AMHERST – Hip-hop changed his life.
MDB, aka Amherst-born rapper Michael Dow ‘Baby’, came by the news office to talk about his newly released CD, Insight.
“This is a medium to tell people stories,” said the 31-year old.
“You can feel a person’s struggle in the words that he’s rapping to you.”
The CD took a year to put together, but was a lot longer in the making. Some of his favourite childhood memories are of sitting in the basement of his family home watching his father play bluegrass. Music has been part of his life all of his life.
The rapper sang country initially, then played with a cover band in Halifax. His burgeoning interest in hip-hop really took flight after he moved to Moncton eight years ago. He’s only been performing for about five years.
The stories he tells are informed by his life and its travails. He was sick as a child, he said, in and out of the hospital. When he was older, he got in with the wrong crowd, which precipitated his exit from Amherst. And a physical disability has also shaped the way he ‘sees’ the world.
“I’m a legally blind MC,” said Dow.
The musician said rap has given him a purpose. Being blind, “it’s hard to find your niche.” Rap’s reputation among critics as a force for negativity is undeserved, according to Dow, although there are negative themes in the work of some artists. He said the art form isn’t the source of trouble, but a looking glass through which life can be observed.
“I’m just trying to be an honest man and tell my story,” said Dow.
All of the tracks on the CD were written by MDB, and the full-length effort was recorded in his home studio. His favourite track is ‘All the things you are’, which was produced by Jason ‘J-Detic’ Gouchie of Amherst.
“I perform as much as I can humanly do,” said the artist.
He played two show this past weekend, traveling to Halifax to release the CD for one of them. His Moncton release is slated for March 7, a 19-plus free event at Bombers.
The rapper knows CDs are old school. He’s released mixed tapes digitally. But he said selling CDs at shows can be a source of revenue and expressed his belief it will have a resurgence in popularity among musicians.
Insight is available locally for $10 by calling 667-9128.