The Origins of Lost Rebel

The driving force behind this project was the fear that through all of my work I may never make that piece of art that fully explains me. I may never communicate why I try to be so positive. There was so much I wanted say, I knew I couldn’t do it in 3 - 4 minute songs where intentions, feelings, and emotions often get lost.


Lost Rebel started life as a one-man musical that I began performing in late 2017. The story covers my life from age 7 - 17 and is a blend of hip-hop, poetry, and narrative.


The response to the live show was tremendous for me as an artist. I felt like what I was saying finally resonated. I got to show people through my own story that we are flawed, complex beings capable of showing strength that we don't know we possess until we are tested … and make no mistake we are currently being tested.


That live show was the basis for my new musical audio book: Lost Rebel.

Why an Audio Book?

Creating an audio book wasn’t a conscious decision I made at the beginning of the project, instead the format revealed itself to me as I put all of the pieces together.

The idea got its start six years ago when I sent the original script for the live show to my brother. He told me it read more like a book. So that idea always stayed in the back of my mind even after performing it live.


My songs and lyrics have always been narrative and I wrote the chapters to match that format. The audiobook is based on the live show, but they’re not the same. The final product evolved over time. While doing the show, I had always thought about what the best version of it could be, but that vision was out of reach for a live performance. So, then I thought about what could the best version sound like. And that is how the audiobook came to be.


Obviously Lost Rebel isn’t the first project to blend music and spoken word. Although there weren’t any direct influences that drove me to make an audiobook, there are many projects that are distant cousins of Lost Rebel. There was Prince Paul’s A Prince Among Thieves where he has interludes that carry the narrative. You had the hip-hop musical Carmen, starring Beyonce. I wasn't particularly thinking about these but they paved the way.


There were so many other influences for this project, too, like John Leguizamo and his one man shows, Dead Poets Society, Catcher in the Rye, Clarissa Explains it All, Juice, My Girl, the MTV culture and so much more. As far as artists, there are so many. In the book, I mention Nas, Jay-Z, and Enimem. 


I wanted Lost Rebel to be its own thing. The format is my love letter to how I consumed ‘90s pop culture which featured a lot of child actors breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience

Reinventing the Process

Recording an audio book is not the same as recording an album of songs. And when you throw in the pandemic, I had to completely change how I put together a recording: I became the engineer, DJ, performer, and producer all-in-one. I learned how to make my own beats and record myself in my basement. (Trust me, I never want to do that again!)


But, there was a silver lining  … aside from being a performer, my father Keith Hudson was a prominent producer and engineer in the Reggae scene. Doing this project, doing what he did as a producer and engineer --- it was the closest I’ve ever felt to him.


When you make a regular album a lot of emotion can get lost in translation and perception. With this project I was able to convey every thought and feeling before you even get to the songs. I learned that a good project changes you forever and that it should take a toll on you if you want it to matter

I’d love to see other artists tackle this format because I know how challenging it is and how much of yourself you have to let go. By making this project I had to totally let go of my past. And I know that if others took this on, they would also feel the sense of creative accomplishment that I do. It’s my hope that every artist leaves their projects creatively exhausted.

It's My Story, but I Couldn't Have Done it Alone

Lost Rebel was a one man show in the sense that I was the only one up on stage walking around and talking, but there were so many others involved and even more in the recorded audio version.

The director of the live show is one of my closest friends, Jr. Perez. He also contributed to key parts of the script. My sound guy and DJ is Nick Angelo.

We had to master about 200 sound cues for the live show. If we would have performed the final version that became the audio book, it would have been 500 cues!

For the audio version my good friend Myriam Gadri is featured on the song "What Do You Call a Home That's Not a Home." My friend Keenan "K9 the Wolfman" out of Vermont is featured on the song "Grind" which is a departure for me in a good way. "Grind," "Don't Let Go", and "What Do You Call a Home That's Not a Home" were all produced by "JG" Joey Groom. We've collaborated together in the past as well on songs like "Devastator" and "Would My Dad Get Me."

The Moral of the Story

I approached the storytelling here as if it wasn't my life, but someone else’s. I’m so far removed from that time that it doesn’t even feel real anymore. Knowing that a version of me got abused and controlled by someone is so strange because that was the only time that would've happened to me … when i was an impressionable child


There is a point very early on in the story when I felt like my entire world ended. Yet somehow I kept getting up and moving on. If you look at the world right now, a lot of ideas in our world have died. I think people need to remember that human beings are extraordinary. I don't know how I've made it this far but somehow I have. 


I created Lost Rebel for everyone but I really hope that kids in the system hear it, those who are living in poverty, who are going through hard things and slipping through the cracks. I just want them to know it’s okay to be yourself and that there are ways to reach their goals

The journey of making this has made me a happier person. I hope it reminds you and anyone you share it with that we have strength far greater than we can imagine. I hope you share it so it finds the ears of the people who need it the most. I hope you share it for the kids who are going through what I went through.

The Next Part of My Journey ...

There's a lot more coming from me. Currently, I’m embracing the idea of being an author. I've started writing a fantasy book called City of Monsters. It won't be a music audio book, but there will be an accompanying soundtrack and artwork based on the characters.


Lost Rebel is just the beginning of a journey that is taking me beyond music. I call myself an artist, not a music artist, because the term “artist” is broad and inclusive and that’s how I approach my craft. Stay tuned for more from me … and be prepared to be surprised in what you get!

Thanks, as always, to all of you who listen and enjoy this art … I do it for you.

Lost Rebel  is out now 

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Keith Tryfle Hudson
NYC Rap and Hip-hop

Checkout out Tryfle's latest album Lost Rebel

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