Sam Astaroth and Nicholas Asis absolutely destroy this cover of DMX’s “Stop Being Greedy
“What kind of music do you make?”
It’s one of the simplest questions you can a musican, and yet we all hate that question. The problem is, if we can’t answer it accurately, we aren’t guaranteed an audience. But if we are able to answer it too easily, we start itching like we’re stuck in a box. I start this piece with this rather dichotomous conundrum because it’s always been the biggest disconnect between the music-consuming public and the creators that feed them. Music fans feel more comfortable with boxes and labels and musicians feel assaulted by them.
At least that’s the assumption.
Why, then, have artists like Mike Patton and his bands like Faith No More and Mr. Bungle found steady audiences for two-plus-decades? Hell, let’s go back further. Why did bands like The Beatles and auteurs like David Bowie make careers out of zigging when they should have theoretically zagged? Is it maybe that the music-consuming public hasn’t been given quite the credit they deserve?
“I consider myself a post-genre artist”, posits Sam Astaroth, the amazing and diverse vocalist who has been lending his amazing pipes to numerous collaborators as a guest artist and most recently dropped this jaw-dropping DMX tribute to the rapper that inspired him most. And this may be the best answer to the above question I’ve ever heard. Sam largely grew up on R’n’B and Hip Hop until he discovered nu-metal and hard rock in his mid-twenties. This led him to delve into extreme forms of metal like death metal and black metal. Both are genres he still largely borrows from, and yet the limitations of those styles set in rather quickly. Sam is clear that his intention with his cover of DMX’s Stop Being Greedy is two-fold: to honor the fallen MC that inspired him to pick up a microphone, and to introduce the world to his unique fusion of styles that places the classic rap staple in an arena with death growls, trap elements, and deep, dark distortion. The result is a far cry from what might have passed for “rap metal” in 1999. It’s sinister, confident, smooth, mean as hell, and even through all that wonderful attitude, absolutely reverent to it’s source material.
During my conversation with Sam, influences as diverse as Eminem and Cannibal Corpse were mentioned. Modern artists such as Ghostemane and Ho99o9 came up as well, and their propensity to mix heavier sounds from the Punk and Metal worlds with Hip Hop and Trap. The classic artists mentioned above certainly were discussed as well. It’s no small statement to say both Patton’s classic bands have made full come backs in recent years and are as relevant as ever. To this, Sam posits the theory that not only is the music-consuming public ready for music that fails to adhere to one genre, but that many are in fact starving for it. Having had multiple conversations with various individuals at music gigs across the continent, Sam has found an entire culture of people that travel the country in search of the cream of every imaginable crop. These music goers simply want good, honest, emotive music that connects. Perhaps it’s that audiences were ready decades ago. It’s just that labels and the powers that be didn’t want to listen. In 2021, the music industry is largely run by musicians. Disconnects like labels and genres aside, what music fans and music-makers have always connected on is authenticity. And it is this authenticity that the Post-Genre world shall be based on.
Sam Astaroth is just getting started with his career as a post-genre solo artist, but if this cover and some of the other videos on his YouTube channel are any indication, the “Post-Genre Movement” has only just begun. All hail it’s burgeoning king.