Possessing a hyper-literate, intellectual style of rapping augmented with dizzying elocution that would tongue-tie even the fiercest auctioneer, Busdriver is eclectic and eccentric enough to cite vocalese jazz singer Jon Hendricks as a primary influence.
Born Regan Farquhar, the Los Angeles MC was introduced to hip-hop culture early -- his father wrote the screenplay to one of the earliest films focusing on hip-hop, Krush Groove. He began rapping at age nine, releasing his first record at age 13 with his group, 4/29, named after the 1992 L.A. riots. By the mid-'90s, Busdriver was a regular at the Project Blowed open mike, where he would meet future collaborators and underground luminaries like Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, and Freestyle Fellowship. And shortly after, the vinyl did flow. Busdriver guested on upward of 20 singles, and by 2001 he could no longer be contained by guest spots, releasing his first full-length, Memoirs of the Elephant Man. There were just as many detractors as supporters for his singular style, which was so densely packed it made his chosen name seem a reference for multiple-personality disorder, and the lo-fi production also left more listeners scratching heads than nodding them. His next album, This Machine Kills Fashion Tips (2002), continued in a similar manner before being trumped by better production and more focused rhymes on Temporary Forever the same year. Joined by another West Coast avant-garde MC, Radioinactive, and the breezy, fractured pop of electronic producer Daedelus, Busdriver released yet another odd puzzle piece in 2003, Weather. Fear of a Black Tangent followed on Mush in 2005. After moving to Anti/Epitaph, the rapper issued RoadKillOvercoat, which featured production from Nobody and Boom Bip. His second Anti release, Jhelli Beam, appeared in 2009 and he took a three year break before returning on Fake Four with Beaus$Eros, a strange departure into electro pop that featured production by Loden. The Perfect Hair album from 2014 was a return to form but on a new label for the artist, Big Dada. ~ Wade Kergan, Rovi