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Kirby Dominant had already lived the stuff of rap fairytales / nightmares by the time his name began ringing bells up and down the West Coast’s ‘90s underground scene. Reared in the same Bay Area circles that produced the Living Legends and Mystik Journeymen who took the independent rap hustle to its bare essentials – a loud mouth, a pair of sturdy legs, and a backpack full of self-produced cassettes – Kirby sealed his worldwide reputation as a freestyle rap prodigy, world-class battle rapper and impossibly prolific studio rat. Champagne Nightmares is his second collaboration with Canadian producer Factor. They call themselves Paranoid Castle, and the name fits the music: hulking, ornate beats atop which Kirby is an elephant on a tightrope, executing a delicate, hour-long balancing act between singing and rapping, pleasure and doubt. Kirby is a grown man with a lot of lives behind him, just trying to figure out how to enjoy this life without hurting anybody, including himself. Champagne Nightmares drops August 30.

“Kirby Dominant has been a longtime friend. He is a great musician. An innovator. Creativity and imagination personified. It’s Zappa meets Prince meets Iceberg Slim on a California street corner. Paranoid Castle is fucking awesome.” -MURS

“My best two Kirby moments – well, three: 1) Seeing him in my Hip-Hop 101 lecture I gave at UC Berkeley 2) Hearing “Niggas & White Girls” for the first time (so dope) 3) Him rocking with me at the NYC Atmosphere show in a wedding outfit – he was some dude’s best man, I think – and just killed it with me like a G! Love Kirb.” -ABSTRACT RUDE

“Whenever Factor and Kirby collide in the studio….they make honest and humorous music of whale-size portions.” -AWOL ONE