It's not everyday you see 800 kids lined up single file on the sidewalk in Orange in the rain at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. But if there's one thing we've come to know about rapper Phora's fanbase, it's that the words "Stay True" mean a lot. And not just because it's the title of one of the OC rapper's jams on his latest release Nights Like These, or the freshest tat he's got inked on his knuckles. In an age when rappers boast the power of their social media armies, few local independent emcees can gin up support like the tattooed, Anaheim-bred rhymeslinger. Over the weekend, his real-life army showed up outside Pachuco Tattoo on Tustin St. for a packed meet-and-greet that spilled out from the steamy, cluttered hallway of the shop's building and stretched around the block.
Nate Jackson Phora signing a poster during the meet and greet at Pachuco Tattoo
"That's what having a solid fan base is about," Phora says. "It's about having that connection with the fans. There's a lot of rappers that feel entitled to something, like it just comes. But a million fans just don't come. I guarantee you all those people waiting in line they got a solid connection with me. They're gonna come up to me like they know me."More »