It's hard out there for a pimp, but it's even more difficult for indie rapper Cody Jones, a.k.a. Stillborn Identity. While at North Allegheny High, he spent several years in the hardcore band Dying Ways (the band cops to being "complete shit" on its hilariously detailed MySpace epitaph). Afterward, Jones was ready to flee the hardcore scene in pursuit of underground hip hop.
"I heard a hidden track from a hardcore vocalist who had a hip-hop project," Jones recalls. "I looked around for similar stuff, and people showed me Sage Francis, Atmosphere and Swollen Members. I was into writing, so it just seemed natural to turn rhymes into raps."
The moniker Stillborn Identity seemed like a better idea when he was younger. "I just felt like I wanted an original name. I got it tattooed on my leg, so there's no turning back now."
He hasn't been stingy on the music, though: Over the last two years, he's released a full-length album, All Too Human, and a five-song EP called Less Is More. "I've been working on a mixtape, which will have guests like Proseed and Connect from MythCon, and beyond that, I want to work with artists outside of hip hop," says Jones. "I have a loop station, so since I used to play guitar, I've got a good grip on that and I'll add it into my set."
Stillborn is also a small-scale promoter, throwing crossover shows for like-minded touring acts, such as MC Homeless; the two will share a bill at Most Wanted Fine Art on Fri., Oct. 8.
Jones doesn't expect he'll be accepted into the local hip-hop scene, with its labyrinthine strictures. "It's weird, because I feel that my shows don't go over that well with the traditional hip-hop crowd. Indie and punk shows and anything DIY work better for me, even if I'm the only rapper on the bill. I'm a bit more heartfelt and passionate than most rappers."
Stillborn Identity with MC Homeless, Dropjaw, Greenlander, The Badness and Dream Job. 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 8. Most Wanted Fine Art, 5015 Penn Ave., Garfield. $5. All ages. 412-328-4737
- Still in the pit: Stillborn Identity