$6,420
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
83
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 22 2015 2:10 PM UTC +00:00
$6,420
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
83
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, July 22 2015 2:10 PM UTC +00:00

About

Special GIF designed by artist Branson Belchie who will design limited edition t-shirt for donors!
Special GIF designed by artist Branson Belchie who will design limited edition t-shirt for donors!
Throughout 2012 I was on a bicycling from town to town performing One-Man Street Shakespeare around the USA.
Throughout 2012 I was on a bicycling from town to town performing One-Man Street Shakespeare around the USA.

Into the Wild

What Should Be the Fear will be the first ever Hip-Hop road album. It will tell the story of how personal tragedy led me, Brooklyn artist Ralf Jean-Pierre, to bicycle alone across the United States for eight months performing One-Man Street Shakespeare. That project, called The `Speare Bearer: One-Man Shakespeare on a Bike was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011.   

Singer-Songwriter-Rapper

I've been writing, recording, and performing hip-hop music for nearly 20 years. My focus for the last few years has been growing from just being a rapper to becoming a full-fledged songwriter, making a point to study great songwriters of any genre.

My last endeavor was a rap freestyle video series I created with my friend Crimdella, as a duo called KTS (Keep Taking Shits) as well as a mixtape we completed called Constipation.

Performing as Precious Gorgeous over the years with my frequent collaborator Crimdella and his collective the Black God Pantheon.
Performing as Precious Gorgeous over the years with my frequent collaborator Crimdella and his collective the Black God Pantheon.

The First Hip-Hop Road Album

I’ve long been fascinated with the tales of the American outlaw and the folklore from the wild American frontier. The spirit of adventure and mystery that permeates in rural America, from the swamps of the South, to the endless fields of the Heartland, captivated my heart. I was hard-pressed to find a project where I could really express this interest, until I completed this nationwide tour. Artists I'd long admired but couldn't quite relate to, like Chuck Berry, Ryan Adams, Howlin' Wolf, Neil Young, or Tracy Chapman were suddenly the most pervasive influences to my songwriting in capturing the tone and texture of this journey.

The album will consist of 13 songs I wrote and composed. With some basic audio recording equipment I was able to develop a simple technique of layering and looping my singing and beat-boxing into compositions which describe the intensely singular and harrowing, experience of this tour alone with my thoughts. This process was a way of sketching the songs in their rawest form, the best way I could, with the intent of forming a band later that could fully realize the songs.

Above: me performing impromptu One-Man Street Shakespeare shows throughout the United States as the `Speare Bearer in 2012.
Above: me performing impromptu One-Man Street Shakespeare shows throughout the United States as the `Speare Bearer in 2012.

Capturing The Songs

 All the songs are my attempt to capture stories and moments from my journey. For example, a significant part of my tour were the moments I'd come to literal forks in the road. They were perplexing because I could easily make a wrong turn down a road, and go 5-10 miles before I'd realize I'd gone the wrong way and end up taking a useless 2 hour detour through an area that was completely unfamiliar to me. Similarly, I'd often be faced with high-stakes personal decisions while on the road such as: "Can I trust this stranger offering me help, or do they mean me harm?" "Should I risk getting arrested to perform here?" "Should I become emotionally involved with this woman if I can't be sure I'll ever see her again?" and I felt similar pressure to make a choice. These instances felt like such dreadful, elemental tribulations, that it would take a Blues song to adequately express them. That's how the song Unsure came about.


"Of course on a course coarse as this/
A fork has no course but to show up and serve me a course"

—Precious Gorgeous, Unsure

One of the confused moments I describe in the song "Unsure", and me hanging with this wolf dog I met in Chico, CA. Speaking of wolves, if you enjoyed the music in the video, click the picture to hear the full song written by me & Crimdella!
One of the confused moments I describe in the song "Unsure", and me hanging with this wolf dog I met in Chico, CA. Speaking of wolves, if you enjoyed the music in the video, click the picture to hear the full song written by me & Crimdella!
Having a thoughtful moment while resting on a canal in front of a bait shop/boarding house I stayed at during my tour in Blythe, CA.
Having a thoughtful moment while resting on a canal in front of a bait shop/boarding house I stayed at during my tour in Blythe, CA.

Plan of Attack

My collaborator, music producer, Noah Lekas and I plan to record the album in San Diego, where Noah lives and works. Together we will interpret and translate my demos readable music that can be built on in collaboration with a live band into fully produced songs. San Diego also happens to be the point of the tour where I was furthest from my home of Brooklyn, NY, so it’s fitting that I should return there to complete this record.


Back in Brooklyn after the most intense year of my life, trying to process what just happened, coming up with no answers, just songs.
Back in Brooklyn after the most intense year of my life, trying to process what just happened, coming up with no answers, just songs.

"For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy."

I’ve gone as far as I can on my own in this process. What Should Be the Fear has the potential to be a powerful collection of dynamic, inspiring, American music that tells a unique story. Please help me to make this record a reality.

"Dunno rhyme or reason, I just know how to rhyme/
No, I dunno why I did it, I just knew I had to ride/
Got an hour and stomach for it I’ll tell you 'bout my year/
Hell yeah I was scared, but What Should Be the Fear?!"

—Precious Gorgeous, Prologue


Risks and challenges

Working in the music business in San Diego my collaborator Noah Lekas has established connections with musicians, producers, and engineers who are prepared to work with us for a reasonable rate. The goal amount we’ve set will be enough to afford a good studio, a competent engineer, and to pay quality studio musicians a fair rate for their time and talents.

I took a whole year to build these demos and, although the soul of my songs are there to me, their structure is poignantly simple enough for our musicians to translate. With this money I will be able to refine and develop my songs by collaborating with other talented musicians in the studio.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital download of "What Should Be the Fear" album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    31 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed vinyl copy of the album including liner notes, and a specially designed US map charting the `Speare Bearer's course.
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Limited edition T-Shirt designed by illustrator/sequential artist Branson Belchie (http://bbstard.com/)
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your name will appear in the liner notes credited as a producer of the album.
    +
    T-Shirt by artist Branson Belchie
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Ralf/The `Speare Bearer/Precious Gorgeous will call or Skype with you. During our conversation you can share a personal story about facing a fear with me. I will record the conversation, and I will incorporate the audio of this conversation into the album.
    +
    Your name will appear in the liner notes credited as a producer of the album.
    +
    T-Shirt by artist Branson Belchie
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Ustream chat with donors where I demo my songwriting technique and host AMA (Q&A) and talk back
    +
    Incorporate the audio of conversation with you into the album.
    +
    Your name will appear in the liner notes credited as a producer of the album.
    +
    T-Shirt by artist Branson Belchie
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Precious Gorgeous (and 1 or 2 other acts) will perform a live show for you anywhere in the mainland US.
    +
    Ustream chat
    +
    Incorporate audio of conversation with you into the album.
    +
    Your name will appear in the liner notes credited as a producer of the album.
    +
    T-Shirt by artist Branson Belchie
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Precious Gorgeous will perform a live show for you anywhere in the world!
    +
    Ustream chat
    +
    Incorporate audio of conversation with you into the album.
    +
    Your name will appear in the liner notes credited as a producer of the album.
    +
    T-Shirt by artist Branson Belchie
    +
    Signed vinyl
    +
    Digital download

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)