Beaus$Eros, the seventh full-length from indie rap trailblazer Busdriver, forgoes the lightening-speed rhyming that defined his style in favor of a diverse, off-kilter brand of pop and post-hip-hop. Called “...as technically impressive as an MC can get” by Pitchfork and others, Busdriver has made his most personal and avant-garde work yet with Beaus$Eros. Focusing on a devastating break-up and personal failure, the album is buttered in stirring melodies and complex vocals. In step with Busdriver's recent work with forward-thinking producers Flying Lotus, Modeselektor, Nosaj Thing and others, the production on Beaus$Eros takes root in beat music, lush IDM, and sythpop.
Inarguably one of the premiere risk takers in modern indie rap, Busdriver has been a fixture in the scene for ten years, releasing compelling left-field rap albums on taste-maker labels like Mush, Big Dada, Alphapup, Polyvinyl and Anti-. Performing and collaborating regularly with acts likes The Roots, CocoRosie, Aesop Rock, The Glitch Mob, Deerhoof, the beatmakers of Low End Theory and more, his place in the network of left-leaning musicians is as unique as it’s ever been.
Up-and-coming Belgian production wiz Loden doctors every moment on Beaus$Eros as the album’s only producer. Without ever physically meeting or speaking live, the two manage an electric synergy that usually comes from years of working together. Loden’s Hindenburg-sized beats push Busdriver’s croons and spat thoughts into difficult-to-label territory. Think Bjork’s Post filtered through the sensibility of Outkast’s The Love Below with outsider artist goals hidden in every measure. Beaus$Eros is the colorful sum of his wildly adaptive voice in music and proof that he still reigns over entire undiscovered worlds to which his loyal following is now invited.
Possessing a hyper-literate, intellectual style of rapping augmented with dizzying elocution that would tongue-tie even the fiercest auctioneer, Busdriver is eclectic and eccentric enough to cite vocalese jazz singer Jon Hendricks as a primary influence. Born Regan Farquhar, the Los Angeles MC was introduced to hip-hop culture early -- his father wrote the screenplay to one of the earliest films focusing on hip-hop, Krush Groove. He began rapping at age nine, releasing his first record at age 13 with his group, 4/29, named after the 1992 L.A. riots. By the mid-'90s, Busdriver was a regular at the Project Blowed open mic, where he would meet future collaborators and underground luminaries like Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, and Freestyle Fellowship. And shortly after, the vinyl did flow.
Busdriver guested on upward of 20 singles, and by 2001 he could no longer be contained by guest spots, releasing his first full-length, Memoirs of the Elephant Man. There were just as many detractors as supporters for his singular style, which was so densely packed it made his chosen name seem a reference for multiple-personality disorder, and the lo-fi production also left more listeners scratching heads than nodding them. His next album, This Machine Kills Fashion Tips (2002), continued in a similar manner before being trumped by better production and more focused rhymes on Temporary Forever the same year. Joined by another West Coast avant-garde MC, Radioinactive, and the breezy, fractured pop of electronic producer Daedelus, Busdriver released yet another odd puzzle piece in 2003, The Weather. Fear of a Black Tangent followed on Mush in 2005. After moving to Anti-/Epitaph, the rapper issued RoadKillOvercoat, which featured production from Nobody and Boom Bip. His second Anti- release, Jhelli Beam, appeared in 2009. In 2010 he put out a full-length mix tape of unreleased gems and illegal remixes called Computer Cooties. It was released as a free album.
2010 saw Bus toiling over a new album that will shock fans and confuse the unconverted into unwilling servitude. It is called Beaus$Eros and will be released in February 2012 on Fake Four.