I stumbled upon local MC ShowYouSuck a couple years ago, when Netherfriends main man Shawn Rosenblatt released an EP of songs using samples of Harry Nilsson titled simply Netherfriends Does Nilsson. Show appears on the final track, “Full of It Remix,” and two things struck me immediately: the dude’s playful, rubbery flow, which has a bit of a southern twang on the tune, and his references to Fugazi and Minor Threat. I’m a sucker for any thoughtful mention of the Washington, D.C., punk scene—I grew up with that community in my backyard, and by the time I reached adolescence it had become such a distinct, important, and natural part of the District’s cultural history that it was fairly common to find Minor Threat graffiti scribbled in pencil on school desks. D.C. punk is in my blood, and after hearing the “Full of It Remix” I felt like I’d found a kindred spirit in ShowYouSuck.
The rapper just dropped “XXX (Straight Edge),” which is not only a hat tip to Minor Threat (the cover art for the tune is a riff on Minor Threat’s “Bottled Violence” image of a punkish-looking fellow with a corked bottle for a head) but an indication of Show’s relationship with straight-edge, the no-drinking, no-drugging counterculture that unexpectedly grew out of a couple Minor Threat songs (“Straight Edge” and “Out of Step”). In a write-up about the tune Ruby Hornet scribe Geoff Henao pointed to an interview Straight Edge Worldwide recently did with the MC about his lifestyle choices, and it’s only bolstered the strong feelings I have towards the dude and his music. Like Show, I first heard of straight-edge through Minor Threat, and my connection to the term and what it represents is similarly complicated.