Busdriver writes preface to Scallops Hotel’s Plain Speaking

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[The following is a preface written by Regan Farquhar, aka Busdriver, to Scallops Hotel’s Plain Speaking, a side project by milo. Released via milo’s new imprint Ruby Yacht, Plain Speaking is a self-produced record featuring guest appearances by Hemlock Ernst, s.al, and DUNZO DONALDS. It was mixed by Riley Lake and mastered by Daddy Kev. It is to be noted that within this preface Busdriver refers to milo as “Rory”, which is his given, government name.]

Plain Speaking returns the mechanics of beauty to the kitchen table. Priorities become recharging rocks under a quiet blinding sun, realigning the body along the concept of curiosities. Rory has shifted, using pared-down language as the raw data of the heart. What begins as refinement of his most basic faculties becomes a ritual awash in a renewed sense of home. Through this the exceptional negro becomes buoyant, swallowing his mirror and peeling storyboards from his tan forearm. If he has no nation to claim then his unsolicited bio-feed is the passport to the ancient after-future of his own design. The Scallops Hotel.

A rights of passage through an art form usually insists that the ego be destroyed and reimagined. With rap the ego is never destroyed, it’s given an arena to be re-contextualised, re-informed all in service of hailing its genesis. The beginnings of black men has set the gold standard for our systemic injustice, and forging genius with nothing in the same breath. So retracing our collective woe is the only instruction a black person needs to lock into a timeless feeling. In the Scallops Hotel, sounds and melody are drawn from feeling then placed along a sequence that coalesces into a train of thought, then eventually, a personal culture. Maintaining this space finds Rory replacing the anxiety abacus with crash courses in the language of fading afternoons. A stay there is meant to be an in-between but ends up sagging in the memory and coloring all that follows.

The questioning is paramount behind the walls: How do we web the tissue across an expanse? What tugs those cells into rank and file, pouring them over the skeletal concept, giving the body of work form? When does the fission happen? Maturation can be the point at which you begin unspooling your point systems and defining the nothing around what is. Or it can be when the big city’s daily apathy cocktail no longer meets the nutritional requirements of your hustle; when you shed a few layers of psychological self-defense to be a timeless black theorist in this time of ideological deadlock.

Stream Scallops Hotel’s Plain Speaking below. The cassette is available via Bandcamp and purchase the digital on iTunes.