Northwestern artist Jordan Looney, winner of this year’s Dance Marathon Battle of the Bands, will release side A of Nerd-Hop Volume 3 on May 10.
“This one is taking everything I learned from [earlier mixtapes] and refocusing [to make] a really good-sounding CD,” says the Communication major, who will release side B closer to the end of the school year.
The last installment in the Nerd-Hop series, the mixtape is hosted by the Wicked Prince DJ Navaris. The DJ went through the tape after its completion to add features like turn table scratches and vocals.
Looney says Nerd-Hop Volume 3 will feature higher quality production and artists from the East Coast like a member from the band Mouth’s Cradle. His hope with this album was to continue remaking songs that are not “your typical normal hip hop songs.” For example, Looney remixed songs by The Flaming Lips and Mayer Hawthorne for Volume 3.
“[It’s] giving people hip hop but in a new light,” Looney says. “There’s a lot of different motifs and themes that I’m writing through and that’s what Nerd-Hop’s about. It’s giving a spectrum of who you are, you don’t just focus on one thing… that combination is what makes me a holistic artist.”
The album has been in the works for about a year, but the process behind making it was different this time. Because Northwestern no longer allows non-music majors to use its recording equipment, he had to find his own means to pay for his recordings.
“I’m not by any means one of those rich rappers,” Looney says. “I had to fly out to Syracuse to get free recording. It was cheaper that way.”
Looney has been keeping busy with more than the album. He opened for Afroman earlier this month and opened for Raekwon at the Purple Haze concert on April 20. He is working on lining up performances back in his hometown in Minnesota. He’ll also be releasing expansion packs, which he says will be “mixing and making our own mini mixed tape of the music” and will target specific audiences.
Looney is thankful for the opportunity he has to make his own music.
“The fact that I’m able to even make an album like this and push it out and get people to hear it… before you would have to get a record deal to do something like this, I can now do it all independently and say exactly what I want to say,” Looney says.