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If the brilliant yet neurotic 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was alive today and boasted a strong affinity for bass-rattling rap music, what would the end result sound like? Probably too contorted and maddening for our human minds to comprehend, but if there were an earthly representation of this hypothetical it would have to be Amuck. Within a self-established format of lyrically unharnessed and sonically chaotic hip-hop, the Pittsburgh native broaches subjects like existentialism, religious fundamentalism, and evolution with an original yet sardonic touch. His music never fails to challenge cultural complacencies, whether they occur at the personal level or exist on a global, historical scale.
Amuck first started turning heads in 2010 with the release of his full-length album Improbabilities; his wildly technical, polysyllabic delivery and raw knack for melody and song structure quickly set him apart from his peers. The album offers serious critiques on consequential subjects, then just as suddenly reverses course, sometimes in the same word-laden breath, to a funny, more flippant side – in either case, big questions get raised, from “is there a God and what makes you so sure?” to “why is your girlfriend such an absolute bitch?” Each investigation abandons every pretense of everyday societal politeness.
Improbabilities struck a chord with a variety of demographics, from fans of introspective, more narrative-based hip-hop like Atmosphere to those of the more aggressive, high-energy rap in the vein of Tech Nine. The single “The Unfettered Ones” has appeared in regular rotation on 105.9 FM's "Edge of the X" Series in addition to numerous college and internet radio stations worldwide.
The album garnered a sizable internet following, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of online song plays, and received positive reviews from the Pittsburgh City Paper and Sorgatron Media among others. Classic Material of the acclaimed hip-hop hub RepPghHipHop.com said of the release, “This is not cookie cutter rap. This is very much outside-the-box hip-hop, and for fans of this type of rap, this is definitely one of the finer projects to be released.”
In 2011, Amuck pushed the signature style he developed in Improbabilities a step further with the the Asymmetry EP, released exclusively as a free online download. The album marks the artist’s continued ascension into the wider hip-hop fraternity as it features collaborations with critically-acclaimed cult artists Onry Ozzborn (Rhymesayers/GrayskulDarktime Sunshine) and Pearl Dragon (Champagne Champagne). In five potent tracks, Amuck deconstructs the sour state of the economy, depicts his upbringing in a drug-ridden, podunk town in rural western PA, and even dedicates a few bars to update us on his intergalactic crunk-status.
While his studio work is a force to be reckoned with, it isn’t until you’ve experienced Amuck’s live show that one fully understands what the fuss is all about: if the album tracks are the blueprints for his artistic vision, it’s in the songs’ live performance where their construction is fully realized. Amuck ignites the stage in a theatrical frenzy; his conviction is tangible as he blasts through even his most tongue-twisting tunes with word-perfect accuracy. It’s a performance that's rocked crowds from his stomping grounds of Pittsburgh to the shores of North Carolina, as well as earned him both the credibility and honor of sharing the stage with some of music's biggest names: National acts like Awolnation, Doommtree, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Knux, Young Buck of G-Unit, Bizarre of D12, Hed PE, Champagne Champagne, Doomtree and Mushroomhead
as well as hometown faces like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Pittsburgh Slim, Real Deal, and many others.
Love him or hate him, Amuck never fails to garner an emotional response from his listeners. With a new side project "Plutocrat Noose" set to be released in early 2013 and an ever-expanding cult following of fans waiting to hear it, he continues to make his unique voice heard and presence felt - not just locally but coastally, not just in hip-hop but in music at large.