Michael Walker (Flatline) and Jamey Bennett (Chunjay)—well, we are just two guys from Bakersfield, California who have each had musical passions. And now we are making our greatest record ever.
This is a project about life. About death. My life, your life, our lives together. And about all the parts in-between. Who are your partners? Who are your allies? Who will walk away from you? From whom will you walk away?
That's what this record is about. We have essentially written a novel in a rap form—it's about the universal experience of humanity. It's about joy, pain, sorrow, fun, kisses, failures, successes, and a good beer. It's about holding hands, loving that crying baby girl of yours, and about chilling with the homies.
So what's the idea behind the record? Cicadas are a strange species of bug that spend most of their lives underground feeding and developing, and eventually emerge in tremendous numbers, and they perish shortly after emerging from the soil. Royal Ruckus has been underground for many years, many folks unaware of our continued existence. We, Chunjay and Flatline, have each been very busy though, learning and growing in this life, always becoming. Cicadas are among the greatest ruckus-making insects known to man, and a swarm of them can produce sounds up to 120 decibels. That’s louder than a rock concert, and comparable to the noise from a chainsaw.
A ruckus is a disturbance or commotion. A “royal ruckus” is a large-scale commotion, fuss, or noise. This description characterizes the musical aspirations of the duo.
And cicadas live a short life above ground, and end up perishing quickly. It's all temporary and fleeting.
We've known each other since grade school, and even carpooled to Vacation Bible School a few times. In high school, we started Royal Ruckus more as a joke than anything, and when people started taking us seriously, we did too. Pretty soon we had a following, and eventually a record deal. We moved to Nashville, toured the country, and sold some records. We had a blast, made some incredible friends, and formed a solid life-long bond between the two of us.
But we weren't ever satisfied where we left things as far as Royal Ruckus goes. Sure, we have released a few collections in recent years, but we have always felt like our best work is ahead of us. In the last two years, we have gotten more serious about it, and in 2016 we have made serious progress. Now we are so close to the finish, we can taste it.
Jamey has personally sunk several thousand dollars into the project, and Mike has volunteered countless hours of his time to crafting the music for the record.
The record is a double album. The first half of the record is a Royal Ruckus project, and the second half is a Chunjay "solo" album. But the reality is that Flatline and Chunjay have collaborated on the entire enterprise. The whole project is really a Royal Ruckus album. We are slated to record a full batch of 30 songs, 15 songs per each half of the album. Several songs were ditched, even ones that had been slated for guest artists. We are truly trying to put out the best Royal Ruckus album possible.
On top of that, our music has always been positive, and to this day we avoid explicit lyrics (grandma will be so proud).
As we near completion, we are looking for $1200-3000+ to make the project as close to perfect as possible. We are working with DJ Sean P and Krum (Playdough) in Dallas to record the project, and aiming for the best possible performance we can deliver.
And while our minimum goal is $1200, the more funds we raise, the better the final product is going to be. If we can raise $3000 or more, we should be able to press up some vinyl, spend a little more studio time refining the project, and have a foundation to reach more people with our music.
We have some exciting guest spots. We have confirmed spots from Eligh of Living Legends, Dirt of Shadow of the Locust, Spoken Nerd, Krum, Absent Minded, Cookbook of LA Symphony, Max.One of Sackcloth Fashion, and several others are in the works. This is an exciting project that defies genre definition, as is the habit of Royal Ruckus, and continues pushing positivity in our self-expression.
Backing this project is going to help us wrap the thing up, and give it the final push that it needs. We have no label at this time. We are purely independent artists, doing this out of love and passion. We are doing it right. And in 2016, it is easier than ever to get your music out there without the oversight of a bureaucratic label.
Will you help us with our dream of making the best Royal Ruckus project to date?
Risks and challenges
We need at least $1200 before we step foot in Dallas to record the album in August, and if we fail to raise the money by then, we will be sitting on a stack of songs with nowhere to go. The reality is that we would be best equipped with bringing in $2000 worth of pledges.
This project needs an appropriate execution in professional recording spaces. If you can help us raise the bar to $2000 or more, we will be able to bring the best possible Ruckus sound to your ears. If we can raise even more than that, much more will be possible, such as pressing vinyl or getting some last minute paid guest spots.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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