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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, May 19

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Concert Wed Nov 14 2007

Hop on the Bus

Busdriver, nee Regan Farquhar, comes from authentic hip-hop stock.

Back in the day, his father wrote Krush Groove, the seminal eighties’ hip-hop, Def Jam movie, an opportunity that allowed Busdriver a look into his future career.

“Getting to meet LL Cool J, Run-DMC and The Fat Boys as a preteen led me to believe I had some insight into rapper ethos,” he says. “I remember that [Def Jam] basically paid LL Cool J in shoes — eighteen or twenty-five pairs of Adidas.”

The impression made upon the young Busdriver was extensive. He began rapping when he was nine and recorded his first album, with the forgettable group 4/29, at age thirteen. But it wasn’t all smooth, and the ladies didn’t necessarily love cool Regan. In his usual self-effacing style, he describes 4/29’s sound as “a bad Kris Kross, minus the Jermaine Dupri coaching and expansive teeny-bopper fan base. It took me years to be actually competent as a rhymer. The formative years were incredibly rough.”

Luckily for listeners, Busdriver’s lyrical style has improved exponentially since those baggy backward-jeans days. His flow, a fast-talking staccato that revels in jazzy diatribes, offbeat in topic as well as tempo. His lyrics are wordy, intellectual and extremely literate. He’ll throw down a word like “troglodyte” as if it were the most normal rap epithet since “wack.”

His latest album — his first on the Anti-/Epitaph label — is RoadKillOvercoat, and it finds Busdriver exploring thicker, weirder beats and rants but with a decidedly pop edge. His producers, Boom Bip and Nobody, effectively manage to keep up with Busdriver’s eclectic tastes, laying down beats alternately hard and dreamy.

See him in action when he performs this Friday, Nov. 16, at the Empty Bottle with Daedelus and Antimc.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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