JC Poppe Speaks Up Against MS
“Hate is a strong word.” How many times have you heard this phrase uttered by a parent, teacher or coworker? Certainly JC Poppe has heard this at least a few times, yet it is precisely this word that denotes how he feels about Multiple Sclerosis. This Friday, April 30th JC Poppe is hosting “Hip Hop hates Multiple Sclerosis” at Cactus Club and he thinks that you should join his side in this fight (because, let’s face it, how many good things can one say about MS)?
With one album under his belt, JC Poppe has etched his spot in the Milwaukee hip hop scene. He is known as an intelligent writer with a vast vernacular who is looking to test and, hopefully, evolve Milwaukee’s growing hip hop community. A conscious rhymer, JC Poppe is proving that he walks what he talks. A handful of Milwaukee hip hop acts have joined forces with JC Poppe to help pull as many people into Cactus Club to raise money and awareness in order to help this cause. Fan-belt talks to JC Poppe about MS, his family, having Pabst as a contributor to the event as well as his plans for the future.
I actually decided to do this fundraiser for MS after hosting another MS benefit at AJ Bombers a few months ago. Me and Brian Maguire of the Shepherd Express had this crazy idea to try to get people together to eat as many patties of beef as a small cow would yield. I know this sounds gross to many of our non meat eating friends, but all of AJ Bombers vegetarian sandwiches counted towards the total as well and over three hundred dollars was raised for the cause. In talking to some people there, the idea of getting a team together for this year’s Walk MS was brought up and I kind of started imagining a whole weekend of events that would raise money for MS. The end result of the brainstorming was a benefit concert on Friday night, the walk on Sunday, and a meet-up at AJ Bombers after the walk where they are going to once again give people an opportunity to donate money towards the cause…just not a crazy eating contest this time.
How has MS affected your life or the life of a loved one?
My mom has had MS for my whole life, so I’ve been able to see how it affects a person in every aspect of their life. My mom has been extremely lucky because her specific case has never gone progressive, but I can tell you that there is a large difference in her physical ability from when I first understood what MS is to now. That being said, there is no difference in her spirit or determination. That woman is as tough as nails and fights through every day to live the life that she wants to live while she still can. She’s retired and may be more active now in all honesty then she was when she was working. She recently became a grandmother for the first time when me and my wife had our son and nothing is going to cut her enjoyment of that short.
You mentioned a walk for MS, what else can people do this weekend to get involved?
There is still time to register for the walk, which is being held on the Summerfest grounds. Just go to the MS Society website ( www.nationalmssociety.org ) and sign up. Also, as I mentioned before, you can come and hang out at AJ Bombers on Sunday to help raise more money for the cause. Lastly, if you are busy on Sunday and can’t make it out to either the walk or AJ Bombers, you can always drop a donation off to AJ Bombers throughout the week while getting the best burger in Milwaukee (or the best cheese stuffed portabella mushroom sandwich known to man).
Tell us about who we are going to see out on April 30th.
You are going to see a really great line up of Milwaukee hip hop. KHB, Frankie Flowers, Raze and A.P.R.I.M.E., and SPEAK Easy will all be performing sets. They bring a lot of energy to the stage so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Him & Her, aka Jank One and DJ Venus, will be spinning throughout the night as well. You will also see a big smile on my face because Pabst Blue Ribbon donated all the facility and sound fees, so one hundred percent of the cover charge at the door will be going towards MS! WMSE was also a big help in securing the fantastic Cactus Club for the event.
There are many local hip hop cats performing, what about you?
I will not be performing. I love hosting, and I haven’t really cut my teeth when it comes to performing yet. Without getting too personal, myself and my wife have a slew of health issues that are being worked on, so making the music is about as far as I go right now. I use all my energy trying to be a good husband and a good father, as well as trying to do things that better the world, even if it’s something that’s just the size of a drop in the bucket. Whatever is left goes to the music writing. After all that, I’m just tired. I’m sure that reads really lame, but I’ve appreciated people’s patience with me on this topic so far. I sincerely hope to be doing shows next year to some degree, whether it is on occasion or regularly.
What is the next step for you after this weekend? New album? Shows?
There are two things for certain that I want to do. I want to finish my second album and release it this year. It’s kind of hard envision releasing a second album because I never thought people would like me enough to want more of what I have to say, but they do. So, no matter how shy I may be about this next album due to its personal nature on so many tracks, I have to put it out. It has been therapeutic so far writing it and it’d hurt me much more to not finish what I’ve started even if the outcome is severely disliked by the general public. The next thing that I really want to do is a fundraiser for breast cancer. One of my grandmas survived breast cancer, twice, and so again it’s something that’s affected my family. I’ve bought wholeheartedly into the “Save the Ta-Tas” slogan, and I’m hoping all the men reading this agree with me and will back me up when it comes time.
Hip Hop Hates Multiple Sclerosis takes place on Friday, April 30th, 9:30 pm @ the Cactus Club (2496 South Wentworth. 21+