Interviews

Coming in to Land: Pigeon John Inducts Hip-Hop Into the Twilight Zone

Hip-hop’s most loquacious jester forges ahead into a twilight zone of skewed and jacked up hip-hop.


Pigeon John

Good Sinner

Label: Dine Alone Music
US Release Date: 2016-09-26
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Hip-hop’s most loquacious jester has been at it for nearly 20 years. Pigeon John (born John Kenneth Dust) first ran with the collective L.A. Symphony before embarking on a solo career that has curiously divided hip-hop devotees straight down the middle. John’s brand of hip-hop may seem a little too malleable for some tastes. But this approach in creative latitude has allowed the rapper to embrace everything that has ever been put on his plate musically, a Californian native who grew up listening to Public Enemy as much as he did Randy Newman.

Pigeon John first charmed listeners with his 2002 debut Pigeon John... Is Clueless, a mix of sunny hooks and self-deprecating humour. His following albums over the course of the years would further develop the melodic sensibilities owing more and more to pop. Not entirely impressed with the flash and glamour of some of hip-hop’s most popular notables, he’s forged ahead into a twilight zone of skewed hip-hop, jacked up on a buzzing Demerol high.

Trading in the samples and drum loops for a live band setup, the rapper soon embraced an instrumentation belonging to the works of the Beach Boys and The Chantays. His latest album continues in this tradition. With block-party beats, sun-kissed melodies and rhythms flipped by hip-hop and R&B turns, Good Sinner further carves the niche that Pigeon John has been faithfully making for himself over these last few years.

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