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Troy Walsh Is Not of the Culture: An Interview

By a Gossiping Bitch on February 5th, 2004

Troy WalshRecently, GB has been inundated with emails, phone calls, facsimiles, 2-ways, smoke signals, and letters from prison written in blood. The question that keeps coming up in this correspondence is, “Why do you only interview white people?” Hey, we attempted to interview a black puppet, and couldn’t even pull that off. Sure, our past interview subjects (like PFAC or Sworn Enemies) have tended toward the lighter side of the color spectrum, but can you blame us? Look at what endorsing Eminem has done for Hiphopsite.com. (Hey internet, GB also thinks Em can do no wrong! Come on through!)

As such, the GBs have decided to endorse our own white rapper. The selection process was long and arduous. We immediately sought Chilly Tee, only to find out that he’s happily (?) holding down an animator job in Portland (dude, come back and we’ll write the lyrics for you this time). Other applicants, such as Miilkbone, Kain, Haystak, and Jojo Pellegrino were either too played, too nondescript, too country, or too greasy for our hip-hop tastes (grimy rap is so mid-90’s, fellas). The pickings were slim, and hopes were fading fast. But then we came upon the answer to our prayers: Troy Walsh, a.k.a. Mr. Unlikely. The team: Burblife. The cd: Country Clubbin’ (mixed by the reclusive DJ Lt. Dan). The estilo: golf spikes, gold mics, and tax hikes.

Now, we still have concerns, mind you. For instance, we don’t really get that vaguely Dirty South inflection in his phrasing. Can anyone out there tell us if getting crunkafied and ain’t never bein’ skurred is the new shit in the Burbs? Don’t front like “how should I know?”, either. And when he speaks of “venture capital”, all we hear is “trust fund” (which would be doper to us). Nevertheless, we plan on doing for Troy what Prince Paul did for Paul Barman (except for the producing his record part). In fact, once word of Troy’s success reaches Barman, we suspect he’ll pull a Benzino style character assassination of Troy with his connects at The Brown Daily Herald.

So join us, won’t you, in getting to know Defari’s worst nightmare, the Man with the Mechanicsburg Mandible, GB’s #1 pick, Troy Walsh a.k.a. Mr. Unlikely.

Gossiping Bitches: Do you get a lot of bitches?

Troy WalshTroy Walsh: I’ve gotten more bitches than one could ever imagine, and honestly, that’s a problem. I seem to keep getting deceitful bitches instead of intelligent, hip, tasteful young women. But even those types of women need to have a little bitch to them, just to keep things interesting. All that being said, I can’t complain about my current situation(s).

GB: Where did you grow up?

TW: In an aristocratic police state known as Mechanicsburg, PA.

GB: When did you start rapping?

TW: I’ve been at it in some way shape or form since playground/lunchroom days. Snapping on kids on the playground to the tune of popular songs. You could call that battling I guess, but nobody ever battled back. But as far as writing songs, I wouldn’t say I was a songwriter until about 1999.

GB: What is it like to be a white man trying to make it in a black man’s world?

TW: I try not to dwell on the race issue too much, I try to just be myself. If you try too hard to be “hip-hop”, if you base your life solely on what magazines and the media are telling you that “hip-hop” is or what “hip-hop” should look like, you’re only fooling yourself, everyone else is going to know you’re a pretender when they see you. I’m not saying you have to look like me, I’m not saying you have to look like 50. I mean the reality for us all is that only you know who you really are, so just do you. Don’t let the media or a record ending up doing you for you. That’s what hip-hop, and all great art is ultimately about, is do you. If you know deep down you are hip-hop, then do you and pure hip-hop will come out. I mean personally, I realize that I have a gift, and that gift is an ability to excel at a traditionally black artform. I make sure not to question or overanalyze my gift, to do so would be to kill it. All I can try to do is embrace and respect it in. To break new ground in order to honor those who’ve come before me.

GB: Do you perform at fraternities or anything like that?

TW: I get in where I fit in; fraternities, sororities, town fairs, children’s birthday parties, and the occasional bris or bar mitzvah.

GB: What would you say is your favorite brand of clothing?

TW: At the risk of ruining my street cred, I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m much less interested in specific brands than most rappers. However, that may very well change as my wallet expands. For now, I’m a fan of vintage Lacoste gear; penguin also makes some hot stuff. I’m also one for independent designers, anyone who is doing something hip, new and exciting. They’re also the ones who seem to recognize the value of sponsoring me.

GB: Do you think that growing up in Izod instead of boosting it makes you more old-school than Jay-Z? Or just old-school in a different way?

TW: More old school than Jay? No, at this point, I’d be an ass to say I’m more anything than Jay. How’s this, I’m different school. I’m private school.

GB: What kinda sports do you play? You look like the golfing, lacrosse-type?

TW: Believe it or not, at one time I was your regular Jonny Football Hero, a tight end/nose guard. I played one semester of football in college, then I played lacrosse for a year. However, I’ve lost a good bit of size since those days, so these days I’m more into the low-impact sporting life: golf, foosball, beer-pong, darts…

GB: What kinda whip you drive?

TW: Volvos. Exclusively.

GB: What are some of the hardships about being a rapper from the suburbs?

TW: The hard thing about the suburbs is that NOTHING is hard here. Everything is easy: every day is easy to live, everything is easy to get and everyone around you is working to make it easier. The hard thing as a young person in the suburbs is getting OUT, going off on your own, starting a career. The hard thing is to stay hungry and motivated when you are used to things being handed to you. The hard thing is not to be stuck living under your parents roof at age 30. And I’m not trying to be a wise-ass or demean people who are struggling in worse circumstances…but this is the reality of upper-middle class America. Complacency kills, believe that.

GB: We all know about street life from Nas. Are you poising yourself as the Suburban Nas?

TW: Yes. Yes I am.

GB: When did you discover the internet? And what are some of your favorite sites, aside from Gossiping Bitches?

TW: I was a part of the “Bulletin Board” scene in the early 90s which was like a real small local-based internet. But ever since Al Gore birthed the World Wide Web, reading Gossipingbitches.com has taken up most of my surfing time. However, the News on the DL section of hiphopsite.com, I check that weekly. I also do a good bit of shopping on E-Bay, you can find anything on there, and I’m always checking out different bands websites. Superdrag, Radiohead, Muse, Malkmus & The Jicks, so on, so on. I’m a big fan of streaming video. Very entertaining.

GB: How have you been promoting yourself? Do you have a street team? Are there suitable venues in the burbs for the kind of outlets necessary to break a white boy into the rap game?

Troy WalshTW: I just started in the studio last summer, and the public really didn’t even get a taste of the music until this past Fall, so we’re still really in the early stages of getting Troy Walsh out there. And we’re still assembling the street team, so anyone interested should check out burblife.com As far as venues in the burbs…sadly, no, you’re not going to make much of yourself playing fire halls, sports bars and corner pubs. Plus, the attitude that pervades in these places, nobody wants to hear anything original, everyone wants to get drunk and sing a long to Bon Jovi. You ultimately have to take your act to an urban area to really break. You have to reach the young hip crowd, the tastemakers, the trendsetters, and these people live in urban areas. But this doesn’t mean you lose the perspective of coming from a suburban area, you just adapt this
perspective to the bustle of the city.

GB: Who is your label, and do they pay for your studio time? Or is that something you are paying for?

TW: I make music for a company called Burblife; we’re based out of the Philadelphia area. I’m a professional and my associates are professionals and we rely on venture capital to make our music. If I was funding this personally, that would make me a hobbyist.

GB: How long ago did Burb Life steal our swan logo?

TW: Ask David Adair Eberly.

GB: So are we wrong in our assessment that you’re like a proud white guy from the suburbs and can rap? Is that how you’re coming on the whole Troy Walsh steez?

TW: That’s the general idea. I mean, I’m proud, I am quite white, I’m from suburbia and yes, I can rap. However, I do play most of my own music and that’s what sets me apart from most rappers. So that’s where we’re headed now. The entire idea behind Mr. Unlikely is that I’m out here doing what I shouldn’t be able to do. The current plan is to expand that concept into a very unique full band situation for live performances. In the studio, we’re still going to work the same way though, the band will just be for gigging purposes, though this could change with time. I mean, let’s face it, there’s only so much you can do with a DJ and a microphone. And I don’t believe in using a hype man. So picture The Roots crossed with a garage band plus analog synthesizers and hard rock drumming, but the music being made is undeniably hip hop. But we’ll be staying FAR away from the nu-metal/rap-rock schlock that’s surfaced in recent years. It’ll be a whole new brand of hip hop music. That’s what’s coming in the next few months. (But you didn’t hear it from me. I want it to be a surprise.)

GB: Who produces your beats?

TW: Rarely is a Troy Walsh song too heavy on samples. Fact is, I compose and play most of my own music: keyboards, guitars and synthesizers. Also, my professional liaison, Mr. Chuck Treece, plays bass and provides additional guitar noises. Also, there is a third cog to our wheel, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Clean. He arranges/co-produces, programs and engineers all sessions. Together we “produce” the music you hear. All for one and none without the other.

GB: Any last words to your fans and readers?

TW: What I have for you next, I can promise you’ve never seen before. Thank you fans. Thank you Gossiping Bitches.

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