Newtonian Physics, Enrique Iglesias and Isaac Stinson
Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion basically states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at constant velocity in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.
Isaac Stinson has written a Fourth Law of Motion, which says that “my state of complacency or motion is rarely compelled to change by outside forces.” In other words, he is “usually motivated to do things, and whether for better or worse it’s unlikely that external happenings change the way I approach my music.”
On a bad day, this means that nothing we do can convince this local Nashville emcee to write new songs and perform shows across the country.
But this isn’t a bad day.
Fortunately, the self-proclaimed creator of “The Cleanest Hip-Hop in the 6 1 5” has been extremely self-motivated as of late, collaborating with his team of musicians in the studio to produce a new record, titled “Hero” for Hip-Hop aficionados and fans of good music in general to enjoy.
In addition to the gift of new music, Stinson will also be performing tracks from the new record at the “Hero Album Release Party”, which will take place at Cafe Coco on February 23.
It’s a little known fact that I just made up that Newton’s Fifth Law of Motion states that “objects that are called Fig Newtons should never be met with an opposite force so that they may enter one’s mouth at a pace that fulfills individuals and their hunger.” Charles Roser’s Newton cookie was developed in the late 19th century to help combat digestion related illness by providing the consumer with their daily intake of biscuits and fruit.
Stinson admitted he is a fan of the original fig flavor, as opposed to the later developed flavors, such as Strawberry as so forth. Much like the Fig Newton cookie, upon listening to Isaac Stinson’s brand of music, you will find his flavor to be quite original. It may even help you with any issues that you might have digesting the Hip-Hop genre in general.
“I am that man that is just a call away, call away
If you need a contrite apology,
I will wait, I can see insincere camaraderie
Hard to say if I mean it when I reciprocate
Either way I’m a complex shell of the man that I’m aspiring to”
Isaac Stinson, “Without”
Isaac communicates his message over hip-hop beats with a refreshingly unique command of the English vocabulary and an infectious flow that never seems to stop unless he is pausing to let everything he has just said sink into the listener’s heads. In fact, when asked to describe his style as a refreshing smoothie flavor, he responded with “Blueberries, wheat germ and coffee, maybe?”
Stinson’s rap flow is always in control, tightly focused on enunciation of every syllable so you know what is on his mind. At times he sounds almost languid, stopping short of tired to keep his voice subdued and let it get out of the way of his messages. Turns of phrases have a spark of energy behind them, and you can hear how time and life lessons have tempered his emotions and created a voice that drips with wisdom and reflections on life as seen through his verbal lenses.
His songs are able to connect with fans because they are honest and that honesty was learned through years of self-analyzing that he used to guide his pen and hone his craft to become one of Nashville’s premiere underground emcees. Or to quote the song “Looped Feelings,” “Introvert and introspective, it’s either incompletion or peace as what I rest in.”
Though many of his tracks come from an excess of time looking at “The Man in the Mirror” (Michael Jackson, RIP), Stinson has started to change it up on topics, as in the recent release of the track “Pretentious.” At first listen, you can immediately compare the track with the rapid-fire epic flow of Eminem’s “Rap God.” Which, ironically, is the point of the song.
Isaac created “Pretentious” to set the record straight and let listeners know that, much like Asher Roth said in “As I Em,” he is not a carbon copy of Slim Shady on the microphone. The song was originally created to prove to himself that he could still do “speed rap,” but ended up as a critique of people who were calling him “the new Eminem” because he was a white emcee. As I fellow white emcee, I can tell you all that as soon as we get on the mic the comparison to Mr. Mathers is inevitable.
Stinson wasn’t aiming to insult or degrade Eminem, he was aiming to let you know that he is “too good to be compared by no other standard than my appearance” and that he has an “inherent belief that the people who are drawing this comparison aren’t actually listening and don’t actually know what distinguishes different styles of Hip-Hop.” No one really listens to the lyrics these days, or each other when you get down to it.
We are a society who spends our time looking at screens of all sizes, only taking a few breaks to collect brief sound bites from the world around us, painting an incomplete landscape of the world’s complexities and painting one dimensional parodies of all the celebrities and nobodies that inhabit our personal and digital spaces.
During his entire career, Isaac Stinson has been mislabeled and met with doubt when he told people that he
creates his own Hip-Hop as opposed to producing beats for another artist. Don’t you let that man bun fool you; in fact, don’t you dare even giggle for a second when you see that man bun in his pictures. Seriously, even if you think it looks hilarious, let not a single chuckle slip from your lips.
Although his main source of income is tending bar and serving as a barista in Hillsboro Village’s Biscuit Love, Isaac firmly believes that this will not be the case for much longer. “I’m pretty confident there’s only a few more steps for me before I start garnering some serious attention from the Hip-Hop scene, and I know that my core group of supporters has played an instrumental role for me in that,” he stated confidently and gratefully.
At a deeper glimpse of everything that Stinson does, it’s hard to argue with his statement. Not content to write and perform his densely lyrical rhymes, Isaac also co-produces his albums with long time collaborator Nick Riley. Each song either starts with a beat either of them produces or a lyrical concept kicking around Stinson’s cerebrum. Each project sees our “Hero” delving more or more into the production process, giving him even more control of how the albums sound and deepening his understanding and passion for Hip-Hop music.
Furthermore, Isaac has been learning other skills, such as photography and graphic design, so he is becoming increasingly hands on with how his music looks as well as sounds. His mission to be able to do it all started “so I can more easily articulate my desires and visions in every aspect of my career rather than relying on other members of my team to synthesize material out of thin air.”
So where does this self-proclaimed “Hero” come from?
Every hero has their secret identity, an origin city that raised them to be saviors of mankind.
Though Isaac Stinson is actually our emcee’s real name, he is not the younger brother of “Bro Code” creator and fictitious television personality Barney Stinson. Fun fact that is real: Isaac’s middle name is “Burnie,” which might be seen as stupid to some, I say it’s close enough to start a fake rumor that he is related to Neil Patrick Harris in real life.
So how did Isaac’s father (not voiced by Bob Saget) meet Isaac’s mother?
The two met at the University of Texas, and both lived in Seattle, which is where they lived until they parted ways. Though Isaac’s dad still lives in Seattle, his mom is now living in the “cozy” New England town of New London.
That isn’t quite nine seasons of intense drama followed by a crazy plot twist that angered many viewers, but it helped make Isaac who he is as an emcee and man. One of his slogans is “Seattle’s Own, Nashville’s Finest.” Having been raised by Seattle, then perfected by Nashville, Isaac’s life experiences have been preparing him for this moment in time, his moment to shine.
As a side note, I’m surprised Isaac hasn’t returned to Seattle. Most people that I know who originate from that corner of the Northwest but move somewhere else spend their days talking about Seattle, regret leaving Seattle, incessantly compare Nashville to Seattle, and eventually make their way back to Seattle. Seriously, I worked with a Seattle native who moved to Nashville. He had a picture of Seattle’s skyline on his computer, like it was a picture he kept on the walls of his prison while waiting to be released by the judge.
Perhaps Stinson’s mission is to save us from being the city that Amazon chooses for the location of its second headquarters. He believes that Amazon was a good fit for Seattle but that “our transportation system isn’t nearly equipped for it,” and he “would hate to see some of my favorite neighborhoods get turned into corporate headquarters.”
Honestly, can anyone argue that Nashville’s traffic isn’t already crazy enough?
If he isn’t here to save us from Jeff Bezos, what is Isaac doing with his life in Music City? Besides eating at Pepperfire’s Hot Chicken, or making his own hot chicken while giving respect to Hattie B’s cooking techniques, he also makes rap music, remember?
This isn’t a food journal, lest we forget. Stay focused, Nashville.
To quote Anna Kournikova’s former love interest Enrique Iglesias, “I can be your Hero, baby.”
Though it isn’t clear whether not Isaac will kiss our pain away, he will provide listeners with a strong and solid concept album that they can listen to instead of whatever rapper it is popular to make fun of by the time this article is online. Though I haven’t listened to any of the tracks, Stinson assured me that Mr. Iglesias will not be singing any hooks on it nor will he try to rap on any of them.
Though the chance of hearing Enrique Iglesias attempt to flow would be awesome, we must live without for the moment.
When asked about the concept behind the “Hero” album, Stinson described it as “essentially a satirical look at my own narcissism and the pros and consequences of focusing on self.” The concept makes sense, as his career has been built on reflection, using his inner “eye” to learn about himself. His frequent use of words like introspective and introvert that start with the letter “i” and his abundant confidence in his stellar talent further reinforce the validity of this concept for his album.
Isaac even starts with the letter “I,” for self-awareness’ sake!
While taking jabs at the usual rapper swagger and self-love, the songs are likely to touch on the reasons not often touched on in rap for being best friends with yourself. There might even be a song in the album that talks about the I Ching, the three thousand year old book about the Taoist belief of awakening your Original Spirit, or your Higher Self. I Ching does start with the letter I, like Isaac.
Or maybe I made that up, to use in a future c4 the eXplosIVe song.
Man, I promised myself that this article was going to be about Isaac, not my own rap career.
But you know us rappers; we aren’t ones to stay out of the spotlight for long. We’ll give others props, but eventually we have to flex our muscles as well, because I too see myself as a “Hero” in the rap game.
We’re even working on a future Isaac Stinson/c4 collaboration; check out the first few bars:
“What it be, Eeyore, did I forget to mention
c4 the eXplosIVe, rhymin’ with the Isaac Stinson
I’m a self-centered introvert with empathy, for instance
Hero consists of narcissism to which I can listen
So on my wish list, I put down consistent
Lyricism, wit, charisma, and a pot to piss in”
So keep on the lookout for a song that definitely will happen. It wasn’t written just for this article…
Which is why I’m more than excited for Stinson’s “Hero” Album Release Party, which is going to be at local Nashville staple Cafe Coco on February 23rd! Tickets are only five dollars. This will be his first Nashville show since October, which is no accident. Stinson has been saving his live energy for this event, ready to explode like a powder keg all over the audience. He will be performing the entire album, displaying his “astounding level of growth” since his previous shows and album.
Essentially, this won’t be just an album release show; this will be a rebirth, a witnessing of a man who loves his craft reaching the next level in the world of artistic expression. Among the fans who will be a part of this Hip-Hop chrysalis, he will be supported by “friendly neighborhood rapper” Luciano Zone, as well as his Invisible Library label mates kidDEAD and Spoken Nerd.
Isaac Stinson signed with Invisible Library Records through a rather odd connection. He was introduced to the label’s founder, Nathan Conrad, by his hairdresser at the local Great Clips. Conrad, who is also a rapper, also goes by the alias Spoken Nerd. Labeled a “super genuine dude” by Stinson, the two finally actually met in 2016 at a Simply Mac. Nathan liked his songs and eventually was featured on Isaac’s track “Listen Up”. It was a mutually beneficial experience, as Spoken Nerd would go on to sign Isaac to Invisible Library Records May of 2017.
Of course, I also had to ask Isaac what the “three magic words” of this blog site mean to him. These are his replies:
Live: Don’t do things just because it’s what you do. Think about your actions. Think about long-term consequences. Think about how you can make others better and whether what you’re doing lines up with your beliefs and goals.
Laugh: I find joy in most of my relationships with other people. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy laughing. It may sound insincere due to the sheer volume (as in quantity, not decibels), but I promise I laugh because I enjoy your company.
Love: In every moment you have an opportunity to make someone’s day better. Let everyone over in traffic. Clean up spills at restaurants even if you didn’t make them and you don’t work there. Get things for people that you know they’ll like. Give away stuff you don’t need instead of selling it. Pay attention, and these opportunities show up all the time.
With his first Invisible Library release coming out on February 23, things are definitely only getting better for “Seattle’s Own, Nashville’s Finest” emcee. Besides coming to the album release party, you can also catch up with him on his website: www.isaacstinson.com, as well as checking him out on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Instagram, and the one and only Facebook.
Social media, isn’t it great?!
Written by Charles Bridgers IV