I have a distinct memory of popping Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event CD into my Walkman on the school bus and feeling a cold, spiney embracing sense of exclusion during the introduction of the album’s second track, “Everybody Rise.” The lyrics are as such:
“New York, Jersey, Philly, B-more, D.C
Virginia, Atlanta, everybody rise, c'mon
N.C., L.A., Texas, Detroit, Chicago, Miami
N.O., Cleveland, rise, c'mon
Denver, Boston, Nashville, Seattle, Albany
Kansas City, everybody rise, c'mon
Buffalo, St. Louis, New Haven, Kentucky
Oakland, Phoenix, Vegas, everybody rise, c'mon”
I’m sorry, but where is Burlington, Vermont in all of this? Kansas City? New Haven? Albany? ALBANY!? That’s a two-hour drive from Burlington and the #2 “thing to do” according to Tripadvisor is to visit the USS Slater DE-766 war ship (no disrespect to Albany or the USS Slater…Albany has a lovely airport). How are they more deserving of a shout our than Vermont? I was from Vermont and loved rap – where did I stand in all of this?
Fast forward ten years – I’m twenty and have chest hair. I’m part of the local music scene and I now understand the answer to my question: Vermont isn’t known for its hip hop to the rest of the world. Busta Rhymes doesn’t care about us. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rich musical heritage to share and be proud of. Friends visiting might know Phish, but would they know to check out Rough Francis play at Arts Riot or Eric George perform at The Radio Bean? There are plenty of local acts I love to turn people onto. And I love learning about music in the same way - visiting a town and asking around to see who the local’s take pride in. Who’s the hometown hero around here?
This episode of message machine seeks to get the scoop from a global group of guests, IDing local staples from all over. From Houston to Honolulu, Mumbai to Melbourne, Kingston to Tel Aviv – unlike Busta, we didn’t forget anyone in our lineup and the tracklist speaks for itself. We touch on everything from pop icons to best kept secrets, bounce to Latin disco, contemporaries to idols… I say this every time, but regardless of your musical preferences this episode has a tune for you, and that’s something to rise for.
We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed compiling it, and if you feel so inspired maybe you’ll reflect on who your hometown hero is. Did we miss anything on this episode? Don’t be afraid to tell me over Twitter or Instagram – you might just end up on my message machine.
Until next time…