Alt-Rapper STEPHEN HERO celebrates public transit with “40 Ft. Limo” - @stephen_hero


Alt-Rapper STEPHEN HERO celebrates public transit with “40 Ft. Limo”

“‘40 Ft. Limo’ interpolates a familiar transit jingle I grew up hearing on local radio,” said STEPHEN HERO (he/him). “Residents of Saint John have a special affinity for it, though it was actually featured on local radio in dozens of cities across North America. The song explores working class life and how success can sometimes separate someone from their roots, towing a line between embodying and denouncing hustle culture.”

Following a year of artistic collaboration which garnered national attention from outlets like Exclaim! and Complex, HERO returns with the GOLD COLLECTION EP (out 05/13). The EP forms a loose meditation on the self-destructiveness of wage aspirations; the way the poor hold up the rich in the hopes that they might one day join them, therefore maintaining the status quo and enforcing the division. 

“It’s a problem that’s made for some incredible art and a lot of inspiring stories, but it’s worth deconstructing a little bit, so I decided to go there while trying my best not to suck the fun out of the room,” said HERO. “This whole thing started by pulling samples from a cheap compilation tape that would’ve been in the glovebox of my dad’s car, and building a clear, warm drum sound around it. It was in the rewatching of classics like Wild Style and Style Wars that I started to hear Cold Crush Brothers talking over these beats, and it started to take on a vintage hip hop feel.”

“Hip hop lived on cassettes when I was a kid,” he said. “The tactile sensation of pulling a piece of electrical tape from the spool and placing it over the little hole at the top of an old cassette so you can record over it, is baked into how I experience music. It’s tedious and focused and it forces you to earn the payoff. These days the technology exists to circumvent the process, but for me it’s crucial to keep a hold on the physical art, and for GOLD COLLECTION, that’s become the identity of the project.”

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