Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 and Sunday, May 23rd, 2010:
We had a few days off between our next show in Toronto and the show from Detroit. I had wanted to wake up early and head to Toronto for the TFC Vs New England Revolution game. I am a huge fan of the Revolution and I had never been to a TFC game at BMO Field. It turns out though that my time of when the game was starting was way off and I didn’t even wake up until after the game had started. I had then heard Dru talking about how Saturday mornings in the Eastern Market district are real crazy.
I decided instead to hang around Detroit for the next few days and see what it had to offer me. I ventured out into the farmers market for some fun and found a ton of suburbanites driving/walking around the outside marketplace. I had been told by Dru each time before that Eastern Market can get real hectic during the weekend but I had never been able to witness it for myself, until now. I found all kinds of fresh vegetables and meat from local farms and merchants who were in town for this specific day. Dru had decided to throw a cookout for us in the street! it was a great idea. I went around looking for cheap foods to purchase and cook for myself and the day went splendid. I actually met some randoms from the show that we performed at, I decided to get bold and ask if they had seen the show. They told me yes but didn’t mention if I was good or not, which in my world means I didn’t make the impression I wanted on them, maybe next time. I went out wandering around town for the next couple of hours looking for any cool spots to hit up. My favorite thing to do in Detroit as far as food goes is to get ribs from Slows BBQ. They have the best BBQ sauce which I have never seen or purchased anywhere else on the planet. If anyone knows where to get some apple flavored BBQ sauce please contact me! Also on this day I beat Mike Tyson in Punch Out, I then proceeded to have a revelation on my life as a rapper and that if I wanted to make it even further in this goal. I needed to start booking the next tour now for Europe! I’ll let you know how that goes.
The next day we left for the border to head towards Toronto for our show on May 24th. We were meeting up with our other and last tour-mate Jesse Dangerously, who according to him is a Halifax Rap Legend. The border crossing is probably the most hectic part of this trip and its only because of the fact we are trying to perform in Canada and don’t have the proper work permits so if we got caught with anything music related, we wouldn’t make the tour. This time around I had cleaned out my car before heading towards the border and just to make sure I got everything of rapper paraphernalia out of the car I had Brzo give it the thrice over. I was pleasantly surprised when the customs people did not give us a hard time, now mind you the previous trip through Canada I had slipped up and said some things to the customs patrol that gave them suspicion of us. We were heavily searched the last time through but we eventually let go and headed off for our tour. This time it was a smooth trip through, the border patrol asked if we had any issues coming into Canada before and we immediately said no. He believed us and we went ahead into Windsor. Now we just needed to get some Canadian money and head out to meet up with Jesse D. Now being from the states I don’t have an international plan, its just not economical for me to have it since I don’t frequently go to international locations on my own, and being as that I wasn’t tied down to anyone back home, I had no reason to call back to the states, everyone I needed to speak to was with me. The drive to Toronto was a glorious 5 hour drive I believe, what made it terrible is that I had literally broke my charge input on my GPS and only had so much battery life to get us to Toronto and we had no maps on board. Here is where I share a very important tip I learned this time around:
6. Learn to read a map: We got lost so many times due to the GPS malfunctioning or due to the lack of a good signal anywhere we had to be for a show. We had to buy a map for this tour and I am glad my dad taught me how to navigate when I was very young. so please purchase a map and always cross reference your map to your gps. It will save you quite the headache due to bad directions and lost time.
We arrived in Toronto late at night to a party at this place called “The Polish Bar” or at least that’s what everyone on this tour is telling me it is right now. We met up with Jesse Dangerously in the streets of Toronto with his GF. This was the first time I had ever spoke/seen/interacted with Jesse D and I was under this impression that he was a total prick due to the message-boards we frequented quite often within our own personal life. I was pleasantly surprised by his kind and quite reserved demeanor throughout that night, just a real genuine nice guy. We all rolled over to this bar and met up with Fresh Killz of the same crew that Jesse Dangerously is in (Back Burner), and had a few drinks with him. He had real high hopes for the next night in Toronto and that gave me a good feeling. We all caught up with each other since the last time we had been in Toronto. Jesse D and Killz got up while I decided to take in the environment around me, this bar was packed to the brim with strangers and good hip hop music. I was already in the zone for the next day.
Monday, May 24th, 2010:
We arrived at Chokeules house around 1am to his roommate coming home from her shift at the bar. She had no idea we were going to arrive that night, and while I tried to listen to her life story of how she biked around the country and lived in different parts of Toronto, I thought I would get ready for the show that night. I would like to take this moment to say that I had never hung out with Jesse Dangerously before this day, I mean I met him the previous night but we really didn’t get the chance to talk like normal rap human beings that are traveling together for a good cause. He had to finish a couple of tracks with his friend/crew member Timbucktu (Of Toolshed/Backburner) so we decided to get up with him and eat breakfast. I couldnt wait for this because I had not eaten anything decent in a few days since I left Detroit, I have another tip for you right here:
7. Bring Money: I know you think that by touring around the country and rapping for strangers that enjoy your music, you might make a good amount of money. But the truth is most people wont buy your product, ever. This was the first tour I ever did where I was bringing merchandise to actually sell to strangers and it was quite the difficult task to make people part with their money. I find it easier to just not depend on sales of anything and bring a small amount of cash to actually live off of while on the road. I feel you will learn this as well when you decide to take my journey.
So we get up with Tim at Grapefruit Moon Breakfast (or at least that’s what I remember it being called) to grab some decent brunch. This is the first time I have also met Tim, turns out most Canadian rappers know each other and are quite friendly with each other. Tim has worked with just about everyone in Canadian hip hop, acts such as Muneshine, D-sisive, Shad K, and many more. I was astonished by this built up respect for all genres of hip hop in Canada, they just seem to give a shit about each other and want everyone of them to succeed. Tim is probably the funniest Canadian I met on this trip (besides Jesse D) and I hope someday to travel across the states with this guy soon. He just says crazy shit like “Ahh lets fuck this road with the car!” or “We’re going to break a branch off the crazy tree and beat our dicks to death with it” this all brought great laughs for the rest of the 3 weeks we were on the road. We sat there and traded horror stories about being on the road, seems like we have all shared the craziness of the road. We all decided to go back to Tim’s place and while Jesse worked on some verses I decided to play and attempt to beat Super Ghosts N Goblins for Snes. This game is ridiculously hard and I never even got through the first level. This was the start of what would be an intense night.
We all decided that we wanted to go check out the Shad K in store in downtown Toronto at Sonic Boom. I had just found out about Shad a few weeks before I showed up in Toronto and I was/am a fan. This place was a pretty interesting record shop, it had a huge selection of range from Jazz to Hip Hop to Gospel. I walked around a bit before going into the downstairs area and getting ready for the in store. The place was PACKED! I had never seen so many non-rappers at a rap in store in my life. I was actually pretty jealous of the event, and just wanted to figure out what I was doing wrong with my music. But anyway I think I’m going to move this along.
The show was supposed to start around 10pm and I was the first on for the night, but the crowd decided that the show was going to start around 11:30pm. I sweated out the beginning of the evening outside trying to find a wifi link to make a phone call to someone who still cared about me. I never made that call, instead I ended up just reading news on the web at a street lamp and hoping to see some patrons come through the door. While we were all outside waiting on the crowd this homeless woman decided we all looked like people who might have some cash. She was being ignored by everyone that she attempted to talk to until she started talking to me. I felt bad for her so I decided to try and have a conversation with her about the night and such. She never asked me for money, but got too close into my personal space and I just felt so weird about the whole situation that I tried to dodge her, I told her I was a rapper and I had to run upstairs to get the show started. She decided to chase after me and try to enter the show, I don’t know how she actually got in without paying the cover but she must’ve been pretty persuasive to the doorman because she ended up inside and I tried to hide at the bar. I didn’t want to hurt the woman’s feelings but she scared the shit out of me. I cant handle homeless women being insane, I have enough crazy women in my life. I went through most of my set without an issue and to my surprise in front of an actual crowd. I guess I did real well cause I was greeted by everyone after I jumped off the stage. I met some wonderful people at this show. I hope they come back sometime soon. Jesse went next and I was actually excited to check out his set because up till this point I had never seen him live. He broke out the Theromine and started jamming out, it was very bombastic rap music and quite upbeat and fun. I was pleasantly surprised by it and was glad to be a tour mate of his on this journey. Brzowski set to the stage next and destroyed everyone as was his usual condition. I was ok with the result of this show and had just gained the respect of Jesse D, Tim, Choke and everyone else that was there that night. I guess it was onto the next.
8. Make friends with people: We stayed on random stranger’ floors quite a bit during this tour. I actually tend to spend my nights on strangers/fans/rappers floors while on tour. It saves money from spending it on hotel rooms, and It makes you learn about people more so then when you separate yourself from the people that came to your show. I have learned all about different trades and traits that strangers tend to share with me. It helps with the writing process as well.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010:
We had to head out for out show in Windsor, Ontario with our good friend Stephanie Copeland. She is a great musician from the Windsor area and a very talented electronic artist that has performed in many venues across the states and Canada. I decided that now would be a good time to replace my GPS at Best Buy. I had no money to begin with and now was spending into the red for this trip, I hate it when that happens to me. I wanted a Tom Tom but they were for some reason sold out. I wasn’t about to spend more money on a Garmin so I decided for the Insignia brand. I would just like to say right about now to anyone out there to never buy a Insignia brand GPS. I used it a total of 1 time before it had a fatal error occur, We relied on Jesse D’s phone for some direction to the venue (thanks Google!) and arrived on time for the show. I had previously mailed out my merchandise in Detroit to Stephanie’s house hoping it would arrive for the show in time. I didn’t know that all mail that comes from the United States has to go to Toronto first to be examined then sent to its destination. I only received one of my packages and still to this date have yet to receive my other package from customs dept. I still heart Canada but had to deal with not having any t-shirts for merch on this tour. We were playing the Phog Lounge this night and while some might give this venue shit for being tiny, I personally love the atmosphere at this place. The bartender remembered me and Brzowski from the last show we played there the previous year. The turnout was less then stellar for this show, and I was on the verge of losing my voice. I tried to keep it civil and hold it down as much as I could without giving it all. We actually sold quite a bit at this show and called it a win!
Part 4: The final chaptah!