Trixx: All Is Fair In Stand Up Comedy [Spotlight]
“So I don’t live or die by any set. I go out there and scan the crowd and then base my material off that. That way, my show is always different. Even if I tell a joke you’ve heard before, I say it in a different way.” – Trixx
Trixx: All Is Fair In Stand Up Comedy
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Toronto, ON – Stereotypically, Canadians are fairly soft spoken, moderate citizens. We might notice something, but not say anything out of politeness. And some might argue that’s accurate, except when it comes to our long list of brilliant comedians. Names like Russell Peters, Mike Myers, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Eugene Levy, Seth Rogan, Will Sasso are hardly categorized as soft spoken or moderate in any sense. They’ve been both voices of reason and internationally recognized funny-men for decades and are the forefathers to a new class of Canuck comedians. Leading that charge, with bold-faced, keep it real cultural commentary is Toronto’s Trixx also known as “The Human Jumpoff” (whatever that means). Maybe you remember him as the guy who dissed Flow 93.5 at Yuk Yuk’s after leaving the station as an on air personality? You could’ve also picked up his new DVD Trixx: Iceman at HMV for Christmas. Or maybe you’re in Jamaica for his appearance at the Christmas Comedy Cook Up on Boxing Day. We at HipHopCanada have kept a close eye on his rise, recently posting several of his hilarious video blogs and reporting on his trip to New York to open for Russell Peters.
Trixx started out on Project Bounce in the early 2000’s as a raw, brutally honest commentator and interviewer. On a show with no commercial obligations or strict format at all for that matter, Trixx flourished as both comic relief and pointed critic. From there, he moved to Flow 93.5 as an on air personality before making a name for himself at the historic Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto. In 2011, he hosted Manifesto’s Main Event as well as the Stylus DJ Awards and Battle of the Beatmakers, both for the second straight year. His comedy DVD Iceman was released in stores earlier this year and he’s fast becoming one of Canada’s loudest voices. HipHopCanada’s final spotlight of 2011: Trixx.
HipHopCanada: You seem to pride yourself on saying things that others are afraid to say. Is that something you search for when you’re writing material?
Trixx: Even at the Battle of the Beatmakers, there was a beat that came on and it sounded very similar to a Rick Ross beat, very similar. Everyone in the crowd and even the judges were like “Wait a minute.” But I’m the one that said “that sounds awfully similar to a Rick Ross beat.” Other people might be afraid to say that or the repercussions like maybe the producer might get mad or you might get booed for accussing him. Who cares? At the end of the day, if I can’t say what I want to say then why am I a comedian? Comedy is the biggest platform for saying what you want to say. Sometimes people will respect you more if you say things they are dying to say.
HipHopCanada: That must be freeing as a comedian. Were you like that before you were a comedian?
Trixx: When I was on radio at Project Bounce is when I kind of adapted that style. Project bounce was pure hip hop, no rules. I fell in love with that. There was no format like radio is now. If a song sucked, I said it sucked. It wasn’t a situation where we sugar coated things.
I remember I did a stand up show where I said I didn’t like fat girls. I had a whole backlash, but I don’t give a fuck. I don’t like fat girls. I just don’t. But if a sexy girl looks at a fat man and punks him off that’s cool. I’m not saying they are horrible, ugly people. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying they aren’t my preference. I don’t like them. Don’t sugar coat yourself. If you don’t like something, you don’t like something. When I’m on stage, you’re going to get the realest version of Trixx possible and sometimes it’s going to make you laugh and sometimes it may not. But bottom line is you’ll leave saying “this guy’s real. He gave us the real shit. This wasn’t an act.”
HipHopCanada: Is there a difference in your material depending on who your audience is?
Trixx: Absolutely. Colllege kids don’t want to hear about politics. They don’t want to hear the news. They don’t want to hear about what’s going on in the world. They want to laugh at pop culture shit and sex and stuff that’s relevant to them now.
HipHopCanada: I read that you don’t use a set list. Is that true? And if so, why?
Trixx: Never. Can’t. That’s something Russell Peters taught me. Anytime I see or talk to him I pick his brain. He’s the successful one. He’s the one that came out of the gate before all of us.
A set limits you. It’s good to be organizied and know what you’re doing but at the same time it limits you. If you live and die by that set list what if you go out there and your talking to old people from Sarnia and your set list is all Facbook jokes that they don’t really fuck with?
So I don’t live or die by any set. I go out there and scan the crowd and then base my material off that. That way, my show is always different. Even if I tell a joke you’ve heard before, I say it in a different way.
HipHopCanada: How did DJing and being on radio help you in comedy?
Trixx: DJing is a similar art form, but you’re playing music. You can’t go out there and say “I’m going to play this record no matter what. I don’t give a fuck.” You gotta go out there and if they aren’t dancing you gotta switch it up. Or if they love it when you play something you should stick with that kind of music. You gotta know that as a DJ. The successful DJs that keep the crowd dancing are the ones that read the crowd well. It’s the selfish DJs that just play whatever they want. Those DJs don’t last long.
So I’ve adapted that into comedy. Being able to walk into a room and just know the demographic I’m dealing with. I always make sure I know my crowd before I go on stage.
HipHopCanada: How do you typically deal with hecklers? Some comedians live for that.
Trixx: I think if you’re on stage and you’re talking jibberish and your not connecting that leaves room for hecklers. I don’t take hecklers on. I let the audience get back at the heckler because if the heckler is interrupting someone that’s dope, the audience gets mad at the heckler. If the heckler is interrupting someone who sucks, the audience sides with the heckler. But if you give attention to the heckler sometimes it ruins your show and throws you off. I set a precendent on stage like ‘don’t interrupt me.’
I’ve had hecklers yell out shit to help the show and carry a joke further so I can play off it more. But if it’s negative energy, you can’t feed into it or it changes the whole vibe of the show.
HipHopCanada: What are you listening to right now?
Trixx: Like music that’s out right now? A lot of people are dissing, but I like “Headlines.” Am I a huge fan of Drake musically? Yes. There’s something about that track. It’s pretty dope.
But I find myself always listening to 90s hip-hop. When all else fails I’ll go back to old Pete Rock or any Tribe Called Quest album. I’m old school. The songs out now, I’m not saying they are shit but most of the time you’ll catch me listening to old shit.
HipHopCanada: You host a lot of hip-hop events. You hosted Stylus Awards, Battle of the Beatmakers and part of Manifesto. Why?
Trixx: Comedian or not man that’s what I came from. I love hosting concerts and underground shit. I love that world. I don’t care about lights and glamour in the mainstream. I love underground because that’s where the love really is. The beat battle was one of the dopest events to be a part of. Just to see everyone enjoying themselves. I don’t care about arenas and major concerts. I love hip hop the culture. So when I get asked to host…that’s what I love to do and I think since I got into comedy some people forgot that’s what I do to. But that’s the truest form of Trixx when you can get me on stage at a hip hop concert with the music I love.
HipHopCanada: I enjoy how you totally undercut status and will make fun of anybody.
Trixx: Fuck that shit. At the end of the day, we’re all human. I’m not above anybody and nobody is above me either. Fuck all that imitation and red carpet shit. We ain’t the Grammys bro. We’re Stylus. We’re a hip hop oriented awards show. I know they added all the house categories but they are urban awards in a sense.
Let’s stop all this profiling. Everyone comes in trying to be all high and mighty like “I’m a bigger DJ than you.” So when I host I let everyone know from the jump I’m not afraid of anyone. And no one should be afraid of me either, but I’ll call out bitchassness. Its gonna happen on stage so if you’re walking around profiling like you’re the shit and you have an abundance of bitchassness around you, then that’s gonna be made clear and all that profiling your doing is in vain. Stop that shit.
HipHopCanada: What videos or artists are you checking for right now?
Trixx: I wish RapCity would showcase more of that shit. I think we need to go back to the days of Master T, when television and radio shows in Toronto made us pay attention to local artists. If it’s not playing on Flow or Kiss or it’s not on 106 and Park or it’s not on the MuchMusic countdown or if a U.S. artist doesn’t cosign us, those people are deemed irrelevant and I think that’s ridiculous.
There’s so many artists that are so dope in this city. So many dope artists that don’t get that push or even that attention they should be getting. They lose incentive.
We have a music station in our country that’s nationwide but MuchVibe you have to order that shit to see half the videos. RapCity is back and they are more quick to showcase a Wacka Flocka video before a local artist. They’ll cover OVO Fest, but they won’t cover a JD era release party and that’s what’s lacking.
HipHopCanada: Imagine Canada never got BET on regular cable, but instead got MuchVibe.
Trixx: We would’ve had a different scene because I remember when we didn’t have BET and your friend would goto New York and tape a bunch of videos n bring them back to watch. I always said BET was the beginning of the end of a lot of things in Torontro especially. Even at the beat battle, even though it was a great event, what disappointed me was 90% of the beats were dirty south beats. And that’s one of the problems. We follow the trends of States so much that we lost sight of the culture that we had. We have a culture here, but it doesn’t get the recognition that it should from the people who should be recognizing it. So we said fuck it we’ll do it like the States. You got guys rapping like they are from the south. Dude your from the north. You’re not from Atlanta why are your repping that? Why are you dougie-ing? That’s not your shit.
There are a lot of ways I feel BET ruined Canada but I can’t blame BET because they don’t get on TV and force anyone to follow what they do. When I goto France and England, they don’t do that. They have their own culture out there their own scene out there. There rappers get a lot of shine, the shine they are supposed to get. Here we’re backwards.
The only reason we support Drake is because he’s huge. When he was here for all that time putting out dope tracks no one gave a fuck.