Jacksonville, FL, based rapper Astonautalis has had a long journey coming up in the ranks of the hip-hop world. Making waves early on in the rap battle scene in his hometown, as well as competing at Scribble Jam, he moved his way up in the ranks. However, it was not until his third studio album Pomegranate, where he started to truly make his mark. He displayed his unbelievable skills in genre-bending, blue style delivery, clever lyrics and a beat that blended masterfully with electonic, indie rock, and hip-hop. This guy isn’t just a rapper, but a sharp-tongued, innovative, artist.
According to Mass Appeal, the rapper, who is now based out of Minneapolis, MN, is premiering his newest video to his track “Kurt Cobain” off the newest studio album Cut the Body Loose, via SideOneDummy. The video features the artist going back to his roots in Florida, with scenes on the alligator infested bayou, floating on airboats, on the pier looking out at the gulf coast sunset, and of course driving down the streets of his home town of Jacksonville.
Astronautalis shared some words in regards to the music video and the song attached to it in his interview with Mass Appeal. “The first time I ever had a gun pulled on me, I was 17 years old. I was running late for school in Jacksonville, doing 11 mph over the speed limit, through back streets. The cop rolled up and had his pistol in my window before I could even get my registration out of the glove box. I was a skinny kid, halfway through puberty, far from tough, or intimidating, and even then, I could see how scared that cop was.” He explains “The second time I had a gun pulled on me, it was a group of kids in Atlanta, robbing my friends and I on our way home from a bar. They were stupid, like all teens are stupid, sloppy, and reckless, but as they split us up and tapped us down for our phones, wallets, and cash, I remember seeing how scared they all were.” he goes on “And it was funny to me, looking back on both of those moments, how both ‘conversations,’ between myself and that cop, and myself and those kids, they both started with the exact same line: ‘put up your hands.’ Which, as a life long rap fan, is a phrase I have had yelled at me so many times, it had basically lost all meaning…till then. It made all three processes, a traffic stop gone wrong, a robbery, and a rap show, have a common lineage, and in turn, made them all seem equally absurd. And even more so, made those in the position of power in each respective ritual; the cop, the crook, and the rapper, seem…almost powerless.”
He concludes “‘Kurt Cobain’ is an examination of power structures, and the power we voluntarily surrender to people, ideas, and the forces around us, be they political, social, cultural, or economic. And when the curtain is drawn back on one corner of your world, like it was for me, after that robbery, it becomes impossible to not see much of our world as window dressing.”
As of now, Astronautalis is on a massive US tour spanning all 50 states, performing a whopping 65 shows to give everyone an opportunity to catch him. With a legendary live show to back up his songs, having Astro asking the audience for participation in freestyle ideas and many other amazing spectacles, and so many tour stops, it would make no sense why anyone who is a hip-hop fan, would not want to go see this artist perform.