Feature: Kid Crust Beachlord
2017 sees the establishment of an epoch of rap music in which all the backpackers are either deep online, completely ignored by the tasteful mainstream, or dead. Rap fans can still respect the lyricism and thinking-manness of artists like Aesop Rock and Mos Def sans holier-than-though mentality. The lyrical, bedroom emotion thought output that came out of the death of backpack supported lots of interesting ideas.
The output and overall career of Clarence “Corky” Vanhouden King IV, AKA King Crust BeachLord is a sign of these times. Crust delivers a lyric-centric, confessional take on mid 2000’s indie rap. His material vibes with energies about girls, fame, shame and bad times, all in a flow that reads like an overstuffed bookshelf. This is music for people who were dedicated to Astronautalis’s The Mighty Ocean and Nine Dark theaters and Why?’s Elephant Eyelash, and that’s what make’s Kid Crust’s music important. The same nostalgia that has Emo Nights selling out all up and down the West Coast, a desire to return the the last music that made us feel something.
The man himself presents an intense mix of stimulus. Corky King came from a nonmusical, but still creative, blue collar house North of Seattle. His musical upbringing came from borrowed CD’s played through a walkman. His inspirations came heavy from the likes of bands like They Might Be Giants, The Mountain Goats and Bright Eyes as much as it was motivated by The GZA, Aesop Rock, and Deltron 3030. It was around the same time King learned and started playing guitar.
Acoustic guitar and songwriting followed King around everywhere he went after that. King said in an interview that his guitar was his bunkmate in dorm rooms, aboard salmon fishing boats in Alaska, and in Alaskan fish canneries. King spent several years in Alaska, gigging off and on to empty, and close to empty rooms. King recalls:
“A bartender at the Sportsman lodge in Whittier alaska drove to Anchorage for me to pick up a hohner. I was stuck in the tiny village watching a boat for a week and was under order not to leave. In exchange she had me play for her regulars, 5 or 6 townsfolk ages 68 and up, beards 1.5ft and down. They remained facing the bar and not me for the next 25 minutes with only small claps in between songs. Once I was done playing two did shake my hand and call me a looney youngster, but I could tell they were just trying to shake me in a rough riding northern way. Good people, real fear, true growth.”
Fear and aggression are big themes in King’s work. It is often lost in a city where all your friends from the UD come to see your band every weekend and people roll through basement shows like their frat parties how isolating and hopeless the creation of independent artistry can be.
All of King’s material thus far shows much promise, and if the sonic visions Crust is able to tie the aspects of his vision together, a debut EP would be welcome. Currently living in Northgate, Crust has played minimally at Substation, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Coach, Lou Ouijji, Yakay and Seattle visual artist Brandon Vosika. Crust has an upcoming project planned for release in the next year with musician, tattoo and visual artist Forsythe P Clocks. As of yet, Crust hasn’t played many shows in Seattle, but hopes to branch out and South soon.
You can see more of Kid Crust Beachlord’s material on his SOUNCLOUD accounts. We can hope to see more from him soon!