Last month, we announced the local Rocketown stop of the "Scream It Like You Mean It Tour" on August 2. The all-ages show already boasted a packed, six-act bill, with the biggest stars in headliners and scene veterans Breathe Carolina and Chiodos. The lineup has now gotten even more crowded -- but a lot more interesting -- with the addition of rising supernova independent artist Mod Sun.
If the tendency of young artists who cut their teeth on heavier rock is to explore other genres, Mod Sun is that phenomenon personified, but to unique effect. The 20-something got his start as a pro musician in his late teens as drummer for a posthardcore band out of his native Minnesota called Four-Letter Lie. Still, that wasn't Mod's true musical love -- his first was Bob Dylan, whom he especially prized for his lyrics.
That interest in wordplay, combined with just being a child of the '90s, eventually led him to hip-hop -- but not just run-of-the-mill hip-hop with the expected braggadocio. From the beginning, Mod was obsessed with the idea of infusing his own music with a cosmic-scope message of positivity and self-determination.
Voilà, a genre he's dubbed "hippie-hop," whose lyrics are equal parts party-time jams and uplifting calls to live your life in absolute freedom. (Mod's a firm believer in the law of attraction, for one thing.) Sonically, it comes across as a multigenre blend whose vocals are raps but whose beats borrow heavily from rock and pop as well.
With acts like 3OH!3 and the like on one hand and new young white rappers making major crossover pop success, this is a good time for Mod to make moves. That's especially considering he's built up a buzz of tens of thousands of followers across the internet entirely on his own.
I first came in contact with him when he was a finalist in a contest for unsigned artists to grace the cover of Rolling Stone (read that initial Mod Sun interview here on AOL's Spinner). His sunny attitude was positively contagious, as cheerfully infectious as his music. In other words, he's the kind of hungry artist you want to root for.
Check out County Grind in coming weeks for a fresh interview about what he's been up to -- we've heard even Rick Ross is a fan. In the meantime, pick up your tickets for the "Scream It Like You Mean It Tour" online in advance; download Mod's most recent mixtape, Health, Wealth, Success, and Happiness, below via his Bandcamp page; and check out the video and free download link for another recent track, "Take the Credit, Imma Keep the Change."
Mod Sun, on the "Scream It Like You Mean It Tour," with the Color Morale, the Air I Breathe, Tek-One, I See Stars, Chiodos, and Breathe Carolina. 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 2, at Rocketown, 371 S. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $19.95; VIP package add-ons are $20.99. Call 954-786-1116, or visit rocketownfl.com.
Download: Mod Sun - Health, Wealth, Success, and Happiness mixtape
Download: Mod Sun - "Take the Credit, Imma Keep the Change"