Southside rapper Flaco discusses performing, the state of the art of hip-hop, and Muncie.
Flaco is part of the collective Bored, which performed at the White Rabbit. Chreece-goers would have seen his stand on Prospect Street between New Day Craft and The Fountain Square library. Flaco hung out all day with fans, selling CD’s and art created by his friend Tim Tom.
Flaco went to school at Ball State but now lives on the south side. Flaco started rapping in 2010 and has since released four albums, including a concept album titled “The Misadventures of Kobe Gordon,” combining Kobe Bryant and Jeff Gordon.
We talked with Flaco about Muncie, music, and what Chreece meant for Indianapolis.
Where are you from?
[I was] born in Denver, moved to Indy when I was young, went to high school on the south side. Then I went to Ball State for college, and I’ve recently moved back to the south side of Indy.
How is the rap scene in Muncie?
Man, Muncie is dope. It’s so beautiful. Except some fucking asshole brought a whole bunch of heroin and dropped it right in the fucking middle of Muncie. That’s fucked up, and it’s all man-made. You reach for the pills if you can’t get smack.
What are you expecting from Chreece?
Exposure. I’m not looking to do anything, just expose the city to what’s going on and getting a few more loyal ears. It’s so dope, because it’s working on the business-side, a lot of the local businesses and a lot of the local movers and shakers, to come together and network. It’s so awesome. So it works musically and business-wise for the city.
Where is the music scene now, and where will it go?
The dope thing is [that] I don’t know--that’s the best thing. It’s a “choose your own adventure;” it could go any which way. That’s what intrigues people about scenes that are coming up: you don’t know if it’s going to blow up. All you know is that something’s happening.
How’d you get into rapping?
Honestly, I was dead set on going to college. I wanted to be a communications major. That fell through; I had a horrific first semester, and I was on the verge of dropping out. My roommate had GarageBand on his laptop and he recorded some stuff and I was like , “You can just do that on your lap top? “ I’ve always been a writer, so I just gravitated toward it and kept going it at. As far as inspiration, I just wanted to see how good I could get. That’s my ultimate passion: to see how far I can go, going to the next level.
When exactly did you start?
2010. I was posting dumb little raunchy freestyles on Myspace. I got addicted to the high of completing something. 2010 was when I dropped my first project, Onboard Soldier Mixtape, and I’ve just kept going.
We’ve got a great scene…
Yeah, people can feel it in their balls. Fountain Square is pushing that forward. You can feel that energy in the air. Now more than ever people are inclined to at least listen, and that’s huge. If we can get the students of IUPUI to merge with the local scene it’s going to be retarded. Quote me on that--retarded.
How do you see the day going?
A lot of people, when I told them it was a hip-hop festival, they were like, “Ohhh.” It was their initial knee-jerk reaction. I mean, I understand what the reputation of hip-hop has garnished, but at the same time there’s such an eclectic mix of sub-genres and ideas in hip-hop that you can’t be bored. These are hand picked motherfuckers; these aren’t motherfuckers who just threw on baggy jeans like “let’s get it.” These are guys who have established [themselves]. It’s going to be tight, man, people are going to enjoy it.
What do you think of it being in Fountain Square?
To tell you the truth, it’s what Broad Ripple tried to be, the same type of artistic-meets-the-street edge. But Broad Ripple got super gentrified. Fountain Square is real. I mean, two blocks that way it’s the hood, three blocks that way it’s the hood. Embrace that, because it’s making Fountain Square more unique than anywhere else. It doesn’t cross the line of scary--it’s just real. With Fountain Square, it’s just come as you are.
How do you get into the headspace to perform?
I used to get real nervous and do some Eminem 8 Mile--like look at myself in the mirror and say “You’ve got nothing to lose, go for it” -type shit. You know, super embarrassing. Important moments where you have to figure out a way to get through it. People don’t consider the day you had or the week you had or the month you had and all the shit for you to get to this moment. Now I can just zone the fuck out. At first it wasn’t easy. Alcohol: you always go to the liquid courage. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. Every night is different.
Is it hard to network in Indianapolis?
I think that the people who are successful don’t want to give the keys to the plans of success. When you get your name built, some don’t want to invest it back into the community. It’s hard for a lot of businesses and cultures to do that.
When was your first show?
It was in Muncie at a punk house party. The people I played for didn’t fuck with hip-hop, only punk rock; they hated hip-hop. It was the most terrifying and fun experience I’ve ever had. The punk community responds to being uninhibited, just fuck it, imma do what I’m going to do. They fucked with us. That’s how I knew if I don’t do this the rest of my life I have failed.
Creating gives you that eerie calm. I want to do this forever. I’m not even thinking this is what I’m supposed to do. I use words melodically.
Music is so deeply imbedded in our DNA. Can you explain that? Who were the first motherfuckers to bang a rock and vocalize? The creation of music. I mean, goddamn.
Oreo is the fucking man. He is an observer of the culture and he’s not afraid to say, “I like what you’re doing. Here, let me give you an audience.”