Sunday, October 28, 2012

MC Gigs

In the year 2000, my girlfriend at the time, Rosalie, had family who lived on Roosevelt Island.  Her little brother Willie, age 14, had this little hip-hop crew going and they'd visit my apartment from time to time. They were just sort of doing it as a fantasy thing -- I think all their friends were part of some sort of rap group even if they barely listened to rap, never mind rhymed. Willie was supposed to be the DJ, Willy Wonka, but he couldn't really cut, and I don't think he had any records. The other 3 maniacs in his crew were rappers, led by a 16-year-old Polish kid who went by Arcane. They didn't have a name for the group, so I offered up the name Ghettoblasters, which they were happy to go with.

To the young ear, Arcane could rap.  Freestyle even.  He was hype off the recent success of Eminem, but was more into the underground stuff, like the backpack rapper Esoteric.  He looked in Roget's Pocket Thesaurus for synonyms of the word esoteric and found his name, Arcane.  He was a very nice kid, and pretty focused, but his rap style didn't interest me at all.  I recorded a bunch of his rhymes, but I didn't wind up using them.

The next up rapper was age 15 and called himself Gigs.  Gigs was a Black kid, with a lisp, and a raspy voice.  He looked like Grover.  To me he had a natural, excellent rap skill and easy charisma.  He was funny.  But he was the opposite of focused and he definitely didn't have the rhyme or vocab skills necessary to step up and annihilate Arcane -- but I sat with him for two afternoons, recording a little bit at a time -- and the rest of the crew were good enough to contribute to his notes and get him through enough passable raps for the two Gigs tracks that I wound up stitching together.

It would be criminal not to mention the other rapper, Big Mike, a chubby 13-year-old white kid, born and bred on RI, who I think was probably the most into hiphop out of the 4 of them.  He was wild and funny but he just couldn't deal with the mic when it came down to actually recording.  I barely have his voice on any of my old Zip Disks.

Here are some of Gig's notes that I've saved over all these years. 

PARENTS BEWARE!  There are some bad words and a weird drawing of a building shaped like a penis.

That's Arcane's tag on the top but the raps are Gigs'.