Billboard hip hop star Topher will be at Booker T Saturday
Conservative and nationally-known hip hop artist Christopher “Topher” Townsend will speak Saturday at the Booker T. Washington field.
Townsend, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children, is being hosted by the Neshoba County Teenage Republicans in the free concert that starts at 5 p.m.
Organizers said the goal is to do something for the community while spreading a message of conservative values as vocalized by the artist Topher, a 30-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran.
Ty Martin, chairman of the Neshoba County Teenage Republicans and vice chairman of the Mississippi Teenage Republicans, said many people who vote for Democrats may be more in line with conservative principals than they realize.
“One of the big points we are going to hit on is that when you go to the ballot box in November or whenever, you don’t vote … for somebody’s race, you vote for their principals,” Martin said. “We are going to try to make that at the forefront.”
Martin, an 11th-grader at Neshoba Central High School, said the Philadelphia High School football team will be on site selling concessions at Saturday’s show to raise money for uniforms and equipment.
“We also want to do something good for the community and raise some money for the local football team and get these kids in Westside something to do to keep them off the streets,” Martin said. “We are really just trying to make it a big community event while also pushing the subtle line of conservatism without making it too much where nobody will attend.”
Conservative principals Martin said, to him, include traditionalism, fiscal responsibility, small government.
“Stuff that people around here embrace, even if they are Democrats,” Martin said. “We are pro-gun, anti-abortion, we are anti-same-sex marriage. That is the stuff that the party is built on.”
Martin said he believes those values cross racial and demographic barriers in many communities but many people are brought up to vote along racial and economic lines.
Townsend, originally from Kilmichael, moved to Philadelphia with his wife, Alicia, a Philadelphia native, and their two children about a year and a half ago, and he is now a conservative, independent No. 1 Billboard Hip-Hop digital sales artist.
Townsend comes from a musical family and is the son of Little Willie Farmer, a blues musician from Kilmichael. Townsend said he has been making music for 20 years but only recently began introducing his conservative values into his lyrics.
“I’m a Christian first and then I’m a conservative,” Townsend said, adding that conservatism, to him, defends individuality, respect, religion and “walking side by side with people, equally. I don’t cuss, I don’t talk about women twerking or degrade them, women are our mothers and our sisters.”
Townsend said his goal with Saturday’s show is to vocalize those values he thinks will work for everybody.
“Stop voting on our color and start voting on our values,” Townsend said. “Vote for the best person who is going to do the job right.”
Townsend released a music video titled “The Patriot” featuring The Marine Rapper in January that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales charts in February.
Saturday’s program starts at 5 p.m. and will last about an hour and a half, Martin said, adding that Philadelphia Alderman At Large James Carson Waltman, a Republican, donated wedding tents to provide shade for the event.
In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the pavilion at Westside Community Park or inside the Westside Community Center, Martin said.