21 November, 2014

An Interview

Today, we interview the proprietor of white2tea.  While the actual proprietor could not be with us for what follows, the part of twodog will be played by selected lyrics from the classic hip-hop album, Liquid Swords, by the GZA.


Thank you very much for talking with us today, Mr. Twodog of white2tea. 

Much has been written about your business model of selling a limited inventory of well-selected cakes.  It looks as if you must sample widely; which criteria are you typically applying when you're tasting stacks of random tea?

I judge wisely
as if nothing ever surprise me;
between two pillars of ivory.

Well, that approach could be said to be working.  What are you looking for in a tea?  I notice that much of your inventory is particularly strong in some way. 

Dynamite force explode through your barrier
rips the retina;
who can withstand the astonishing punishing
stings to the sternum?

I think I know what you mean - the 2000 CNNP 7532 "Tiepai" was just like that.  My sternum, for one, is certainly still stinging.

You have gained a reputation for looking past the label - especially with cakes such as that "tiepai", which is probably a copy.  What advice can you give us about trusting the provenance of a cake from its wrapper?

All those labels
try to lure in like spiders to the web -
know what I'm saying -
you got to read the labels.

Well indeed, but some of us can have trouble identifying if the contents are fake.  How can you tell if it's major label or not?

Major labels:
flavour: tropical
punchlines: its unstoppable.

I suppose that's true - let the tea speak for itself, and the best producers will always demonstrate their special characteristics.  Isn't it a little risky, buying tea in an environment in which fakes are so rife?

Heavily armed military is necessary
it's a gamble.

Yes, it is.  Would you say that you were a particularly fussy drinker, or are you just looking for good, strong tea?

I ain't particular,
I bang like vehicular

Your inventory certainly suggests that is the case.  You have become infamous in the tea world for selling tea at an unsustainably low rate.  We're trying to understand your motivation here - what do you see when you look at the higher prices of other vendors?

What is the meaning of crime?
Is it criminals robbing innocent motherf'ers every time?

Well, no-one ever accused your higher-priced competition of robbing people, but I see your point.  So what is your motivation here?

I'm on a mission that n's say is impossible
but when I swing my swords they all choppable

Your "swords" here presumably referring to your combination of lower prices and decent quality.  Aren't you worried about the effect that this might have on the tea market?

I make the dope sales drop
like the crash in Dow Jones stock.

That's an uncompromising position, but at least the consumer benefits from cheaper tea.  What message do you have for other small-scale vendors out there, thinking about starting in the tea market?

Only raise your hands if you're sure -
Punk n's shatter like a glass jaw.

You do seem to like the "n" word, Mr. Twodog.  Are you saying that there is a large "churn" in terms of vendors, and that typical small-time vendors come and go quickly?

It's an everlasting game
and it never cease to exist,
only the players change.

That does seem to be true, looking back at all those who have tried their hand at selling tea.  Would you say that you are doing well, financially, out of this business?

Yo, I got more mils
than ho b's got birth-control pills.

While I fail to see the connection between female dogs and their contraceptive methods, I do take the point that you are at least breaking even in this venture.

You are, of course, based in Beijing and spend much time on your travels to find the next tea bargain.  Where does this activity typically take you?

I'm deep down in the backstreets
in the heart of Medina
about to set off something more deep than a misdemeanour.

Interesting, I wouldn't have considered the tea market there.  What do you look for when you're browsing a new neighbourhood tea market for bargains?

No neighbourhood is rough enough;
there is no clip that's full enough;
I can't fold I need gold I heat up and reload.

Do you have more white2tea-branded productions coming out soon?  I really enjoyed "Giant Steps", which you made in 2013.

Another production
coming atcha
rza-razor rza-razor sharp

That's fascinating.  Well, that's about all we have time for in this interview.  May we ask what our readers might expect to see from white2tea in coming months?  Are there plans for expansion?

The plan was to expand,
catch seven figures, release triggers
and live large and bigger than my n's
who promised his mom a mansion with mad rooms -
she died and he still put a hundred grand in the tomb.

Mr. Twodog, of white2tea: thank you for your time with us today.

19 November, 2014

Chinese, VI

at least you still know
the way to Tsinghua, old friend -
my faded shadow