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Busdriver's road less traveled 

The independent Los Angeles rapper performs at Gasa Gasa July 16

click to enlarge busdriver-farquhar.jpeg

Update: This show has been canceled due to a family emergency.


Hip-hop often gets bifurcated into hard (gangsta) and soft (conscious) boxes, but iconoclasts like Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar exploded that notion and made what once was a strange underground into the new mainstream. A 20-year O.G. among weirdo emcees, Busdriver, aka Los Angeles native Regan Farquhar, probably wonders what took so long. ("It's easy to stop eating when your belly's full / Like it's easy to stop learning when you're failing school.") Or he's had enough with the artistic gentrification of his chosen medium. ("Highbrow wanna colonize the streets of Compton / 'Cause there are no yoga spots, no vegan options.") Or, more likely, he just wants everyone else to do their thing so he can keep doing his. ("I can run the world from my momma's house.") Given his penchant for chaotic production orgies and the buckshot nature of his flow, it's amazing how often he hits his targets on 2014-15's LP/mixtape combo, Perfect Hair (Big Dada) and Thumbs (Temporary Whatever). The latter in particular makes space in 41 minutes for a dozen producers and at least as many guest stars, including man-of-the-moment Anderson .Paak, off-the-trailblazer Del the Funky Homosapien, actor/musician Daveed Diggs (halfway to an EGOT — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony — for his work in Hamilton), Hemlock Ernst (aka Samuel T. Herring of synth-rockers Future Islands) and Kool A.D. (one-third of punchline-rappers Das Racist). They all take a backseat to the man driving the bus, whose careening impulses swerve from radio-catchy ("Much," "Worlds to Run") to radioactively caustic ("Hyperbolic 2," "NY 03 LIVE"). Sea Battle and Jonathan Brown open. Tickets $10-$12.

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