Baltimore, MD. Free-Form Hip Hop artist BluRum13… How the hell did this guy fly under my radar? I don’t know of many other Hip Hop cats that can say they’ve shared stages with the likes of The Wu-Tang Clan and Herbie Hancock in the same sentence, so a performer like BluRum13 is definitely someone who’s flow and creative ambition far exceeds the typical ethos of mainstream Urban culture. Hip Hop NEEDS people like BluRum13 to keep it fresh, and I’m not talking about new J’s or snapback hats.

I connected with BluRum13 via email to talk about his album, Inverted, his vast output, and how he feels about the current state of Hip Hop.


G- How long have you been around and actively performing, and when did you first get started? Do you remember the moment that you really felt music as your calling?

BR- I’ve been in and around music and playing all my life, performing regularly since 1997, dad played jazz as a hobby and was a DJ for a little while. He was an influence. I remember my break dance crew in the 6th grade got to come around to all the classes and give a demonstration. That could have been the beginning. I remember building up a weekly fan base in Montreal with a group of people that later became Bullfrog. The Interest was steady and the pay was regular. I was sold.

G- You are currently getting ready to drop your latest release, Inverted Marsupials. Have you been performing any of the songs on the album in concert yet and, if so, has the reception been to the new songs? Any fan or personal favorites off of the record thus far? 

BR- The album is actually called INVERTED, “Inverted Marsupials” was really the sketch idea for the album, before the first computer crash, which rendered a lot of my songs missing… A few features i would have loved to appear on this version of the album.

The live show and reception has been tremendous, I perform as a Trio with Conn Shawnery and R33 sound making, two of the prominent producers for this project. We use turntables samplers, keys and guitar.  Live, I love playing Venga, Strivin and T.L.O. they seem to be the crowd favorites now.

G- Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards this time around, and how long did the release take to record and get ready for release?

BR-It took a while… 6 years from the first recording.  “Cereal” was the first song I believe. and that was recorded with Conn Shawnery, in Montreal. Conn actually recorded a lot of the vocals for me at various studios. There are at least four recorded in the south of Spain, Granada, and La Herradura, including Venga. These were recorded by Mr. KIK a.k.a. Resyte Theez of Water Power. He is a production force.  “All Day” was recorded in Australia and “Strivin'” was recorded by myself in Montreal in and by Abstract Rude in L.A.

G- What should your fans, both old and new, expect of the performances when you guys hit the road? What should some of the first time listeners expect to see when you take the stage?

BR-The Live show features musical surprises, by skilled musicians in a hip hop context. We have Conn Shawnery on samples and on Turntables and sometimes drums or guitar,  adding/subtracting/creating the  best sound scape possible. We also have R33, my man from Paris, France… A live producer to the fullest. He will piece together the tracks live, then jump into fully produced versions with seamless transitions. Myself on the mic, of course, and the MPC as well and sometimes on the tables. We play tracks from this project, as well as a few gems from the past records. Interactive live freestyles and some comedy… It’s A good time.

G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!

BR-Besides Inverted??

“Vaguely Familliar”, my release on DJ Vadim’s label at the time, called Jazz Fudge and features one of my favortite tracks letter 25.

One Self “Children of Possibility”  The album I did with DJ Vadim and Yarah Bravo,  on NinJa Tune..

“Smell The Urgency” a classic album i would love to release properly… A rare gem produced entirely by Luke Vibert.

“BrickBuilders” just a masterpiece of beats and rhymes; An homage to True Hip Hop Funk.

G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?

BR- “Fear the Labour” off of ONE SELF: Children of Possibility album, although none of my other songs are similar I really enjoy this track. Its one i like to listen to a lot more than my others. Vadim crushed the production on this one. I seldom perform it though; It is a mood that is difficult for me to recreate. It’s quite heady.

G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? Give me your feasible 3-band or artist dream lineup to be a part of.

BR-Deltron 3030. I would love to be on that project. I really like what Dan the Automator did on that.

MF Doom. (I’ve) always been a Fan.

Mos Def/Yassin Bey. I love the freedom of his style and would love to build.

G- What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?

BR- One of my favorites was performing in Marsaille for the Giles Peterson festivalas One Self. We were asked to Soundsystem the after party. (I) spent most of the day relaxing in these natural tide pool rock formations built into the foundation of an 16th century castle, listening to some of the best mixes while the air filled with the smell of Moroccan hash. Capping the night, with a never-ending moonlight boogie packed the dance floor.

G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?

BR-I think the youth need to know that their independence is their strength.  There are enough people in all stages of musical taste and development that there are ears for every band. If you want people to spend their hard earned money on you, you have to give them something of value.