Rap shows. A rare occurrence in the Northwest? Definitely not. A strange occurrence? Yup.
A rap show in the Northwest is like a rap show in no other city—a mix of Austin and D.C., if I had to give an example. White girls wearing white wife beaters and fitted caps; with skinny jeans, straggly hair, and dreams of tattoos [read: not music video hoes]. And two types of guys: the gangstas (or gangsta wannabes) and the nerds. The gangstas are typical, with saggy jeans; loose red, blue, or black t-shirts; Jordans with matching fitted caps; two chains; and a hand or neck tattoo. Nerds show up to Northwest rap shows in flannels or fitted comic tees; skinny jeans with cool belts; maybe an accessory like glasses, a playful watch, or bright hat. Regardless of style, both parties equally appreciate the lyricism and musical talent of hip-hop; and both parties can still take a tip or two on what NOT to bring to a rap show.
1. Saggy pants
First and foremost, gangstas, learn from the nerds on this one. Saggy pants are out. I think that most of you understand that baggy pants are out, but let’s come all the way and agree that saggy is out as well. Wear your pants low and comfortable; but with your entire—E.N.T.I.R.E.—butt out? That’s unnecessary. And unflattering.
Sure, many rap shows (particularly local artists hosting in the Northwest) are all ages. However, that does not mean all ages are really welcome. That means 19 and 20-year-olds are welcome. Even rap shows that occur at one o’clock in the afternoon in a park should not have children at them. One, they are not kid-friendly environments, take them to a Wiggles concert. And two, you’ll look like a bad parent. So, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
In case this isn’t obvious… Do not bring guns (knives, or other weapons) to rap shows. If you get angry, start (at most) a fistfight. There should be no need for packing at a rap show in the Northwest—especially a Matty show!
I shouted-out the gangstas and their saggy jeans; so, this one is for the nerds. Do not bring your iPad with you to a rap show. You don’t look cool with it out, you look extra nerdy. And you don’t look sneaky with it in your bag, you look like bait.
5. Back pack
In fact, don’t bring a bag or backpack at all to a rap show. Lady show-goers should do what I do, put your ID, CC, and lip gloss in your pocket. And men, if I can do it, you can too. Bringing any sort of bag causes problems outside the door (security will check your bag and hold up the line) and inside the door (your backpack will be hitting the-guy-in-front-of-you’s chest all night).
Need someone to take to a rap concert? Take a homie. Need someone to take to a Coldplay concert? Take your girlfriend. Everyone (girlfriend-included via reverse psychology) will respect you more.
7. Your mom
Similarly, do not take your mom to rap concerts. I know the temptation. My mom has a thing for The Kid Espi, and he eggs it on. If I actually brought her to a show though, I know it’d be a different story… I hear Espi now, “I didn’t think you’d actually bring her!” Just like children and girlfriends, mothers do not belong at rap shows. Buy her a hoodie and let that be as close to the show as she gets.
8. Your demo CD
Everyone—no exaggeration—had a demo CD at SXSW. (Shoot, I was even trying to push SillyCristina!) So, it was at SXSW that I realized the demo CD must die. I collected 20+ demo CDs, and guess how many I listened to? Zero. In fact, guess when the last time I listened to a CD was? 2008. Give out your Twitter handle, website, or even an mp3 demo on a thumb drive, but don’t give out an actual demo CD.
9. Business cards
Likewise, don’t give out business cards at rap shows. If you’re a publicist, sure; but if you’re another rapper, leave the cards at home. Again, give out your Twitter handle, website (buy an easy-to-remember domain), or even an mp3 demo on a thumb drive, but don’t give out business cards. Think about it… What do you do with business cards you collect at rap shows?
10. Your desire to cypher with the performers
Wanting to cypher post-show with the performers is the male version of a groupie. Just don’t do it.