"By now, it's clear I've got computer cooties," confesses Anti Records-signed, auctioneer-speed rapping Busdriver, on his first-ever mixtape, released this week.
After all, the prolific rapper has kept a low Web profile over the last several years, while his peers have dropped enough Internet-only mixtapes to bust bandwidth on even the most dedicated servers. But "peers" might be the wrong word to describe Regan Farquhar, who has blazed a singular swath over his decade-plus of making music.
After honing his tongue-twisting polysyllabic raps as a teenager at the famed Leimert Park open mike night Project Blowed, he's cut records with Low End Theory linchpins Daedelus and Daddy Kev. He formed Th' Corn Gangg with the former members of the Unicorns and Subtitle. Most recently, he assembled Physical Forms along with Jeff Byron, formerly of the Mae Shi. His style is a Venn diagram of the worlds of DIY punk, beat music and underground hip-hop.
But "Computer Cooties" marks his intial foray into the free mixtape world, a land typically populated by rappers rapping over the hot instrumentals du jour. In this year alone, Rick Ross' "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" has been rhymed over more times than there are message board trolls. In typical Busdriver fashion, he eschews the norm, opting instead to flow over everything from the Monsters of Folk's "Dear God," to Nosaj Thing's "Coat of Arms," to Wolf Parade's "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son."
Without sacrifing his rapier wit or vituperative political barbs, Busdriver is at his loosest on the tape, writing goofy sex raps ("Encyclopedia Wand") and a Daedelus-produced dance party dedicated to full-figured women ("Thick Enough"). Yet there are Open Mike Eagle-aided meditations on the notion of a higher being ("Deer God"), and on the Flying Lotus-produced "Will He," he deftly limns the current political climate and the underlying racism that surrounds it.
Basically, it contains everything that makes Busdriver inscrutably entertaining: lacerating raps, inspired collaborations and the occasional Hank Paulson joke. It's available gratis at his brand-new website. It won't give you cooties, but it is infectious.
ZIP: Busdriver -- "Computer Cooties" (Left-Click @ Busdriver site)
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Busdriver. Credit: Mike Stadler