Slava P is the guy on Twitter that hates everything. You can find him poking fun at Wale, calling rappers by their government names and probably sub tweeting you with such a coy, yet witty, slander that you have no other choice but to embrace it.

Despite being one of the few Canadians who are part of the ‘mainstream hip-hop blogosphere’ (is that a thing?) of fake-importance and Elliott Wilson-inspired braggadocio, Slava, the editor of the recently introduced Noisey Canada, keeps it real. So real in fact that he had me reflecting upon my own Twitterverse, forcing me to realize that I’m doing it wrong. Corny hashtags, retweeted compliments and hours in Twitter conversations are not the wave.

After running into each other while both picking up our Canadian Music Week media wristbands and Uber-ing it back to the Noisey office, Slava and I found a cozy spot in the corner of a quaint coffee shop in Liberty Village that had Stevie Wonder serenading us from the speakers. He even bought me a tea. Quite the contrast from the virtual mean-muggin’ character he’s taken for online.

“I’m the same person outside and inside of the Internet, I like to think,” he says through his smirk.

Firstly, I got to know a little bit about Slava. He’s from Barrie and moved to Toronto because it “looked like the most amazing place ever,” as he held down a marketing job while writing for sites like ToFlo and Passion of the Weiss on the side in order to go to shows for free. “Man, concert tickets are really expensive, I’m sick of paying for them. So I tried to figure out a way to go for free and I realized that press gets to go for free and you didn’t even have to take pictures. You just have to remember what was happening and then right it down. I could do that,” he shares.

After achieving success from his Donald Glover interview and building a budding working relationship with Noisey Editor Drew Millard, Slava took a trip to NY (after losing his marketing job) to meet with Millard. To Slava’s luck, Noisey was opening in Canada. Through the connections he had made with his snappy work, the editor position was his.

Slava and I take the afternoon and talk Twitter, so long in fact that the coffee shop clerk kicks us out for staying past closing time. But I left with a perspective of the art of Twitter through Slava-spectacles. Here are the top 10 things I learned about Slava’s Twitter etiquette.

1. He isn’t serious, unless he’s serious. “Twitter is just a device for jokes. I’ve lived alone for long enough and I’m even starting to notice this now with a roommate that I’ll think of something funny and I’ll just say it, because there’s an audience. Twitter is just an audience.”
2. It’s easy to be taken out of context. “It’s all comedy. I don’t care if people think I’m an asshole… My tweets would be a lot more contextual if you could see my face while it’s happening.”
3. There is no such thing as “Toronto Twitter”. “People think Toronto has a way bigger scene than it does. I don’t think Toronto Twitter is a real thing. There are some people in Toronto and on Twitter and they have a following. There was that one thing that happened a few months ago with that chick that was talking about $20, 000 and she’s from Toronto and Stixx (@Mr_Stixx) retweeted it and Brendan (@BrendanLLM) retweeted it and Ruck (@FarRuckaway) retweeted it and I guess that’s Toronto Twitter, but it only really went viral after New York picked up on it. We don’t really have anyone like a Nigel (@Nigel_D). We think that people are caring more than they do. People aren’t checking for Toronto super hard.”
4. There’s nothing more awkward than, “Hey, I follow you on Twitter.” “People come up to me all the time and say, ‘You’re really funny on Twitter,’ and first of all, that’s really awkward in general, to have someone come up to you at an event and be like, ‘Are you Slava? You’re funny on Twitter.’ I’d rather someone say, ‘You’re an asshole.’ I know how to react to being called an asshole, but I don’t know how to react to being called funny.”
5. Writers who spend their day debating on Twitter are hustling backwards. “People give me shit for talking about J Cole and Wale and all that, but I write pieces that fully explain my argument and why I feel that way and everything I write for Twitter is adding to that fact and if I ever change my mind about an artist, which happens sometimes, I write about that too. I don’t think there’s any sense in debating. People just want to debate, because they want someone to talk to.”
6. People that favourite everything are creepy. “Now I can just tweet any random bullshit and someone will favourite it and it’s weird, because you see the people that keep favouriting stuff, even if it’s about nothing, and you’re like, what’s your end game? I notice you and I think you’re weird.”
7. Collect Tweets in drafts to knock out when the time is right. “I have a bunch of gems saved to drafts right now and I’m waiting, that I don’t want to launch right now.”
8. Do shit in real life just for social media clout. “Part of the reason that I go to Bun B shows and stand in the front row until my legs hurt is so I get a picture of Drake when he comes out and I get a bunch of Instagram likes. It’s part of the game and it sucks too. I’m putting out an article about Redway as soon as I get back to the office and that’s what he talks about. He says that people in Toronto do things just to say that you do them. They say, ‘I was in the studio until 6 a.m.’ ‘What did you do?’ ‘Nothing, but I was there until 6am.’”
9. Getting more followers is more important than getting paid. “When I was starting off, I wasn’t getting paid and I was literally just measuring my success off of the amount of followers. I wrote this thing, it got sent out by College Humour and I got six followers off of it. That’s success, where as if I could have gotten paid, that’s $50 to $100 for my little article.”
10. Twitter is real life. “Twitter has gotten me jobs, it’s gotten me money and relationships. It’s just a real life thing.”

Connect with Slava (@SlavaP) and myself (@Samomaryleona) on Twitter.

Samantics is a weekly column, written by columnist Samantha O’Connor, highlighting and discussing the Toronto hip-hop community – the talent, the identity, the events, the slang, the industry and all things in between.

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