Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
2Pac had his “Ambitionz Az a Ridah,” but DMV (that’s DC, Maryland, Virginia) hip-hop artist Substantial is a “ridah” of a different variety, which he illustrates with his latest single, “The Sub Way.”
On “The Sub Way,” Substantial chronicles the places he’s lived using public transportation as the driving (no pun intended) motif.
“I wanted to tell my story in a way I had never done before, or heard it done,” he explains. “I thought the idea of using trains to share the path I took would undoubtedly be unique, and ‘The Sub Way’ was the perfect title for it. Plus I thought it would be cool to be able to take a subway map out and follow along while listening.”
Filming the video for “The Sub Way” required quite the road trip. “I basically planned to hit up every stop I mentioned by either driving there, or riding the train, and bringing the crew with me to capture it,” he says of the clip, “NYC was a little more challenging because I had to shoot it myself.”
The result is a beautifully paced video that gives a glimpse, both lyrically, and visually, into Substantial’s history.
Although the song has a theme of public transportation, Substantial says a metro service hasn’t offered him any free rides, jokingly adding, “I figure we'd come out of this with a at least a free footlong – pause – from Subway. Come on guys, I think we've earned it!”
While Substantial still has to pay for his own subway rides, and sandwiches, “The Sub Way” has garnered attention from Ford Motor Company, and Uber. After you click play, the smooth hip-hop song will get your attention, as well.
“The Sub Way” is off of Substantial’s recently released album The Past is Always Present in the Future, which is available on CD, cassette, and via download, at Bandcamp.
B-Listers are a select group of artists that were featured in my Artist Of The Week series that ran every Monday from April of '06 to April of '11. All of these artists have two things in common; extreme talent, and a flight path far too under the radar for my liking. They took on the title of B-Listers as they embraced being featured by me, Adam B. Check out the AOTW Archives for all the interviews.