Like the video game garbled insult of its namesake, spoony bard is the result of a cultural collision as well as an honest and self-deprecating exploration of life. The NYC-based hybrid of L.A. beat scene, electronic, jazz and avant-garde takes a fresh approach to musical soul-bearing with compelling sonic textures and introspective lyrics. spoony bard combines hints of Flying Lotus, Dalek, DJ Premier, Herbie Hancock, Aphex Twin and more.
spoony bard is the alter-ego of musician David Nord. Originally a jazz composer/guitarist, Nord’s equal interest in hip-hop and electronic sounds brought about an evolution in his work, leading him to merge these styles and explore the possibilities of an alternate musical vocabulary. Old Friends follows Nord’s 2017 debut Dweeb, which was featured by Bandcamp Weekly and received considerable press praise.
This track was primarily inspired by the De La Soul classic “Ego Trippin’ (Part Two),” a track that lampoons the type of outlandish braggadocio that’s so common in hip-hop. And yeah, this is a part of hip-hop that can come off pretty goofy, especially if the rapper doing it can’t back it up. But when it’s done well, it’s one of my favorite parts of the art form. All my favorite emcees consistently make ridiculous boasts in their raps that are clearly huge exaggerations, and usually are partially tongue in cheek, but I know they half-believe what they’re saying is true. And the best emcees convince the listener to half-believe it too.
That’s part of what I love most about rap: self-determination. In your day-to-day life, you might be just some guy. You might even be someone who’s been afflicted, alienated, subjugated, or what have you. But on the mic, if you can rap your ass off, you can be larger than life. You can be whoever or whatever the hell you want to be. A perfect example of this is a guy named Daniel from Long Island. He lived through homelessness, the tragic death of his brother, and being supremely fucked over by a record label. But through hip-hop and his pure talent and presence, he overcame all that, and now he’s MF DOOM the super villain. And no one can tell him otherwise.
Another thing I love about hip-hop is that it’s the only music I know of that so regularly interpolates other types of media, entertainment, and/or culture, whether through lyrical references, sampling, or “genre-bending.” Hip-hop at its best is totally unconcerned with boundaries.
So on “ego trippin part 99,” I’m trying to combine a bunch of the stuff I love most about hip-hop. Through references to some of my favorite video games, TV shows, music, etc., I’m painting myself as this towering, mythic figure. And to be honest, like my favorite rappers before me, I half-believe that I’m telling the truth. But I didn’t want to completely lose sight of the light-hearted and satirical vibe of the De La Soul track that originally inspired me, so I decided to make all my references as nerdy as possible, to double down on the absurdity of it all. Basically, I’m trying to blur the line between rap’s grandiosity and De La’s parody of it.
I think we all have an ego. Those who completely give in to their egos are arrogant and insufferable, but those who try to completely deny their egos are dishonest and self-righteous. I’m trying to find the middle ground.