Countdown Moves On with Sam Bivins

Ian Webb


As our GRAPHITE Call For Entries Countdown continues we turn to another member of our Open – Table contributor: artist Sam Bivins.

Bivins, a recent UCLA fine art graduate, is now pursuing the musical realm; beginning with the recording of his own brand of rap/electronic music as the 1ers. Working with fellow musician Danny Bowman, 1ers lies firmly on the self-aware axis of internet rap, with conscious references to normative rap culture that subvert its posture via their own decidedly un-“gangster” identity. In a post-Lonely Island world, their style may be increasingly mainstream, but also a style rarely done well. But 1ers do joke-rap right, simply because they never let the punchline overtake the production. Rather, they construct intelligent beats and flows that flow amongst awkward wordplay and deliberate lyrical dead-ends. This allows the jokes to work in tandem with the music, rather than against it. (It also helps that the punchlines are spot on.) Sure, you might hate yourself for thoroughly enjoying lines like, “So many mixtapes to do / so many white girls with issues to screw,” but there is definitely a smile simultaneous to your head shake of disdain — which is exactly what 1ers want. There’s nothing going on here but remarkably well done Ali-G joke rap. And for that, we salute them.

Check out 1ers track “Say Hay” below and take part in Sam Bivin’s interactive exhibit at GRAPHITE’s Open – Table on Sunday, November 10 at the ReSTORE LA Space (1056 Westwood Boulevard).

For more information on how to submit your original content on the theme of “networks” for consideration in GRAPHITE‘s fifth issue, visit the “Contribute” tab on our website.