In 2000, Del the Funkee Homosapien, heady on Japanese pop culture, metamorphosized into Deltron, rapping space cyborg from the future, and released the concept album Deltron 3030. Later, his protege on that album, Chinese-Canadian DJ Kid Koala, released his own robot themed concept album, Nufonia Must Fall. Now, in 2004, Pete Miser, a Brookyln based rapper from Portland and of Chinese heritage, has released the first single off his third solo album. The track is called Scent of a Robot, and features a funny, but meaningful little ballad of a man who find out he is a robot.
The protagonist of the song (also called 'Pete'), is a middle management flunky at a technology company, living happily with his wife and kids. One day, he opens a misdirected e-mail, and finds the blueprints he was designed from. Everyone in his company is a little bit embarassed that their co-worker has finally figured out the open secret, but his boss patiently explains that robot or not, Pete is a valuable member of the team. The song ends with Pete about to explain to his wife and kids there robot origins.
Although the adjective is kicked around quite a bit, this song is Kafkaesque. Rather than going into political diatribes about corportate control of technology, or a massive apocalyptic scenario, the song focuses on the absurd, yet plainly presented story of a man who wakes up one morning to find out he is a robot.
As for the musical aspects of the tract, they seem to take a secondary place to the lyrics, droning steadily but menacingly in the background while Pete describes his intial revelations, changing to a more light beat when Pete describes the office poltics after discovering he is a robot.
The track is great on its own. I am eager to find out whether the entire album, entitled So Sensitive, will be an entire robot themed hip-hop album. Whether it is or not, it will definetely have many interesting thoughts on it.
The song is available for free and legal download at: