It’s interesting how long you can know someone and then find out how much you didn’t know about them, while at the same discovering new things that you have in common… That was the reoccurring thought taking place in mind while reading “The Making Of Adventures In Counter-Culture.”
However, you don’t need to be a personal friend of Blueprint to share a similar connection with this book. If you were an attentive fan throughout his career, you are well on your way. Blueprint has actively poured his thoughts, strong opinions, struggles, triumphs, issues, and experiences into his music for as long as I can remember. “The Making Of Adventures In Counter-Culture” exists as a missing piece to the puzzle, filling in the blanks to things merely touched upon, not only in this album, but his career and life as well.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Blueprint is well suited for writing. That is abundantly evident in his music, but if you have ever had a conversation with him, heard him in an interview, or even paid attention to his between-song banter on stage, then you are aware that his gift with words extends further than MCing. He’s also strategic with his language -- even when the intent is purely outlandish, shocking or brash -- purpose remains.
As the title suggests, the book takes you on a step-by-step process of him creating his sophomore solo album for Rhymesayers, “Adventures In Counter-Culture.” The chapters start off by following the album tracklisting, with a chapter dedicated to each song. In great detail he reveals his writing processes, recording techniques, equipment use, in-studio collaborations, and the developments of song ideas from rough sketches to demos to various re-workings, until the final version was ultimately attained. Although it is interesting to hear him speak upon the technical musical aspects of creating the songs, I feel Blueprint is at his best and most intriguing when he is elaborating on the inspirations that lead to the initial concepts or the various stages of evolution to the songs.
Blueprint’s personality shines thru and is in very engaging when he is writing about the things that prompted him into action or shifted him into deep-thought. You can clearly hear those initial sparks of passion being reignited as he relives those moments for the reader and draws you into the situation, giving you such a candid sideline mental view that it acts as an acceptable replacement to a first-person account.
In this, Blueprint also reveals another raw skill of his -- being in tune with his environment so that he’s able to feed off inspirations from a wide range of sources and situations; Architectural Documentaries, drunken arguments at bars, long lines at the Post Office, technology, exploring new scenes, being forced to reinvent himself, the doubt of others and even the lack of inspiration itself. There are several moments in the book were a story unexpectedly intersects with a line from one his lyrics that either gives the song quote richer definition or in some cases, finally revealing its true meaning.
Speaking of lyrics, the second half of the book is just that, all the lyrics to the album. It’s virtually impossible to read this book and not immediately want to revisit this album for a renewed educated listen, and the lyrics exist as a perfect companion piece for that adventure.
“The Making Of Adventures In Counter-Culture” finds Blueprint quite comfortable being honest and revealing about intimate details of his life, because it is those very events that shaped, not only the person he has become, but the artistic direction he has taken. While injecting in the music is a great outlet, elaborating on it in such a way only enhances the experience.
Written By Kevin Beacham
-Bonus Joint: It was also awesome to find out the Red Bull event I conceived and organized, Content Under Pressure, was instrumental in pushing the song “Automatic” forward to a small degree…