Face the music


TheoryMC performs with hip-hop artists Mahtie Bush, DJ Ethik, Hennessy and Lefty Rose at 5:30 p.m. on July 27 at the Holland Project, 140 Vesta St. Learn more about TheoryMC at instagram.com/theorymc.

The latest song from TheoryMC is called “FEAR,” and it’s indeed an acronym: Face Everything And Rise.

“I was just browsing Instagram one day, and I saw this phrase: ’You can forget everything and run or face everything and rise,” said TheoryMC, whose real name is Brandon Scott Williams. “So, I just ran with that. Facing everything and rising is like my continued mantra. Regardless of what gets thrown at you in life, you still have a choice.”

The message behind “FEAR” is an intriguing contrast to the Reno rapper and producer’s other online track. “Work Harder” is closer to what you’d hear on a commercial hip-hop station, with a lighter tone and hooks galore. It’s also garnered TheoryMC the most attention and was used recently by several NBA teams for online highlight videos.

“That song was just a fun experiment in the everyday sound of modern hip-hop, sort of pop,” he said. “I’m not really big into that sound, because I think it takes away a bit of the authenticity of being a rapper, where people want to hear hardcore lyrics, more like ’the people’s rapper.’ But, I challenged myself to do something different.”

Expect more of those contrasts during TheoryMC’s show this weekend at The Holland Project, 140 Vesta St., as well as in a five-song EP called Black Sense that he hopes to release soon. TheoryMC described his new material as closer to progressive rap, with lyrics from the personal to the topical.

“Rap can be as expressive as you want it to be,” he said. “I don’t really think it matters what kind of sound it comes packaged in. I still want the root elements to be something you can relate to. I just want to create art and put it out there and not box myself into the idea that I have to be a certain way in order to be liked.”

Reno may be relatively new to TheoryMC’s music, but he’s no novice. He’s been rapping since 2004 while living in various locales, including Oklahoma, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. He participated in online and live battle rapping scenes and shows until his move to Reno five years ago.

He said the move to Reno “was more or less life-related: job, love, all that good stuff.” While he did continue to write and produce music, it has been on the back burner.

“Ever since I moved here to Reno, I just worked, doing the 9-to-5 gig. I would still take the time to create and write. It’s just part of who I am and what I do, and why I enjoy hip-hop so much. No matter what age you are, or what stage you come into the game, you can make a name for yourself.”

“For me, it’s just a part of who I am, and I think when you deny what you love doing, there’s a time when you need to say, ’I really need this, I want to be back out there doing it.’ It really just comes from a place of passion, about performing and MC’ing, whether it’s spreading a good message or just having some fun.”

And, with that return to the fun of the stage looming, TheoryMC’s clearly not nervous about facing the crowd again.

“I mean, I might get a few butterflies before I go on,” he said with a laugh. “But, I know this is something that I’ve been waiting to do for a while, to be in Reno as a performer and not just a guy in the shadows. It’s going to be fun.”