Scene & Heard

SOUND SEEKERS: Dropping Drawers and Rhymes — MC Jesse Dangerously does Strip-Hop

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani 

How does “strip-hop” work anyway? Is it like a drinking game where you chug at the appointed cue? Hear a three-syllable word and everyone peels?

Jesse Dangerously, Pillar of Nerd Rap and Frequent De-Clother. Photo by James Dechert

“It’s not that integrated—I wish,” laughs Jesse McDonald, the Ottawa MC who goes by Jesse Dangerously.

Strip-hop isn’t about dropping your drawers for a choice rhyme; rather, it’s a night of performances by members of the city’s burlesque scene interspersed with music by electro pop team Billz & Woo and MC Dangerously.

“People are accustomed to me taking my shirt off at shows,” Dangerously says of his on-stage showmanship. Off-stage, on gig posters and websites, he subtitles his handle with the words “Genuine Independent Rap Legend,” in keeping with the genre’s boast-and-hype conventions.

Dangerously figures the burlesque organizers approached him for his messages about feminism and being body positive. Some of his rhymes push for loving pudginess:

“Although jerks have mocked that I’m fat since age ten / I work it, I rock it; ask your girl or a gay friend!”

“Half-stepping cats packing weapons ask for rap lessons / while I slap bad physicians on behalf of vengeance for Fat Acceptance.” (more…)