Gather round the fire children, for I’ve a story to tell.
It’s the year 2000. The fear and anxiety of the New Year has dissipated, we have emerged from imminent technological doom unscathed* and it is summer. I was young, I was haphazardly ambitious, and I wanted to work at church camp. So I did.
17 years of religious experience had led me to this place of eager proselytization. I had been called by a higher power to the shores of the Northumberland Straight to save the souls of children through songs about little red wagons and games of manhunt. By the end of the summer only one girl had listened to my pleas of soul surrender but that was enough for me.
Cut to 11 years later and I feel a familiar call.
Children, let me tell you about a man with redemptive powers. A man with the power to heal the souls of the broken, soften the hearts of the hard**, open the eyes of the blind and cause the lame to boogie. A man long ignored and held back by the mainstream media that controls the airwaves and intertubes. A man, children, who cannot be ignored. I am here to unveil this city on a hill and to start a revolution in the world.
Children, this man is the legendary Buck 65.
A by-product of living a self-enforced life of piety is a poor taste in music and lack of exposure*** to what the cool kids had on cassette. I listened to a lot of DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so needless to say my tastes have only matured in recent years.
Point is there’s this really excellent hip hop artist from just outside my current hometown, and in case you haven’t heard of him I’d like to lay it all down.
Buck 65 has been known as such for a long time, and well before 50 Cent came into the picture. So imagine my surprise when I listened to a track and discovered he’s not a parody artist. In fact, one thing that sets Mr. 65 apart from the hip hop crowd of modern generations is his distinct lack of gangsterism. He’s a white kid from the country and to admit otherwise would be dishonest. I can’t do a better job of outlining his life and career than wikipedia so go there for more deets.****
Would you like to hear a track or two? Let me guide you.
I’m not sure what song I heard first, but this was likely one of them. In fact, I’m almost sure it is:
- “Superstars Don’t Love“
- “Gee Whiz” (ft. Nick Thorburn)
- “Whispers of the Waves” (ft. Gord Downie)
- “Paper Airplane” (ft. Jenn Grant)
- “Stop” (ft. Hannah Georgas)
- “Zombie Delight“
- “Tears of Your Heart” (ft. Olivia Ruiz)
- “Cold Steel Drum” (ft. Jenn Grant)
- “Who By Fire” (ft. Jenn Grant)
- “She Said Yes“
- “BCC” (ft. John Southworth)
- “Lights Out“
- “Final Approach” (ft. Marie-Pierre Arthur)
*”Even Russia?” My grandmother exclaimed in shock and dismay as the midnight hour rang out in time zones ahead of ours. Shock because, really? Russia made it? And dismay that the months of planning, bean can buying and gasoline stockpiling were for naught. “Ah well”, she thought to herself, “At least we have all this wine.”
**It is most definitely, what she said.
***Though I would sneak a listen to my sister’s copy of Big Shiny Tunes (the first one).
****It hasn’t been updated in a while, so there isn’t much info on his most recent release.
*****Oh but how I wish!