LA-based rapper and producer Busdriver is a legend within the underground hip-hop scene, having released critically acclaimed music since 1999. Busdriver is an innovator, his music is often avant-garde in nature and requires patience to really digest and appreciate his work. His 10th studio album Electricity Is On Our Side, is no different. Released back on the 8th June on his label Temporary Whatever, it took me a while to really appreciate the artistry and vision of this album. I’m not going to pretend like I’ve fully unpacked every aspect of this project, but I will say that this is one of the most innovative and creative concept albums I have heard in years.
His flows throughout the album are so incredibly unorthodox and unique that it’s impossible to categorise rhyme patterns or general structure in his verses. It often sounds like he’s doing spoken word over some psyched-out folk-jazz instrumentals. Lyrically, he touches on explicitly political themes on tracks such as “me vs me” (produced by Swarvy), more personal topics on tracks such as “sore spot” and pure abstract lyricism on tracks such as “tiny infinities,” featuring Hemlock Ernst. Production-wise, the album is full of futuristic, synth-heavy beats as well as an avant-garde jazz like improvisation that makes it a diverse sonic experience. It’s a heavy listen, but worth it once you unpack all the subtleties in his lyrics, rhyme patterns and production. Features on this album include Denmark Vessey, Dntel, Lorde Fredd33, Kenny Segal, Mike Parvizi, the Underground Railroad, Hemlock Ernst, Fumitake Tamura and Daedelus.
You can listen to the extraordinary work of art below via, and make sure you support Busdriver’s Electricity Is On Our Side in any way you can.