STEVEN JACKSON, Co-Editor in Cheif
MC D Feld (birth name David Feldman) is from Morris, Ill., a senior anthropology major and Phi Psi brother, an active member of Interfaith Club, and an aspiring Pagan priest. The Round Table sat down with MC D Feld last week to discuss rap, spirituality, and more.
RT: How long have you been rapping?
MDF: I started rapping when I was 15, started writing some stuff. The first people to know about it were people at my high school. I let it slip that I rap to them, and they’d be like “Oh come on, lay down some raps for us,” and I’d be like “Okay,” so I’d give them a sample, and it would just roll from there.”
RT: What was your first single?
MCD: “This Pimp’s A Tourist.” That was probably the first song I ever wrote. I wrote it about my trip to Flagler Beach, Florida.
RT: Can you drop a verse from that right now?
MCD: Yeah actually I can:
“Cruising from the Castillo to A-1-A/Chillin’ in the heat cuz I like it that way/Somewheres back a southern belle cutie checked me out/Dude I still don’t know why I took another route/Rolled into Flagler on a T-U-E Made a really big discovery/Beachside hangouts, right as it can be/Flagler Beach ain’t never seen no one like me.”
RT: How has your music developed?
MCD: In terms of delivery, vocal performance style, it hasn’t changed that much. In terms of technical stuff, it’s started to evolve much more. I’ve used Garageband for all of my beats and that improved the more I got a grasp of the software.
RT: Can you define what it means to be heathen?
MCD: I prefer the label “heathen” but there’s many names for it. Most people refer to it as Asatru. But heathenism or heathenry is another. I prefer the label heathen because Asatru specifically refers to the Aesir, or the sky gods from the Nordic lore. But there are many different tribes of gods, and I recognize all the different types, so I’ll call myself Asatru, but I usually prefer the label heathen because it’s a little more encompassing, less exclusive.
RT: Can you elaborate on your spirituality, and how it influences MC D Feld?
I rap about me being pagan and stuff about paganism in general. One of my latest songs is called “Heathen-Hop”, and basically I want that to become a new subgenre in hip-hop. In terms of where I would fall for like major subgenres in hip-hop nowadays, I would be closest to nerdcore most likely. But I want to get my own personal genre recognized for pagan rap, so heathen hop, heathencore, fjordcore, nordcore.
RT: Can you tell me about your albums?
MCD: The first one was Bold Deceiver. That was a short album, about four tracks with three bonus instrumental tracks. That was in Oct. 2006 I think. I never officially released it en masse or anything, but that was roughly about the date that I had it all finished and compiled in case anybody wanted copies. Man of the World is the other one, and that came out Feb. 15 of this year.
RT: So why the fedora, the sunglasses, the jacket? Where did that come from?
MCD: (laughs) Well it’s kind of a thing I do. I’m generally a very classy person regarding performances. So that’s sort of a thing that I adopted for MC D Feld, was to make him a pretty classy, showy performer. Not too loud and over the top in terms of style, but presentable, respectable, formal to some degree – not too formal, so like I don’t wear a tie usually, but I’ll have my Thor hammer out, I’ll have maybe a bit of bling.
RT: What kind of bling do you own?
MCD: Well let’s see…this my Thor’s hammer that I normally wear. For performances I usually wear my bigger one – I have one that’s about twice this size. And sometimes I’ll wear a ring or something…for the AST party this past St. Patrick’s Day, I actually wore my Thor’s hammer and a shamrock piece of bling that I got at Sud’s earlier in the day.
RT: I notice you refer to MC D Feld in the third person a few times. Do you see your performance identity as being separate from yourself?
MCD: Somewhat. It’s as if you could see the personas that you have when you’re performing versus not performing, it’s almost like they’re sort of shadows of yourself that extend off in a certain direction, but when you’re on stage performing you’re sort of like… I’m sort of like in the now, in reality as me, but on stage as MC D Feld, there’ll be the aspect of MC D Feld that might be sort of hovering, like stretched from me, that I’ll sort of like drift more into and become more like that, and then when the performance is done just sort of go back to my root self, which is me. So it’s kind of like I evolve up and then – or evolve out, I’m not saying that I’m a lower being than MC D Feld or anything. It’s sort of like I extend out into the MC D Feld part that’s on the edges of where I am. And I sort of blend in with that part of me more. And then I step back and become me again when it’s over.
RT: Do you ever freestyle at performances or do you mostly write your raps?
MCD: The most improv and freestyle I’ll do is if I switch up a couple of the lyrics when I’m actually on stage performing. Because then I’m comfortable enough with the material that I’ll mix it up a bit, just to be crazy. Like last night at the French House show, I did a Professor Majeed impersonation, when I did “This Pimp’s a Tourist.” Normally I have the line where I’m imitating a southern woman smitten by the tourist pimp, and asking her husband who could that pimp possibly be, so the line’s supposed to go, “Jeez-a-ree! Honey who is that pimp all tan and flashy and coy?” But last night, just because I felt like it, I went, “Ooo sookie sookie now,” like Professor Majeed always says. And the crowd loved it. The crowd loved it. Also, instead of “better off sinking to the bottom of the sea,” I made a Skyrim joke and said, “better off taking an arrow in the knee.”
RT: Who do you like and how do you find inspiring
MCD: I’m kind of a rock/metal kind of guy, so that’s mostly what I listen to. I grew up listening to a lot of Warren Zevon, so I sort of have that going for me. They once said of Zevon that his songs are like mini novels set to music, so I’m sort embodying that in being very much of a storyteller, where I try to have somewhat of a story in my songs. I like some pop, and I also like rap.
RT: What are your plans for the future?
MCD: MC D Feld will obviously have a definite legacy here, so anytime I come back, there’ll be that going for me. I’m here for a good while and there’s parties going on I can always step up and do a couple of songs. But I guess after Beloit, it’s just wherever I go, MC D Feld is gonna go too.
*Be sure to catch one of MC D Feld’s shows before the semester is through. For performance information and all things MC D Feld, visit his Bandcamp or Facebook page. And if you want a free signed copy of his latest album, Man of the World, just let him know!*