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
Dynamic, passionate, skillful, intelligent, worldly – these are just a handful of the adjectives that can be used to describe Brooklyn-based hip-hop artist Hired Gun.
If you’re a longtime reader of this site, you know I’ve been writing about Hired Gun for over a decade. One reason why is whenever I see him perform, I’m inspired. Simply put, the dude is incredible on the mic, and the stage.
If you haven’t had the chance to see him, he’s posted a few live clips from a set he had at a recent edition of the What Now? Sessions, including the above performance of his song “Future Sounds.”
Wanting to know more about the song, and the event, I caught up with Hired Gun to ask him about both.
What was the inspiration behind “Future Sounds?” FYI, one of my favorite lines is about your many world travels.
The inspiration behind "Future Sounds" was the beat, and my personal travels.
The song kicked off the EP, The Devastating Masterpieces, and I wanted to make a hard hitting political statement. The verses are me speaking about gentrification, classicism, and appropriation. The beat knocks, though, so I wanted to put a little braggadocio in the hook.
What are the What Now? Sessions, and how did you become involved with them?
The What Now? Sessions is a new open mic live jam conceived by the emcee Happy Accident. She has an amazing jazz band that she invites featured artists, and open mic'ers, to improvise over. It's a wonderful night, and really is the vibe that brought me to Brooklyn almost twenty years ago.
Happy is a jazz singer, and ridiculous freestyle emcee, and she has been making her way through the community via Legendary Cyphers, Freestyle Mondays, and EOW. She is one of the up and coming voices in the NYC scene people are taking notice of for good reason – she recently cameoed with RA the Rugged Man.
The event is every third Wednesday at Terra Firma in Bushwick.
In what ways does working with a live band alter, and further inspire, your performances?
A live band invites improvisation, especially if it's jazz musicians. There is space, and breath, that allow me as an emcee to fluctuate, and vary, my voice and flow.
I definitely prefer rocking with a band live versus a recorded track, because listening to them, and having conversations pushing me to stretch what I do vocally, opens me up to experiment lyrically.
You can pick up The Devastating Masterpieces 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.