Sudbury hip-hop artists Max Moon and Johnny Bizness (or Johnny B) have known each other and been friends for years, but they recently teamed up to record together for the first time on the single “Moonstone.”
“When I first even realized that people in Sudbury were even making rap music, I was mostly playing in punk and hardcore bands awhile ago. Johnny B was one of the first people I remember hearing that I thought was really good at rapping,” said Moon in a recent interview.
“He’s been doing it for a while. We have played many live shows together. We even appeared in a Beastie Boys tribute act together more than once, but we never actually made a song together.
“Hip-hop is pretty collaborative, a lot of people guesting on each other’s songs, so it was pretty surprising that we never did that.
“After all these years of performing together, and being friends we finally made a song, and it was a lot of fun.”
You can check out “Moonstone” below. Please note that viewer discretion is advised due to explicit language and mature themes:
Max Moon has performed under numerous monikers and with a variety of projects over the years. “Moonstone” is only the second single he has put out under the name Max Moon, with the first, “The North Face,” which was released this past summer.
He refers to “Moonstone” as a “musical mind trip.”
“The themes of the song, to be honest, it’s not like a super deep concept to the song,” Moon said.
“It’s meant to be fun. It’s meant to be verbal flexing. But certainly there’s definitely themes of expanding your mind and consciousness and themes of looking for that authenticity in terms of artists out there and how they approach their genre.
“There’s certainly themes of differentiating ourselves as hip-hop artists with our own unique personalities from the mainstream, from the status quo of the genre.”
The track was produced by Montreal’s Nicholas Craven, who has worked with artists including Styles P, Westside Gunn, Planet Asia and billy woods.
“I got this really great beat from this producer Nicholas Craven in Montreal,” Moon said. “He’s working in sort of the vanguard of New York hiphop. He’s working with all these up-and-coming artists, so it’s really exciting to be able to work with someone like him.”
The animated music video for “Moonstone” was produced by Moon himself.
“I did a small video, perhaps less ambitious for my first single, The North Face, as a bit of an experiment,” he said.
“I just wanted a visual to accompany it. I wasn’t really thinking of a music video. My new quarantine hobby is stop-motion animation in a collage style. I decided that type of visual and chopping up images and just playing with them kind of fits the psychedelic vibe of this song.
“So I decided it was a good fit and I was going to try another one. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I think it’s pretty cool. It’s raw. It’s like hip-hop in a lot of ways, it’s very raw, very gritty, rough around the edges, and like hip-hop, it’s sort of chopping things out, and borrowing little pieces to make something new.”
The song is available now on all major streaming services.
Editor’s note: This article is part of a series called New Music Mondays, where we feature new music by musicians from the Greater Sudbury area on Mondays. If you’re an area musician and would like us to profile your work, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.