On this episode of the world’s most important Hip Hop podcast — from the streets of NYC — all the streets — to the national palace in Norway, and now, to a world of rapping dinosaurs, another inspiring tale of entrepreneurial success on the Hip Hop tip. Check out my talk with MC, event host, and creator of Rhymosaurs, Zeps.
Though I knew him when I was running the now defunct Birthplace Magazine, an online publication that I created to cover New York-area Hip Hop, I really got to know Zeps — in Norway! I was there covering a Hip Hop theater festival in Oslo, called Speakerboxx, and there were a bunch of New York folks presenting some really innovative work, including Baba Brinkman, who’s been on this show, and the late, great Craig Grant, the brilliant actor and poet known as muMs.
I found it fascinating that Zeps was not only the festival host, but that it wasn’t a random booking. Zeps was pretty big in the Hip Hop scene in Norway — and yes, of course there’s a Hip Hop scene in Norway. Over the years, it was really interesting to see this Brooklyn-based indie rapper show up and rock New York’s fabled End of the Weak showcase, then host a festival in Oslo, then be freestyling on Jimmy Fallon. He was quite literally, everywhere, doing all kinds of things. Somehow, as I would find out later, often while working full time in the corporate world.
You know, as a speaker and Hip Hop advocate, I work hard to convince folks who are less familiar with Hip Hop culture that an authentic connection to this ever-evolving, creative, cross-cultural, inclusive phenomenon, gives you something of a super power when it comes to pivoting, to creating, finding or remixing opportunities that others might not see.
To make a dollar out of fifteen cents. To get in where you fit in.
And I often talk to young folks and let them know — even if you don’t end up a mega superstar, there are plenty of opportunities where your artistic and creative Hip Hop identity can make you some money doing what you love.
From streets and stages in NYC to living and working in Europe and now, as creator of a great children’s book series called Rhymosaurs, Zeps is as good a case study as you’ll find.
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