There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune


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“5. . . 4. . . 3. . . 2. . .1!” The emcee pointed me, and I turned to the crowd of several hundred Slovenians. And then, as God is my witness, I started rapping.

I don’t know how I get myself into these situations. I don’t plan them. I put it to the fact that I am physically non-threatening and temperamentally curious, actively seeking out novel experiences. My buddy Ace is the same way. And that’s how we get ourselves in ridiculous situations when we travel.

I arrived in Ljubljana yesterday, had a pre-dinner cocktail to kill some time, then sat for a nice steak with truffle sauce.

“Would you like it English, medium or well done?” asked the friendly waiter.

English? I hadn’t heard of this before. In France, if they think you’re English, they burn your steak to a crisp.

“’English’ means it is very bloody, sir. Very bloody,” he stressed. I nodded, approvingly. This is a cool town.

After dinner, I was walking through town, by the serene, beautiful river, when I heard a commotion off to my left in the main square. It turns out that the best rapper in Slovenia was putting on an outdoor show, and as you all know, I am a fan of the music they call hip hop.

In Slovenia, my dark skin signals “visitor”. This is what probably prompted a friendly fellow to strike up a conversation and invite me for a beer with his buddies. Turns out my new friends were self-described “football hooligans” who were hanging out, maybe a dozen guys and girls, enjoying the music and drinking beers. At one point, a local candidate for mayor showed up, nattily dressed in a sports coat, and one of my buddies, the tall, crazy one, tried to persuade him to have a drink.

As the evening went on, the excellent music show came to a finish, when presently The Tall, Crazy One turned and explained “there’s a rapping contest where you can win 10,000 Euros!” I was intrigued. Now, the contest was just starting, with the contestants lined up at the back of the stage, patiently waiting their turns. The whole show was being managed and organized efficiently by a couple of decent-looking production assistants.

I followed The Tall, Crazy One through the crowd, until we were confronted by a burly security guard. My buddy yelled a few words at him, then pushed past. I followed. As we approached the stage, I observed, as I have described, the well-organized system and I realized that we were a bit late for the contest and should properly wait at the back of the stage.

Instead, The Tall, Crazy One walked right up to the front of the stage and hoisted himself up. The crowd loved it. Of course, I followed. Pandemonium. Consternation. Naturally, I started raising my hands up in the air, striking Run-DMC poses, throwing up gang signs. They went wild. The Tall, Crazy One and I had made that stage our own. Understand that I was wearing gap jeans, a thin cashmere sweater over a pink Lacoste shirt, and a hooded mountaineering jacket I had bought in Katmandu. In short, I looked nothing like a rapper.

The quick-thinking emcee knew a good thing when he saw one. He handed me a mic and started counting down from five. When he reached one, I momentarily froze, realizing that I was now expeccted to rap. Then I remembered my Snoop, my Too Short – my West Coast roots. And I pulled my hooded jacket off my shoulders, raised the mic to my lips and yelled “Hellooo Sloveeeeenia!” Then - I swear this is true - I began rapping.

I wasn’t very good. Had I had even 10 minutes of preparation, I would have been much better. But considering the circumstances, I believe I acquitted myself rather competently. The Tall, Crazy One couldn’t believe what I had just done; he was rendered speechless. And now, on my resume, in the “Other Accomplishments” section, underneath “Speaking Role, 2002 Team Canada Road To Gold DVD”, I shall add “Popular Slovenian Hip-Hop Artist”.


  1. Anonymous S Dub 

    I'm impressed, though a little disappointed that you didn't just break off the entirety of Gz and Hustlaz, stare the crowd down, drop the mic and walk off stage a champion.

  2. Anonymous RL 

    “The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately.”
    - Thomas Paine

  3. Anonymous E. D. 

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Anonymous HUK 

    If only the Beastier were looking for their unofficial fourth member...T-to the izzo-bone!

  5. Anonymous Clakro Records 

    Love your work. We should do business together. -MC Clarkus

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About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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