Hip-hop anonymous

Local rapper Sean Anonymous talks beginnings, beats and birthdays over a cup o’ joe.

Minneapolis rapper Sean Anonymous at Cause Spirits and Soundbar in his LynLake neighborhood.

Emily Dunker

Minneapolis rapper Sean Anonymous at Cause Spirits and Soundbar in his LynLake neighborhood.

by Shannon Ryan

What: Sean Anonymous’ Birthday Bash


When: 8 p.m., Thursday


Where: Triple Rock Social Club, 629 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis


Cost: $5 in advance, $7 at the doors


Age: 18+


Making a casual and effortlessly swag-without-pretention entrance into the Java Hut, it’d be difficult for any non-Minneapoline to know that this guy is a maverick in the world of underground hip-hop, with more than a decade of spittin’ under his belt and a fresh EP that has spent three months on the CMJ charts.

“I don’t consider myself a celeb; I feel like a normal dude,” Sean Anonymous said. “I ride the bus, I ride my bike around and I hang out with all of my friends.”

Beginning his rap game spittin’ to the rhymes of Eminem and Snoop Dogg flowing through the school bus speakers, it took the curiosity of a 13-year-old coupled with the beats of Dr. Dre, Del the Funky Homosapien and Deltron 3030 to get this kid creating his own music.

“I started freestylin’ on those everyday and wrote my own songs,” Anon said. “I had maybe two songs to each beat on the Deltron instrumentals. I just wrote to everything.”

His ascension into the world of rap-dom hasn’t faltered in more than a decade, instead heightening upon joining the independent hip-hop group Wide Eyes in 2004, a group he is still producing and creating underground rap with.

Anon’s solo album “Anonymo” was released last July and was developed after more than a year-and-a-half of working in between layers of performances, tours and collaborations on songs with his band Wide Eyes and the satirically loaded hip-hop group Bottom Feeders, among others.

Anonymous is always working on the next thing. Whether that includes another solo project with Wide Eyes confidante Dimitry Killstorm or generating lyrics and beats with the band for a soon-to-be-released EP with Phillip Morris, the emcee doesn’t stop.

“I’ve learned the difference between good busy and bad busy,” says Anon, “And I’m mostly good busy. [Good busy] is doing things like this interview and performing, things I like to be doing anyways.”

The 25-year-old rapper doesn’t stop his flow for much. He has been performing on his past five birthdays, a tradition that shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

“This is the sixth year in a row that I’ve thrown my own birthday party, so that probably means I’m officially lame,” Anonymous said. “But I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing on my birthday than performing for a big crowd.”

Releasing a distinct amount of energy and conviction through his on-stage self, it’s no surprise last year’s birthday bash was sold out. Anonymous’ tack of performing is more about returning to the mindset he had when creating each track.

“I try to picture what I’m saying, I try to picture the lyrics and get into the same feeling I had when I wrote the song, and I try to recreate that on stage,” he says. “Thinking about the words brings out these feelings, and it’s a natural response.”

Sean Anonymous is a Minneapolis emcee with an equal amount of humility and self-assurance.

“I don’t think I’m all that,” he says. “I’m confident. I think I make good music. And I’m quite sure I’m gonna do well, because I don’t have a backup plan. [Rapping] is pretty much the only thing I focus on; it’s the thing I do the best and what I do most.”