In this edition we speak to Sunspot Jonz (Mystik Journeymen/Living Legends) and Aaron Cartier, plus a salute to MF DOOM, a middle finger to year-end lists, new music recommendations, and more.
Regardless of familiarity with Sunspot Jonz, any rap fan should be fascinated and inspired by his triumphant tale of overcoming the odds by pure grit. Underground hip hop culture as we know it was shaped to a large degree by this unsung hero, so we insist, no we demand, that everyone familiarize themselves. Sunspot (pka BFAP) walks us through the mid-thru-late 90s rise of Mystik Journeymen and Living Legends as they established themselves first in the Bay Area and then worldwide. We discuss how they built an indie rap music market from scratch and popularized the terms "underground hip hop" and "backpacker". We detail their forging of an international DIY hip hop tour circuit and their approach to self-marketing and distribution before the internet. Being some of the first bedroom hip hop producers and even creating the first consumer "beat tape", we look at their then-unique lo-fi and low-budget approach to recording and manufacturing. Sunspot also speaks about his early relationships with Del, Hieroglyphics, and Good Life/Project Blowed. Finally, he explains the importance of taking risks and believing in oneself.
In a complete 180, we talk to newschool genre-hopping MC/producer Aaron Cartier, getting into the workings behind his noise-trap album Aaron Cartier Best Dog (co-produced by Dylan Brady of 100 Gecs fame) and more.
We also pay tribute to the life and legacy of genius innovator MF DOOM, detail the harm and hubris of year-end lists, recommend the Media Roots Radio podcast (Soundcloud / Apple / Stitcher), and shout out some recent music releases (Spirejump: Granville 31, RAP Ferreira: Bob’s Son, and Moor Mother & billy woods: BRASS).
Monthly bonus episodes (thus far including Anti-Pop Consortium, New Kingdom, Cambatta, and Brzowski) available $3/month via patreon.com/weirdrap.
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