(photo by Yvaldo Trapotino)
A few days ago, local rapper Carlton Zeus—whom I hadn’t heard from since he fought with Toby Keith and had his set allegedly sabotaged at Beethoven Maennerchor—sent me a text message in the middle of the night.
“Got something I’ve been putting my heart and soul into,” the text read. “If you don’t like it I’m packing my bags and moving to Guatemala.” (the text included an icon of a spaceship)
As it turned out, he won’t have to go anywhere. The video for “Alpha Child,” included in his upcoming 10-track, 37-minute Nine Lives Three Wishes album is badass. Take a look:
“I'm very excited about this project, it's beyond music for me,” said Zeus, who plans to release the album in late January and perform at a yet-to-be-determined CD release party soon after. “I’m looking into the Aztec Theatre now.”
The Danny OK-directed video features guests like Sugar Skulls’ Alyson Alonzo, DJ Nick Russo of 94.1 KTFM and an amazing few last seconds of soulful wailing by Stan Wayne and Merykid, both off-camera (the video was filmed at the latter’s house). Other guests in the album include Erica Gonzaba and Alex Ruiz, former singer of Austin's Del Castillo and now with Robert Rodríguez’s Chingón.
The album is a joyful trip where every song is a potential single. In addition to the predominant hip-hop (Zeus raps and sing), you hear R&B, ’80s synths, mariachi horns, flamenco and even a note-by-note midi accordion that, Zeus assures us, “used no samples.”
“It was a fun shoot but it was also a joint effort on the part of everyone involved,” said Alyson Alonzo, whose unrecognizable presence (and recognizable pipes) holds the whole thing together. “We shot from 7 a.m. late into the night. What you're seeing there is the product of a lot of hard-working people.”
Speaking of which, Sugar Skulls (Alonzo and Jeff Palacios, the latter now with Los Teardrops) plan to release an EP and then do some shows after almost a year of hiatus, including, she says, one at the WEBB party on April 19.