San Diego

Busdriver's Free Black Press Tackles Identity Politics

Avant-garde podcast FR/BLCK/PR to open for Explosions in the Sky and Future Islands

On Sunday, Sept. 17, LA rap veteran Busdriver and Japanese producer Fumitake Tamura will hold a live reading of their FR/BLCK/PR (Free Black Press) radio podcast at SDSU's Open Air Theatre, opening up for Explosions in the Sky and headliner Future Islands.

Equal bits pirate radio transmissions, avant-garde art pieces, and just plain ol' brilliance, it's described as "seating a crystal clear probe into the largest ills of our time at the helm of music maelstroms born from post-hip-hop, jazz and oratory/writing disciplines."

So how might that sound? Well, the recorded broadcast of episode six is "a one-sided loose conversation about American control and the root genocide at the heart of the Nazi Party" over migrating production. One moment it's bebop swing and the next, nothing but a slow-moving pulse reverberating through hollowed out space.

It's a progressive orbit, not only sonically but also conceptually, as identity politics -- the sort that lead to extremism and precipitated the outbreak of World War Two in Europe -- are framed as an approach molded from U.S. expansionist theory or manifest destiny made new.

But that's just episode six. There are seven in total, and all are available on SoundCloud. Each is full of cerebral workouts that untangle complicated themes by way of informed philosophy, occupying the cultural space between the likes of Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Los Angeles beat scene.

It's not for everybody, but that's not the point. If their live interpretation is anywhere near as intriguing as their studio material, concertgoers are in for one hell of an experience.

FR/BLCK/PR open for Future Islands and Explosions in the Sky on Sunday, Sept. 17. Doors open at 6:30 p.m, and tickets are on sale here.

J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman. You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter

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