Tech N9ne, Mayday, and Strange Music's Hostile Takeover Tour at Club Cinema June 26
The future is born a trillion times a second when the present meets the past through subatomic intercourse. Our universe is the climactic product of this union. And our physical reality is its explosive fury, traveling at the speed of light through every molecule on Earth.
Of course, humanity doesn't possess many means of predicting these invisible processes. But sometimes, music and art prove strangely prescient. Take for example the ¡Mayday! track "Do or Die," where Wrekonize raps, "Running up a feeling of villains up on the octane/Seein' DOA/Scatter when the cops came/Street cannibal/Fresh flesh eater."
The rapid-fire lines, delivered as part of a YouTube compilation of tracks rejected from the Miami hip-hop crew's newest album, Take Me to Your Leader, are not a reference to the Miami Zombie; they are a visionary acknowledgment of what this city does to people, written and uploaded well in advance of Rudy Eugene's face-eating attack.
Life is strange, and so is ¡Mayday!'s record label. The outfit, signed to rap oddity Tech N9ne's Strange Music, is completing a 90-show, 99-day American tour costarring N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Machine Gun Kelly, Stevie Stone, and Prozak. So for the past few months, the entire Strange gang has been traveling America's blood-stained highways and making stops in music-starved towns such as Billings, Montana, and Fargo, North Dakota.
New Times recently caught up with ¡Mayday!'s interstellar music warriors around their 45th gig, on a conference call from the lawn of Ohio State University, just hours before a sold-out show, to ask about the past, present, and future of the tour.
"We're in a big-time separation from reality," MC Bernbiz explains. "We're time travelers right now. It's hard to explain to people back home what happens when you're doing 30-days-in-a-row-type shit. It puts your mind in a weird place. Time goes fast, but it feels slow. Back home, everyone's done a million things. But on the road, it's always the same and different every day."
Trying to describe their experiences on the road, the other band members also offer a series of mind-bending phrases as if they were peaking on strong acid and unsure they'd ever come down. One moment, bassist Gianni Cash says, "I don't know, man, every fuckin' night there's a weird, strange moment." And picking up the thread, break-dancing percussionist Nonms offers, "One night, this dude threw a beer can at my face. I was like, 'Who did that?' And the guy just raised his hand."
Meanwhile, producer and guitar player Plex Luthor's strangest experience took place in the desert. "[In Albuquerque], some dude would not let me go on the stage," he recalls. "He wanted my autograph so bad he tried to keep me outside. He literally almost cried. Security had to come get him off of me. And he was a big guy, outweighed me by 200 pounds."
Wrekonize has seen his share of strangeness too. "I forget what city we were in," he says. "But this guy and his wife came to get autographs, and she was like, 'I could get rid of him if you want.' She turned around for a minute and he was like, 'My wife wants to fuck you. I just want your autograph.'"
And finally, Bernbiz returns to the conversation to recount a baffling preshow incident. "In Kansas, before we even got onstage, we see this dude running out the back door of the hotel, getting chased by the cops, dipping full speed, crying on the phone for somebody to pick him up from jail. He jumped from this little cliff and ended up face-planting before he got handcuffed."
Really, though, drummer L.T. Hopkins puts it most succinctly, simply shrugging, "Every night is strange." And as the ¡Mayday! dudes return home to South Florida for the 80th concert of their tour, anything might happen. But if a zombie tries to rush the stage, Plex is ready: "I'll kick him in the ball sack and keep playing."
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