Busdriver Tears a New Page from His ‘notebook’

Will Schube offers a few words on the independent rap veteran's new short film.
By    May 13, 2020

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Will Schube is prolific with the pen.

Busdriver’s FR/BLCK/PR is a stringent de-commercialized enterprise putting forth the work of Black voices in radical opposition to the status quo. It’s a collective in the sense that Busdriver brings in diverse artists and unifies them through his daring POV, a collaboration of unique voices pushing similarly pointed messages. Artists like Jerry Quickley and Jimetta Rose have put out albums through the project’s label arm, and Busdriver has put his underrated late-era releases out through the imprint, too. But now, the artist born Regan Farquhar is trying his hand at film with the release of notebook.

Like all of Busdriver’s work, notebook packs a staggering amount of ideas into a slender frame. The film―which Farquhar wrote, scored, and narrated―lasts only five minutes, but presents a stunning meditation on Black bodies in the information age. The lead character is played by Mamadou Diallo Kenz, who spends the film’s duration trying to outlast a futuristic orb he was once tethered to. It’s brief, but not slight. Taking cues from his peer, Flying Lotus, and his film Kuso, Farquhar uses the film format to stretch cinematic language as an outsider. It’s worthy of festival slots, laurels, and accolades, but notebook doesn’t need to be validated. FR/BLCK/PR is for the people. 

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