There are moments when an artist is willing to take a risk. That’s exactly what rapper Stresselbee does with a new album conceptualized in a specific way: Through animation. His forthcoming release, The Misadventures Of Stresselbee And Friends, set for release on October 16, is a self-described “lyrical, colorful adventure reconnecting the listener to a lost part of childhood.” A better description couldn’t be had. The Vermont emcee, affectionately known to his friends and family as Jesse Holden, was willing to take on the project head-on. The album, produced by The Aardvarcheologist, is host to an assortment of guests which include the likes of Blu, Louis Logic, Subtex, Blurum13, DRUNX, Mr. Marijana Potman of Alabaster Samovars, Hoarse Hed of Epidemiks, and Doppelganger of Light Pockets.
In anticipation of the new album, Stresselbee debuts the video for “Smalltown” which features Homeboy Sandman and MC Paul Barman. The animation, much like the music, is colorful and vibrant. It offers up lighthearted imagery that inevitably turns much darker than expected.
Of the endeavor, Stresselbee offers, “When I started working on the album, I was seeing a lot of negativity outside my front door; a lot of doom and gloom, end of the world type mentality, from current events, to the media, to politics, even a lot of dark things in my own personal life. I wanted to create something more positive, more fun, more colorful. I feel like that is missing in the current climate. I knew these particular MCs could go to a place like that. Every feature on the album is someone I’ve always had tons of respect for. Most of them exist on the fringes of popular hip hop, but each does things just a bit differently then your typical MC. I wanted to tap into that! Show some different / slightly askew perspectives? And I really wanted to rediscover my inner child on this one. I felt the need to reconnect with a piece of me I feel has been lost/obscured over the past year or two. The animated videos really helped bring this out, when writing or collaborating with the other artists, I was really trying to think visually, to give Eric Power plenty to work with. I’m really hoping the project does the same for the listener, perhaps transport them to a simpler time, when it wasn’t such a mad mad world out there. I feel a certain nostalgia for those days. The project does have its darker moments, too, and that is inescapable, but I think it always brings it back around, in the end. After all, the sun always rises again! After all is said and done, I hope it brings a smile to some faces, and can transport the listener to a better place, even if it is just for a small while.”