Local Music

Published on March 28th, 2017 | by Brittain Thompson


Elevate Yourself to New Heights With Mr. Billiam Mysterium

9 Days is the debut hip hop/rap album from the baritone-MC Mr. Bill Mysterium, aka Mr. BM. Mr. BM is the alter ego of local musician Bill Perry, Jr.

“I had an old project called Bill Mysterio and this is somewhat of an extension of that,” said Perry. “Bill Mysterium is the more mature, sophisticated evolution of Mysterio. He’s like a combination of James Earl Jones and James Bond. Mr. BM is cool as hell.”

The project came to life through an almost stream-of-conscious approach over the span of nine days.

“It was a maddening process,” said Perry. “I wrote the tracks in the order they appear on the album. When I was making the album I figured the tracks would be reordered somewhat, but I realized by about the fourth track that this was their order.”

The album addresses topics ranging from current politics to the world’s need for online attention.

“Track three, ‘Praying For a Better Day,’ came from watching all the violence spreading,” said Perry. “The eighth actual song, ‘When I Die,’ is aimed at how we interact on the internet. When a celebrity dies we all post photos, but what are we really posting them for? Is it just for attention or is it rooted in something deeper?”

9 Days is as much an album as it is Bill Mysterium’s thesis on the current state of societal affairs.

“I wanted to combine my hip hop and jazz ideas and express what I was seeing out in the world. I consider myself part of the resistance,” said Perry.

Despite heated topics, the album is not a platform for anger. Track nine, “Let Go,” revolves around the hook of To reach new heights you must let go.

“It is really as simple as that,” said Perry. “I wanted to hammer that point in, over and over. To reach new heights you must let go. All this arguing on Facebook—and I’ve done it too—it doesn’t get you anywhere. You just have to let it go.”

“Let Go” also includes the line, “You must read Thich Nhat Hanh.” Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and peace activist, is a heavy influence on the entire album.

Alongside Thich Nhat Hanh, in terms of influence, is the 14th Dalai Lama. His influence is most represented on Track eleven, “Forgiveness & Compassion” where Bill Mysterium recites his words verbatim.

“I’m not even gonna say that I reference him there,” said Perry. “Those are his words.”

9 Days is a showcase of Perry’s influences, and not just in lyrical content. The instrumentals vary from modern trap to the classic boom bap sound in which hip hop is rooted.

“A lot young bucks just want to talk about stuff that happened down the street,” said Perry. “You’ve got to think bigger though. People outside of that world can’t relate. Expand your mind just a little bit.”

Perry has without a doubt expanded his comfort zone with this album. Most will only know him as the jazz pianist and not as an MC and producer. 9 Days has allowed him to branch out.

“There’s people that have known me for a long time that don’t even know this side of me. They just know me as Bill Perry the piano player,” said Perry. “I wasn’t trying to sell myself as a player. I did all the arrangements. I really found the composer and songwriter in myself.”

With Perry working mostly in instrumentals, writing lyrics was something he was excited to dive into.

“I was actually approaching it with prose like a writer,” said Perry. “I wanted to make the words mean more.”

Perry considers 9 Days to be his most comprehensive and representative work to date.

“This could very well be my best work,” said Perry. “Up to this point I have had the fans that know me for my hip hop and rap work and there are fans that only know me for my Bill Perry Trio stuff. This is really the first album that blends both of those sounds.”

Check out 9 Days on mrbm1.bandcamp.com and follow Bill Perry on social media to keep up with any new projects. The Local Voice Ligature


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About the Author

Brittain was an associate editor of The Local Voice from 2015-2018, ex-journalism student, and bad noise maker from the highway town of Brandon, Mississippi.

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