I have been stalking Watsky for the last six years. He’s a tricky one, I tell you, evading me every chance he gets. But the joke is on him because tonight he’s on my turf, performing right here in Madison at the High Noon Saloon at 9:00pm (tickets here).
Here I am in my tent, camped out in front of High Noon Saloon in order to ensure me a spot front and center at what is sure to be the show of the year. The Wi-Fi isn’t the best, but I’ll do what I have to do. It’s a labor of love.
What makes me such a huge fan, you ask? Watsky is a poet and rapper whose body of work has always been nothing short of rock solid. He started to turn heads in 2006 as the Youth Speaks Grand Slam Poetry Champion and Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion. Since then, I’ve watched his career grow and change as he explores new and different styles. Though the product has varied as he’s grown as a person and an artist, his work has always be rooted in his strong voice, views, and sense of humor.
Watsky was born in San Francisco, attended Emerson College in Boston, and now lives in Los Angeles. When his career began, his interests were more heavily focused on poetry. Now, don’t give me the side-eye. Though the slam poetry crowd is usually thought of as stuffy and sullen, Watsky completely turned the scene on its head with his energy and quirky sense of humor. He was then featured on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, a major accomplishment for any performing poet, not to mention one still in college.
You may have seen the YouTube video titled “Pale Kit Raps Fast,” now titled “Watsky Raps Fast”, which has been viewed over 20 million times clearly making him a YouTube sensation, which everyone knows is the new American dream. This video eventually landed him an appearance on the Ellen show, where he was charming and lovable as always.
He wasn’t just making big waves in the poetry world. He was also doing his thang in music. Watsky was part of a three man group named Invisible Inc. before going out on his own with self-titled solo debut. The album was a flawless transition from poetry to hip-hop, blending his spoken word with chill beats to create a great first solo effort.
Last summer he released a mixtape called A New Kind of Sexy. In the days leading up to its release, I wasn’t sure how to feel because there’s no such thing as a mixtape that’s just “good.” They’re either incredible or a total crash and burn wreck. A mixtape is basically an artist’s way of keeping fans satiated between albums with a little side project acting as a taste of what’s to come.
When I finally got my greedy little fingers on A New Kind of Sexy, I was floored. I popped it in my car and was immediately met with big beats and soaring melodies. Watsky had definitely stepped up his production game. Not only that, but he was back with a flow that was sicker, braver, and more brazen than ever before. A New Kind of Sexy was the perfect summer surprise.
Now, he’s back with a new mixtape, Nothing Like The First Time. From the very first track, titled “Ninjas In Paris” (an obvious nod to the Jay-Z and Kanye West track of a…similar…title), he showcases his rap chops and skills as a lyricist with a cadence that will make your head spin. The record is filled with diverse beats that are at once addictive and at some times head-scratchers, but infectious all the while. He has a way of always keeping you guessing and at the same time thirsting for his next move. And I am the thirstiest of all.
You can’t miss Watsky’s show. His energy on stage is bananas and if you’re not too familiar with him when you get there, you will be by the time you leave. All of his mixtapes are free downloads too, so do your homework people! He’s literally just giving it to you!
So get yourself here by 9:00pm, and if you’re in the area beforehand, bring a bottle of water to my tent because I am getting delirious out here in this heat. It will all be worth it when I am just inches from Watsky. This night is going to end with me getting an autograph or a restraining order, but you’re gonna have to come to the show to find out.