Robert Harrison — who raps as Rob Vader — hasn’t been performing in front of crowds for all that long, but the journey to his latest album, Anti-Clone, started when he was 3 years old.
“I wouldn’t get out of bed unless my parents played Kool Moe Dee’s ‘Wild Wild West.’ I’d rap to it in the mirror with my toothbrush mic,” Harrison said. “Then I got into Prince, and I wanted to create as well as write.”
Although hip-hop has been a passion since childhood, he only started recording and performing last summer, first in other rap crews before realizing his fate was that of a lone wolf.
“I joined other people’s movements only to realize I wasn’t made to follow or fit into someone else’s idea or dream,” he said. “I wanted to be the master of my own destiny.”
Last summer, the Oklahoma City native produced his debut, Future History, in 20 days, following that with The Illumination in December. Anti-Clone, to be celebrated at Thursday’s release party at The Office, is his third album in just over a year.
Harrison’s music is a union of old-school favorites like Wu-Tang Clan and newer ilk such as MF Doom, but
also alternative rock, especially Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.
But he’s got a sound of his own.
“I wanted to create something no one has heard on the OKC scene or ever in the existence of recorded music,” he said. “The scene is polluted with cloned copies of the mainstream, and they are at the top. It’s sickening. How can we push the music forward and evolve the craft if everyone is copying something already in existence?”
Yes, Harrison believes he’s just a little bolder than most.
“Most artists are afraid to release something different. I don’t possess that fear,” he said. “They want the instant gratification of having music that is easily identifiable to the consumer. But the downside to that is when you do that, you are known for that music, and when that fad plays out, your career is over. I am the one who dictates my longevity.”
And with Anti-Clone — which he describes as his masterpiece — he believes he’ll find the right audience.
“Either they love it or they hate it, but I like it that way,” Harrison said. “I don’t want the masses. They sway.”