Today Matt welcomes Arizona rapper Bag of Tricks Cat. Curious about the name? Behind it is a sentimental story of how the rapper owes his deep love of music to his grandmother, Ann Bennett, who sang the “Felix the Cat” theme song in 1959. Although Bag of Tricks Cat has taken his music career in different directions, the love of music remains and is currently firing the production of an LP called Cat’s Out of the Bag, which will feature his already-released singles “Never Sober” and “Dream Girl”. The full album will be released in Summer 2016. With Matt, Bag of Tricks Cat discusses his biggest influences; his writing process; and close collaborator, touring mate, and former Autographs guest Mega Ran. He also chats about the video shoot for the “Dream Girl” single and about how the new record will differ from his previous, The Cat That Never Came Down.
Today’s album, Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots, explores the many ugly heads of ‘insecurity’. Fun times! But there’s a catch… The artist (the author and musician) is very much a part of the tale, which leads to a rather — wait for it — “meta” plot-structure. Yes, that label, “meta” (as groan-worthy as it has become in pseudo-academic culture), adds a strong dimension to Blurryface. That being the case, starting at 1:34:55 we take some time to explore the use of “meta” elements in other pieces of music, as well as some common fallacies that have erupted from the word itself.
Come witness what many would call the junction point of two repelling magnets (Hip-Hop and Classical) with the newest album by Black Violin, called Stereotypes. Its core members (violinist Kev Marcus and violist Wil B) might argue this point however, as they approach their unique brand of genre fusion as a marriage made in… Florida. Give the album a listen (the duo’s first LP under the Universal Classics label) and then come give us a listen! Or, skip to 1:31:26 for a roundtable discussion on whether Hip-Hip can claim the title of “most versatile.” We’ve got our opinions, let’s hear yours!
Back to nerdcore! This week we take an excursion through the life of Mega Ran, nerdcore rapper hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. For the full excursion, fans can now purchase a documentary that was released about Mega Ran’s life called MEGA-LO-MANIA. With Matt, however, he discusses recent projects such as his latest solo record, Mega Ran Com: Mission, as well as a collaborative effort with fellow nerdcore rapper Storyville called Soul Veggies. Touching upon an upcoming record and the concept behind its inspiration, they also chat about how gaming has influenced his life & music, what it feels like to be officially licensed by Capcom as an indie artist, and his unique transition from a teaching career to full-time rapper.
For today’s episode, Matt confronts the seasoned nerdcore talent of YTCracker. A humble artist with big ambitions, YTCracker’s extensive discography has brought him to his latest release, Introducing Neals, a narrative about a not-too-distant future where web security and piracy prevention have become privatized. A chat on the origins of this musical concept reveals further plans of a possible film adaptation. Also hear Matt and YTCracker discuss the importance of sacrifice when making art, and the need to decompress. With some final jibber-jabber on League of Legends, dive into this jam-packed discussion!
Beefy is Matt’s guest today! And not only is he here to promote his nerdcore-laden LP, Grown Up (featuring the likes of MC Lars, Mikal kHill, Adam WarRock, and MegaRan), he’s also here to discuss the fascinating impact producers have had on his many albums. From there, Beefy also discusses a less-common tribulation facing artists: balancing a steady job, a family, and his art all at once. Onward to a mutual joy for the online game League of Legends, come step into the world of Beefy with your host, Matt Storm!
Today we arrive at the long-awaited appearance of rapper and Philadelphia native, Adam WarRock. Another pillar in the annals of nerdcore, WarRock is also known for his sincere raps about life in all respects. His latest release, Gifted Student, was produced by previous guest to the podcast Mikal kHill and was released on January 22nd, 2015. Matt and WarRock discuss this working relationship, along with their shared addiction to Magic: The Gathering. Then we hear about WarRock’s participation in the annual 24-hour Rap-A-Thon, a charity event, for which (in its latest run) Adam contributed over 18 songs — written, produced, and released, in just 24 hours. This and more chitter-chatter with today’s prolific artist and your host, Matt Storm.
Today we rejoice in the first guest appearance of our new writer, Tony Catalano! Answering up our earlier, less-refined analysis of Flying Lotus’s Until the Quiet Comes (back in CCP Ep. #19), Tony thrusts us into the artist’s latest project, You’re Dead! — this time with the combined force of the entire Crash Chords think tank. But first, we kick-start the episode with Matt’s detailed account of his journey to see the play Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and presented by the Public Theater. This clever Hip-Hop narrative of Alexander Hamilton’s life—and ultimate feud with Aaron Burr—runs until May 3rd. Finally, after the album, we talk to Tony about Tony, covering his background in jazz, his life as a copywriter, his ambitions for the website, and of course, the eternal theme of objectivity.
Dishing out another serving of nerdcore for our referentially-inclined fans, today’s interview demands a certain callback: In CCA Ep. #8, Matt had the pleasure of speaking with Mikal kHill of the two-piece rap group, ThoughtCriminals. Now, Matt completes his cross-examination of the duo by taking on its other member, Sulfur. Like Mikal kHill, Sulfur keeps the tradition of nerdcore alive with his own solo career, and with his new EP, Enter the 36th Chamber — a work that entirely concerns the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Discussing this, his love of gaming, and dropping some hints at an upcoming full-length, get the full scoop on Sulfur’s many talents with today’s interview.
Keeping with the theme of nerdcore, Matt sits down—yes, sits down—with one of its legends, MC Lars, in this rare face-to-face interview held in the confines of his very own tour van. Following a concert with MC Chris and Spose, this jam-packed interview covers Lars’s origins in the nerdcore community and his approach to songwriting and sampling. Featuring additional commentary on up-start musicians, many hailing from the unheralded YouTube generation, Lars’s advice is sure to inform and inspire over the course of this lively chat.