If Feist and Ratatat had a son who ate John Lennon’s corpse to gain immortality, then you might be able to imagine a bit of the sounds coming off of rising beat hustler, indie rapper and singer, Sapient’s new album, Slump.
Born out of frustration of the current sounds of hip hop, he likens the listening experience to “a more musical sibling to indie hip hop. You could think of it as a more functional little brother, who learned from his elder brother’s mistakes.” Not that he considers any of his past 11 solo albums that he’s been cranking out since 2004 as mistakes, but you know, it’s a long road to self-discovery.
The at-times ethereal, often lyrical sounds on Slump were born out of childhood memories and family influences. While his mom, a concert violinist, kept mostly to her classical music his “always wanting to be a rock star” dad kept a steady stream of Beatles, Paul Simon, and Crosby, Stills and Nash records playing in the house. Tracks like “Seeking New Skin” feature glittery arpeggiated beats contrasted with melodic guitar and piano pop choruses, evoking dark thoughts in the best of times. Meanwhile, “Shotgun In My Spaceship” is a whimsical piano-based love song expounding on government cover-ups and aliens on the moon conspiracies.
Sapient had dabbled in multiple instruments for as far back as he can remember, but after being busted for graffiti charges at 18, he took to rapping over his own beats made with a drum machine, a guitar and an 8-track. The early training flourished into a distinctive sound of multi-textured arrangements structured with the sense of a songwriter. Sapient’s beats have re-defined the sound of Northwest hip hop and carried luminary voices from the likes of Aesop Rock, Slug (Atmosphere), Freestyle Fellowship and more.
As a vocalist and producer, Sapient has been a member of The Prime, a duo with Living Legends’ front man Luckyiam as well as Portland’s Debaser, a two-man off-shoot to their nine person collective, Sandpeople. He has also collaborated with other indie hip hop cats like Macklemore, The Grouch, Eyedea, and Pigeon John. Consistently touring, he has shared the stage with a number of his own influences including Wu-Tang Clan, Living Legends, Eyedea, Talib Kweli, Cage and Aesop Rock. As an independent artist, Sapient is hands on, mixing and mastering, designing his visual art and directing videos, developing his brand with an insatiable work ethic. Committed to care for his young family and cultivate his creative vision, Sapient is pushing boundaries and claiming his own space in our musical lexicon with Slump.