Unstereotypical Rappers

I've been fortunate enough to meet, on separate occasions, two unlikely rappers in my life.

The first was a guy I used to work with at Baskin Robbins. He was a white guy in his mid-20's (I'm going to go ahead and apologize for any stereotypical remarks I make in this post, but you have to acknowledge that most stereotypes are there for a reason...) who dressed sharp and took his job seriously, even at Baskin Robbins. A little bit shorter than average, his hair was slicked back and he spoke properly.

Then, one night as we were closing, he told me he did a rap demo with two other guys that was going to be on the radio. We stayed a little late so I could hear it and it sounded good. He told me about the time he sang karaoke and had the whole place jumping -- it seemed he had skills. This was the same guy who, when a typical middle-class family (complete with 2.5 kids) walked in, said, "That's going to be me one day." Not what typical main-stream rap songs are about these days from what I can tell...

The second was lately. I visited my friend Julia at the Starbucks she works at and was introduced to her friend Jonathan Denmark (www.jonathandenmark.com). He told me he was a musician, which made sense considering his dress and demeanor -- pretty hip for LA standards, a white-guy sitting in a Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon with his laptop -- so I assumed he was in a hipster indie-rock band. Nope. He's a hip-hop artist. Then I assumed that maybe he just wrote the beats for other, more stereotypical rappers. I checked out his website and it's just him, up there rapping like a pro. It turns out that Denmark is great! I'm not really into hip-hop, but his stuff is super good! He also has made several music videos that are pretty interesting. I downloaded his free EP and you should too!

So there are several morals to this story, all too cliche to mention. You can figure them out though and remember that people are almost always surprising and definitely worth getting to know.