Musicians at Home | Busdriver
Monday, July 9th, 2012
By Kristin Lamprecht
You could say that prolific California rapper Busdriver has honed his style over the years, but he’ll be the first to admit that it’s a style born mostly from economy. Though his literary, leftfield rhymes have gotten him noticed in the indie rap and electronica world, and have garnered him a small, yet dedicated fan following, he’s not swimming in designer duds a la Jay-Z or Kanye. Not that he would want to.
You’ve lived in Sedona, Arizona, LA, even Paris. Have any of these diverse cities and cultural landscapes had a lasting impact on your personal style?
When I was a teen in LA, I would wear Starter caps and jackets, baggy jeans and an undeserved grimace. Back then I was just trying to blend into the thick crowds of tag bangers, breakers and aspiring rappers that made up my world. Since then, I’ve given up on keeping up with how to identify my dress with a particular group. I tend to not have a fixed crowd that I stay anchored in, so it’s pushed me to a truer place expression-wise. Paris informed what I assumed was the functionality of personal style in social gatherings. You almost need to become a byproduct of whatever corner of the universe you happened to spout from or have carved your niche into. In the spirit of that, I grew to never second-guess what I wanted to wear.
What is your house like?
It’s a giant ear canal with two pieces of furniture in it. When I’m home, I’m either nude or in a full-body cast.
You’ve mentioned when you’re on the road, you sometimes have to wing it in terms of where you’re staying. Were there any particularly interesting locations?
I’ve slept in a Mormon church once. Some fans who turned out to be religious zealots lead me there after a gig and gave me room and board. But I think one of my more pleasant overnight experiences was pre-planned. I played a gig in Avignon inside Palais des Papes once. It was the Pope’s stronghold in the 1300s where he hid from the chaos that was Rome in the wake of the papacy’s slow decline after his election. It now stands as an enclosed city with narrow serpentine streets, majestic churches and cluster of randomized buildings. It’s the most gorgeous manmade structure I’ve ever lived in, and certainly the strangest place to wake up. It’s like being yanked from the world as you know it and placed in some modernized French anachronism.
What inspires your personal aesthetic?
I should say psychedelic rock, hip-hop, and club culture. But it’s mainly poverty. Making a mark with little-to-no resources is the general push behind most that I do. And with clothing, that goes double. I’ve only bought second-hand for the past 10 years, mainly out of necessity.