Bryson the Alien is an up-and-coming Alternative Hip-hop artist and producer with a wildly entertaining, avant-garde and genre-fluid sound. Originally from Ohio, Bryson now calls Portland, Oregon home. Since debuting in 2016 with the album “Hail Mary,” the prolific artist has produced an impressive catalog of work including dozens of singles, EP’s and three full length albums. He has launched his own record label SUMALIENZ and is also active in other projects, releasing music with Swedish punk-rock label PNKSLM as well as the LA based hip-hop label POW Recordings.
“BTA World 64” is the latest from Bryson the Alien, released March 1, 2021. A concept album of sorts, the record is a 14 track collection of scenes from classic video game culture. With most tracks clocking in at under two minutes, it is less a series of individual songs than a collage of trippy stream-of-consciousness observations, all riffing on a theme.
Lyrically the rapper navigates the terrain with freestyle rhymes that alternate between real world views, video game scenes and Sci-fi/Fantasy pop culture references. Often, these collected images serve as metaphors for real life as viewed through the purple haze of weed smoke and the glow of a video game console screen. With a 90’s stoner-rap vibe reminiscent of acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, Bryson drops life advice (“5D,” “360”) shout-outs to T-Boz and crew on “TLC” and plenty of game action (“Time Crisis,” “N.I.T.H,” “Chinatown”).
Musically, BTA and producer Just Alfa built these tracks around a mix of mellow hippie vibes and 8-bit video game music. From chillout instrumentals like “Press Start” and “Game Over” to groovy philosophies (“paint what you like, your thoughts are your brushstrokes”), there is no shortage of psychedelia. However, the definitive overarching theme is that of classic gamer culture. Listening to “BTA World 64” is like attending a Hip-hop concert performed in a vintage arcade. When asked what inspired the project, Bryson the lists; “Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Gameboy, vintage X-Men / Spider-man comics and Kung-fu movies.”
The new album “BTA World 64” from Bryson the Alien is a great listen and wild ride through classic video game, Hip-hop and Pop culture. It is also an excellent introduction to a multifaceted and talented artist. Check out the album in its entirety below. You can also hear the track “Game Over” on the Deep Indie Chill playlist and “N.I.T.H” on the Deep Indie Beat. Follow the links below to connect with the artist. Get on his socials and get in the loop on all of the current and future projects from this dynamic and prolific musician.