I’ve been a street rapper for years. When I say street rapper, I don’t mean I’m from the streets and I’m all thugged out, I was raised on a farm. What I mean is I street perform for cash by rapping. I got into it when I was homeless so I could make money to buy sandwiches. I was gonna be freestyling all day anyway so I figured I might as well do it in a busy area with a donation box in front of me.
The spot I picked was on 8th and Idaho in Boise in front of this big corporate banking firm type place. The second day I went out I sold a couple cds to some skater kids for sandwich money. About 15 minutes later a cop rolled up and gave me a ticket for illegal vending. Someone inside must have saw me and called him because they didn’t want me street rapping in front of their big fancy corporation. I didn’t have cds laid out or a booth or anything. I was just slangin em out of my backpack. I wound up with a fine for 800 dollars. The cop said I could take donations but that it was illegal to sell cds. So out of spite, I went back to that spot and street rapped 3 or 4 times a week for what must have been about 5 months all day during business hours. I met alot of cool people, pissed alot of people off, and ate alot of sandwiches. The funniest part was when idaho gangster rappers would try to battle me.
What kind of society do we live in when all kinds of harmful things are legal to sell but a guy can’t sell a rap song for a sandwich?
I’m out in Portland for awhile and its a pretty good place to street rap. I went out the other day and scored 28 bucks. The rain sucks but I like it when its overcast becuase I sunburn easily.
If your an emcee interested in making money for sandwiches while rapping or you just want to street rap for fun, there are a few approaches you can take. If you wanna go big so people can hear you a block away, I suggest buying a Roland Micro Cube. They kick out alot of a good amount of bass. However, if your on the street rapping with out a microphone when no one is there you look insane. Plus if your a homeless emcee rapping for sandwich money you probably can’t afford a mini amp from guitar center. For the more casual approach, I suggest rapping with no mic and a cool lookin boom box. It makes you almost blend in like your some guy rappin along to Lil Jon because he has nothing better to do.
When I first got into street rapping I was trying to slang cds so I just did my set over and over again but whats really fun is freestyling. I like to freestyle and if some one ask me to do a written song I’ll bust one out or maybe just freestyle and do a written song once in awhile. I started out freestyling over Doom instrumentals but then after awhile I got into freestyling over nothing but drum machine beats. It has a raw feel that reminds me of freestyling over someone beat boxing.
If your in the portland area maybe you’ll catch me street rapping down around Pioneer square. I’ll be the guy who sounds like Katherine Hepburn.