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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.
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Vid Pick: Wordburglar – Rental Patient
Friday, October 12, 2018

Sometimes you relate to a song so damned much that you truly feel it in your soul. This was the case for me the first time I heard Canadian hip-hop artist Wordburglar’s “Rental Patient,” a song about the glory days of renting movies.

If you’re of a certain age you probably remember carrying a Blockbuster card in your wallet – possibly a wallet attached to a chain, because we were serious about protecting our Blockbuster card, school ID, $8 in ones, and expired condom … uh, did I just get too personal there?

The aisles of rental stores were lined with VHS boxes, most of them acting as a mirage, as the actual case with the VHS tape wasn’t behind it, because the movie had already been rented. This would send us on a mission to find something else to rent for the night. It was a mission that Wordburglar reminisces about with “Rental Patient.”

I caught up with Wordburglar to find out more about his “Rental Patient” days, including some of his favorite random discoveries, and how the advent of modern conveniences may affect nostalgia later on.

“Rental Patient” is a song that will be near and dear to the heart of anyone who used to “Make it a Blockbuster night.” I read the song was born out of the realization that the current generation will never know the joys and pains of having to find a movie to rent. With that in mind, how do you feel the ever-growing conveniences of modern day life will affect nostalgia later on? What will the current generation look back on longingly?

My nostalgia is a fondness for shared experiences with friends, and moments I discovered something new.

To truly appreciate things, you have to understand their uniqueness – like listening to an album all the way through to discover that track 9 will change your life, or flipping through bins of old comics with your friends and stumbling upon something you’ve never seen before. Basically, seeking out new experiences instead of just accepting what’s put right in front of you.

I think with the convenience of everything at our fingertips, there’s not as much pressure for people to take risks that lead to discovering obscurities. The video store analogy is perfect because whatever you picked you were stuck with for the night, so there was a greater reward when something you gambled on turned out to be amazing.

I love the “thrill of the hunt” for new things, and experiences, which I’m pretty sure stems from the “hunter/gatherer” mentality I developed wandering video stores and comic shops as a kid. {laughs}

Video stores in every town marked a universal experience that was shared by millions, but today I think experiences like that are fewer and far between. The internet is our new shared experience, which sadly doesn’t rely on leaving your house to discover things, and almost every album and movie is right there for you to consume effortlessly.

There’s value in being denied, so I think whatever the kids of today become nostalgic for will be things they had to work hard to get … like finding my albums. {laughs}

 
Speaking of those Blockbuster nights where we had to hunt for something good, we all had nights when the movie we wanted to rent was out, so we wandered around the store searching for something that might look interesting. Tell me about a few movies you would’ve never seen had the movies you actually wanted to see been available.
 
The first one that comes to mind is Snake Eater 2: The Drug Buster starring Lorenzo Lamas. I rented it because of the hilarious name and box art, and was rewarded ten times over with a ridiculous plot and cheesy hilarity.

That movie actually sparked a lifetime appreciation for goofy b-movies like Troll 2, Sleepaway Camp, and everything on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
 
Pretend you work at a Blockbuster, what movies would be on the Staff Recommendations shelf by your name?

Snake Eater 2: Drug Buster, Beat Street, The Burbs, Grandma's Boy, Empire Strikes Back, The Spanish Prisoner, Bladerunner, Willow, Aliens, G.I. Joe: The Movie (animated version), and Dead Man On Campus.

“Rental Patient” is off your latest album, Rhyme Your Business. What makes this song a great way to introduce listeners to the album?
 
It’s educational for the youth, nostalgic for the grownups, and obviously super hilarious and catchy. {laughs}

It also combines my love of storytelling, getting nerdy, and crazy rhymes, and has a great beat by Beatmason.

 
In addition to being a hip-hop artist, you also have a love of comic books. Why do hip-hop and comic books go together so well?
 
Well, for sure both use art to enhance words – words plus drawings, and words plus beats – but there are so many other parallels.

They’re expressions of outcasts, oddballs, role models, and champions. They’re stories about overcoming obstacles, challenging opposers, reaching your potential, and helping your fellow humans.

They’re both super creative, with larger than life characters who use aliases and code names. They both grew out of New York.

I could on and on!

Comics and hip-hop just go together.
 
In your Twitter bio you describe yourself as “The rap Brodie from Mallrats.” When you see a kid on an escalator, your first thought is …
 
That kid is STILL on the escalator!!! Where are his parents????
 
Finally, since you’re Canadian I’m required to ask the following – who were your favorite characters on Degrassi? (We all watched, even folks like me in the US. There’s no shame in this! At least that’s what I say out loud, numerous times, anytime I seem to have too much knowledge of the show)
 
I gotta go with old school Degrassi and pick Wheels. The poor guy just couldn’t get a break. Also I had major crushes on Spike and Caitlin. {laughs}

For more Wordburglar, check out wordburglar.com, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and pick up his music on Bandcamp.

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