Brainchild | The Brainchild Project

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United States - Minnesota

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Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop Electronic: Funk Moods: Type: Experimental
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The Brainchild Project

by Brainchild

Experimental Minneapolis hip hop with conscious feel and mass appeal.
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap: Alternative Hip Hop
Release Date: 

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1. Spacecrunch Brainchild
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4:03 $0.99
2. System Brainchild
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4:10 $0.99
3. Runnin This Life Shhhh... Brainchild
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4:11 $0.99
4. Sub Par Superstar Brainchild Featuring Greedy
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4:49 $0.99
5. Needs Brainchild Featuring Buss One
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4:34 $0.99
6. Road of Life Brainchild Featuring Unicus
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3:57 $0.99
7. Velvet Baby Brainchild Featuring Boima Freeman
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5:10 $0.99
8. Love Strikes Back Brainchild
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4:00 $0.99
9. You Lost That Brainchild Featuring Greedy
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4:41 $0.99
10. Always Seekin Justice Brainchild Featuring Buss One
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3:25 $0.99
11. Hungry Thirsty Brainchild
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4:29 $0.99
12. Death and Its Impact On.... Brainchild
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4:00 $0.99
13. Looks Kinda Like Mine Brainchild Featuring Cee Why
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4:36 $0.99
14. Crashlanding Brainchild Featuring Buss One, Greedy, Boima Freeman
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5:24 $0.99
15. Why We Fight Brainchild
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3:57 $0.99
16. Moment of Silence Brainchild
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0:12 $0.99
17. These Are the Times We Will Always Remember Brainchild
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3:05 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Brainchild Project is the brainchild of B Ruckus, AKA Barry Rohrer; MC, founder and producer for the Minneapolis-based hip hop band Leroy Smokes. Musically, the album represents the wide variety of influences that have made an impact on Brainchild’s creative path. Hip hop is a genre encompassing many things to many people, and Brainchild touches on a quite a few of them.
As a fourteen-year-old skateboarding punk-rocker, Barry started his musical career on the drums, playing for various punk and alternative groups around the Minneapolis area. Always a fan of hip hop, Barry never thought a suburban kid like himself could credibly pull off his own hip hop sound…but as time went on, the love for this music grew stronger and after high school Barry threw himself into the hip hop music that he really wanted to do.
Starting with some crappy instruments and a drum set, the next step was buying a cheap cassette four-track. Recording hip hop with live instruments proved difficult compared to the drum-machine-based hip hop sounds prevalent at the time. The challenge turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Barry developed a signature style, based on imitating the drum loops in the hip hop songs he loved.
As years passed and the ear got better, the next big step up in gear was an MPC. Barry’s then-girlfriend was a turntable DJ and learning electronic music production from local music educator Jack Robinson, who encouraged her to buy an MPC for herself. She saved up and bought one, and once Barry started playing with it he became hopelessly addicted. Sampling anything he could, from all types of media, and especially his own drumming, he began to form a signature sound once again, this time much more technologically advanced. His style came through the combination of live drums and instruments with loops and sequences. To this day he uses that MPC as a major component in his production.
At the same time, the band Leroy Smokes, which Barry formed with friends from the Twin Cities in the mid-nineties, was developing into an innovative creative force with Barry rapping and playing drums at the same time. While this was an original way to perform at shows, it wasn’t until the band got a new drummer, allowing Barry out from behind the kit and to front stage, that his rapping really began to blossom and his lyrical style was more finely developed.
Lyrically speaking, Brainchild is also very unique. Barry’s early doubts about being able to create credible hip hop subject matter – being a white kid from the ‘burbs – were unfounded. He manages to speak about things that touch all of our lives, no matter what our background, without alienation. Outside influences included Chuck-D, Mos Def, Black Thought, Andre 3000 and various reggae and dancehall artists. But these influences do not really capture the style of both political and personal, global-minded yet down-to-earth, serious but laid-back enough not to take himself too seriously. B Ruckus is the working man’s MC: finding something that moves people and letting them interpret their own way, applying it to their own lives, without spitting judgements or boasting which is so common in so much hip hop.
This CD is the first official release for Brainchild, and is as much a diary as it is commentary. It is just as much of a rally as it is a party, because like most things in this world, there is never one answer or one path to happiness. Personal fulfillment is found in the tiny moments between this day and tomorrow. The overall message he presents is encouragement to start getting your own act together and try to make a difference, no matter how small…just don’t forget to enjoy the party that is life.


Reviews


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John Book/Music For America

Powerful and moving without being overbearing
When I reviewed Leroy Smokes back in The Run-Off Groove #118, I stated that at a time when things have become mind-numbingly generic, they may become the refresher that true heads are thirsting for. The group consists of two MC's and a collective of musicians, and as someone who always looks for a good live band, they offered a style of hip-hop that was uniquely their own, and had nothing to do with any other hip-hop bands with varying levels of popularity. Everyone in the group is free to do their own side projects. One of the MC's, B Ruckus, is presenting himself as Brainchild, and The Brainchild Project (Smokesignyl) is B's brand of hip-hop that can be both raw and accessible at the same time, and for the most part is heavier than his work with Leroy Smokes. If his band is about letting the hair down and celebrating the good life, The Brainchild Project is about getting down to work to discuss and come up with solutions to the problems of the world.

"Road Of Life" has him talking about how we can only let ourselves go "on the weekends" and reminiscing on when things were simple, how finding faith may be what is needed but it's hard when faith is also devoted to people who run the country but have an agenda that has nothing to do with the people he is supposed to protect and serve. In fact, Brainchild touches on politics a number of times throughout the album, especially in "Military + Industry = $" (listed on the CD as "Why We Fight"), a great reggae-flavored instrumental with a number of spoken samples featuring soundbytes of what has happened to the United States since 9/11, and questioning if any of it makes sense, whether it's money used for defense spending that could have housed a number of homeless residents in New Orleans and Mississippi. It's the kind of track that could easily find a home on an album by The Roots or Ozomatli, complete with bluesy, mournful guitar work that brings everything home. After a brief moment of silence, things return to normal, but the idea is that... can anything return to normal when there are generations of people in this country who don't remember or have no concept of normalcy?

Some songs on the album have a Dave Matthews Band-type feel to it, while others could have been forgotten outtakes on Common's Like Water For Chocolate. One may feel a need to play this back to back with Sublime. There's a lot of character to each of these songs, whether Brainchild is rapping or allowing others to speak for him while he produce and mixes the sounds. It's his "project" that makes you want to hear more of what he and his musical family has to offer, because while attention is paid towards him, it is very much a group effort between family and friends, a type of vibe that has little to do with commercial or Hollywood endorsements, and more about smoking good herb and living for today in the hopes of a better tomorrow. That's what The Brainchild Project is too, a hopeful album with powerful and moving messages, done without being overbearing.