Just when you thought thoughtful penmanship, party music, and business savvy were on the wane, in comes the legendary Flynn Adam to revolutionize the game, reclaim what’s been lost, and reposition himself as one of the most avant-garde recording artists of the iPod generation.
Loath to conform to the status quo and convention, Flynn Adam is turning industry standards on their head. By sidestepping the brick-and-mortar approach to music-making and label deals, he’s offering audiophiles what they’ve long longed for: a steady stream of sounds—unbound by deadlines, distribution channels, or corporate red tape.
As a founding member and the outspoken, unspoken leader of the mythical L.A. Symphony crew, Flynn Adam knows a thing or three about such restrictions. Now that the sky is the limit, he’s primed to take his artistry to the next level, furthering one of the most tireless and prolific careers in rap music and beyond.
One caveat: his new solo output is the most un-hip-hop repertoire he’s recorded in his storied run—a night-and-day makeover that stands in stark contrast to the rhymes and rhythms he’s been known for over the years
In a move that’s unheard-of in music, Flynn Adam and Gotee Records plan to keep a continuous flow of new music coming, releasing three separate digital singles that, come early 2009, will be bundled into in an EP all its own. That way, both camps—physical and digital—are down with Flynn Adam..
First up in this sturdy streak of records is the revolutionary “Such a Time” (b-side: “Just Don’t Get It”), a guitar-anchored conflation of hip-hop, alternative, and new-wave sensibilities in the vein of Gnarls Barkley, Beck, and TV on the Radio, plus a healthy dose of Flynn Adam’s own idiosyncratic lyrics and hooks.
But Flynn Adam don’t sleep; the sequels are already all planned out. With only a few weeks in between to take a breather, Flynn Adam hopes to issue the “Inside Out” (b-side: “Adios”) and “500,000 Boomin’ Watts” (b-side: “Dishes”) singles, collectively a body of work that is not your mother’s Flynn Adam.
Now that he’s enjoying a small reprieve from touring and creating alongside L.A. Symphony, Flynn Adam is loving every minute of his new lot in life.
“I think this is something I’ve always wanted to do, but there’s never been the freedom to exercise within the L.A. Symphony dynamic.”
Unafraid of the unknown, Flynn Adam credits this foray into uncharted waters to a temporary relocation to Orlando, Florida. He chooses not to delve into specifics—he only says it was an interesting period of his life—but he says the sights and sounds he encountered there inspired him to think outside the hip-hop box.
“I regained an appreciation and love for so many other musical forms that I picked up during my teen years,” Flynn Adam says. “I kind of kept in touch with that, but not as much as I would’ve liked to.”
He continues: “I was going to a lot of clubs that weren’t just hip-hop,” adding that the change of scenery, coupled with the rigors of the daily grind, in turn pushed him to dig deeper and expand his stylistic palette.
Best of all, his amigos in L.A. Symphony approve.
“They’ve actually been really supportive,” Flynn Adam says. “It’s been really cool. They’re like, ‘Flynn’s going to get rich!’”
In a way, Flynn Adam was always the most likely to break out of his shell and do the unexpected. After all, he’s worked as an artist and producer with some of the greatest innovators in hip-hop and alternative pop, including the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, Mario C., Prince Paul, Posdnuos, Madlib, Evidence, GRITS, Pigeon John, Mars ILL, and dozens more.
On the touring front, Flynn has shared the stage with heavy-hitters such as P.O.D., Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Talib Kweli, Public Enemy, and Relient K—all associations that, in one way or another, laid a foundation for diversity in the rapper-slash-singer.
All of that, of course, is on top of his world-class work with L.A. Symphony. The crew had a habit of wowing critics and fans alike, often gaining comparisons to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and Black Sheep. Together, the conglomerate became an underground titan, releasing a slew of acclaimed recordings that quickly became classics in the annals of underground hip-hop.
But aside from the validation he may get from his brothers-in-arms or his lengthy résumé, Flynn Adam concedes that he’s never been more cognizant about his spiritual standing than now. It’s almost as if he was made for such a time as this.
“A lot of that comes with age,” Flynn Adam says. “I’ve gone through a lot in the last decade. When you’re pressed hard, you find out who your friends are. I have a better picture of who God is by just being honest and upright with him through this journey. I’m not ashamed about it.”