Five (or more) Questions with Fist Fam

The Gurp City South winter showcase takes place at Asheville Music Hall on Friday, Nov. 22. Ronny Mac from local hip-hop collective The Fist Fam talks about reunions, the local hip-hop scene and the effect of a stable environment.

The showcase lineup includes TopR, DJ Jet, Free Radio and Foul Mouth Jerk. Showtime is 10 p.m. $5 in advance/$7 at the door.

Mountain Xpress: Is this a Fist Fam reunion show? And since the Fist Fam is also Weekend Cult, how do the two groups differ?
Ronny Mac: Actually, this can all get a little confusing so I’d be happy to clarify. We lived in San Francisco for six years and put out our last album as Weekend Cult (self-titled). It was strictly a concept album but we played shows under the alias Weekend Cult for about six months. But we have always been Fist Fam. The Weekend Cult-era had a lot to do with the use of psychedelic drugs and searching for a deeper meaning in life. Regarding the reunion show question, we used to only play Asheville once a year and would commonly refer to it as a reunion show although it was more of a reunion with our friends and fans. Since we all live here now, it’s a showcase of our Gurp City South members.

If this is the Fist Fam equation, can you tell me who is who in this break down?: “Take 2 parts Carolina moonshine, 1 part San Francisco liquid acid, 3 parts 4-track rap, and a some good ole Pimp C tell ya how it is gansta shit and that is the Fist Fam in a nutshell.”
Honestly, we have multiple equations and a team of scientist working around the clock to keep our livers functioning. We are big fans of Pimp C and try to honor his memory through our own music.

Do you think the move to Asheville has had an effect on the Fist Fam? If so, in what way — like are you all writing different sorts of lyrics?
We have more time on our hands to focus on music: that would be the biggest difference. We have been a large crew over the years and have gone through a lot of transitions to get where we are now. Our music has always been influenced by our environment and we are in a much more stable environment now. I’d expect to see two albums out from the Fist Fam in 2014. 

How would you describe the local hip-hop scene these days? Is there an Asheville sound?
Asheville is a unique place with a unique group of people. Live music is really big here compared to other cities with similar demographics. The rap scene is always kind of an obscure thing to describe but we feel like if you make good music, people are going to appreciate it, so that’s what we focus on. I feel like Asheville has a great music scene and a lot of talented musicians come through our city because of the great fans we have here. 

The Gurp City collective seems to be good at organizing bands and creating a presence. Can you tell us a bit about Gurp City South and its connection to Asheville?
This is true.  We have all been close friends for over a decade so people tend to get excited when we all come together and play the same venue at the same time. Our website does a great job of showcasing our roster and explaining who we are. I feel like we all take rap music very seriously and that’s how we have been able to release such an absurd amount of music over the last decade.

How will the Nov. 22 showcase be different from the Gurp City show at Emerald Lounge last summer?
Typically, we fly someone out from the Bay Area to play the Gurp Fest every year from the even larger Gurp City Collective. This show will just be all of your Asheville natives and should be a great party and even better afterparty. I’d encourage anyone who is interested in the show to checkout some of the videos I have posted on the event page

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on “Five (or more) Questions with Fist Fam

  1. xina

    Get it Ronny Mac! It’s tough not to smell yer genius baby! Great interview Xpress.

    Speaking of the website – who is handling that now? It would be gr8 to see all the artist relates events kept up to date – including PHILO: THE BAND ;)

    I also recall a golden era, not so long ago, when the Jerkface was

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