In case you haven't heard, TOPR is an S.F. underground rapper with a rage problem, beloved by hip-hoppers and punks the nation over. In the midst of working on his seventh full-length, Afterlife Of The Party, as well as fronting a thrash-punk band on the side, he's here to share with us the keys to saying exactly what you want, when you want, and how you want, while staying in people's good books. It's a skill, people, it's a skill. So for those of you thinking of going into the loudmouth rapper business, here's how to do it and stay alive.
Use Ridicule as a Weapon
"If you offend someone, do not shy away from conversation. And by conversation, I mean confrontation. And by confrontation, I mean ridicule. The moment you get the sense that someone is being made to feel uncomfortable, hone in on that person with the unwavering focus of a meth addict rebuilding a carberator. Cleverness, although useful, is completely unnecessary. In fact, the more childish and moronic, the better. If said subject of ridicule has a signifigant other present, hit on them incessantly -- male or female. Make sure to talk about the offended person, as if they're not there, even if they're right next to you. Make sure there is no way for the disrepected party to be able to walk away without either, (a) punching you, or (b) regretting not punching you for the rest of their life."
Prepare for Face Punching
"Look, if you're the type of person
who goes around saying cringeworthy shit and never expecting to get
punched in the face, you're not even an asshole -- you're just a moron.
And if you think of something so funny and assholey that you know you
deserve to be punched in the face for it and then you don't say it for
that reason? You're just a total pussy."
Emcee Battles Are a Language Free-for-All
"It's not okay to be racist or sexist, as far
as the way you act and think in a civilized age is concerned. But language is
often constricted by those who are unable to critically discern between
the subtleties of usage -- such as intent, humor, context and whatnot. These
days, emcee battles have become more than a couple of kids meeting after
school to trade lines about each others' mothers -- both
parties agree to their involvement, and it's pretty much assumed anything
goes. In fact, to not go as extreme as possible is a sign of
weakness. With multiculturalism comes a certain understanding of each other -- when a multiracial group of kids
hang out, like my crew, clowning on race is a given, so I feel like battling actually breaks
down racial boundaries by being so upfront and extreme. It's a good
Know Your Audience
"It's difficult to gauge how upset people are with me when performing,
considering that my fans and friends throw bottles at me during songs as
a way of expressing satisfaction with my performance. Once, DJ Quest (my
regular live DJ for shows) couldn't make a date, so I had the OG homie DJ
Max Kane (of 4onefunk fame) fill in, and when one overenthusiastic fan
threw a bottle at me and I ducked, it headed straight for him. His
finely honed reflexes kicked in, and he
caught it in his hand as it flew violently towards his face. It was like
something out of The Matrix. He looked at me like "What the fuck?" and
immediately realized this was not a hip-hop show -- it was CBGB's circa 1977
and he better figure it the fuck out quick."
"I know rape isn't funny, but for some
reason rape jokes are. And I guarantee whoever is arguing with you won't agree with that -- which makes it funnier. How's that for irony, gay-ass Valencia Street hipster trash? And I don't mean gay in a 'I wish I could legally
marry the boyfriend that I fuck in the ass' kind of way, but in a '1920s,
television isn't even invented yet, I wear silly clothing and have no
idea of the hell to come' kind of way."
You Can Say Literally Anything If It Makes People Laugh
"If you can make someone laugh, you own a little part of them that,
no matter how much they want to hate you, they can never forget or deny.
I don't know if you're born with that skill and it's not like AIDS or something
you can catch from someone else, but it can definitely be learned or
honed or sharpened or whatever."
assholes with parrots, lizards, or snakes on their shoulders, or that one asshole that rides a giant unicycle around,
or that Mad Max-looking bitch with the Kevlar-plated laptop, are all
away at Burning Man and we don't have to deal with the
pretentious bullshit that comes with that whole crowd. I wish I could
drop a nuke and turn that ridiculous utopian playground into a sea of glass, so I might be able to once again stand in line at a taqueria without having to hear about the subtle intricacies of fire-spinning. Oh, and for the record, any adult that hula-hoops should be shot in the face with a cannon that shoots fire ants. And fire."