The alternative hip hop scene in Omaha has been flourishing as of late, but it wouldn’t be what it is today without Brenton Gomez, better known as Conchance. Signed to Make Believe Records, Gomez has infiltrated Omaha’s music scene the greater part of the last decade and twice been recognized as the city’s best rapper at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. In addition to his solo art, Gomez is one fourth of the Midtown Marauders crew and the emcee of M34N STR33T, which has attracted more than just a hip hop crowd with its genre-blurring record Mutants of Omaha and for performing at the Maha Music Festival alongside names like Doomtree.
We recently cornered Gomez and asked him to give us a little more insight into the person behind the mic. Check out the interview below, and make sure to browse his SoundCloud for some free, dope music.
Say Hey There: If you could sum up your biography in 30 seconds, what would you say?
Gomez: I was born with the name Brenton Walstrom, I now go by Brenton Gomez, my mother’s maiden name. Twenty-seven years old. I’ve been rapping over ten years. I like to keep integrity to the art of rap and hip hop and all music I like. I represent M34N STR33T and Midtown Marauders. I’m a recording artist under Conchance at Make Believe Records. I really like Gabriel García Márquez the writer (laughs).
Say Hey There: Tell us about how you got into making music.
Gomez: I started writing as a child doing poetry. Not with any standard of poetry, but just playing with words and rhythm. Through skateboarding videos, I got exposed to a large amount of diverse music like early Mos Def and Black Star and the Rawkus Records camp. I started writing raps, pretty terribly. Me and my boy Kento (Klassic) started freestyling every night, and we were very, very bad. After about a year doing that, smoking cigs, smoking blunts — it started working and making sense.
Around the year 2003, Sam Martin with Capgun Coup helped me record my track. He had the equipment and was making beats and I swear to God he was rapping better than me. A couple months later I recorded another thing and another thing. A lot of people can freestyle, but to be able to write a song was something else.
Say Hey There: And a lot of people make music, but to be able to perform is whole other level. When did you cross over and start doing shows?
Gomez: Before I even recorded my first song, I did my first show. It was like freestyling over beats at a house party. It was pretty gnarly.
I’m terrified to speak in front of people in a formal setting, like in classrooms. I’m completely terrified, I don’t like it at all, if anything I need to be pacing pretty heavily or on xanax or alcohol. With music, it’s more or less in an informal setting and it’s a lot more kicked back and I can relax.
I’m terrified to speak in front of people in a formal setting, like in classrooms. I’m completely terrified, I don’t like it at all, if anything I need to be pacing pretty heavily or on xanax or alcohol.
Playing in front of people is hard, but it’s something you really want to do. You create these words and you’re like, man, I’m really hyped on this, and then if you can share it to the people with the same essence that you created it with, people really catch on to the sentiment. A lot of people can make an album and then you go see them perform and it’s just like this puppet up there, you don’t get any emotion out of it. Some of these people are like actors and others are just up there really just bleeding shit out and you’re like damn, this shit is so gnarly. That’s what I think I’ve been trying to evolve into.
You create these words and you’re like, man, I’m really hyped on this, and then if you can share it to the people with the same essence that you created it with, people really catch on to the sentiment.
Say Hey There: How did you come up with your name?
Gomez: Growing up, a lot of us were doing graffiti. I wanted to have a name that meant something, but also play with letters. The handstyle for Conchance really came out nice.
Say Hey There: Which producers do you work with?
Gomez: Kethro, Dojorok, Haunted Gauntlet who produced the whole M34N STR33T record, INFNTLP, my buddy Johann, Sam Martin, Robert Cook, Sm-grims.
Say Hey There: What are you working on right now?
Gomez: Robert Cook just started making beats, but his musical reference is so vast that these beats are coming along very nicely. We’re working on a record right now.
Sm-grims is a partner of mine and we’re working on a record. We had 10 tracks recorded, and then I went down to Mexico some weeks back because he was deported a few years ago and we knocked out the rest of the record. That’s the shit I’ve been performing as Conchance as of recently.
Right now I’m promoting Mutants of Omaha. Also, I did my first Conchance headlining show in maybe a couple of years not long ago with the new material I’m working on with Sm-grims. The album doesn’t have a name yet. Then there’s new material with Robert Cook. As soon as some of that material takes more of a tangible form where people can have it, I’ll be pushing that really hard. You’ll be seeing some music videos first for some of the newer Conchance stuff to kind of build up to these project releases.
Say Hey There: Why do you love hip hop?
Gomez: I love hip hop because it is just the rawest, most sweet fruit. Real hip hop that has not been exploited is something no one can take from the people that hold it. It’s bigger than you. Other people who recognize the real true essence of it…you guys are part of each other. It’s like being in a crew together. It’s this universal thought process that you have when it comes to beats, rhymes, and rhythm. It ain’t about what you look like. Time has changed that. It really is about the sentiment of the music and what the music is. It’s this beautiful, powerful thing that I can’t really even put words to. Thousands of songs could be made to talk about what hip hop is, but at the end of the day it’s this intangible thing that’s much bigger than any of us. It’s a way of life.
I love hip hop because it is just the rawest, most sweet fruit. Real hip hop that has not been exploited is something no one can take from the people that hold it.
There you have it, fam. Make sure to stream and follow Conchance below and cop free downloads through SoundCloud.
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