MOD SUN @ Altar Bar [Giveaway]
“We are young and incredibly ambitious. Our possibilities are endless. Just look up.” Those few words, which are played in the 45-second intro to Mod Sun’s debut album, managed to encompass the rapper’s message and acronym for his moniker–Movement On Dreams, Stand Under None.
Born as Derek Smith in Bloomington, Minnesota, Mod Sun started his musical journey playing drums when he was just 13. By the time he was 16, he was touring with established rock bands, including post-hardcore Minnesota rockers, Four Letter Lie. Three years later, Mod hung up his drum sticks and picked up a microphone–but not to scream-shout lyrics in a hardcore band. This time, he was rapping. He wrote his first song at age 19; eight years later, he’s dropped six mixtapes and three EPs.
In 2010, Mod Sun stepped behind the drum kit again to play drums for Scary Kids Scaring Kids on their farewell tour before they disbanded. This gave Mod a chance to get back to his punk roots, but also gave him another great opportunity. He started playing short sets as Mod Sun to get his music out to a larger audience and later released his first EP, “Hippy Hop.” The following year, he released two new mixtapes and another EP titled, “In MOD We Trust.”
The following year, Mod released an EP titled “Happy As F***,” his “First Take” mixtape, and then took his way with words to a new medium with the release of his non-fiction book, “Did I Ever Wake Up?”
The book was written as a “step-by-step guide on how to make life a dream.” Mod Sun uses “Did I Ever Wake Up?” to reflect on both his mental and musical journey, perspectifying how he got to where he is and where he wants to be. When listening to his music, Mod’s message of empowerment and taking control of life are almost impossible to ignore. It is put into words and terms even more clearly within the scriptures of his book. He wrote it for his fans to know that they can do anything they put their minds to, and although it might require some work, it’s possible if they’re passionate about it. “Every struggle leads to greatness,” he states. “There’s no such thing as hard.”
Mod Sun’s career then came full circle with consecutive performances at Van’s Warped Tour in 2014 and 2015. He reflects on his first Warped Tour and concert experience in 2001, where he saw some legendary rock/punk bands like Blink 182, New Found Glory, Alkaline Trio, Sum 41 and more:
“The moment I crossed those front gates and entered this micro-world of creativity and individuality, I knew what I wanted to do. I looked at that stage and decided: no matter what it takes, I would be up there some day.”
Earlier this year, Mod Sun released his second book–a compilation of his poetry titled, “My Dear Pink”–as well as his first full-length album, “Look Up,” with Pittsburgh-based record label, Rostrum Records. He joins the Rostrum Records family with other artists like Wiz Khalifa, Boaz and Donora.
His album is the newest addition to what he calls the “hippie hop” genre, and features collabs with G-Eazy, Dizzy Wright, Machine Gun Kelly, Blackbear, Jody Highroller, and Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker. The tracks are streamlined from start to finish, from its inspiring introduction (“Look Up”) to the relaxed and rhythmic finale (“Same Way Pt. 2″). Lyrically, it features in-depth perspectives about self-love and happiness, like in the track, “My Favorite Shirt Is My Skin.”
Take a listen below:
Pittsburgh Hippies, be prepared; Mod Sun is coming through this November. His Pink Lemonade Tour performance with New Beats Fund, Allday, and Benny Freestyles will be at Altar Bar on Sunday, November 1. Tickets are still available online, and the show starts at 7PM.
We’re also giving two tickets away to one lucky fan; be sure you enter to win them in the Rafflecopter below: