San Diego

Scatterbrain's Catch and Release

The new album from the Masters of the Universe MC is a joint effort with Obnoxious

"[I] came into the game with Masters of the Universe [MOTU] under my big brother Odessa Kane," said New York by way of San Diego rapper/producer Scatterbrain.

It's a unique point of origin, a familial bond to one of the city's earliest and most influential rap crews. But as a hip-hop renaissance man, he's carved out his own lane building his personal sphere of influence from a catalog of independent albums, moody production credits and a savvy DIY sense of business.

As an artist, he's accrued a large discography of solo rap projects but his most recent offering, "Chem Trails," is a collaborative effort with veteran MC Obnoxious that finds the two trading verses and heavy bar work over dark, brooding beats.

"One day, Obnoxious said he wanted to do an album with me called 'Chem Trails,' so we just started hopping in the lab, geoengineering and putting these lines over everybody's head," Scatterbrain said.

Full of quotables and lyrics worthy of the rewind button, it's an impressive body of work, but for all of his prowess manipulating words, he says his favorite creative endeavor is producing, as it offers "a lot less politics/drama and it's more fun."

And so it goes, as he's been busy crafting soundscapes while stockpiling a selection of choice instrumentals for an upcoming release entitled "London Acid Attack."

With non-stop grind matched by his no-nonsense work ethic, there's more. As a businessman, Scatterbrain's Red Lotus Klan imprint was featured in a 2017 Mass Appeal article as one of seven cassette labels leading the rap tape revival. 

It's a venture that began with the re-issue of hard to find albums from his MOTU OGs and has since grown to include projects from artists outside of his immediate circle.

"In 2018, our first release is from Philadelphia producer named Sadhugold with his project 'Dump Dynasty: Kung Fu Island.' [We're] also working with Tragedy Khadafi and releasing his album The Kuwait Tapes on cassette," he said.

And it's no coincidence that his Red Lotus Klan operation has expanded its reach along the East Coast -- rather, that's by design, a natural outcome of relocation and growth. Feeling boxed in by San Diego's small-town atmosphere, he moved to New York four years ago to expand his horizons and try something new.

"I miss my hometown but you know how fish only get as big as their aquarium?" Scatterbrain said. "That’s how I started feeling like being in San Diego. So now I’m out here in a bigger aquarium swimming with different creatures and avoiding the pollution."

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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