West Palm Beach MC explains why he's made a "conscious decision to be different."
For Eric Biddines, it was one line in particular that would play a significant role in him becoming the musician and the man that he is today.
"This lyric that Andre  says in ATLiens that was like, 'No drugs or alcohol so I can get the signal clear,'" the West Palm Beach-bred MC revealed to BET.com, "I was 13 and I grew up in the projects, like government assistance. Being bad was the cool thing so when Andre said that at a time when the South was struggling to establish an identity, it just threw me off and inspired me so much that — not that I was supposed to at 13 — but I haven't gotten into any of those activities ever since."
The way OutKast shook up hip hop and distorted people's preconceived perceptions of Southern music, in particular, Biddines looked to wreak havoc on his home region's reputation as being trapped by trap music.
"I definitely made a conscious decision to be different," Biddines said. "I grew up on the Dungeon Family, Cee Lo, Goodie Mob, OutKast, Devin the Dude — a lot of Southern music, but something the artists I just mentioned have in common is they're different. I'm not gonna do what everybody around me is doing — even being in a position where you would normally buckle under the pressure of influence — so my direction was to be consciously different."
Biddines released five albums independently, so far, beginning with his 2010 debut, FLAlien:planetcoffeebean, and the most recent, a 2013 release, Planetcoffeebean 2, which yielded his latest video, "Railroads/Unfinished."
His music demonstrates a Dungeon Family-like propensity for interweaving harmonious refrains into complex flows to create a sound that sandwiches pure hip hop with layerings of funk and R&B. It's a sound that doesn't come by accident.
"I probably do like 25 percent R&B 'cause it's just so you get a little taste, and not so much that I'm overdoing it 'cause I'm still primarily in the rap category," Biddines noted. "If you sing too much it becomes boring, but if I give you like 75 percent rap and sing just as flawlessly then you look at it like, 'Whoa, he can spit but his melodic side sounds too good.'"
Now, with his musical chemistry in balance, Biddines is wrapping his mind around his musical career being in balance as well.
"I still don't feel completely discovered," he admitted, "but I haven't worked a regular job in two years. In my county alone, I was making a living as an independent artist and now it's finally being accepted and a lot of people are seeing it from the [East and West] Coasts. It was definitely a bumpy ride, and I had to jump over a lot of hurdles and obstacles to get here, but I'm excited to see what direction it goes."
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(Photo: Eric Biddines Music)