The term "weird" can have many connotations. You can call someone who prefers to eat the same meal at the same time every day weird, or you can use the word to describe a kid who talks to dead people. Weird's a many-faceted adjective. "I used to try to invent stuff when I was younger," says the specter-hunting MC known as Hopsin. "I used to catch frogs. I used to go ghost hunting. I would always be out skateboarding, be building ramps in the back yard. I was always drawing. I was always into something."
Taking those details into consideration, the rapper's trademark white contacts don't seem all that unusual. The 27-year-old California native Marcus Hopson — known to fans as Hopsin — is the same creative-minded Marcus his family has known all his life. The same guy who works in the style of early Eminem, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott.
Hopsin's brand of rap is equally weird in terms of what the industry usually produces. Rather than project an image of wealth, drugs and promiscuity, he prefers to call rap fans idiots for thinking they live a life that they don't just because their favorite rapper makes them believe they do. As a matter of fact, Hopsin refuses to drink or do drugs, crediting his relationship with God and daily Bible study.
Hopsin, with Dizzy Wright, SwizZz, Turner Jackson and more, 9 p.m. Thursday, October 18, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, $15-$35, 303-297-1772.
"I'm not here to represent the ways of the flesh — the way human beings are used to acting," says the rapper. "I'm here to represent realness."
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A few months ago, Hopsin released the video for "Ill Mind of Hopsin 5." It has since accumulated more than 13 million views on YouTube, and the song has been praised not only for its lyricism, but for providing a reality check and a focus on self-awareness. The aftermath? Messages and tweets from fans thanking the rapper for helping them overcome obstacles in their lives. "People say that it really changed their life," says Hopsin. "Like, they never heard anybody break it down that way, and it's so true. It felt like I was calling them out, but it was a necessary call-out."
Calling out others on their actions is a tendency the rapper has not shied away from since the releases of "Kill Her" and "Sag My Pants." The latter is a song that points out the flaws in the messages received by fans and mentions rappers such as Rick Ross and Drake, two responsible for the phrase "YOLO" (You Only Live Once). Hopsin admits the term does sound cool, but argues that it offers people an excuse to do stupid things.
"Another reason to give everybody a reason to do something stupid and create something they can regret five or ten years down the road," he says. "'Why did I do that? Why did I YOLO that hard and go to the club that night and get that girl pregnant? Why didn't I use a condom?'"