Frank is good at telling stories. The Detroit-raised MC has been in town this week, recording tracks with Adlib (Alphabet Zoo), who’s probably Germany’s best hip hop producer, by the way. On Thursday he laid down You Don’t Have to be a Bitch, and even sang the Om’Mas Keith-esque hook. You wouldn’t think he’d be in the mood for singing any lyrics other than those. He’s had a few ‘misunderstandings’ with a local promoter. I guess that’s all part of the fun of touring, even if some MCs are created equal. As Frank put it, Ghost Face Killer doesn’t have to put up this kind of situation (he shared a line up with the Wu Tang Clan in Copenhagen last week). Frank is far from a diva. He’s remarkably calm and cool about it all. At the local Vietnamese he recounted the story of his two-month tour to China. One minute he’s being put up in an apartment in Shanghai, by a club promoter who’s doing a nationwide tour on account of being African-American and fluent in Mandarin, and as a consequence has the mad hook ups. Apartment, driver, all of that. The next, he’s at a festival at the Taiwanese equivalent of Spring Break – sleeping on a mattress that’s so old it crumbles when he touches it. The shower and the toilet are on one surface so instead of stepping in germs, Frank satisfies himself with what he calls a ‘bird bath’ from the sink. He dusts off a little corner of the mattress and curls up to sleep (having spent two days in transit), but is woken by the promoter at midnight to have some Taiwanese jerk chicken (BTW: jerk chicken in Taiwan, WTF? I have to go to Taiwan). Later, when he tries to sleep, a saucer-sized spider appears on the wall, and an ex-army marine with long natty dreads tells him “It ain’t no thing, go to sleep.” It a brave dread who isn’t afraid of a lickle (big) spider crawling upwards. But this arachnid seems to be making it personal. Later, Frank wakes up to find the spider sitting on the ceiling directly above his face. He goes to war with the spider, only to wake to the presence of a lizard. Now he knows whose footprints he had earlier spied on the soap in the bathroom. Luckily the ex-army marine had been sitting there all night, smoking a cigarette, keeping an eye on that damn lizard.
It’s a jungle out there for touring hip hop MCs.
Speaking of stories, support Frank, go cop his records (especially the forthcoming EP with Adlib), and if you are a Dilla fan, check Youtube: Frank ‘n’ Dank are the the protégés of this era’s most influential hip hop producer. So you know, they can really tell it like it was..