Photo by

rat·che·teer·ing [rat-chateer-ing] verb: The act of overtly or passively encouraging inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature, typically without direct involvement.

In the hip-hop and party world, it really doesn’t take much to inspire thirst; certainly, Portland is no exception to the rule. Yet there is a distinct difference between the day-to-day levels of affection-seeking behavior in our nightclubs and the atmosphere created when national acts come around. Between the lack of major performers that make stops in the town, the general hyper-sexualization of rap music, and the seemingly inordinate number of groupies that call The Rose City home, visits by young touring recording artists are usually met with a maelstrom of increased D-riding.

I, for one, am all for it.

Take Tuesday’s Kid Ink show at the Roseland for example. The energetic, 26 year old, weed smoking, arguably light-skinned, heavily tatted rap-singer who rarely wears a shirt agreed to make a stop in Portland for the first of his five Northwest appearances in as many days… and it was nice of him to visit now, because in about a month, he’ll be off touring across Europe through at least the end of September. His album, Up & Away, features his hit single, Time of Your Life, and reached #2 on Billboard’s US Rap Chart. Last time I checked, girls like stuff like that. Next time I check, I’m sure they still will.

By contrast, guys don’t like it one bit. Imagine, if you will, being a young buck with a newly acquired attractive girlfriend who wants to go see a rap show because she thinks that the wildly popular headliner is hot. Shorty wants to live out a fantasy, but her achieving said fantasy is a really bad look for you. I mean, what are the potential outcomes? We’ll discuss them in order of travesty.

a)      Rap artist macks up your girl and she dumps you under the belief that he’s going to love her. This is the best situation you can hope for.

b)      Your girl gets pulled backstage by the entourage while you are left in the crowd. Her phone doesn’t get any bars in the green room so you can’t get a hold of her. She is returned to you, high, drunk and disheveled. She either won’t talk about what happened, can’t remember what happened, or worse, she says nothing happened… but you don’t believe her.

c)       In the worst overall scenario, your girl gets macked up and taken on tour for a few days (or weeks – during which her phone is again unreachable) before being suddenly returned to you with the admission that it was all a huge mistake and *insert rapper’s name* is an asshole and she only went with him because he was successful and/or attractive and you, by comparison, are not.

Given the above, one might ask why on Earth I endorse this increased ratchetry. I’m neither a famous rapper nor a thirsty woman, so what’s the deal? Let me introduce you to a concept known as “Trickle Down Maconomics”. Simply put, the higher the cumulative thirst levels in a given place, the better chance for everyone to score. Therefore, rather than fight the possibility that your lady might get snatched up and sullied by a heartthrob musician, the better course of action is to engage in what I call “ratcheteering” and increase the odds that you might pull a groupie as well.

A truly advanced strategy, ratcheteering is not for the faint of heart. If you’re swagless and/or lack a decent mouthpiece, you might as well just stay home and maybe bribe your girl into doing the same. If your girl looks like one of the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia or is shaped like a pineapple, then you should understand that your fears are unfounded, regardless of how much she jocks the visiting artist. Ugly and oddly-shaped girls aren’t allowed in VIP unless they are family friends of the promoter, so you and your behemoth are safe!

But if you are a rather normal guy with a lady-friend that might be slightly out of your league, or a swaggy single fella looking to get in where you fit in, defensive ratcheteering is the only way to go. Flirt, randomly bust out popular dances, tell inappropriate (not racial) jokes, compliment and smile at scantily clad women, give high fives, take shots, discriminately buddy up with the guys around you, and if at all possible, get yourself a backstage pass… or a fancy camera. If your girl is with you, she might just decide that you’re cooler than she thought, or at least become protectively jealous when she realizes that other girls think you’re cool.

In the unfortunate event that your efforts fail and you lose your girl to a superior player, just hope that enough ratcheteering has taken place that another thirsty chick takes notice of you. Remember, any chick that leaves you to get slutted by a rapper was not your chick in the first place. There are a lot of beautiful women lusting over the main act, but only a few will be chosen. The rest of the twitterpated bunch will settle for the leftovers.

Word to Ronald Reagan.


Your favorite ratcheteer,

Mac Smiff