Philip Agudelo is a vinyl addict, and he knows how to dig for the good sh*t—the stuff that’ll really make his beats pop. “If there’s one thing I know I’m good at, it’s buying records,” says Agudelo, who goes by Phil A. “When you start making hip-hop beats and you learn about artists ... the wormhole goes so deep. I have a wish list of rare records.”
That obsession spills over into Agudelo’s art and work, producing and selling beats right out of his living-room studio. Most recently, he’s teamed up with fellow Vegas MC Jeremy Lamar, who goes by Chrnologic, on a new project called Astro Blunt. “I always want to reach out to people, but I want to do it with someone who’s deserving of it,” Agudelo says. “He showed the drive, and he had some flavor and he can rap his ass off. It led to us just hanging out more often, and then we had a song or two and it turned into the Astro Blunt project.”
The duo’s self-titled album dropped digitally in February, but the MCs are finally releasing physical copies of the 10-song CD at their show on June 18. Astro Blunt’s first single, “We Don’t Have to,” eases ears into the chill, laid-back and incongruous vibe that defines the album—it’s apparent from the first verse that kicking back, smoking blunts and making spacey beats is the pair’s forte. “Sega Genesis/with my relatives/burn a L to this/… Yo, my nonsense is eloquent/I don’t like embellishing.” Later Lamar jumps in: “Yo, f*ck space/I like my blunts slightly airy/And f*ck types/I like my bitches slightly varied.”
From the lyrics to the beats, “it’s pretty obscure sh*t,” Agudelo says. “I try not to have super commercial samples.” And while a few popular funk clips might make their way into Astro Blunt’s songs—Agudelo won’t ever shy away from James Brown—you’ll also find off-the-wall samples from French labels or library records, recordings that were made primarily for background music in films from the ’60s through the ’80s. It’s “way more chilled out,” Agudelo says. “I just try to keep a vibe together.”
Astro Blunt with Hassan, Thelonious Gawd, Flomont St. Experience, DJ Edoc. June 18, 9 pm, $5, Bunkhouse Saloon, 702-854-1414. astroblunt.bandcamp.com.