Last year, stars in some distant musical galaxy aligned to bring us Foreign Pedestrians, the joint effort of two artists non-conformist in their own right, Los Angeles producer Ted Feighan and Oakland rapper Jay Stone. Feighan, who produces music as Monster Rally, is known for his instrumental, psychedelic, surf exotica. This aesthetic carried into the collaboration, with the music video “Recollection” opening onto a shot of paint-chipped stairs outside a home on a sunny day. With the sound of chirping birds and a crackling vinyl in the background, for a second, this could be a faraway, beachy paradise. Then, Jay Stone appears, smokes a joint, and leads us on a tour of Oakland.
“A lot of the album was inspired by being out in my environment observing the people around me and the way they move and the things they say. I combined that with my own imagination,” says Stone. We follow him browsing and trying on clothes, driving around with a friend, and drinking and eating alone on a boardwalk. It feels both familiar and foreign. We can relate to these sights and actions in our own way, but here they’re tinged with the color of Stone’s experiences (“Opened up a story / Ain’t nothing but burnt pages”) and closely held feelings (“Antidepressants ain’t working / So what’s the countermeasure”). Feighan says, “I’m always trying to make something that’s unique and familiar to you, but it’s real. But for Jay Stone this is very real. This is this guy’s life in Oakland.”