Bios-40, By the Numbers

I was born on a mountain top in Tennessee

Greenest state in the Land of the Free

Raised in the woods so I knew every tree

Killed myself a bear when I was only three.

I’m not just wild,
I’m trained, domesticated
I was raised by a rapper and rhino that dated
And subsequently procreated
That’s how it goes
Here’s the Hiphopopotamus
The hip hop hippo

They call me the Hiphopopotamus
My lyrics are bottomless…

My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

I once had a girl…or should I say she once had me.

Between the ages of  6-10, my primary musical influences were the Beatles and Metallica.   An 8 year old belting out “For Whom the Bell Tolls”,  while readying his sony cassette player to find Rocky Raccoon…

Although if we’re going to start on honest footing my 1st favorite song was probably “Rock Me Amadeus” or “Rainbow Connection”.   Someone somewhere has footage of me singing the latter on video – thus ending my dreams of running for public office.

Musically – I’ve had training enough in classical theory to know roughly what I’m talking about, but alas as for talent- I’m a crappy guitar player and that’s my most accomplished musical feat.  I do own an Audio & Sound Recording BA – and so not only does music creation intrigue me, but also music production.

Ideally if you’re a music lover you work yourself into a state where you’re willing to give most stuff a chance aurally, if you’re not doing that then you’re just locking potential doors to things that might make you happy.  So death metal, Indian ragas, Japanese pop, old skool country, avant garde jazz, noise,  classical art music, trance, rnb, and on and on and on…they are all on the table.

However, I will admit to being less lenient on some forms than others.  And this stems not from feeling alienated by the artists, but more b/c of the chance to slip into repetitive clichés – and music is simply too awesome to be boring.  So sometimes I deal heavy handed with Rap, Reggae, Ska, Modern Pop and Punk – if you’re gonna perform in these genres bring something good to the table…b/c they are diluted with sub standard stuff.

I see my role in RC as somewhat of a dissenter on the opinion that music always has to sound “good” to be good.  Expression takes all forms, and it has to be remembered that music is an art form.  Sure it might not be easy to hear that in the newest Kesha or Bruno Mars works, but ultimately music is about connection, communication, experimentation, creativity, freedom, emotion, and 100’s of other things.  Music’s function is malleable to your desires/interests, and so there is value to anything that connects with you – whether it’s b/c it reaches you because of something like a vocal harmony, or it reaches you because you know the kind of effort it took to arrange a 12 tone row.

Afterall, in the words of Henry Miller:

“In the end I think of music as the saving grace for all humanity. As the universal language it transcends the boundaries of nationality, social strata, and political ideology. Whether we are educated or uneducated, rich or poor, whether we speak the same tongue or not, we still possess the ability to communicate our feelings to one another through music. The world would be a terrible place without it, a miserable place.”

Amen.

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