Montrell Harris, who goes by Work Dirty, spent over a decade developing a rap following on the club scene and at concerts, and creating albums centered around his hard scrabble life on the streets of Vallejo.
His invitation to perform at the Patriot Prayer rally in San Francisco was an effort to display the event’s diversity with an urban artist who has some name recognition in the Bay Area, but he says he’s not being used as a token.
“I’m not no fool, I’m not no idiot you know,” Work Dirty said.
Rally organizer Joey Gibson identifies with his Japanese ancestry and touts himself as an anti-government libertarian rather than a conservative. He says he doesn’t want white supremacists or the violent anti-protesters to attend.
Gibson says he doesn’t want the Charlottesville violence to happen in San Francisco.
But but his pro-Trump group stages rallies in liberal communities, which often invites conflict -- intended or not. In the Seattle Patriot Prayer event after Charlottesville, police battled with mostly counter-protesters.
Work Dirty says he knows plenty of people of all races who are Trump supporters.
“I can’t bash anybody for their political beliefs, but I'm definitely not supporting nobody that that’s racist or bigoted or sexist or anything like that," Work Dirty said.
Make no mistake, the rapper says politics is not his thing. After all, music is first and foremost about entertainment.
Still, he says a bit of controversy isn’t going to keep him from performing.
“You got to approach the difficult things sometimes, and see what’s poppin’, feel me, we going to pull up though, me and my team, we’re going to pull up," Work Dirty.
Make no mistake, Work Dirty says he’s no stranger to violence.
"Magazine Street, Vallejo, California, I been around violence all my life. We’ve been ducking bullets, ducking shots, people getting their heads blew off my whole life, I’m not worried about a couple of people crying about 'cause some ethnic people out here," Work Dirty said.
Work Dirty is is well aware fo the highly charged racial climate the rally might create, but he’s hoping for a peaceful event.
"We’re not coming there for any negativity, we’re not coming there to get into it with anybody or none of that. I rap," Work Dirty said.
San Francisco political leaders are promoting a counter demonstration far away from the Patriot Prayer event at Chrissy Field.