NEXT BIG THING
BUSDRIVER HAS JUST RELEASED THE MOST COHESIVE WORK OF HIS CAREER. WE LET THE MAN BEHIND THIS TONGUE-IN-CHEEK, YET CHALLENGING AND PROVOCATIVE HIP HOP INTRODUCE HIMSELF…
People who are familiar with me call me Regan, but cordiality is often used to mask cheap ploys to get what they want from me (giggle-giggle…) I look like I'm 45, but I'm actually 27 (people tell me it's downhill from here.) I'm looking forward to being 30, even though all my 30-year old friends' lives' are in shambles.
My line of work is cool though. I rap, write, speak and organize albums that act as platforms for my manufactured dementia. It's fun.
FM: So how did you get in to music making?
Mainly open-mics, starting with the Goodlife café where I was adopted by LA's elite. I came at the end of the Goodlife era though, which birthed the whole Project Blowed thing. I produced my own stuff until CVE started working with me in 1995. At that time they were working with Ellay Khule, Aceyalone and others, so I was real excited.
What gear do you currently own?
Woe I feel so inadequate. I don't own any gear. I pretty much depend on my technologically incline homies, who record and produce my songs. I'm nothing without them.
What's your favorite piece of gear and why?
Well, I like the Kaoss Pad for vocal effects at live shows. I also fancy that new Akai MPC 1000. It's so compact, it just looks fun. It inspires me to get behind those drum pads and crank out quantized, sample-laden mosaics. But the coolest thing I know of is Daedelus' customized trigger-box that he uses at his gigs. It's quite a mysterious piece of gear to anyone else except the one who wields it. It consists of a hundred round buttons on top of a square black box. It somehow allows him to break-up sequences, play live, sample his performances and integrate sounds from other songs seamlessly. The result is usually a barrage of unrelated sounds, organized into awe-inspiring pieces. A beat nerd's wet dream.
And least favorite?
I don't have one really, but I do have issues with excessive gear. Live-acts with too much gear on stage don't do it for me. It seems cluttered. And this mainly goes for little indie-bands of all genres who are attempting to do it up.
What's your favorite music/band/act?
I tend to learn towards vocal-driven groups that go overboard in their duties. The Vocalese trio, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross are still my fave. The brilliant writing by John Hendricks is unmatched, I think. The dexterity of their delivery grabbed me from the start, and also how they were able to complement each other's voices so suitably, arrange amazing breakdowns and take the zaniest vocal solos. Having also done vocal versions of jazz classics with lyrics, they really opened me up to phrasing and cadence. How rhyme schemes can shadow rhythmic patterns, and how to embellish the musicianship all along with clever anecdotes and solid rhymes. Their stuff is at the base of what I do, especially records like 'Temporary Forever' and 'Cosmic Cleavage'.
And least favorite?
I don't really want to diss nobody. I actually hate most things that are out. I don't know why, I'm just a hater taking hardy gulps of hater-aid. I feel the need to torture myself through that.
How did you get into what you are doing?
I've grown up on my local underground hip-hop scene as a fan and a participant. It lead me to mustering up the gumption to start recording songs and then putting them out, through whatever channels were available. I've been rapping since I was 13, so the question is really, how come I haven't grown out of this juvenile pastime? Instead of moving on, I've glorified it and have become a gaudy caricature of myself.
How are you making it big?
Ha! I can't get a show to save my life in my own city. I don't see myself as making it big, I'm just big on making. Besides, this false notion of eventual super stardom is so played. I just want an enduring career, and some consistency.
What does the future hold for you?
More rapping, more touring, less hair and hopefully, better songs. I want to up the stakes production-wise for my next project. I think that is where this indie-crap is going, and it's where I want to go too. But bigger doesn't mean better.
And what is your ambition?
Well, I'm running on auto-pilot at the moment, and just trying to get by doing what I want. It feels amazing when it works. I pretty much think it's the only way to live.