Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Change The Beat: Blondie's "Rapture" Name-checked Emcee & Hip-Hop Pioneer Fab 5 Freddy Re-emerges for First Recorded Verse In 34 Years, Vex Ruffin's "The Balance" (Ben Marlowe)


"The video began taking shape a year ago. Fab [5 Freddy] and I have been friends for a while now and we connected with Peanut Butter Wolf. Wolf thought Vex Ruffin would be a great fit with my animation style. The video and song have strong connection to Fab's earlier Hip-Hop NYC roots. I started as an experimental animator, so this was a great chance for me to get real crazy with it. Giving a nod to the early 80's experimental films that the sound is inspired from," director and animator Ben Marlowe wrote within an email Wednesday afternoon, concerning his latest creation, "The Balance." Marlowe says it was "filmed, then created using a [combination] of hand animation and special effects" over the course of the past year. "The Balance" is Vex Ruffin's first properly released sampling of new music since his self-titled (alternatively known as ¢) 2013 Stones Throw debut full-length; while it additionally serves as one-time Yo! MTV Raps host, Hip-Hop forefather, and 1980's street art pioneer Fab 5 Freddy's first single in a staggering 34 years, his first since 1982's "Change The Beat." Stones Throw's first and only cold sent-signed artist, Vex partnered with the LA-based imprint to quietly release an album, two FREE on-site EP's, one EP for sale, a cassette-only EP, a postcard 45, and a 7-inch recorded with label mate James Pants.


"I liked the way this idea organically developed and I began to see my involvement as a sort of art performance piece. The track reminded me of cool Dance records that downtown NY DJ's played back then in the 80’s at places like The Mudd Club, The Garage, Area, Danceteria, and Nell's where I hung out, so I put myself in that mindset when working on my lyrics for this song," featured emcee and close personal friend of director Ben Marlowe, Fab 5 Freddy revealed within a mini-Stones Throw press release. Vex Ruffin's as-yet-unannounced, seemingly Hip-Hop-inclined sophomore album isn't the only album he has in the pipeline awaiting release on Stones Throw's 2016-17 schedule, it appears as though he produced an entire album for masked emcee, Koreatown Oddity; "It's great to see something come together like when Koreatown Oddity shared the bill with Vex Ruffin several years ago and they kept in touch and eventually started recording together and I liked what I heard and asked them to do an album together for Stones Throw and now, years later, they have a dope album FINISHED and a great video directed by Alfredo Lopez with Eric Coleman as the [director of photography]," Stones Throw label head and founder Peanut Butter Wolf wrote within a July 27th Facebook post penned on the heels of "F**k Dinosaurs."

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