When Busdriver sent over “I Can Teleport,” the latest self-leak from his forthcoming collaboration with fellow LA misfit rapper Nocando, it sparked a cross-virtual-cubicle discussion about why records like these don’t ever end up on most rap blogs.
Sometime around the turn of the century the thinking man’s rap critic who once covered the likes of Busdriver almost exclusively (that too was a problem! Balance, people…) got too smart and—ahem—street savvy for smart rap. At the same time a rigid, real hip hop conservatism set in amongst the less critical underground/indie rap listener. So acts like Busdriver, who by the way is YouTube platinum, were simply squeezed out of the middle. (It also didn’t help that technology opened doors for more pretentious, chin stroky and sloppy experimental rap that probably devalued the entire brand.) But while this shift was happening on one level, rap turned progressively experimental in the last place the old weird underground would’ve expected—the dreaded mainstream. Kanyes, Waynes, Andres and Neptunes were all taking explicit risks with their music on a popular scale. And now, at last, those impulses have trickled back down to the next generation of underground rappers, who are now all firing blasts of eccentricity in very different directions without ever coming into contact with that first wave of adventurers. This disconnect is probably why these young rappers are understandably so uncomfortable about being compared to past eras of weird rap. There’s no tangible lineage there, any similarities are either purely coincidental or a product of some sort of elaborate divine design (perhaps the gods liked Def Jux).
Long story short, tell your favorite indie rap blogger that it’s once again cool to post shit like Flash Bang Grenada. “I Can Teleport” was produced by Busdriver himself, the album is set to drop in August.