I’m excited to announce that my new album, Lame$tream, will be available on April 3rd via Heaven Noise Recordings! Lame$tream will be a FREE download (or you can name your own price if you would like to support). There will be some exclusive packages including bonus songs and remixes that will be available for purchase. There will also be an advance streaming of the album over at heavennoise.com so be on the look out for that. We have some other surprises for you as well, so stay tuned..
For those of you who prefer an actual CD, physical copies will be available by May 1st. Pre-order your copy on April 3rd and you will get the digital album & the bonus material to bump while you wait.
Lame$tream is post-swag music for a new day and a new wrong. Produced by Smoke M2D6, this album will make apocalyptic ruins out of dance floors, subwoofers, and all that we hold dear within our popular urban culture. Guests include Sapient, N8 the Gr8 (The CUF), Onry Ozzborn (Grayskul, Dark Time Sunshine), Candidt, Toni Hill, Poeina Suddarth, and DJ Spark of Sandpeople.
New videos, leaks, and more fun stuff coming soon.. In the meantime, here is a free song/video that some of you might already have.. this is a bonus song that is not going to be on Lame$tream but it’s a good introduction to the album:
Download “Word Processor” for FREE here.
Transparency. I released a new video today which, like many other videos I’ve made, features my humble abode (though I’ve had a few different abodes over the years). I don’t feel too weird about letting strangers in the crib via the internet, but it’s weird that more people have been here on youtube than in real life. This has me thinking about transparency, a term we hear quite often these days pertaining to the fields of business, art, and politics. I figured it might be interesting to make the whole process of this video and song as transparent as possible. Process.
The song was written & recorded in early 2010, when I was working on what would become Lame. I began working on Lame and LameStream simultaneously because Smoke was supplying beats that seemed to belong to two different worlds. LameStream was a simple concept – same premise as Lame but with more of a mainstream feel. Sure, there is some element of mockery involved but the truth is there are plenty of things I enjoy about mainstream music. One difference between the two albums comes down to rhythms; Lame is more of a head nodding album, while LameStream will be an album that people might actually want to (dare I say) dance to… I know that some dudes who listen to me might read this and be like “you’re losing me lame.” But just think yo, girls like to dance. And we like that. Actually, there will probably be plenty of songs that nobody will dance to.. so never mind. Another difference is that LameStream feels a little more electronic with a lot of ambient keyboards and stabbing synths. It’s a little moodier and darker than Lame.. I don’t know, I’m very tired. Sorry for the shitty descriptions.
“Word Processor” is a good introduction to the new album but – transparency – I’m not sure if it will actually end up on LameStream. It might. I look at it as more of an unofficial leak at this point. It fits well though.. Its most mainstream-esque quality is probably that the hook plays such a strong role in the song structure. The more it goes on, the shorter the verses get. I’ve done enough wordy songs. This one contains less words, but it’s about words. Irony is in there somewhere.
The song contains random references to drinking and failed missions, leading into a promise of “out with the old, in with the new.” The weird part is that I never knew how true that statement would be when I wrote the song. Some people might remember my “diet consisting mainly of fast food, nicotine/Pabst Blue, sticky green.” These lyrics are from a long time ago but they pretty much summed up most of my adult life until 2010. Things change. About 6 months after recording “Word Processor” I’d become a sober vegetarian (two completely separate things that I merged into one description) which is a lifestyle I’ve maintained to this day. Some people know that about me but many listeners don’t. Ambiguity has been a result of me continuing to release music I made before that transition.
This was a decision I struggled with (releasing the music; sobriety is obviously a constant struggle) but ultimately decided that the past isn’t worth censoring. Besides, the music I release is generally 2-3 years behind where I’m actually at as a human being. Transparency. Now you know.
As for the video, it was a simple concept I had that ended up turning out pretty cool thanks to Dast (Sandpeople videographer/website guru/homie).. Kate helped too by being in charge of special effects. MZA provided hand drawn “word” titles that were way better than I anything I was hoping for. The pages you see in the video date back about 14 years to when I was a little baby rapper.
I designed the cover art which looks kind of shitty (transparency) but also authentic.. google the old blue DOS screens of yesteryear if you don’t believe me.
I got about 2 hours of sleep last night thanks to a slow computer and a lot of necessary uploading, typing, and emailing. Process. It seems like releasing a free song and video shouldn’t be that stressful but these days “free” doesn’t really mean what it used to, does it? Instead of your dollars, best believe I’m working for your listens, views, shares, posts, likes, etc. That’s the new chump-change for an artist. If we get enough of those it might start to turn into some real money.. like enough to pay rent for the crappy apartment you see featured in my videos.
Hello people of 2012. I’m not going to bore you with all of the details of my Xmas vacation. I enjoyed my break from Oregon, facebook, twitter, and rhyming. Kate and I visited some of my family, but the most exciting thing we did was hit up Disneyland (not on broke-rapper money, in case you were wondering). This was our family’s present to us, and it was really cool since we never had a honeymoon or anything like that. Highlights include:
– Seeing a father and his teenage son sharing one seat on the Matterhorn ride.. The kid was sitting in front of his dad, between his legs and pressed up against his junk.. the best part was that the kid was all hunched over and looked super ashamed. If he would have just looked like everything was normal, it would have just been kind of creepy.. but instead it was hilarious.
– I saw that one crackhead dude from Crazy Town.. (I hope that when you remember who Crazy Town is you end up getting “Butterfly” stuck in your head like I did).
– Tribute to Captian EO.. nuff said. (if it wasn’t nuff said for you, learn more here)
– Kate got kind of crunk off some super-overpriced drinks with glowing cubes in them.. In fact, there were all sorts of awesome, glowing, bright things happening.
I put this out in May but the song/video was really inspired by winter in Portland. So many people here are struggling.. Obviously that isn’t just a local problem but we have a pretty sizable homeless population.. Our weather isn’t too harsh most of the year, but some of these cold winter nights have to take their toll. As a song, “Thy Will” goes in a lot of different directions. I would say the main idea behind it is that there are forces that we can’t control or explain.. and whether we call this luck, science, God, the universe, karma, etc., it doesn’t matter because it will do what it wants. It’s sort of a waste of time to fight about the specifics.. Everyone’s life is affected by outside forces.. blah blah blah.. Existential ramblings.
Shouts to Wordsmithjr who directed the video.. We clearly had no budget, but he put in a lot of work and I think it shows in the footage.. I feel like we got our point across without using any special affects. We wanted to show some powerful images without exploiting people, so we just basically walked around the city for 2 days filming.
I figured I should revisit this ultra-official music video because it features Ninja in action. This blog is named after the song, which is a personal favorite of mine..
Below it is a 5 or 6 year old video.. Ninja probably wasn’t even a year old…He was a killer in training. WARNING: I growl in the video. Do not be alarmed. Some of you aren’t going to find this entertaining. Others will find this to be further evidence of how lame I really am. Cat people? You will probably like it.. Girls? Safe bet. I’m sharing this video now because I know that only a small number of people will see this. In the event that I become borderline famous and have a whole bunch of people considering me “really cool”, this video will be destroyed immediately. Not just taken off Youtube, destroyed!
A few weeks ago Pegee 13 asked if I wanted to do a Christmas song produced by his alter-persona/group Taco Neck. Pegee isn’t the first person that comes to mind when I think of holiday cheer but Willamette Week’s music editor Casey Jarman reached out to him and asked if he would contribute something to their annual Another Gray Christmas compilation. I’m glad I could be involved. I’m a fan of Christmas despite the machine of industry that surrounds it and the blatant materialism that it often promotes (I want an ipad for Jesus’ birthday!). This song is fictional.. hypothetical might be a better description. It’s inspired by everything that is very real to me at this moment – working for small amounts of money and struggling to keep my life together..but with a Christmas theme.
Also, this is my first blog post. Hope you enjoy.. Once again, this song is produced by Taco Neck with Aaron Bixby on the bass. All proceeds go to p:ear (helping mentor homeless youth). You can buy “Lame Xmas” for $1 or the entire compilation for $5 (which I recommend, on account of the whole liking Xmas thing). Peace & Merriment.