Birdapres and I are different than most rappers you may meet in Winnipeg. We’re both poor men’s intellectuals, with a long reading list of paper backs resting on our bedside tables. Although we are fundamentally influenced by the movement that came out of the Bronx in the 1970s, our musical influences reach far beyond hip-hop in space and time. All this is not to say that we are special in some way, but only to point out where our collaboration began.
We made an album together by meeting on Sunday afternoons, drinking tea and listening to beats through a pair of headphones that were jacked up as loud as they would go. We would talk about the things that had struck us as interesting throughout the course of the week, and the directions we wanted our music to take. We wanted to create a concept album. S0 we did. Here is the first single from our eight track EP Argyle. It’s called “Pump Up the Volume.”
Argyle will be available for pay-what-you-can/want download on May 28th, from Marathon of Dope. Here’s a little a write up about the upcoming album that you can read if you can read:
“For the first time ever Birdapres has teamed up with Rob Crooks to bring you Argyle. Named for both an alternative high school in Winnipeg and the pattern that adorns school uniforms, this eight track EP harkens back to the days of low-hanging backpacks, mind-numbing classes and juvenile delinquency. Although Bird and Crooks are well beyond their teenage years, they artfully use the theme of high school to express the feelings of alienation and ennui that followed them well into adulthood.
The poetic insight that laid the theme for Argyle came from Birdapres’ observation that most people had a friend or classmate tragically pass away during the months or days surrounding graduation. From that dark inspiration came the pensive “Bus Stop Blues,” a song that developed the overarching concept for this brand new EP. Other songs cover topics such as adolescent drug-use (“High School High”), skipping class to smoke “Cigarettes” (feat. Pip Skid) and the dreaded “Summer School.”
Sonically, Argyle is contrastingly upbeat and fun. Rob Crooks, playing the role of producer in addition to emcee, took records supplied by the walking-vinyl-encyclopedia Birdapres and fed them through his sampler to create beats influenced by Krautrock to Miami Bass. Samples from classic 80s and 90s high-school movies are sprinkled throughout the EP adding a narrative that takes the listener from the first day of school to graduation and beyond.
The final result is a hip-hop album unlike any other, relating the experiences of angst-ridden high-school students to the existential problems facing us as grown-ups today.”