Y’know the Blueprint/Brainbow combination is fierce because it’s the first time an upper echelon rapper and an artistic-minded band from Columbus have gone the collab route that worked for De La Soul & Teenage Fanclub, The Roots, and pretty much no one else. Who remembers Sir Mixalot’s corny line on the Judgement Night Sountrack, “I Want to Put You In the Mud-honey?” We don’t need to even get into Limp Bisquit and all that other stuff that is the worst of the terrible.
So given that the locals in Columbus love to tell the story again and again about how diverse the music scene is. And how it’s prolly the only place in country where pretty much the most talented and successful in the city in all music forms from Noise to Hip Hop hang out in the same places, and support each other. It’s interesting that this is the first time this has happened.
We love to ride for how Daymon Dodson, 3cbsa, Thought Set, Weightless, CDR, Print/Black Keys at the Newport, Scotty, The Apes/Meta4ce, Killed In Action and Przm/Fonosluts changed the game forever with next ups like Triceratops, IGLU, PBJ, DJ Detox and Milk Bar’s DCKareem watching in the crowd . Who can forget the famous El Jesus Alive cover that solidified Daymon as the Mac Dre of this movement? I could site examples forever. Sweetheart’s crowd. Skylab. Carabar. Beat Lounge. Most Weightless bills. TNV’s support of a mourning Hip Hop scene. It’s embedded.
If you are in Columbus, you prolly already know what I am talking about.
Point being, cats shared spaces and bills for long enough that you can call it culture. But this show is a first. No one was dumb ever enough to do a wack some rap/rock jump-off just because people were friends. So you know this Bluebow thing is supposed to happen. And it will be epic. I caught up with Print and spoke to him about the perils of the live band/Hip Hop problem. He explained to me how Brainbow, and himself were able to prepare something that is locally historic and musically sound.
Hip Hop with a live band is always a very thorny endeavor. What common mistakes do people make?
Blueprint: The main mistake I think people make when they pair up with a band is to base it completely around what they’ve already heard so it comes out sounding like terrible imitations of what’s already out there. Or they just get a bunch of random musicians who love the edge of hip-hop but just want to jam out, so the results sound like a hip-hop jam band; the music goes on and on for 10-minutes at a time and the end up freestyling or rapping about complete nonsense.
What have Brainbow and yourself done to avoid these errors?
Blueprint: The most important thing to both of us is to avoid compromising the integrity of what we’ve done already. And I think the best way to do that is to make it about the songs. The arrangements and the spirit of the songs should be the first thing that determines how you present that music. Some hip-hop songs work perfectly as chopped-up samples, but they lose their effectiveness when they’re played out by musicians. At the same time, there are some hip-hop arrangements that translate extremely well live, and those are the arrangements you want to focus on. For example, the production work I’ve done that’s more layered, and spacey tends to translate better than sparse minimalistic stuff. Nobody in a band wants to be playing the exact same riff for 5 minutes straight anymore than i want to hear them play the same riff for 5-minutes straight. So before we ever met up to rehearse i sat down and brainstormed about what songs I had in my catalog that could translate well in terms of arrangement; songs with intros, verses, choruses, and outros, etc.. Then i sent them to Brainbow to see what they felt could work. Just by approaching it like that i think we eliminated a lot of the problems other people may have when they try to do this. Now, I’m not saying that we’re any better than anybody else because we have yet to play the show yet, but I do feel confident that nobody will leave the show saying that we sounded exactly like they expected us to sound, and I also think we sound like something brand new.
Brainbow and Blueprint will be playing with Miranda Sound, Mike Shiflet, and El Jesus de Magico Saturday at Skully’s. For more information, click here.