When I spoke to Josh Martinez last year, he had recently dropped his 2008 self-released The World Famous Sex Buffet. It was almost as if the album and the artist were new to the hip-hop music scene. It had been so long since Martinez's last release (about six years), people wondered if he was using the Axl Rose calendar of album creation.
But if slow and steady wins the race, Martinez has moved to the front of the pack. Just this month, a year after TWFSB came out, Camobear Records—Martinez's own label, which he started in 2001—sent a press release announcing a brand new video for "Underground Pop," arguably one of the best tracks on the album.
Mustache-less and nearly bald, Martinez does more than pay homage to his hero, Hunter S. Thompson, with the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas storyline. Martinez becomes a version of Thompson, accompanied by his own Dr. Gonzo, Swollen Members' Moka Only (who is featured on the song) during a ragtop-down ride into the drug-riddled heart of Sin City. Directed by Stuey Kubrick (rumored to be the nephew of the famous Stanley), the video is more than an homage and less than a drag-queen impersonation of the 1998 film starring Johnny Depp. It's a re-imagining set to a viciously addictive soundtrack.
In the press release, Martinez is quoted as saying, "There's a lot of ways you can shit the bed when portraying an icon. We just tried to go the extra mile, do it respectfully, and do it as true to the original spirit as possible."