#987: ‘Unemployed Black Astronaut’ – Busdriver

I recall first finding this track on a compilation album that collected a bunch of hip-hop tracks that were currently being played on a local radio show. Its socially conscious style, mixed with the varying speed of rhyme delivery instantly made me take notice. Though I’d heard of Busdriver before thanks to his track ‘Imaginary Places‘, ‘Unemployed Black Astronaut’ was the first track that made me take him seriously as both a lyricist and a musician.

‘Unemployed Black Astronaut’ takes the idea of the someone being an ultimate outsider or misfit and shows them trying their best to make an impression on the scene. While its a nice little story about this metaphorical black astronaut becoming the first one to step out into space, to do things their own way, and to make a name for themselves, it parallels nicely with Busdriver’s career so far.

With the release of his previous record Temporary Forever, Busdriver managed to start achieving certain levels of critical acclaim. With this record, Fear Of A Black Tangent, he began to make a name for himself as an established artist. With his razor-sharp wit and impossibly fast vocal delivery, ‘Unemployed Black Astronaut’ shows Regan Farquhar doing exactly the things he is talking about. He’s made it onto the scene, he’s accepted by his peers, and he’s set himself up for a career in which he can do what he loves. No longer is he the outsider, he is now the musician people listen to, and he’s doing a damn good job of it, too.

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