Muni inspires full hip-hop album


As if we needed further proof that Muni is a way of life, JW Friedman comes along and drops an entire album of music about our transit system. We got in touch recently to learn what prompted such an artistic outpour.

“I’m a Muni commuter, I ride it all the time, so that was a big chunk of it. Mostly, though, and a bit dorkier — at the time that was recorded, there was a guy on twitter named ‘beebee’ who was fairly well-known for posting nothing but photos of the bus, and updates about his bus’ status (“the bus is late”, “the bus is here”, “i’m on the bus”, etc). I found it strangely endearing, so in a lot of ways, this was an attempt to channel that mindset, that sort of excitement about something as commonplace as public transit. There’s also a lot of background audio throughout the songs that I recorded surreptitiously on the bus (the announcements, general ambience), and the process of riding around town waiting for the ‘perfect moment’ to capture became a small obsession for me over the course of a couple weeks. So I kind of ended up channeling that excitement about transit in a lot more ways than I expected.”

He made an entire album of songs about Muni, which he calls Beebee on the Bus. We wondered what inspired the entirety of Friedman’s musical endeavors.

“Satellite High is a weird situation in a lot of ways, really. The name is a pseudonym that I established many years ago as a ‘rap name’ sort of thing when I was doing pretty traditional straight-forward hip-hop. I’ve always been a giant fan of rap, especially the more technical and esoteric side of the genre, but over time my music started to develop in ways I didn’t expect that left me pretty far from the platonic ideal of ‘a rap artist.’ I’ve actually started releasing music under my real name, J. W. Friedman, and have sort of abandoned the Satellite High moniker in the process, but that’s a very recent decision and the results remain to be seem. The main motivator, honestly, is that it can be a bit tiring to remind people that ‘Satellite High’ is one person and not a rock band or a collective or something.”

LOL I know what he means. “Muni Diaries isn’t just a guy?” LOLOL.

Anyhoo, check out the tracks herein and drop on by the album page for even more Muni Musix. Great stuff.

h/t The one, the only, Tarin Towers

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