brilliance: spitting sharp, smart lyrics and fluid dance moves on top of electronica that already inspire a step back: this
is rap? This is hip hop? These impressive lines, conviction like razor blades, irresistible: this ain't art school but a shark pool. Witness all of this and more at Busdriver's show at the Mercury Lounge. Fast paced, culturally aware lyrics, a heavy beat, enthusiasm and authenticity; Busdriver is from LA, but the edge and the involved energy of his show is entirely New York.
Cutting the line between artist and audience, breaking expectations of what your ordinary MC might rap about, inspiring a no breaks, no weak half attempts concert, Busdriver delivers what he promises. He demands an upped sexy quota for the second half of his show, the first black astronaut to walk the fair moon, and perhaps the first to understand so well his appeal. His enthusiastic audience might not be the usual at a hip hop show, but the respect he demands is utterly unquestionable, and marvelously enjoyable. - Laura Yan
Possessing a hyper-literate, intellectual style of rapping augmented with dizzying elocution that would tongue-tie even the fiercest auctioneer, Busdriver is eclectic and eccentric enough to cite vocalese jazz singer Jon Hendricks as a primary influence. Born Regan Farquhar, the Los Angeles MC was introduced to hip-hop culture early -- his father wrote the screenplay to one of the earliest films focusing on hip-hop, Krush Groove. He began rapping at age nine, releasing his first record at age 13 with his group, 4/29, named after the 1992 L.A. riots. By the mid-'90s, Busdriver was a regular at the Project Blowed open mic, where he would meet future collaborators and underground luminaries like Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, and Freestyle Fellowship. And shortly after, the vinyl did flow. Busdriver guested on upward of 20 singles, and by 2001 he could no longer be contained by guest spots, releasing his first full-length, Memoirs of the Elephant Man. There were just as many detractors as supporters for his singular style, which was so densely packed it made his chosen name seem a reference for multiple-personality disorder, and the lo-fi production also left more listeners scratching heads than nodding them. His next album, This Machine Kills Fashion Tips (2002), continued in a similar manner before being trumped by better production and more focused rhymes on Temporary Forever the same year. Joined by another West Coast avant-garde MC, Radioinactive, and the breezy, fractured pop of electronic producer Daedelus, Busdriver released yet another odd puzzle piece in 2003, Weather. Fear of a Black Tangent followed on Mush in 2005. After moving to Anti-/Epitaph, the rapper issued RoadKillOvercoat, which featured production from Nobody and Boom Bip. His second Anti- release, Jhelli Beam, appeared in 2009. - all music guide