The Freeze Tag, the newly formed duo of Los Angeles-based producer Cassettes Won’t Listen and Brooklyn MC Bisco Smith, is happy to announce the release of Hamster Kid, a five-track concept EP and animated musical collaboration brought together with the help of world-renowned street artist Bishop 203 and director Mike Vidoli. Hamster Kid will be released May 3, 2011 through The Freeze Tag’s collective label, Daylight Curfew.
In a genre where bravado and #swag is slang du jour, an antihero like Hamster Kid is rarely heard from, let alone as the driving force behind a multi-media based concept project. For CWL and Bisco, who began writing and recording music together in the summer of 2010, who have been creating boundary pushing music together and apart for years, the idea came naturally, and Hamster Kid emerged as an unlikely superhero, an everyman’s underdog who, as the duo states, “fights to stay true to himself while overcoming pressures from peers, naysayers, and society at large.”
A true concept project, the five-track EP tells a full story, beginning with Hamster Kid’s escape from an underground corporate complex (“The Voices” and “The Shuffle”), finding solace and strength in the optimism of the big city (“The Vision”). Inspired by the rediscovery of self-awareness and aspirations that had escaped him, Hamster Kid mounts his rooftop launch pad, making his leap away from the restrictions and limitations that once ruled his life and toward the outer expanses of the freedom he strives for (“The Flight”). “If there’s one thing to be taken from the story of Hamster Kid,” explains Bisco, “it is to find what you love, chase that love, and figure out a way to make it your life.”
Despite being the album’s first track and lead single, “The Hustle,” along with the accompanying video, gives listeners the full story; lyrically, the track includes bits from each of the other four songs, and the video similarly pulls from each of the other four videos in the story. Cassettes Won’t Listen sets the tone for the track, and EP, with a track that that incorporates slick, reverberating guitar plucks, synths, driving distorted bass, and heavy drums, as Bisco weaves the story, verse by verse, of Hamster Kid, rapping, “I know that they see us, they wish that they had it/ But chasing this love can become a bad habit… find what you love on that playground hustle”
By nature, story-driven concept projects can be sometimes hard to follow. Understanding this, CWL and Bisco brought in renowned street artist Bishop 203 and director Mike Vidoli, creating a music video for each of the four story tracks, in addition to the video for “The Hustle,” that bring viewers into the Hamster Kid’s world as he traverses his way through the story in each new visual. CWL and Bisco also enlisted the assistance of Echoes Alike, Turnbull Green, J.Vegas, and Devang Shah to create three remixes from the EP.
The Freeze Tag’s Hamster Kid will be released May 3, 2011 through the duo’s collective label, Daylight Curfew.
The Freeze Tag’s Hamster Kid is an animated musical collaboration between Brooklyn MC Bisco Smith Los Angeles producer Cassettes Won’t Listen, brought to life visually with the help of world-renowned street artist Bishop 203, and director Mike Vidoli. The group formed in summer 2010 while Bisco was visiting CWL’s studio in Los Angeles, and a week long collaboration ensued. The studio doors opened and out came a true five-track concept EP revolving around the story’s central character, Hamster Kid, the everyman’s underdog, who fights to stay true to himself while overcoming pressures from peers, naysayers, and society at large. Each song from the EP is accompanied by a video, and producers Echoes Alike, Turnbull Green, J.Vegas, and Devang Shah, also contributed a series of remixes to the EP. Hamster Kid will be released May 3, 2011 through The Freeze Tag’s collective label, Daylight Curfew.