January 31: The Tinkerer

Rusty Redenbacher’s The Tinkerer is released to the masses.

I am reminding you of this because:

1) I think it is a tremendous work of art.

2) I believe in supporting people in what they do.

3) I had a dream last night where Rusty was on TV with his music. And I was very happy for him.

4) Hip hop on BET is mostly tedious formula and Rusty is bringing high concepts back to it.

5) He actually has something to say about the artistic process - how he creates, why, who influenced him. And he sustains that concept through the album. The songs that aren’t explicit still come back to his intents in some way, whether it is to make you dance, think… whatever. He never wavers from his brilliant conceit.

6) The beats are as dope as the rhymes are on point. His samples for Shake tickle me. Mainly in how familiar they are, and yet how he makes them all feel brand new by lovingly combining their DNA.

7) Hooks. Not borrowed hooks like other people who use samples. Real hooks. That he made using the pieces of other creatures.

8) Rusty tirelessly promotes the folks in the ATFU crew. One meaning of that is All Together For Us. It’s the ‘if one boat rises, all boats rise’ philosophy. He’s always out there giving his all for friends like Mr. Kinetik and Nerd Ferguson. It’s not all about him.

9) He’s been working this album like a true PR rep. From videos that take you behind the scenes, to live performances, to the Invisible Man gauze that covers his face, his commitment to his art is never less than complete. He believes in this. He’s made the mystique around the Tinkerer concept palpable, compelling.

10) I don’t really have another point to make. Other than this: if you buy this album, you will understand why hip hop matters. You will be supporting a true artist making art without compromise to the prevailing trends. You will be part of something great: supporting one of us. ATFU. His boat rises, we all rise. Because we have an opportunity to share something with the world: great music that should be heard. And that would be a great gift to give someone like Rusty.