the state of inebriation of the much of the group. Rash and his lady struggled with walking. When we got back, it was time for more free-styling. I was impressed by Abstract when he threw down a impassioned rap about why this music means so much to him. He rapped about how it had given him a house, a record label, and even an intern. The intensity was plain on his face as he rhymed. I have a lot to learn from these people. Fortunately, we will be here until Friday. More adventures are certainly to come.