In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in in the Blank.
Hip-hop spitter Adam Estep grew up in a rural area outside of Augusta, Missouri with weirdos, nerds and punk rock kids. "Anyone who wasn't totally mainstream stuck together," he says. "I just called everybody scrubs.... It was sort of an-all encompassing term for 'outcast' when I was younger."
Since the early-naughts, Estep has rapped under the moniker Scrub, inspired by flavors offered to his generation while growing up in the '90s -- everything from Ice Cube and Bob Dylan to soul music and blues. With the sole goal of creating music that functions as both fun and danceable, he injects his carefully crafted words into beats crafted by good friends and collaborators. The pool includes M.A. Double, Loose Screwz, and Fresh Kilz from Toronto, and Estep shows he's not afraid to dive right in.
"A lot of my material is about life and death but more specifically about enjoying your days, not taking things for granted and realizing what you do have," says Estep. "I try and hide those messages among fun party lyrics. It's just one of those things I think about a lot. Don't be afraid to die and enjoy every day that you're alive."
With a new baby in tow, the FarFetched artist has no intentions to hit the road, instead opting to expand his coverage across the streets of St. Louis. He talks plans of organizing a team for street performing and obtaining the permits and PA to do so. "It's something new to do," he says.
Estep also runs his own small label, 9-BALL ent., and plans to release a record for friend and mentor Silly J Skills. Currently, Estep says he's laying low to wrap up an upcoming spring release. Look out for teasers from his album, No More Food, in February.
Scrub contributes talents in two collaborative tracks on the FarFetched collective's latest release, Prologue III, sharing songwriting credits with 18andCounting and Mathias & the Pirates. Check out Scrub's 2010 release with M.A. Double under the name Super Delegates on Bandcamp and hear Estep's latest album under Scrub, Corn Fed, below.
We invited Scrub to fill in the blanks ahead of the release of FarFetched's Prologue III compilation tonight. See what he had to say on the next page.
What I like most about St. Louis is... Adam Estep aka Scrub: the low cost of living. Music doesn't pay well. Also, there are relatively few gatekeepers. It's a great place for young artists to develop because it is fairly easy to get yourself on a stage in front of some humans. Local artists and venues are generally very welcoming to new bands trying to get their start. I moved here in 2005 and easily established a network that keeps me busy. You just have to be reliable.
I make music because... I can't drink every day. Those are the only two things I'm really good at. On my dry days, I make music that I can later perform while drinking. If you want to join the list of enablers, bring me a tequila at a show. No Cuervo.
I've learned the most from... Wikipedia, definitely. Way better than college. I also believe trial and error is the best way to find your place in the music business. There are no rules, so take chances. After all, trying is the first step towards failure.
The St. Louis music scene could use... more mobile sound stages. Similar to the food truck craze but with a different kind of nourishment. Everyone knows it is difficult to get people to come to the city and fill up clubs, so we should take the action to them. I suggest parking in front of Trader Joe's in Brentwood and performing all day in traffic. We could have yoga battles. I might write some raps about quinoa and the pitfalls of gluten.
Five current artists worth listening to are... Bug Chaser, Brothers Lazaroff, Nikki Hill, Marquise Knox, Jeremiah Johnson. All are based here in St. Louis. And of course, any artist from the FarFetched roster.
The most memorable show I've ever played was... probably a show at Club Sevilla in Long Beach, California. I opened for the Rej3ctz at a time when their song, "Cat Daddy," was omnipresent in LA. I'm not sure why I was booked there, but I mistakenly showed up with a flash drive full of experimental hippie jams I was working on at the time. The club looked like an MTV Beach House party. I got some odd looks during my set.
The most difficult lesson I've learned while playing music is... to always have fun and not get discouraged. There are countless roadblocks in the business and people who will try and take advantage of you at every turn. It's important to remember why you started making music in the first place. If you are lucky enough to do something you love and have a few people enjoy it, you are living the dream.
FarFetched Presents: The Prologue III Release Party Friday, January 24, 8 p.m. w/ Scrub, Thelonius Kryptonite, Hubble, Mathias & the Pirates, 18andCounting, SNS, HearskraZ, Black James, Abnormal @ 2720 Cherokee - $3-$5
Do you know a project or band that should be considered for this series? Drop a line to email@example.com.
Previously from our Fill in the Blank series: - Pet Rock the Musical - The Glass Cavalry - The Blu Skies - Animal Teeth - Popular Mechanics - Brotherfather - Bad Dates - Beauty Pageant - Pillow Talk - The Tennis Lesson - The Funs - Brothers Lazaroff - Quaere Verum - MME - Sarah Bollinger - Little Big Bangs - Everything Went Black - Lions Eat Grass - Kevin Harris - Laika - Heavy Horse - Barely Free Partial Prisoners - The Defeated County - Lizzie Weber - Kenshiro's - B.E.L.L.A. - Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship - Humdrum - The Blind Eyes