THAT RAP LIFE THO

Had anybody asked me at 18 where I’d be as an adult in my 30s, I probably wouldn’t have guessed still living with my fucking parents (Whom I love. Thanks for the free room and food!)… But I for sure would have never dreamed that on December 18th, 2015,  me and my crew would be dropping a Hip Hop Album!

I should confess that out of the whole “Runnin’ At The Mouth” crew (Mark James Heath, Marito Antonio Lopez, Jhanelle Dennis, and Kweku Winful), I am the least about that life. I love Hip Hop, but I have checked in and out periodically throughout the years. It may have been my instant  annoyance towards Southern Hip Hop, or my eventual weariness at being called a bitch a lot. Not sure. But every now and then, a fellow comic will ask me to suggest an album or artist they should give a listen to, and I will promptly change the subject, or direct them to one of my teammates. How then, did I get to be a part of this awesome group of people? Accidentally!

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Last winter, I was at a hotel  party attempting to make conversation with a comedian I was a fan of, Marito Antonio Lopez. Marito was having none of it. I’d say, “What’s new?”, and he’d counter with an aggressive freestyle verse about having a tiny penis… It was awkward as fuck. Especially since Marito would be making intense eye contact with me, while rapping… Which was made all the more uncomfortable due to the fact that  HIS EYES ARE ENORMOUS! They take up 75% of his face. I had 2 options, I could stare blankly at him and then walk away, or I could reply with a hook… And that was the birth of a song we like to call “Baby Dick”. If I should die tomorrow, I would like my tombstone to read, “I only fucks a nigga with a baby dick- Aisha Iman Brown, May 21st 1980-December 9th, 2015”. We hadn’t even decided to make it a song immediately, but every time I would run into Marito he would prompt me to sing that hook for people… Which amused him thoroughly, and  confused the relative strangers he made me croon for, as they lacked the context for this musical punchline. It was horrifying! But soon afterwards, Marito let me know that Mark James Heath, another comedian I adored, was game to make “Baby Dick” into the Hip Hop classic it would surely one day become.

Lyric video created by Pat Burtscher”Tha God”:

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I don’t want to gloss over the additions of Jhanelle “Aalyiah Reincarnate” Dennis, or Kweku “Business Tycoon” Winful, to Runnin At The Mouth. The truth is, I feel extremely lucky to work with every single comic in this group, and the comics who lent their considerable talents to the album (Dave Merheje, Keith Pedro, Big Norm, Kyle Hickey, Chris Robinson, Paul Thompson, Nick Reynoldson). I also need to mention how lucky we were to have found Pino Russo, who apparently was Marito’s manager at “Fresh”(Some healthy juice spot that seems to employ 80% of the artists in Toronto). He produced every track on this album, and is the entire reason that it sounds as polished and musically credible as it does. He is also the reason that I sound like I can sing (Ashanti and J. Lo! Contact Pino post haste!). I hate when people use the term organically, because it always brings to mind a farm run by middle aged hipsters… But this album for real came together organically. Which is odd. Because it has never been an aspiration of mine to be a rapper.

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As proud as I am of “Wit My Woes”, I am not delusional. While I have (hopefully) been able to mimic being a rapper, I am still very much a 35 year old aspiring stand-up comic, who can’t freestyle, and rarely drinks or smokes weed because she drives everywhere. I am more of a comedy soccer mom than a Nicki Minaj.  There are huge differences between the Aisha Brown who questions her life choices hourly, and the Aisha Brown who raps confidently about receiving cunnilingus from a zombie (Pussy Zombie, Wit My Woes, December 18th, 2015, on iTunes). For one, “Rap Aisha” says nigga way more easily and readily than real life Aisha… Who I should note, had never said it out loud before meeting Marito Lopez. Also, “Rap Aisha” has what sounds like a fairly active sex life with tiny appendaged men; Real Aisha can’t remember what it feels like to deeply regret sexual decisions from the night before. “Rap Aisha” calls out men who have wronged her; Real Aisha writes passive aggressive blog entries that she later deletes… This isn’t some kind of Sasha Fierce complex, where I have compartmentalized a different part of my personality and named it. “Rap Aisha” is not at all who I am in life, but it’s fun to pretend to be her. 

I have caught reflections of myself rapping while on stage, and it is usually sobering. I become immediately self conscious as I wonder what people who actually know me are thinking. My inner voice will sometimes say “Stop this! You are practically middle aged”, but that’s just my dad’s voice, which I’ve expertly tuned out for most of my life. I sometimes worry about pigeon holing myself as a rapping comedian… But I’ve been reminded by my teammates that I shouldn’t limit myself to suit the judgments and opinions of people who themselves have limitations. The truth is that good friends have been extremely supportive of this project, especially after hearing the finished outcome of months of writing and collaborating.  I am proud of my work, of my team, and of this album. 

So, this is where I get real Hip Hop, and shamelessly promote our album, by inviting you to our album release party. 10 PM on December 19th, at the Social Capital Theatre. It will be a fun night, where amazing comics Alex Pavone, Nick Reynoldson, Steph Tolev, and Ian Gordan will open the night with stand-up… Runnin At The Mouth (and friends) will perform some songs off of the album; and this comedy soccer mom will pretend she’s a rapper and make some calculated mistakes. Come Out Baby Dicks!

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Written By,

Aisha Brown

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