Hi! My name is Sammus and I'm an Upstate NY-based rapper, producer, PhD student, lover of old school video games and video game music. I'm hoping you can help me put together an EP inspired by one of my favorite video game series but first a little background on the project:
Great news! With 21 days left in the campaign I reached my funding goal of $2350! My new stretch goal is to raise $5000 towards the development of a music video. If we do not meet this stretch goal, all funds will be used towards the development of future music projects.
If you haven't noticed the connection yet, my name is based on Samus Aran, the main character from the classic Nintendo game Metroid, a name I was given both because I love gaming and because as a female hip hop producer I've been told I defy gender stereotypes, much like my bad-ass bounty-hunting namesake.
Since adopting the moniker Sammus in 2009 I've dropped two self-produced Bandcamp bestselling albums -- M'other Brain (2012) and Prime (2013) -- that celebrate the role video games have played in my life among other influences. And although the titles of both albums make nods towards the Metroid franchise, I didn't feel it was right to continue making music as Sammus without paying proper homage to Ms. Aran herself. So...
What? [The Project]
After several years of speculation and prompting from supporters, I have finally decided to drop a seven-track Metroid inspired EP entitled AN[OTHER M], a title that plays both on the name of the Metroid game Other M, and the addition of an extra "m" to my spelling of Samus. I will be producing beats that are inspired by the music of the Metroid games and rapping from the perspective of Ms. Aran as she traverses the galaxy in search of her disembodied nemesis Mother Brain.
In order to make this project a success I'll be teaming up with some major power players like the legendary DJ Cutman of GameChops Records, who will provide Super Metroid inspired production for a special bonus track that can only be downloaded for contributions of $40 or above.
For more information: http://gamechops.com
I'm also partnering with Cali-based apparel brand SIDEWALK II's to handle T-shirt design and orders. This awesome company has produced merch for dope artists like Hopie Spits Hard so I'm very excited to be working with them.
For more information: http://sidewalktwos.com/
Finally, I am blessed to be working with the incredibly talented Gabriel Eng-Goetz who has signed on as the creative director for the artwork attached to the project. Those who are familiar with my work may know that he was responsible for the cover art on my last album, PRIME, but he has also produced artwork for such notable artists as Big K.R.I.T. and Savoy among others. With his help the project promises to be just as visually stunning as I hope it is sonically pleasing.
For more information: http://porkfriedart.com
How? [You Can Help]
Here's the catch -- even in this increasingly DIY world it takes some serious money to craft a quality EP. I've got the recording and studio costs handled but I'll need additional funds to pay for:
• Professional mixing [7 songs x $200 each]
• Professional mastering [7 songs x $50 each]
• Graphic artist payment + CD pressing [$600]
As a PhD student during the daytime, I don't exactly have the spare change lying around to finance this project on my own but with your assistance, we can bring this Metroid project to life! I've put together some really fantastic perks for those of you who are able to contribute and I look forward to sending them out by email and snail mail after we successfully raise these funds. From T-shirts and posters to unreleased musical material and personalized beats, there's a reward that everyone can appreciate.
Why? [It Matters]
Clearly this EP is important to me because of my deep connection with Metroid. After all, without Samus there wouldn't be a Sammus, [or at the very least I would have adopted a far less appropriate moniker]. I also think fans of Metroid will be very excited about this EP coming to life for obvious reasons. But in a broader context, this project is important because it contributes much needed female perspectives to the worlds of hip hop, nerdcore (nerd + geek inspired hip hop), and more general geek culture.
Not only will this project celebrate one of the most important women in video game history as told from the perspective of a woman, but it will also push back against stereotypes that women can neither produce beats nor engage with particular kinds of content -- namely that related to male dominated geek and nerd cultures.
Additionally AN[OTHER] M follows in the footsteps of websites like Black Girl Nerds [on which I've been featured] by helping to create new spaces for nerd and geek women of color. I wonder how drastically different my self image would have been if I had encountered an African American woman who produced her own beats, and rapped about the games and cartoons in which I immersed myself as a child. Thus I have made engagement with racial politics in the context of geek culture an important part of my mission as an artist: in 2012 I directed and starred in the music video for my track "Games and Cartoons" [see below], which features a diverse cast and centers around an AA woman who's in love with -- you guessed it -- games and cartoons; in June of this year I released a Castlevania EP with fellow nerdcore MC of color Mega Ran on which I produced 7 beats and rapped on two songs; in September of this year I recorded a track entitled "Perfect Dark" for the Not a Nerdcore Mixtape in which I discuss the lack of black female representation as it relates to popular cartoons and games. Still, I know that I can do more.
It is my hope that this Metroid project can speak to and inspire geeks and nerd women of color, among other video game enthusiasts and lovers of hip hop. Simply put, what I hope to do, has never been done before. Let's make history!
Risks and challenges
Even if [when] the project is successfully funded, there may be some challenges for me to overcome. The reason I decided to make an EP instead of a full-length album is completely related to the constraints of being a graduate student and an artist. In the next few months I will be balancing some serious writing engagements with the production, writing, and recording of this project. Two of the perks actually require me to produce a beat for the contributor, a process to which I devote a fair amount of time. In order to make this project a reality, I have therefore scheduled its completion during my winter break so that I can devote much of my time and energy to ensure an excellent product. Additionally, rather than trying to take on too many responsibilities like mixing the tracks and creating the artwork, as I have done in past projects, I am going to be outsourcing these tasks to professionals who will not only do a better job than I would, but will do it in much less time. I'm confident that with their assistance, the perks will be delivered in a timely manner!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)