Introduce yourself, crew, affiliations, etc.
Bleubird, Endemik, Jerk Circuit, Gunporn, Les Swashbuckling Napolean extraordinaire.
How did you get the name Bleubird? What does it mean and why do you spell it the way you do?
Well, the name just kind of fell into place… I had some assorted idiotic names when I was rapping about glocks and eating acid with the devil in high school, at one point I was called Dime One, then it changed to something like Flamethrower Mouth Wu-Tang Killa Blunt… but I wanted something that fit me… Charlie Parker was called “Bird”, i was always fond of the “Bluebird” school bus company, a Bluebird is a dreamer… and a symbol of happiness, but all that’s just some bullshit, the real reason is this: after I was jumped into my first gang in Miami in 1987 “Le Tigre,” the next part of the initiation was to hunt down a Blue Jay with a sling shot and slit it’s throat to the tune of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” as an offering to the god of hip hop, after the that the name just kind of stuck.
Many people think you are Canadian, are you? I know you are form Florida and now reside in Montreal. Why the move?
No sir, born and raised in south Florida, I came to Montreal to get the fuck up out of Florida and the United States for a while, but the main reason was to be closer to my label / engineer / producer / peoples, I came here to isolate myself from my family and friends that I grew up with who don’t view a rap career as a tangible real thing… to build a vocal booth next to my bed and wash dishes and hang drywall so I can drink coffee and write and record raps. To get physically involved with my music and record label, help Scott crank buttons and fold seven inch sleeves, research and contact distributors and record stores, promote and develop the other artist’s on Endemik, have a say in the mixdowns of my songs…
What impact has this change in location had on you as an mc?
It’s affected me as a person… new city, new surroundings, new people, new ideas, more culture, more art, more music… naturally it transfers to my music. In Florida I was surrounded by distractions, the people around me were content with conformity, they were into real estate and bubble gum, I was back living with my parents and I felt I always had to escape to create. Now I have a space where I’m able to write and record and work with someone towards a common goal… ie – Big Scott aka Ended, in a city full of people who believe in the fight… in the struggle. With Scott’s help, plus blood sweat and tears, I’ve already finished my tour cd, 12 inch ep, plus various other projects abroad… and we’re also pretty close to finishing my new full length.
I have heard many people in the hip hop community compare you to or call you the fake Josh Martinez. What do you think about that?
Oh you mean Maxwell? I’m more “josh’s little sister” than “the fake Josh Martinez” they need to get more creative. These are the same people who like Buck 65 but couldn’t tell you who Jorun is. They can keep slapping labels on the window, I’ll just keep breaking the glass.
It has also been said in hip hop circles that you are that American mc who thinks he is Canadian. Care to comment?
Yes I care… I care soooo much about what people think that I cry in bed at night, in fact I wish most of them would stop riding their thumbs, sucking on their mommies keyboard, and maybe release an album… or maybe play a show or two… or hell they can even come battle if they feel like arguing their point. This is hip hop! We’re all still holding onto our nutsacks!!! Although I love Canada and it’s music, i have always maintained that I am American. America is where hip hop started, why should i front?
How did you get involved in hip hop? What inspired you to rock the mic?
It’s always been a part of my life, at a young age my older brother and his friends used to make me recite the lyrics to “Fuck Shop” by 2 Live Crew, if I fucked up or didn’t say the key parts loud enough they would kick my ass, I also used to creep into their breakdance circles and even develop dance routines with my Jamaican neighbor… I swear I had the smallest pair of parachute pants ever made… my mother used to complain “if you memorize your homework like you do those rap lyrics you might do better in school!” Of course I’d just slam my door and crank some PE or Tuff Crew. I had two 18’s in my room… MC A.D.E “how much can you take” would bump pottery off the wall in the kitchen. In middle school everyone was having themed parties like “casino” or “50’s jukebox”… my shit was “hip hop”, the invitations said “yo yo yo come rock the house with Jacques!” I was all polka-dot silk shirt plus house shoes trying to dance like Kwame. It took me a while to get serious though… I guess it was just natural progression. In high school I was writing a lot but too busy chasing skirt, lighting fires and fighting… when I moved to Orlando for college I began pursuing it more… and things branched out from there. Me and some friends started a drum+bass weekly where I used to mc and a hip hop weekly where I used to host the open mic… four turntables, 20 mc’s… it was insane… guy’s like Spytek, SPS, J-Storm, Diplo, Swamburger, X-144… I was exposed to a lot and eventually introduced to band called “Nature Kids” who I started rocking shows with and recording and eventually touring… after that the flood gates were slammed open and there was no turning back. The inspiration comes from everywhere, but mainly it’s my way of dealing with the world while escaping it at the same time.
You have carved yourself a nice home on the powerhouse Endemik Records. How did you find yourself there and what has that mean to your career?
Damn… did you just officially dub us a “powerhouse?” We better start hitting the gym and slamming some protein shakes! change our agenda from eat / sleep / work / rap, to work out / lay out / get layed / lay people out. Basically Scott saw me perform in Halifax when i was on tour with Grand Buffet, he asked who was putting out my record and i was like “record ??”, i came back a few months later for another show and we sealed the deal… poor Scott, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Endemik has done a lot for me, Scott stood behind me and believed in me when nobody else did. I don’t know if you can call what i do a career… yet, it’s a constant struggle to keep my chin above the mounting pool of debt, it’s given me strong legs though and i manage to have fun and laugh a lot when I’m not eating shit.
What is the craziest thing you experienced while on the road?
Once i payed a hooker $50 to “raise the roof” while i jerked off to the American anthem.
You are in the European group Gunporn. How did that materialize?
I was on tour by myself in Europe, with a lot of space in between shows and time to kill, i was held up for a week at Nomad’s place in Gent, Belgium with Siaz… xndl had just given him all these beats and Siaz had the idea to get me, Marcus, and Nomad on them. I wrote and recorded all of my parts in about four days. Gunporn was born out of pure camaraderie and a mutual love and understanding of making rap music and living this lifestyle (spontaneous rap combustion), put a couple of traveling freak show rappers in a room together with some recording equipment and blammo! I came back a few months later and we toured on the album. Gunporn = Punk Rock!
You will soon be venturing on the road through Western Canada. This is a first for you. What are your expectations and are you tough enough to rock the mic in Prairies?
I’ve learned to not get my expectations up, i just take it as it comes… a lot of the crowds will be different for me because I’ll be opening up for the power outfit “Avarice to Lace”
I’m curious to see how they will handle me. I’m looking forward to killing the shows and chilling with all the homies, but the rest is up to jesusgod aka”the old erk.” Tough enough? Not sure… I’ve played some pretty rough places before and walked out on my own two feet. Should i pack a blade? Or pre-write some punchlines for the sucka ducks?
You have a new vinyl ep for sale on this tour. What can people expect from this record?
Pure fire! Sloppy Doctor + 1000 horsepower with exhaust and neon… It’s been a long time in the coming, everything came together exactly as i wanted it… three bangers from Alias, a mega duet with the homie Subtitle produced by Scott Da Ros, a dirty surprise from DJ Mayonnaise, and a special production collaboration between big Sole + Skyrider. I’m slowly creeping my head out from below the garbage heap.
You have released records internationally in Europe, Canada and Japan. What has this experience been like and what does it mean to you?
It means everything, i never expected things to go this far….i sacrificed everything for this… education, stability, friendship, relationships. Having all these people work together and believe in me is a feeling i can’t describe, the music business is set up like an evil machine busy cranking out cookie cutter “hits” and sucking the art dry of honesty + feeling. The network we have plugged into never ceases to amaze me with it’s vastness and ability to do battle with the corporate monsters… the word “indie” has already been dubbed and trademarked by the same labels that caused it’s creation… fuck indie! To me this is real music made by real people… from Endemik to Clothes Horse… Side Road, Shadowanimals, Nonsense, 6months, 2nd Rec, Plague Language, Granma, Hue, Peanuts and Corn, Model Citizens… ect. We’re all headed for the big fall on this arc togetherand Noah’s been banging a whore called money from the jump. The more i learn about the music business, the more i value friendship.
When people come to Bleubird show what should they be ready for?
Either the apocalypse or a nice quiet brunch at grandma’s… err… they should be ready for a performance. Either I’m going to piss you off or make you think… maybe a little bit of both while you’re laughing and bobbing your head. A mixed bag hiphopera extravaganza! It’s about interaction and exchange… i like to mixdown the messages with a good dose of ridiculousness but still rap hard as fuck! I never do the same show twice, and I give every show everything I’ve got.
What does the future hold for you?
Only time will tell, I’m finishing up my new album and working on a bunch of other projects, Nuccini! should be dropping on 2nd Rec in June. I’m looking forward to doing some more work with Sole and Skyrider… looking into possibly enrolling in university here to study French / complete my education / get legal! Maybe go teach English in Japan or South Korea… i would like to also do more than just speak out about what’s wrong in our world… maybe actually help instead of just pushing for this selfish and shallow gain. As a performer i use my voice and public forum to promote change and awakening, but i feel there’s more i need to be doing! I won’t allow myself to go under… I’m a rider.
What is the biggest obstacle facing you as an independent artist? Where do you want to be as an artist and what will it take for you to achieve that goal?
Money, debt, money money DEBT!! It’s like a brick wall i keep running into face first everyday. All the other shit i can deal with, the competition, the bad business, the jealousy, the lies, the “bitches + snitches” and “publicity frat houses.” I’d just like to be able for us (Endemik) to support ourselves through our music… i think we can pretty much handle it from there. We’re not fishing for the big duckets here, just stability to enable us to continue pushing the boundaries and releasing what we feel is good music.
What is your top five rap records you could not live without?
In no particular order: Pharcyde – Bizarreride, Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus, Deep Puddle Dynamics – Taste of Rain Why Kneel, Latyrx – The Album, and Goodie Mob – Still Standing.
What are you listening to these days?
Saul Williams, Epic + Nomad, Outkast, Dead Prez, soso, Fleetwood Mac, Noah 23, Cee!!!!!!!!, Tom Waits, Scott Da Ros, Skyrider, Young People, Peeping Tom, JD Walker, Can, Faust, Sixtoo, Iron + Wine, Coco Rosie, the little voice inside my head telling me to get out before it’s too late impregnate a girl and become a teacher… also the other one that tells me to keep going.
Who would you like to work with in the future, both producers and mc’s?
I don’t think I’m worthy of my wish list yet. I aim high and let the bullets fall where they may… Mike Patton, Sade, Saul Williams, Cee-lo, Organized Noise, Jel. Besides… “my closest peers are the greatest talent I’ll ever know.”
Do you have any stories, shout outs or things you would like to share with the people?