Birdapres makes literate, thinking, feeling rap. Not to be confused for soft – it has all the elements of classic, hard knock hip hop and/yet/but comes standard with a shrewd exploration of themes and realities that resonate with real people. It’s a luxury in today’s microwave popcorn musical landscape.
The critics’ choice and fans’ choice in Canada for the better part of 15 years, his musical output can’t keep up with his popularity. For Bird there is no taking breaks from music. He’s immersed in it all the time. Unearthing it, listening to it, sharing it, trading it, creating it, performing it, selling it, teaching with it, learning from it, self-medicating with it. It’s not a part-time pursuit.
Since his odyssey of music began in his native Vancouver, Bird has connected and collaborated with artists from all over North America and Europe, usually on their insistence. This seed for cooperating on music was planted early:
“I came up writing in circles with my friends, which shaped the way I view shared composition. Kicking ideas around and putting different voices over the same beat is a time-honoured tradition.” Working solo, Birdapres produces the most curious and remarkable songs. “When I work by myself I just let my mind go. It sets the tone on its own. Freeform thought is never wrong.”
Behind the board, the fruits of his legendary record-digging prowess are born. He crafts beats with little concern for convention and with the joyfulness and expressiveness of a free jazz firebrand. He goes his own way without sacrificing the soul or the ‘boom-clack’ at the heart of the art form. In freeform thought, he writes the lyrics that round out the distinctive sound. With seldom a throwaway line, his quick and inventive couplets, double entendres and outright funny rhymes demand repeated listens. Engaging, original and at times comical, he serves discriminating listeners well.
Birdapres’ music maintains from year to year and era to era without ever succumbing to the clichés that have killed rap music to death. Buy the album when he drops it.