Continuing on the independent drive that made the Bagaason brothers a staple in the Twin Cities Hip Hop community, Chicano Futurist features over 40 different selections of rhymes and verses spanning from songs released from Big Quarters’ albums and Brandon Allday’s upcoming solo album.
“I’ve seen strong responses to my writing through our Big Quarters performances,” said Brandon Allday. “And even though people would quote my lyrics to me, we had never printed the lyrics with the CDs. Part of that had to do with my feeling that the lyrics should only exist in the music. But, over time, I began to feel that making the lyrics available could add to the understanding of the song – and offer another perspective. And maybe allow a deeper sense of the music. So I wanted to make it available to the people that have been supporting us since ‘Cost of Living’ and ‘From the Home of Brown Babies & White Mothers.’”
Much of the inspiration for the chapbook was thanks to the example set by Free Poet’s Press, an independent publishing company committed to “empowering Black and Brown artists to control their own images,” as well as its founder, Chaun Webster.
“I’m a big fan of his work and the Free Poet’s Press mission,” said Brandon Allday. “We met at a show we played about a year ago at the Bedlam Design Center. He performed a poem called ‘A Name For Our Second Born Son.’ The poem hit me real hard that night- it was right after our daughter was born. And the words from that poem have been ringing in my head ever since.”
As he explained via his personal facebook page, Brandon Allday cited that the idea for the chapbook flourished from a conversation with Webster as they noticed the similarities between independent chapbooks and Hip Hop mixtapes.
“They both highlight an artist’s work and message,” said Brandon Allday, “but the most valued, though understated, component is the affordability and accessibility through hand-to-hand (interactions and sales).”
In what he described as a good “companion to the music,” Brandon Allday is excited to showcase his near decade long run as the gruff voiced lyricist. Along with presenting new and unseen verses for the first time, he is also filled with a sense of nostalgia.
“Each piece and sometimes individual bars,” explained Brandon Allday, “I can look at and go back to my thoughts at that particular moment. And reading it, for me, is like time traveling- flipping through memories I forgot about.”
Along with highlighting high notes from his past, Brandon Allday also has his sights set on the future as he prepares for the release of his upcoming solo album.
“My brother, ‘Medium Zach’ Bagaason, is mixing it,” said Brandon Allday. “(While) he’s recording and mixing albums for Mankwe Ndosi, Greg Grease, K. Raydio & O-D, and Jake Virden; he’s mixing mine in between all those, in addition to writing and recording his own solo project.”
Chicano Futurist is available now for free online here. To keep up with Brandon Allday and find out more about his upcoming new album, be sure to check out his twitter and soundcloud pages. And be sure to check out more great works from Free Poet’s Press.