Under the moniker yuckgod HD, Ian Michael Lindsay lets his voice become the centerpiece in an unmastered collection of raps meant to soundtrack your lethargy.
You might know Lindsay as the former resident bass player at Luckey’s Wednesday night Funk Jam. Maybe you heard his 2019 folk EP, Idée Fixe, released under his own name. If you’re truly lucky, you might have seen him as one part of the eight-piece neo-soul fusion band The Sunday Bump when it was performing around Eugene almost three years ago.
Throughout the many projects, Lindsay’s musicianship has never remained exclusive to any genre. With the new Yuck, Pt 1-4, Lindsay adds to the lo-fi rap canon with a much-needed boost of energy and a philosopher’s knack for ironic detail.
Originally released on BandCamp as four separate EPs, the 25-track collection holds momentum all the way through. On the second track, “Shy Guy Falls,” Lindsay unleashes a thesis statement of sorts: “They say my shit ain’t as hip hop as it gets, I say the more that it’s un-hip, the more hip hop that it is.”
Lindsay brilliantly sums up the underdog history of hip hop and laments just how important it is to the spirit of the genre with one line. As hip hop transforms into the most popular genre in the world, dominating virtually all popular music charts, this message often gets lost.
“Hip hop is so historic,” Lindsay says. “We’re constantly paying homage, but I also want to take it somewhere else. And I feel like pop rap isn’t hip hop right now to me. I feel like there’s some sort of middle ground that’s not being explored.”
With yuckgod HD, Lindsay creates the antithesis of contemporary pop rap, relying on unmastered production and a deadpan flow to bring you stream-of-consciousness raps that do more than just pay homage — they set the trend.
Like other lo-fi rappers living on the outskirts of the internet, the unmixed quality of Yuck, Pt 1-4 only adds to the charm of the record. In fact, I wouldn’t listen to it any other way. It’s this quality that lends itself so well to Lindsay’s dense lyricism.
“I’m trying to recreate the feeling of freestyling and making music in my living room with my friends,” Lindsay says. “It’s a very communal thing. That’s why my project is stacked with homies, because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for me.”
Lindsay has friends accompany him on more than half of the 25 songs, making the album a worthy introduction to the HELLA-DREGS label, an imprint created by close friend and collaborator Quincy Cerabino-Hess, who raps under the name Q-Nasty.
“When Ian [Lindsay] and I first met, he peed on me as I took a nap in the bushes,” Q-Nasty says. “It was a great place to sleep, and an even better one to pee. He thought a fight or litigation was about to ensue. Instead, there are four projects we’re working on together and counting.”
Both Lindsay and Q-Nasty feature each other on their respective HELLA-DREGS debuts and have multiple projects in the works for 2020. The label is an extension of the liquor- and smoke-filled sessions that inspire the music — a platform for fellow dregs of society that inspire its name.
“We’re doing this while he’s suffering from frequent panic attacks, and I have crippling chronic depression,” Q-Nasty says. “Not only are we pushing ourselves to continue being creative, but we’re helping each other with mental health obstacles.”
With more music being released on a near-weekly basis, Lindsay and the HELLA-DREGS crew promise to continue releasing their therapy as music, one session at a time.
Yuck, Pt 1-4 is available on all major streaming services. It can be purchased in full on Bandcamp at yucksmokes.bandcamp.com.