arts & culture

Once I had a show—the kind where a panel of industry types scowl at you and tell you whether you fit in, and where. The host was a comedian. I stood up, full of something: chutzpah, tequila, something. I introduced myself as “your favorite rapper’s favorite singer,” started to sing, and I choked. Literally. I inhaled my spit or something and choked, and had to run to the bathroom and gag for two whole minutes while the host clowned my entire life. I came out and told him, “No, go on. I deserve it. Get those jokes off so I can finish my set.” He clowned for a few more moments and then had me back up, and I finished (and bodied) the show. Torae was there, perhaps a bit impressed, but thoroughly tickled by me. He went OUT OF HIS WAY to befriend me after that. Hehe.

If you haven’t heard this guy’s prolific bars—from 2008’s Daily Conversation to his newest release Still Waiting (produced by Amadeus and Trilogy Muzik)—then you’ve heard him daily on Sirius XM’s Hip-Hop Nation, hosting The Tor Guide Mon-Fri from 5p-10p. Or you’ve seen his influence up and through VH1’s The Breaks, as battle rapper Sig Sauer in the original movie, consulting on the series, or coaching Teyana Taylor on her bars. Or you’ve seen him diligently training for the Rap Strongman competition on his IG. Either way, Tor is one of the hardest working men in rap, but he still has time for my shenanigans.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Yo, I had a short stint where I was a…I don’t even know the job title honestly. I served food at this fancy catering hall. I absolutely hated every second of it, but it was decent off the books money. These wealthy people would come in for weddings, bat mitzvahs, all that and look at us like we were peasants. Needless to say, I didn’t do that too long. It was actually a blessing ‘cause it made me get my ass in gear and find various opportunities in the field and career I loved: Music and Entertainment.

Talk about a time that you were starstruck.

I meet tons of famous people on a daily basis, so I’m never too pressed either way. However, there was this one time TLC (greatest group ever) was up at SiriusXM for an interview, and I got to meet them. It was super dope, and I didn’t even try to keep my cool. We danced and sang. It was the best! My first concert was TLC (Christina Aguilera opened, and Prince was a surprise guest on guitar) at MSG. I always always listen to TLC before I perform. Yup, before I get on stage and spit the hardest rap shit ever, I’m in the green room pumpin’ “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg.” So what, you can’t beat me!

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Hop up out the beeeed, turn my swag onnnn… Really, I thank God, but I couldn’t resist.

What are you the proudest of?

My kids, Young Tay Tay and New York Nick. They’re really dope humans and not just ‘cause they’re my kids, but like as actual people. They really make me proud. Smart, humorous, witty, stylish. I’d be their friend in real life.

Taylor is you. She’s also hilarious and the star of your Snapchat. That kid’s going places. So what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My condo in Brooklyn. No mortgage either. Straight cash. How bout dat!

Oooooh you got MUNNEEEE! Lemme hold sumn. Anyway, name a celebrity you think is lame and why.

Bieber, Katy Perry, Iggy [Azalea], the list goes on and on. If I need to explain to you why, then add yourself to the list.

What human would you trade lives with and why?

I don’t know if I’d trade lives with him, but Lenny Kravitz is a cool motherfucker. I’d hang with son for sure.

But would you trade muscles with him though? Name a thing you haven’t done yet and still want to do.

Perform in Africa. I’ve rocked on four continents, and Africa is not one of them. Gotta change that in 2017!

Who’s going to play you in your biopic?

Me! duh! You ain’t see my award worthy performance on The Breaks? What kind of question is that? SMH. But young Reezy though; I like that kid who played Ralph Tresvant in the New Edition biopic. That kid was ill. Teenage Tor? Hmmmm I don’t know.

Say something nice about your mom/dad so they can smile when they read this. You don’t call home enough, by the way.

My mom is my hero; anyone who knows me knows that. She also my biggest fan, and I’m hers. We came from the bottom, so to see her killing it with like four masters degrees and doing all these amazing things is very inspirational to me. My dad is a good dude too. He didn’t raise me, but as an adult now I understand more than I did as a kid, so I get it. Sorta. We’re good though, we spend time together and we make the most of the time we have instead of dwelling on time we can’t get back. For better or worse. I learned how to be a good dad from my dad.

Would you go to Trump’s White House and shake his hand? If so, what the hell is your problem?

If I did, I’d use a gag buzzer and shock that damn toupee off his orange ass head. I’d do time for that, but as long as someone caught it on video, it’d be worth it. I’d also do a shit load of press when I got out and write a book.

Do you love avocado, or are you a savage animal with broken tastebuds?

I hated avocado my whole Black life, but I became vegan a year ago, and so with that my palate changed. As did my outlook on avocado. First batch of guac I ever tried and liked, my daughter made me. See? I told you she was dope.

What do you deeply desire everyone to know about you?

I get fucking BUSY with this rap shit. I might not have a huge machine behind it, and I missed all the millions they spent on MCs in the ‘90s but bar-for-bar, line-for-line on some rap shit, I’m dead nice!

You get especially busy on the ones where you featured me. FACTS. Okay, give Machinko some good advice.

FuckwithmeyouknowIgotit!

Why haven’t you introduced me to The Rock, Idris Elba, or 2Chainz yet? Why don’t you want me to be happy?

Damn I suck, ‘cause I’ve literally met them all. Guess I’m a bad friend or whatever. *Kanye shrug*

Yep, you’re gonna pay for this one, friend. Okay name a perfect song and defend that song.

Nas’ “The World Is Yours.” Musically, melodically, lyrically, it’s just absolutely perfect. You can debate me, but you’ll be wrong…and stupid. You’ll be stupid too.

Did you know that the Willie Lynch letter is not real, the Michael Jordan who played basketball and makes sneakers is not the same one who owns the prisons, Black women are actually supposed to menstruate too, and the horizon is proof of a round earth? If not, please tell us how this information makes you feel.

Confused.

How seriously amazing is Mela Machinko as a general human? Isn’t she completely killing this shit? Like seriously. C’mon.

She’s aight, but she’s not real. Hov said it best. Nah she’s dope. And so is the project she dropped titled “Hov Said It Best.” Cop that if you don’t have it.

You only say that because you put it on Soulspazm. I forgot to mention the A&R director gig too. You’re like a damn Jamaican.

Check out more Fan of My Friends with the inimitable MeLa Machinko.