Adam Drucker, Anticon’s oddball emcee Dose One, is never at a loss for words. For more than a minute now, the elusive rapper/singer/spoken word artist has released a slew of revered music projects that bear his name. Whether it is spoken word (Pelt), collaborations (13 & God, Peeping Tom, Prefuse 73, Boom Bip), side projects (Subtle, Clouddead, Themselves), or solo albums (Hemispheres, Slow Death, Ha!), the scatterbrain artist is never confined by form or musical paradigms. Like him or not, his voice, presence and delivery is almost always attention grabbing.
With a discography that rapidly builds, and a mouthful of words to deliver, I caught up with Dose on a random weekday to pick the prolific artist’s brain. Much like his neurotic musical tendencies, his responses were quirky- but were also thoughtful and humble. For such a ballyhooed artist, Adam Drucker was refreshingly unassuming. Here’s what he had to say:
Music for The Advancement of Hip Hop seemed to have been released a lifetime ago. Can you tell us how or if Anticon-as a music collective- is different now than when that CD was released?
Extremely and not at all… Everyone’s still brimming with direction and this kindred, yet disparate, way of seeing the world. When Advancement was released we were all living in a three bedroom in Oakland; 9 people sharing a floor and shower, A-dat and dinners. Just before that we were in our respective Antarcticas recording and dreaming of bigger and more honest things. And now here we are doing the same thing. Each of us turned into a home and close core of collaborators. All of us still in a whole and releasing music toward the void or bounty around us…
So you’re saying your approach to making music has changed a bit?
Quite a bit. And after our van accident last February, Dax’s injuries…even more so. Just before the accident I felt as though I was amongst those who it was ideal for me to be making music with. Meaning everyone in Subtle and 13&God and so on. Yet I was growing somewhat embittered to the taste of releasing records, press pushes, touring tuff- all the things that remain half difficult yet ever so detrimental. And then after the accident, literally seconds after it, I realized that there was little else to life aside from meaning and those you are akin to. This left me understanding the reasons and pangs from which I make music…with renewed and certain clarity.
Does is bother you that Anticon’s music is constantly being labeled as one form of hip-hop or another? Is it bothersome, or are you indifferent about labels at this stage? Especially after your experience with the accident and all, is it annoying?
Yes it is. Well you know, to quote a Why? article… “Genre’s are for critics”. It has never helped me during the song making process to sit back and listen to my half made song and decide what genre I will paint it. However as a small business owner and a rather genreless music maker in general, there is a functional good to the genre’s concept- especially when it comes to those who seek out music from wherever they are in life, in whatever isle, on whatever web site, etc….
As a small business, like you said, what are your most basic intentions?
To live through our music and make a living through our music in turn. And as a label at large, we are sensitive to artists who have the similar fervor and intent. If all things business and creative click, we welcome them to the wild world of release schedules.
What current music have you been listening to lately? Who are some of your favorite current musicians?
As corny as it may come off, Why? is my favorite. Lately I have been glued to certain records, since I’ve been recording the new subtle record, I get very obsessive about listening to no music, or the perfect thing only. That being said…Fog, “Loss Leader”, Kate Bush, “Dreaming”, Public Enemy “Fear of a Black Planet”, Jel’s stuff, Saafir “Boxcar Sessions”, Broadcast “Tender Buttons”, and some 200 versions of half finished Subtle songs.
Enough about other people’s music. Tell us about your latest record. What were you trying to achieve with this record?
There is a great deal of things; poems, field recordings, mistakes, bright moments that have never made it to the light of a previously released record. So Ha! was born. It’s a collection of footnotes, behind the scenes samples and motif origins that flesh out the spaces between Themselves, Clouddead, Subtle, 13&God and myself.
Ever think about producing an instrumental album?
Yes, it is in fact my next solo endeavor. But it will be done at the speed of find and alone time; which always escapes me and then finds me, in large spurts.
What are some of the things that strike you-positive or negative-about the crowds, the people you’ve encountered due to your music? Any places stand out? Why?
Hmmmm…well the more I meet them, the more they listen. The more I can concentrate, the farther things get. A lot of hip hop leaning people, want another Deep Puddle, Rock folks ask for another Clouddead and Subtle. Europeans ask for 13&God, and more music with Boom Bip. Musicians…say the show was good but the sound was kind of shitty. Midgets say…can’t you have a row of boxes or equipment cases up front, so we have a place to sit and see the whole show? So on and so forth…and sometimes when all the stars are crossed, people, fans, steal my props. Everywhere stands out that day, and then it’s a month later…catching up on emails and nursing a fresh lozenge.
Besides that instrumental album, what projects you have in store in the future?
On the far horizon…the next 13&God, to be recorded somewhere in the coming year or 2. A new Themselves to be done when Jelf. Magic Mike Patton and I have also kicked around some good clean killer’s interest in doing a record together as well. We just finished “For Hero: For Fool”, the new Subtle record, which will be out this summer.
What do you want people to say about Anticon-and you-when all is said and done?
Nothing too long winded. I’d prefer they listen with everything they’ve got and show it honestly to the ones they feel the most.
I think that’s enough of my silly questions. Thanks for your time man.
Thanks Dave, for your time and simply giving a hoot.
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