The undisputed meme-worthy star of the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) last Sunday night was Miley Cyrus because she basically broke the Internet for a few days. Like previous VMAs where Madonna withered on the floor in a wedding dress or Prince shocked the masses by wearing a yellow lacey ass-less outfit, Cyrus got people talking by sticking her tongue out, stripping her clothes off and dry humping teddy bears to the delight and terror of millions of viewers.
While the Internet may love and loathe Cyrus at the same time, FAMOUS (real name Ashton Bishop) — a Canadian emcee new to the Taiwan music scene who is celebrating his birthday tonight at Brickyard — has no time for her. “I’ve never had interest in hearing about Miley Cyrus twerking,” FAMOUS said in an interview with the Taipei Times. “I love to enjoy life. My life.”
In May, FAMOUS stopped by Taiwan for a few days on a tour with Canadian emcee, DO, and fell in love with the place. “When I came out here with DO the first time, I was introduced to a culture with great values. I was raised with values,” he said. “I came back because of the reception from the people and their interest in the culture of hip-hop and live performances. And, of course, the women are beautiful.”
FAMOUS cites two luminaries as the ones he looks up to most in the hip-hop world. “In order to be a superstar you need the following — quality material, a wicked live performance and a great appearance and personality. I try to make sure I’m strong in all those categories,” FAMOUS said. “Puffy and Jay-Z are the definition of that, not to mention Forbes’ top 10 richest men in hip-hop, so they aren’t bad role models.”
Co-owner of Brickyard, Graham Dart, agrees that FAMOUS has the qualities to be a superstar.
“He’s pretty much an entertainer 24 hours a day. He’s really, really good at building buzz by just walking around talking to people,” Dart said. “There’s no off-switch. It’s great.”
To date, FAMOUS has lived in Taiwan for three weeks, and has had his share of surprises. “The first one is the overuse of emoticons. I learned that the people out here speak iconese,” he said. “Another thing is religious values. I’ve seen people this month burn money in respect to the ghosts. I think it’s great that they value those who came before them. Also, I had some girl touch my head and said I was real smart because of the shape of my head. That was like the best compliment a women ever gave me.”
The goals that FAMOUS has set for himself in Taiwan are very realistic. “I want to learn the language and I have a tutor who is teaching me. I want to keep building my fan base and booking shows all around Asia as well as building solid relationships with like minds,” FAMOUS said. “Essentially, I want to be the guy who catapults hip-hop in Asia to a whole new level.”
The next step on that journey is tonight. “It’s my birthday. I’m in Taiwan. And it’s the first show of The Return Tour. Need I say more?” he asked. “There ain’t no party like a FAMOUS party!”
FAMOUS’ birthday party with Pro Res, PowerMan and Apesh!t tonight from 10pm to 4am at Brickyard, B1, 507 Jhongshan 2nd Rd, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市中山二路507號B1). Admission is NT$300 for men and NT$150 for women, which includes a drink. Students with a valid ID get in for NT$100 (with a drink) before 1am.