Busdriver RoadKillOvercoat

[Anti-/Epitaph; 2007]

I don’t know why, but I never got into Regan Farquhar (a.k.a. Busdriver) till this release. However, as soon as I saw that Elvin “Nobody” Estella and Boom Bip were being consulted for the beats, I knew I had to hear RoadKillOvercoat. As you can tell from the rating, I’m happy I did. Busdriver has been a part of LA's underground rap community since the early Nineties, releasing some six albums on Mush, Ninja Tune, and his own Temporary Whatever, among others, in that time. I feel his latest and first for Sage Francis’ Anti-/Epitaph is a major step forward, which will see Regan take a starring role in his prolific scene. That could just be the beats talking, though.

Pairing Boom Bip’s abstract, deep rave sounds with the psychedelic hip-hop of Nobody was an inspired move. The encompassing, warped synths play off sunshine pop samples like ecstasy and pot (read: very well, kids). In fact, I’m now calling for a dedicated collaboration between those two just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Regardless of that, Busdriver’s contribution to this release is obvious. His choruses are instantly memorable and his word-soup lyricism easily places him in the upper echelon of intelligent emcees, somewhere between MF Doom and Dose One.

Being that the complexities he describes require the usage of multisyllabic words designed to poke your brainstem and send half-assers running for their Webster’s, how Regan manages to spew all the concepts in a flow that soothes as much as it stimulates is exactly where his craft becomes an art. From a lyrical standpoint alone, the refrain from “Kill Your Employer (Recreational Paranoia Is The Sport Of Now)” is on par with Abbie Hoffmann’s Steal This Book, while lines like “Gay is the new black” from the Yes sampling “The Troglodyte Wins” make his knowledge seeds easy to take with you and spread. You don’t always have time to read a novel, as you well know. Tasty shit, to be sure, and enough to make a man re-evaluate Regan’s entire back catalogue.

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