Fri June 14
Meow Meow

I saw this hiphop show a while ago, and there were only a few people there, including the performers. Some of the entertainers played their hearts out regardless, dancing, switching and sharing mics when one cut out. Other performers yelled at the crowd to get their hands in the air, to call their friends, to respond to their angry shout-outs--and that sucked.

Madgesdiq is one of those performers that plays his heart out, regardless of the crowd: "I look at every opportunity as a way to get another listener or fan. You have to make it worth people's while to come out. It's all practice, anyway. People have to realize that's what you have to go through. You build a following from small crowds."

With a solo album coming out this summer produced by Mr. Brawn (aka Speechless), Madgesdiq is looking toward his musical future. I ask him if maybe he'd feel more comfortable in a place like Oakland, since Portland isn't exactly synonymous with hiphop. "I think it's a good time for the Northwest to shine. Oregon breeds intelligence--you have a lot of articulate and intelligent people here, and I'd never try to go and establish myself in LA. I represent Oregon. I've never followed anyone else. I think it shows a lack of originality."

Madgesdiq's slow, steady, casual rhyming gives you the impression that no one can rattle his cage, and he's so positive about his writing and emceeing, that no playa hata probably could. His lyrics are all about his life, and he doesn't make songs like a lot of people do--hearing one rhyme, looping it and making it into a catchy jingle. He creates a unique product from his experiences: "[My lyrics] are like my journal my life on paper."

After an attempted career as a professional basketball player overseas, Madgesdiq lost his passion for the game, and almost in the same day decided to become an emcee. "I've been feeling hiphop since age nine--since 'Rapper's Delight' came out, I've been freestyling. I decided to start writing in 1998 when I decided not to play basketball anymore, that's when I picked up a pen. Then the music just grabbed me."