A while back my friend Mike Lee, the Religious Antagonist, joined me onstage to do an atheist gangsta rap we wrote a half hour before performing it. With that much prep, we obviously didn’t do a very good job. Especially since that was the first time I’d ever performed with my looping pedal.
We revisited the gag a few weeks ago for a hip hop show I did and it came out much better.
And as many of the commenters have pointed out, no, it’s not Greydon Square. What actual purpose it serves to point out that Mike and I are not another rap group that we’ve never listened to is a mystery to me, but I’m sure it makes everyone on the net feel really superior in some arbitrary way.
There aren’t currently any plans to expand on the gag beyond this song. But if the fancy strikes me, who knows.
Though every time I read the news it feels like the world is rife with religious-fueled mortal peril, I think it’s actually a really great time to be an atheist. Not just because it helps you face all that tragedy with laughter, but because the last 10 years has seen an upswelling of reason and secular philosophy that I believe will become the foundations of a movement to end the religious tyranny and pseudoscience that has kept humanity oppressed for far too long. Books like The God Delusion and The Moral Landscape are bringing big ideas to the table and not shrinking way when they rattle the established order.
A friend of mine recently asked me to discuss atheism, and how it intersects with my ethnic Jewish background, for a web-series he was working on: De-Conversion. You may also recognize him as Mike Lee, The Religious Antagonist, or from our Atheist Gansta Rap video last summer. Our discussion covered everything from the identity-based roots of anti-semitism, Jesus’s status as a “nogoodnik,” and what Jews think of the JJ Abrams Star Trek.
The video is below. Enjoy.
Daniel Waters, the screenwriter for the brilliant 80s satire, Heathers, once said, “My goal when writing my screenplay—as should be the goal of every screenwriter—was to make the greatest movie NEVER made.”
I feel the same way about music. I’m far more interested in doing things that I find interesting than in being commercial or even culturally relevant. That’s why with my solo music project, Godcrotch, I’m trying to do something different every time I play out, and generally the more bizarre or unexpected, the better. Things like an all-ukulele set of metal covers or a one-man blues act or a one-man hip hop act. I have nothing against commercial bands or music, but right now, I’m mostly doing this to amuse myself, so why not go all the way with it?
As a perfect example of that, for a recent gig at Tom Grainey’s Basement in Boise, I got my friend Mike Lee, The Religious Antagonist, to join for me a live-looped atheist gangsta rap we put together just before the show.
I can’t say whether anyone else will like it or not—the guy who sang a song about Jesus right before I played certainly didn’t—but it tickles me pink. Especially the line: “Ain’t no virgins for you up in heaven, just some underage ‘tang down at 7/11.”
Whether I’ll play it again or record it, who knows. But someone did catch it on video, so at least that moment will live on.