Astronautalis: Hip-Hop's Unified Theory
For rappers, it never hurts to have a foil handy; to cede the spotlight to a guest MC who can shine a light and offer a second opinion, not to mention provide credibility by association. In "The Story of My Life," Astronautalis — an adventurous young rapper who's equally versed in freestyle battle raps, alternative country and indie rock — shares the spotlight with the percussive delivery of gifted Rhymesayers MC P.O.S.
Astronautalis himself has crafted a persona as a sort of avant-garde rapper, influenced by the likes of Nick Cave and even Bob Dylan. With a sound that moves beyond mere crate-digging and sampling, Astronautalis and P.O.S. conjure up a hard-bitten unifying theory ("Life ain't a dream / It's just a string of jokes all connected") while utilizing input from members of indie-rock outfits such as Midlake and The Paper Chase. Just as the Rhymesayers and Anticon collectives persuaded adventurous rock fans to explore hip-hop, Astronautalis may just turn a few rap fans on to the sounds of American Gothic.
Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.
Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.