Friday, February 21, 2014

NC rapper releases EP in response to NC economy

Former Charlotte-based rapper Supastition released the "Honest Living" EP this week. It's available via his BandCamp page here under the name your price program. I say former because the NC rapper, who returned to hip-hop after a two-year break in 2012, moved to Atlanta in late November.

It's a shame that Charlotte's lost such a vital voice in hip-hop to the more lucrative music hub. Hopefully ATL will be a more lucrative home base not just for his music, but for his family and work life given the struggles he chronicles on the EP.

The "Honest Living" EP was inspired by Supastition's (aka Kam Moye) experience searching for work in North Carolina during the economic downturn. He says in the accompanying booklet the project is dedicated to the working class and was triggered when North Carolina became the first state to eliminate federal unemployment benefits in 2013. In the title track he writes of searching for work, tiring of life in a poor neighborhood, and the frustration and willingness to compromise (taking any job for instance while knowing you're overqualified) in the quest to give your family a better life.

"Two Weeks Notice" is sort of the flipside of that. It's about gladly taking the corporate gig with the cushy benefits with a smile only to realize later that your soul is being sucked dry by the monotony, the inability to relate to the superficial concerns of superiors, and the lack of creativity.

On the intro to the record the Greenville, NC-native simultaneously addresses how difficult it is for an independent artist to make it in the current music industry ("All I really wanna do is be able to do what I love and also, get back what I put into it") and the desire to support a family without creative compromise ("I don't have to make a living off of music 'cause then you start doing things out of desperation. I'd rather go to work everyday, feed my family, and make some dope s*** when time permits"). It's a lot wrapped in four lines.

The EP is incredibly easy to relate to. These are real problems facing real people. For those who are unemployed, self-employed, or just work jobs where insurance hasn't been an option things like 401Ks and making a dental appointment are far from the day-to-day reality. And for those, like Moye, who thrive on creativity in their work, there's real fear in taking a 9 to 5 job and abandoning your passion. Supastition raps about finding that middle ground.

Musically, "Honest Living" is engaging throughout too. It was produced by Supasition's sometime collaborator/German producer Croup. Together they create a canvas in the spirit of vintage hip-hop without sounding at all dated.

You can download the EP at the above link or for a clean version of "Honest Living" click here. You can get it for free, but take note of the title and consider what your own work is worth.