Spose hears all of it. Aren't you and Seacrest supposed be sharing chicks by now? Where's your Escalade, dude? Or, as he puts it on "Gee Willikers," off his brand-new full-length The Audacity!, "Fuck that shit/I bet he doesn't know any black kids . . . I know I hated Spose from the get go."
OSTENTATIOUSLY SELF-AWARE Spose.
It would be so much easier just to fit into all those preconceived notions. Like you may have heard on Happy Medium's "Pop Song," the guys at Universal Republic just wanted him to be one of those cartoons you see on the Grammys, "Flo Rider mixed with B.o.B." That didn't quite work out. And the penalty he paid for his independence was a year's worth of work down the tubes, destined to sit on someone's hard drive forever unheard. Oh, and none of those giant checks that must have danced through his dreams on more than one sleepless night.
But the guy who rode "I'm Awesome" to more than half-a-million downloads can't exactly settle into the indie hip-hop scene either, now can he? That's right, "all the artsy rappers want me dead from a zombie plague," so they're probably not lining up to buy records put out by his own Preposterously Dank label.
Essentially, all that was left for Spose following his emancipation (sounds better than getting kicked to the curb) was to embrace his dual personality, his underground inclination toward telling truth to power — if that phrase isn't too horribly cliché by now — and making music that sounds truly original mixed with his love affair with the infectious hook and the perfect flow.
It probably shouldn't be a surprise coming from the guy who made self-deprecation a living, but Spose/Ryan Peters/Peter Sparker continues to be one of the most self-aware musicians you're likely to come across, and how people perceive him, or maybe more accurately his perception of how people perceive him, infuses just about everything on The Audacity!. The references to "I'm Awesome" are legion, as are predicate nominatives looking to continue that ultra-modesty; he's the weird beard grower, the wildest geek, sexy as a scab.
He's the champion of the geeky, weird, and ugly, though. On every album he's released, going back to Preposterously Dank's "Fuck It," through "I'm Awesome" to Happy Medium's "Sketchball" and We Smoked It All, Vol. 2's "Party Foul" to the brand-new "Swagless," he has embraced the vast majority who don't get bottle-service at the clubs and don't bang a different chick every weekend and who are so "accidentally celibate" that "Sandusky wouldn't fuck me."
Ouch, "you sharted in your Underoos?"
You know how this works, though. It works because his talent is absolutely undeniable. Live, you don't even consider hitting the bar for a drink. On record, he's now doing the vast majority of his own production, expanding his genre by playing guitar solos, all the keyboard parts — everything. Tack that onto a delivery with enunciation like ice water on the back of your neck and a writing style that can slip a laugh into the darkest of material and you've got something pretty spectacular.