On Friday at Trees, Dallas Showed Revered Area Emcee -topic That It Has His Back, If Not His Backpack.
There is an old Bible passage that says “there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” And, over these past few weeks, it’s a sentiment that’s become all too real for Dallas rapper -topic.
He’s certainly had ample reason to both weep and mourn following the theft of his backpack during a showcase at Drugstore Cowboy in Deep Ellum earlier this month. Contained in that sack, which -topic carries with him everywhere, was his phone, some cameras, his laptop and multiple years of recordings — including the music for a few not-yet-released albums he’d been putting the finishing touches on.
Fortunately for him, -topic is a well-liked guy and the Dallas music scene likes to take care of its own. And so, on Friday night, that community rallied together to host a benefit show at Trees to raise money and awareness for one of the city’s most endearing artists.
The show itself was a marathon of local hip-hop featured performances from Alex The Great, David Morgan, Lord Byron, Buffalo Black, Bobby Sessions, Sam Lao, Dezi 5, Cure For Paranoia and of course -topic himself. But plenty others just showed up to provide emotional support. This was a community affair for certain, an even meant to show -topic that Dallas indeed has his back, if not his backpack. The whole night was a testament not only to how much Dallas loves -topic, but also to how large of an impact his unrelenting optimism and art has made on the city as well.
For his own, live band-backed headlining performance, -topic created a theatrical re-telling of the backpack drama. He recounted the tale of his sorrow over the loss of the backpack, and the ensuing loneliness he felt upon realizing the situation in which he found himself. He acted out his sorrow on stage, crumpling to the ground with sobs and wails. But he didn’t wallow in his misery; instead he found his support in Dallas as he sulked his way off stage and into crowd. Then he weaved through the crowd, receiving hugs and words of encouragement from everyone on the ground as cries of “I love you” rang out. -topic, wearing his characteristic grin that’s been too frequently absent of late, then walked back to the stage and launched into an invigorated second half of the saga.
That next portion found him revealing several new songs he’s been working on since the incident, one of which was titled “why did you steal my backpack,” and was even played twice for the audience. Upon playing the song the second time, -topic asked that all phones be put away so that only the select few in attendance on this night could partake in the moment. Despite one rebel drawing the ire of -topic for violating the no-phones rule, it was still a special moment and a gift back to the people who’ve been supporting him through this spell.
The entire performance was incredible authentic, every second born from a broken heart that’s been re-filled with hope.
After weeks of mourning and weeping, Friday night was finally the time for laughing and dancing. And, through those actions, -topic emerged with new vigor, purpose and a clear determination that he has no intention of backing down.
With this kind of support from his numerous friends in the Dallas community, how could he?