Snak the Ripper at Regina's 306 Shop. All photos courtesy of the author
This article originally appeared on Noisey Canada.
West Coast rapper and Stompdown Killaz (SDK) leader Snak the Ripper has been a rising star in Canada’s underground hip-hop scene. With news of a forthcoming album, legions of fiending fans have been waiting and snorting up new music releases into their brain cavities. Snak is poised for a takeover. Much like Drake did in 2010 before he blew up, Snak came to the cultural mecca of Regina, Saskatchewan to play a show along with emcees Junk, Golden and countless local acts. The show took place in the basement of 306 Shop. The store is special because it has a skatepark in the basement. Wanting to remind me of my mortality, Noisey sent me there to experience a Snak the Ripper concert.
I descended two sets of stairs into 306 Shop’s tomb-like belly laden with merchandise and weed paraphernalia. Teen-like humans greeted me with their musk of energy drink and vapist vibes. I briefly considered purchasing a large bong in front of them to establish my dominance, but a gang of intoxicated youths scared me away with their piercing eyes. It was as if they were staring me right in my vulnerable auto insurance premiums. Entering the skatepark at the back of the shop, the place thumped with boom-bap bass and the voice of an angry amateur rapper warming up the ramp and stair-set stage. I immediately spotted a mother standing at the bottom of a drop-in rocking a crying baby.
Some of you are jumping to conclusions. Foolishly, you’re thinking the baby was crying because the music was too loud or it was past junior's bedtime. Both of those reasons are incorrect. Here is a scientific Venn diagram showing exactly why the little guy was upset:
Such a judgemental baby. I thought some of the local acts were fine. The show was technically all-ages, so I had absolutely no criticisms to level at that mother. But her baby was pretty rude for killing Snak’s vibe before he was even on stage. I hoped the developing fetuses within the many very pregnant women also at the show were taking notes.
Right on cue, a drunk man rushed onto the stage. Correction: Not just a drunk man; the Drunk Man. Drunk Man’s blood-alcohol level achieved the high score on every level throughout the entire Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise. Here is Drunk Man spotting me at the start of the night with my camera, an irresistible opportunity for his kind.
Here is Drunk Man during a shirtless moment of glory on stage.
I couldn't quite understand what he was saying, but I assume he was thanking the veterans for defending his way of life.
Here are the remains of Drunk Man (not pictured) after getting leveled off the stage by a bouncer in a green shirt.
RIP, Drunk Man.
Later, Drunk Man woke up from death and one of the opening acts, Junk, brought him on stage for a speech. Again, his exact words were indiscernible, but I believe he shared a recipe for rhubarb pie. Junk listed the merits of smoking marijuanas in his raps; I took notes. Delighted and tweaking teens watched while tripping down ramps and over handrails. Breakdancers did work on the particle board obstacles surrounded by graffiti emblazoned walls. This was SDK paradise.
Around this time, a bunch of Hells Angels entered the venue. The Hells Angels, a notorious biker gang of dads who could most definitely beat up your dad, are a common sight at local concerts. Usually they are seen at dad-rock shows, but apparently they are fans of the SDK hip-hop movement. They set up a card table in the middle of a halfpipe and hopefully thought about fun rap stuff and not about stabbing the shit out of any journalists who might be documenting their evening.
The Hells Angels supporting Canadian hip-hop and not wanting to kill anyone.
The emcee Golden took the stage. He is a recent signee to Snak’s Stealth Bomb Records label and a missing fetish category on Porntube. Golden is a freak. I reflexively cleared my browser history after seeing him, but I liked it and might one day work up the courage to introduce his music in the bedroom. Pointing out a homemade tattoo he got on his torso during an intoxicated moment in his past, he encouraged the crowd to “get buckskin pony,” which apparently means to excessively party. No one has ever used that term in real life. If anyone adds “get buckskin pony” to Urban Dictionary, they will be thrown down a well full of broken glass and mercury.
Golden, a Canadian rap species.
Snak the Ripper arrived and the SDK heads rushed to get closer, causing a sloppy avalanche of bodies down skate ramps. Snak said, “I heard someone brought their baby out here tonight. Raise them early,” likely referencing one of my (brilliant) live Tweets. His fans cheered and the baby shotgunned a Texas mickey of Drano.
When Snak asked the audience for a drink, Drunk Man dutifully rolled onto the stage with a cold gift for his leader. Drunk Man drained a beer all over himself in support and faded back into his SDK family. They sparked joints, causing scavengers to swarm the area for a dirty group hug, as Snak performed hits like the drinking song “Yup” and the turn-up anthem “Vandalize Shit.” The crowd sang the words and took swigs from communal liqueur bottles; their hearts beat to the rhythms of their Canadian hero. Snak is a voice for misfits that hang out in dingy basements and can’t afford babysitters.
He ended the night by playing some new tracks off his soon-to-drop album, From the Dirt, while taking photos with fans. One of the new songs, “Fuck the Internet” featuring Ill Bill, might reference–among other things–the Madchild beef from last year, while “Memories” is a song about Snak’s struggles coming up. In it, Snak says his life is “kinda like a movie” now. After witnessing the madness of a Ripper show, it’s a movie I would watch again, hopefully one day with my kids.
Devin Pacholik has been Drunk Man seven times in his life. Follow him on Twitter.