SCVTTERBRVIN: The Acid Atheist

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Photo courtesy of Aaron Thomas

Producer/emcee SCVTTERBRVIN is originally from San Diego, but now resides in the Empire State. With his latest release the west coast emcee is reaching back to give fans a glimpse of his roots. Originally known as “SCVTTERBRVIN the Acid Atheist” SCVTTERBRVIN revisits his original and apropos rap moniker on the new album titled “The Acid Atheist.”

Released on his very own Red Lotus Klan record label, The Acid Atheist features appearances by Obnoxious and Odessa Kane. The album is produced by The Historian, GRIMM Doza, JLVSN, Won87, Wazasnics, Aki Krarmicel, Evil Dewer, and SCVTTERBRVIN himself.

The Real Hip-Hop spoke to SCVTTERBRVIN about the Red Lotus Klan label, his encounter with God, and his new album, The Acid Atheist.

TRHH: What’s the meaning behind the title of the new album, The Acid Atheist?

SCVTTERBRVIN: One day I was frying, I hit some acid and shit, and I was watching a Nostradamus documentary and there was a small clip where they showed a book on his desk. The book said, “Chronicles of the Acid Atheist.” The next day I was like, “What the fuck was that acid atheist shit?” It was hitting me. I tried searching for shit about it and I couldn’t find anything online with those words. I started tripping like, “Did I even see that?” I kind of formulated my own shit. At certain points I thought I was an atheist. Being on psychedelics, one night in particular I felt I had a conversation with God and this shit was realer than I ever knew. When I seen that shit it aligned and I said, “Yeah, I’m the acid atheist!” I kind of took that. I don’t even know if it even said that.

I’m wondering if it’s something I really seen because I was high as shit when I was watching it. I just felt like I took it and kind of made my own definition and added it to my name on some Del the Funky Homosapien shit. Originally my name was “SCVTTERBRVIN the Acid Atheist.” I wanted to hit people from left field. People would hear my name and know I’m on some different shit. It was hard to get that name on flyers and get people to print that. I felt I was getting censored. Literally not one promoter would put that on a flyer. They were scared. Eventually I ended up dropping that off my name, but people that heard my music knew that was my name. I felt like coming back with this new album and calling it “The Acid Atheist” to have it be a part of my catalogue. A lot of people remembered that as my original rap name. I had to simplify my name to make it easier to find me.

I thought I didn’t believe in God and then I had a religious experience from frying. That name made even more sense to me. It’s kind of like misdirecting. People hear that and think I don’t believe in God or worship the devil. I’d say I’m more atheist in the aspect of not committing to one religion. I feel I was able to be more free not aligning myself with one religion. I could allow myself to learn every religion. Once you’re part of a religion they’re kind of forsaking the other religions. Like, if you’re a Christian they’re like, “Islam? Don’t fuck with that! It’s evil!” or if you’re Muslim they’re like, “That Christian shit, nah! That’s evil.”

TRHH: I have to completely disagree with that.

SCVTTERBRVIN: What?

TRHH: I think it’s only Christians who do that.

SCVTTERBRVIN: You think so?

TRHH: I know so.

SCVTTERBRVIN: Me personally, I’ve interacted with a lot of different religious types. It isn’t fully to be like “that shits bad” but I’ve personally encountered bad mouthing and a lot of other shit. It’s more people blocking them off from other shit like, “I can’t learn from that because I’m this.”

TRHH: Here is what it is at its core; Christianity basically says if you don’t accept that Christ died for your sins you’re going to hell. Judaism does not say that. I don’t even think they believe in hell. Islam, if you read the Qur’an several times it refers to Jews and Christians as “people of the book.” It speaks about Jews and Christians lovingly as God’s people. That’s at the core. What you’re talking about is people. People bad mouth each other.

SCVTTERBRVIN: I don’t want to be generalizing too much, but I don’t want to ignore the fact of people I’ve encountered. Those interactions made me lean toward, “All right, well I’m this then!” or “I’m none of that!” It’s misleading when people see “the Acid Atheist” because I don’t want people thinking I’m against anything. I’m more open and with all. Beyond that, I know people who are into some devil worshiping type shit and I’m not judging. I don’t want to knock anyone’s beliefs, I’m like, “Yo, teach me something.” I feel like I’m more open to learn. I love all the shit. I love seeing people believe in what they believe in. If I meet a Christian I won’t be like, “That’s some evil shit! You know how many motherfucker’s y’all killed!?”

TRHH: Do you remember what your conversation with God was like or what was said?

SCVTTERBRVIN: Peep, this is dead ass what happened. I’m on the beach and I’m frying, bro. I’m feeling good. I’m looking at the sky and every star moved to the side, bro. Every star but one and I was like, “What the fuck is going on? This is crazy.” There were no words being spoken. At that point I was like, “Fuck all the religions. I don’t fuck with God or the devil.” At that moment I felt like it was a light like, “Damn, this is it. You’ve been questioning shit and I’m here to tell you that this is real. Now what?” You see a thousand stars in the sky and they all get the fuck out the way and there’s just one shining brighter than all of them directly in your focus. I was feeling a deep love and compassion. It was some big shit connecting with me. The conversation is too deep to be verbal. The shit was touching me. I felt like this was my moment to talk to God and all I could say was, “I believe in this.” It touched me on some crazy shit and it was more of a non-verbal communication.

You can’t talk to God. It was more of an energy of me being lost and wanting direction and this light in the sky was beaming down directly to me telling me I’m on the right path. The crazy shit is, my homies were off in distance like 30 feet away looking at me. They were like, “Dude, what was going on with you? You were stuck looking at the sky. You looked like you were possessed.” That’s the way I was feeling. I was connected to a star. That shit was from space directly to my solar plexus like, “Now what are you going to do with this interaction?” My whole thing was to be humble and say I do believe in God. It wasn’t like God was talking back to me. I don’t think God can be a physical person. Boom, it was done. I blinked and looked and the sky was normal again. I never had an experience like that where this higher force was hitting me directly to be like, “This is what you’ve been questioning.”

TRHH: Do you still do psychedelics?

SCVTTERBRVIN: Not as much. I felt like after a while I got to where I needed to get to, of understanding and scratching the surface and being in touch with the Earth, Mother Nature, and all the non-physical shit. We’ve seen the physical shit and it’s deeper than all of this. I’ve done DMT and shit too and the shit had me like, “What the fuck?” It’s so heavy. I grasped it and thought I couldn’t over-do the shit. This is some deep spiritual shit. You can’t be doing the shit like cigarettes or blunts. You gotta be preparing your mental to take a trip and learn and get some awakening. You can’t just be, “Oh, I see some weird things.” I know people are doing that shit too. I have plenty of friends that like doing shrooms and being wasted, but I’m like, what are you really learning now? You ever done any psychedelics and shit, man?

TRHH: No.

SCVTTERBRVIN: Nah? Do you smoke weed or anything?

TRHH: No. I don’t do anything.

SCVTTERBRVIN: That’s even better, man. I respect that. I was really trying to read about some of these things and Native American’s doing peyote and seeing where they were really trying to reach with the shit. This is like part of their church. This is some deep shit. We can’t just be fucking around with this shit. If we’re going to take some shit like this we can’t be fucking around. We have to be in tune with being right mentally and being in touch with Mother Nature and being at peace. I’ve seen people go on bad trips. It’s a strong thing you can’t really play with. I’m not one of these dudes that’s stuck on trying to do the shit. I feel like I learn shit and get to open the door of perception. Once I unlock it I don’t need to do acid or eat mushrooms to get back to that point. It’s more about knowing it’s there now. You’ve seen it. Before you didn’t even know there was a door to some extra shit. Now you know it’s there, you can’t really be playing around with it. It’s not for recreational use.

When you’re trying to get deeper in your own psyche and explore your spirit, sometimes doing stuff like that makes it easier to channel into it and really explore mentally, if you do it correct. Shit like that is really why I am a more positive person nowadays. I try to have a yin and yang aspect to my shit. Even if I say some ignorant shit, I’m trying to connect with the ignorant people so I can sneak in some knowledge to these people. I don’t want to preach to the choir. They already know. I don’t want to preach to the conscious people. I want to subliminally teach people that don’t want it. On my next project I said, “Acid Atheist, here to enlighten the secular.” It’s like misdirection. I want to trick people into thinking I’m on some pure ignorant shit and the whole time I’m sneaking in shit in the music to hopefully open the mind up. It’s kind of my focus. I don’t want to be a conscious rapper and have a conscious rap audience. I want to be tapped in to the delinquents and teach these dudes. All these guys can be Malcolm X’s, you know what I mean? There are a lot of Detroit Red’s that don’t know that they can be Malcolm X. I want to contribute subliminally to help teach and shit like that. It can’t be too much of one thing. There always has to be balance.

I know plenty of people that I know that are gang bangers. I interact with them and they’re like, “What are you even talking about here?” They go on their own and search for the shit. I feel like that’s more valuable than telling a person who is already smartened up. I don’t gotta tell those people about shit, but those are the kinds of people I want to show a little bit of ignorant shit. I like yin and yang. If I was chilling with you I’d probably try to get you to smoke weed [laughs]. That’s just the type of dude I am. I’m never going to try to force someone down a fucked up path, but I want people to try and learn new things and get out the box. Get out of whatever box you’re in, even if the box is cool. Try something else. At my core I’m on some conscious shit, but if you’re just looking at the surface you might think I’m on some delinquent, ignorant shit. I’m that too. I want to teach different circles.

TRHH: You mentioned getting out the box; you’re a producer but only did a couple of tracks on The Acid Atheist. Was your letting other producers handle the sound another way of getting out the box?

SCVTTERBRVIN: Yeah man, ‘cause you know what, realistically I can produce a double album for myself, but it’s just not as fun. I’m by myself and not really interacting with anybody, so I kind of enjoy the synergy of someone I wasn’t in the lab with in particular. I just barely got to a point where I started trying to rap on my own beats. I was more into working with other people like, “I wonder how they’re going to like this beat? They’ll probably bring another energy to it.” I already heard the shit front to back and I’m not that hype on it. Sometimes I have to find inspiration from other people’s music because with my beats I want to give that inspiration to somebody.

I don’t want to inspire myself. I’m like, “Yo, I can pass that off to this artist.” I spread myself around so I’m not in a room by myself all day. My project before this one was with a dude Revenxnt. He’s from out of Newark, New Jersey. Usually I only work with people from my city, but I’ve been out here a couple of years and I have to work with new artists. On this project I have New York producers, Massachusetts, a dude from Japan, an L.A. dude, and a couple of people from San Diego. It’s easier for me to find that inspiration through other people’s music. It helps me to write more.

TRHH: You have some really dope song titles like Loko Haram. “Nolan Ryan vs Robin Ventura” made me laugh. How do you come up with these odd titles?

SCVTTERBRVIN: [Laughs] They just come to me sometimes. Certain words stick out to me. Sometimes I don’t necessarily want the title to be what I’m saying on the hook or what I referenced in a rap. I look at it like when artists name their paintings. It might be a painting of an apple and the title is like, “Fragment of Reality in Chicago.” I just like having fun with it. It’s another bit of creativity I get to add to it without affecting the song. Some of them shits just fit. I try not to think too much about it. Overthinking is the worst you can do as an artist. I’ve seen actual artists mess up their paintings because they’re overthinking it. They try to add more things and the next thing you know they’re tearing their painting apart.

Most of those song titles I didn’t really think about. I just thought it was a bold title. I want my shit to be seen as something different. I try to do that with pretty much everything. I don’t want to be too blatant. I like doing subliminal shit. Like when you see a Banksy and it looks normal, but it’s way out of the ordinary when you look at it. I try to apply it to my music and have a twist on it. I don’t want it easy to figure out. I want to throw in little weird shit to throw people off and make them think a little more.

TRHH: Your sound isn’t a traditional west coast sound; how were you received coming up in San Diego?

SCVTTERBRVIN: It’s real diverse out there. They have lots of styles. They’ve got the underground shit, gangster shit, conscious shit, all types of stuff. When I was first trying to come in the scene and I wanted people to know I was on some other shit I was like, “Yo, my name is SCVTTERBRVIN the Acid Atheist!” It took a while for people to accept me. They were like, “I don’t know what that shit is. Matter of fact, I’m not even going to listen to it or pay it any attention. I think this dude is on some devil shit.” I liked people getting the wrong idea at a certain point in my life. It’s just constant work. In the underground scene in California I felt like I was standing out even if people didn’t want to fully accept it. They had to respect that I kept doing it.

Even until this day I feel like the quality and consistency will pay off. I just try to stick to my guns. I don’t want people who listen to me to hear what they want to hear from an artist. This is my shit. I can’t do a song like J. Cole, I can’t be Kendrick, and I can’t be Westside Gunn. I can only be SCVTTERBRVIN from San Diego. I just try to keep giving them what I do and hopefully people get it. It’s going to come how it comes. It might not be a fully structured industry standard song, but I put as much effort into if it’s a one verse song or a three-verse song with a hook. My name was throwing people off, but people were grasping how I was coming. They see I’m not trying to be on some New York shit. It’s all in a way New York shit if you keep it true to the culture. It’s a homage to the city.

TRHH: What does it take to be an artist on Red Lotus Klan?

SCVTTERBRVIN: As far as artists I put out and shit?

TRHH: Yeah.

SCVTTERBRVIN: Really, I usually try to work with new artists that don’t really have any physical merch out or releases. For example, The God Fahim, sadhugold, Camoflauge Monk, and a few other people, I was the first one to drop tapes with them. That was a big thing where I wanted to do some exclusive shit. Those artists are working with different labels and are not affiliated with my shit, but I know I was the first one working with these dudes. I try to look for new artists. I want to work with artists with things I could help them with — like with the cassettes. When I first heard of them dudes I contacted all of them and said, “Let me buy some physical music off of you,” and none of these dudes had anything. I was like, “What the fuck? Let me press up your cassettes.” At that time a lot of them were like, “Tapes? Who has those still?” That shits outdated.” I was like, “Nah, it’s popping. Trust me! I’m personally selling hundreds of tapes of my own stuff,” and my name wasn’t as big as some of those guys.

Pretty much everyone that I released stuff with they usually didn’t work with too many labels. At this point now, it’s pretty saturated. There’s 100 people pressing up tapes for artists. Lately I’ve been delving back into my hometown. There’s always a lot of dope stuff coming out of San Diego. The last couple of releases I did were San Diego artists that I believed in. They were dope enough that I put in my money to make them money. I never really had too many people to do that for me. I wanted to use my knowledge, resources, be helpful, and teach people how to fish. I’m not going to give you a plate of fish and be like, “You like the food?” I’m like, “This is what you do; you go to the lake and get your own fish!” That’s usually what happens with the artists I work with. Do it on your own, man. I gravitate toward the artists I believe in.

I want to work with dope dudes in general, but I really want to work with lesser known artists that I can help get further in their grind and their hustle. Whatever I can do to help the culture and help artists improve, I’m really all for that. I’ve been in situations where I knew I wasn’t going to make money like, “I’m going to put this out. It’s probably not going to pop, but Im’ma still do it because this shit is dope.” I’m willing to take losses for an artist so they could win. I’ll lose a little for them to win. It’s not the best business model, but I’m not here to milk people. I feel like all the physicals are a big plus for independent artists. Everyone is capitalizing off of not selling songs for .99 cents because iTunes said that’s what it is. Now people’s value is up and it deserves to be like that.

TRHH: Who is The Acid Atheist made for?

SCVTTERBRVIN: I made it to give knowledge to ignorant people that don’t know they’re ignorant to teach them a little, but I also made it for conscious people to get a little dirty [laughs]. I want to be the yin and yang. It’s also for the underground. I made this for underground Hip-Hop. There’s a lot of people that are quote unquote “independent” but their aesthetic is actually to be mainstream and commercial. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the energy I’m on is like Fondle ‘Em Records, Company Flow, I feel like I’m an extension of that. You heard of Company Flow, right?

TRHH: Yep.

SCVTTERBRVIN: Yeah, man I’m part of that pocket in the present day. Nowadays everyone is Griselda. I love that shit, but I’m not that. A lot of people seen Griselda pop and said, “That’s the lane now. I have to rap about crack.” That’s cool, but the game is so coked out and drunk that I feel like I needed to bring some acid into the party [laughs]. I feel like the acid is more a symbol. It’s not, “everyone get high on drugs,” it’s more like, “expand your minds.” That’s what it symbolizes to me. Like I told you, these days I’m not jumping to do mushrooms and acid every fucking day. It’s more like a symbol. What that symbolizes for me is expanding my mind, finding myself, being true to earth and the universe, and being in tune. That’s kind of what it symbolizes to me. I throw it out there for people like, “My new album is called The Acid Atheist.” When you heard that what did you think I was on?

TRHH: That you were an atheist who does acid [laughs].

SCVTTERBRVIN: [Laughs] I was an atheist that did acid and found God. It’s weird. It doesn’t portray like that, but that’s how it came from me. I felt like me stating that I’m an atheist made God come directly and shine his light on me. I’m not an atheist, I’m an acid atheist. I really keep stating it more as a thinking piece. You’re supposed to interpret it how you interpret it. I don’t want to fully define what it is for everybody. I’m telling you the experiences I had off of it. I want people to come to the conclusion on their own. I feel like I give bits and pieces of a definition, but it’s more for people to find out on their own. If I was making a movie and we’re interviewing about the movie, I couldn’t be like, “Let me tell you how this movie ends.” I feel like my shit is open-ended. There is still more to come. I feel like I’m a Netflix series and this is a season. It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where the last episode don’t necessarily relate to the next one. The last song don’t necessarily connect. Matter of fact, the last bar might not necessarily connect to the next bar. It’s just all open for interpretation.

I don’t want to tell people, “This is what my shit is and you gotta accept it like that.” I had written a rap and someone quoted it back to me differently and the shit sounded hotter. I was like, “Oh shit! I didn’t say that, but you interpreted it crazy.” I like leaving things like double entendre’s, and there’s irony, and sarcasm, and it’s open to a lot of interpretation. I really want people to know there’s something different about this shit. There are pictures where you look at it and it’s a bunch of weird shit, but you look at it from a different angle and a 3-D picture pops out. I feel like that was always an influence of how I came with my music. You gotta stand back a little to capture the whole shit. You can’t see it up close. You gotta be a little further away from it. It’s a straight line. This is black and white. I like having a gray area of coming up with your own conclusions. With you saying that, I never thought to explain my shit like, “I was an atheist and I did acid so I called myself ‘the Acid Atheist.’” Your interpretation still works. I want you to interpret it and don’t think any other way of what I’m saying it is. Some of these interpretations are cooler than the original format that I thought of. It’s always good. I like hearing what other people think about it.

It’s hard for me to fully define shit because I want people to come up with different definitions like, “What is this shit? What does this even mean? Does it mean anything?” It’s a thinking piece. It’s out of the ordinary like graffiti and shit. That’s how I want my music to across like, that shit looks out of place, but it’s supposed to be there. This particular album I wanted to make it more broader as far as who I worked with and come with my shit with different producers. I’m not going to suddenly not be SCVTTERBRVIN the Acid Atheist. It’s always going to be that. I’m trying out different colors and different canvases. I want people to hear this project and be like, “SCVTTERBRVIN did his thing.” I’m doing what I want to do and how I want to do it. I hope people accept it for what it is and don’t be like, “It doesn’t sound like Kendrick!” or “It’s not a Nas album.” I can never be one of those people, but I can always be me. I feel like if you’ve never heard of me this is a good project. Bump this one first and see if you like the flavor. I feel like this is a good gauge for me in 2019. It’s a good project for me.

Purchase: SCVTTERBRVIN – The Acid Atheist

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About Sherron Shabazz

Sherron Shabazz is a freelance writer with an intense passion for Hip-Hop culture. Sherron is your quintessential Hip-Hop snob, seeking to advance the future of the culture while fondly remembering its past.
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