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In Character with Liquid Anthraxxx

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Clark Thompson (middle) is known as Liquid Anthraxxx, both black and white, clothed and unclothed.Hip-hop artist Clark Thompson can often be found hawking his CDs on Northeast Alberta Street. In 2011 Thompson, who grew up and still lives in Northeast Portland, experienced a breakthrough when he was named West Coast hip-hop artist of the year. But his fans know him by another name.

Portland Tribune: Why Liquid Anthraxxx? Why not Liquid Marshmallow or High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Clark Thompson: In the rap industry, you’ve got to be lethal. You have to deliver the goods. Marshmallows don’t usually make it. During the anthrax scare it was like, “Yeah, man, you flow as hard as anthrax.”

Tribune: Wait a minute. I’m an old white guy. What’s a flow?

Thompson: A rap. They also said it’s smooth and flowing, like liquid. So somebody out of my crew came up with Liquid Anthraxxx.

Tribune: With two extra X’s on the end.

Thompson: If it’s not Triple X it’s not me. It just sounds more lethal.

Tribune: Old white guy question again. When we’re talking lethal, nobody’s actually getting hurt, are they? Have you ever seen anybody get hurt at a concert?

Thompson: The worst was a mosh pit where a girl fell on the ground and they didn’t stop. They just kept moshing and kicked her in the head. I had to dive down off the stage and grab her and save her. Once they start moshing they get into a frenzy.

Tribune: What is the attraction there?

Thompson: I have no idea. It’s the music and the way they start running into each other. Maybe they don’t know how to dance.

Tribune: Is it mostly white kids?

Thompson: Yeah.

Tribune: Weirdest thing you’ve seen at a hip-hop concert?

Thompson: A dude who ran across our stage naked. I guess the guy was really into it and really drunk and felt like streaking. And then he dove out into the crowd and started crowd surfing. A naked guy crowd surfing.

Tribune: He dives into the crowd stomach down?

Thompson: They flipped him.

Tribune: I’m guessing white guy.

Thompson: White guy.

Tribune: Do black guys streak?

Thompson: I’ve never seen one.

I think Oregon has its own sound, a hip-hop rock sound. I used to have the Juggalo crowd. They wear big giant shoes and different types of punk rock garments. It’s something like the Insane Clown Posse.

Tribune: What the heck is that?

Thompson: That’s a group in Detroit that dresses up like clowns so there’s a whole crowd that comes in with makeup on and Michael Myers (“Halloween” movie fame) masks and vampire teeth with blood dripping down the sides of their mouths.

I also get the skateboard crowd. They come in with their skateboards and their Vans and their tight tight jeans. One good thing about the skateboarders is you know they don’t have a gun on them because their jeans are too tight.

Tribune: Have you really been shot nine times? When you go out on a date do you ever offer to show her your bullet holes?

Thompson: I show them to my wife. I’m married. I lived that lifestyle — street kid. You live that lifestyle, you’re going to get that.

Tribune: I would think before you’d get shot nine times you’d be dead.

Thompson: It’s the warrior in me. I’ve got a strong will to live. And I’m fast.