These days, you’re most likely to see Chris Schulist at The Vanguard, the beloved Milwaukee bar and sausage establishment he co-owns. A few years before taking the bold leap into restaurant ownership, Schulist started a classic hip-hop label called Dope Folks Records—which he still operates with friend and co-founder John Kuester—and fronted one of the city’s most accomplished bands of the early 2000s. Prior to touring and playing unforgettable shows with The Mistreaters, giving endangered rap recordings a second life on vinyl, and opening an instant and undeniable Midwest culinary landmark, Schulist was performing jokey hip-hop under the name “C-Section.”
Recently, My First Band host Tyler Maas invited Schulist to Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about some highlights from The Vanguard’s first five-plus years in business, how Dope Folks got its start a decade ago, what it was like to play a Mistreaters album release show with The White Stripes, and C-Section’s unexpected popularity in Madison. Along the way, the pair talked about pro wrestling, the importance of preserving classic hip-hop, short-lived Riverwest bars, and why all musicians should probably have a backup plan.
Schulist will DJ the Australia Is Burning fundraiser at Cactus Club on Sunday, February 9. My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”), C-Section (“Da ILLTRO”), and The Mistreaters (“The Mistreaters”).