L.A. avantcore rap doofus Busdriver has been tripping lyrical booby traps for over 10 years. In that time, Bus has gone from tongue-stepping on top of Bach flute minuets to cross-breeding with art rockers Deerhoof. Even with his high-speed rhyme skills, it's not easy being the strangest rap-game reality sandwich artist. His previous backhanded boasts, backpacker send-ups, and hipster cross-hairs kept him unboxed by simple genre walls, but they also betrayed confusion of audience and a bit of self-chastising for his own indulgences.
He's smoothed the creases with his more recent work, adopting a lyrical playfulness and lack of self-consciousness that's as inviting as it is impressive. His recent full-length, Beaus$Eros, is as unpredictable as ever. The electro-synth psych swirl sometimes goes as far as to veer into sunny indie-pop singing. The "Arguments with Dreams" tour comes on the heels of the brand-new seven-song EP of the same name, which Bus is offering for free on the Big Dada label website.
Steeped in deep synth wheezes and bit-crushed beats, the EP features guest spots from tourmate Open Mike Eagle and Brooklyn pranksters Das Racist, a group whose no-big-deal Taco Bell non-sequitur is indebted to Busdriver's straight-faced absurdism. "I can make Parker Posey's ovum / ingest Macaulay Culkin / Then turn Sarkosy Vulcan / Because I'm that ill," he snipes on "Fire Hydrant," with his tongue planted only slightly in cheek.--Chase Kamp