Adventures in Counter Culture

Columbus, Ohio, emcee Blueprint epitomizes DIY, from muscling his way onto the Rhymesayers label, to his newest solo project, Adventures in Counter Culture. The album starts off with a skit where he’s credited for “[being] willing to get past the genre … or genie … that’s your talent.” Counter Culture zigzags from braggadocio to brutal objectivity, from indignant to reverent. “Keep Bouncing” could be Chico’s theme song. With lyrics like “Been at the same [bar] for 12 hours straight/ Lost track of time, I ain’t even ate,” the song is tinged with self-disgust in a way that becomes comical. On “Wanna Be Like You” Blueprint is critical of the celebrity-obsessed American populace (himself included), preluding the song with sound-bites from various entertainment news programs. “Radio Inactive” builds a case for artistic integrity over radio/commercial conformity: “Telling me to change only makes me rebel more/ But radio don’t want that/ Print don’t fit the format/ Tell dude to change it up and maybe he can come back.” You can taste his desire to lead the tide of change by example as he ends the song with the lines: “You put it out/ We’ll pick it up/ Do you?/ Stay strong/ You’re the main reason we don’t turn our radios on!”