Published: November 22, 2006
Doing as I was ordered to do, I, along with the rest of the patrons of the Gutter Lounge, lifted my arms in front of me, let my hands fall limp at the wrist, and groaned like a hungry stomach at the dark figure standing in the pale green light of the stage.
The man, sporting a backwards ball cap and a black T-shirt that read “W: War Criminal,” began to shrink back. In a voice that seemed appropriate for representing the Lollipop Guild, he screamed “Stop! It’s too scary!”
Such was MC Chris and the bizarre games he played with us during his set. Sometimes he’d ask us to pretend to be zombies, sometimes he’d ask for Rap Hands so that he could feel like Eminem in Eight Mile, and at one point he requested that everyone hold their cell phones in the air and sway them from side to side like a mock arena rock concert.
Aside from the games, Chris would also interact with the audience through irreverent banter between songs, topics ranging from his opinion of certain current video games, to his frustration with hitting on girls that turn out to be married.
His stand-up routine, which served to introduce the songs as well as connect with the tons of people packed into the tiny, intimate venue, could easily be recorded and given its own hit record.
As it stands, MC Chris has already released four records filled with his trademark super quick, super funny rap music.
The songs take a stab at the different issues that arise in the life of a nerdy white dude, and are delivered in tongue twisting, munchkin-pitched flows. This goofy yet sophisticated style has earned the rapper returning roles on the hit cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force (as well as the upcoming ATHF movie), and another Adult Swim series, SeaLab 2021.
His beats are composed by a friend who was also present on the stage, sitting behind Chris at a tiny table, resting his head in his hands and tiredly selecting the tracks from a laptop.
Ironically, his detached demeanor was the perfect foil for Chris, who was very much into his music and the crowd. (I wondered if it was planned that way.)
The beats themselves are hyperactive and catchy, occasionally including samples from such bands as The Misfits and Cypress Hill.
The show had to be one of the coolest I’d ever seen. Chris had the best charisma, and in a venue that small everyone was a part of the show. Even his nerdiest songs, like Wiid (pronounced “weed” but spelled like the new Nintendo gaming system), and Fett’s Vett (telling the story of Star Wars’ cult icon, Boba Fett) are enough to rival any radio rap act.
The amazing thing is, as he explained towards the end of the show, Chris has never relied on a label. Think about that. His album was in the Top 10 on iTunes, beating out even the Black Eyed Peas, and he’s never been signed.
The lights went down, and MC Chris thanked the crowd for coming out. Then he crouched down at the side of the stage for a few seconds and told us that he was going to come back for an encore, but since the stage was surrounded, we’ll just pretend he left and chant his name.