Friday, June 06 2014 14:52

Rock Father's Day 2014: Artist Spotlight - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo #RockFathersDay

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"I was a wild 25 year-old musician, free and crazy, and it hit me like a ton of bricks to the gut," explains SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO while recalling the moment he discovered that he'd soon become a father for the first time. "You wanted honesty, right?," he continues, reflecting on twelve years of parenting ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014, and the June 24th release of his latest album of family-friendly funk, THE PERFECT QUIRK. Like many fellow "Rock Fathers" (myself included), the undisputed king of "Kid-Hop" may have been on a different path in the beginning, but it all came together. He continues, "I told my soon-to-be-wife that as long as she was down with being with a musician, 'cause I wasn't gonna change, that I would be the best father and husband i could possibly be. As soon as she accepted that instantly, I knew we'd all be alright."

Watch: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - "Pillow Fort Pillow Fight"
"A good sleepover complete with pillow fights is pretty much a rave for a kid, and that was the inspiration for this song for the half pints that celebrates that middle of the night madness!"Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
23SkidooFullBandQuick Profile:

Name: Cactus Funk aka Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.

Offspring: Daughter, age 12, Saki aka MC Fireworks.

Musical History (in his own words): 15 years producing/rapping/touring nationally with oddball live funk/hip hop collective GFE, 7 years producing/rapping/touring with my daughter in family funk/hip hop group Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.

Current Projects: My 4th album as Secret Agent 23 Skidoo: THE PERFECT QUIRK, which The Rock Father loves like chocolate dipped bacon, and my first book, WEIRDO CALHOUN AND THE ODD MEN OUT, which The Rock Father thinks is a literary feat equal to James Joyce's ULYSSES.

Favorite Artists to Enjoy, Father/Daughter: Pharcyde, Black Sheep, Blondie, Beastie Boys, RUN DMC.

Stream "Imaginary Friend" from the new album, THE PERFECT QUIRK!
While most "Rock Fathers" may bring their kids on-stage for a special occasion, it's a true "family affair" for Secret Agent 23 Skidoo...

CACTUS (SKIDOO): My daughter's been on 7 of my albums, has had her own #1 hit on SiriusXM, has been personally featured on NPR's "All Things Considered", has played Austin City Limits, The Smithsonian, The Irving Plaza....her rap sheet's better than most of my friends!

WATCH: "Gotta Be You" (featuring MC Fireworks)
JAMES (THE ROCK FATHER): Has being a parent changed your creative output or the way you view your musical life?

CACTUS: Oh, yeah. Art-wise, I now understand the difference between simplifying and dumbing it down. I also understand pure joy and wonder, plus pure fear and confusion far better than I used to. Seeing through a child's eyes as they experience raw, unaffected emotion makes you understand the primary colors. And career-wise, I take the long view. It's not all about a song or album, it's about an arc that lasts a lifetime.

JAMES: What's the hardest thing about balancing your music with your parenting duties?

CACTUS: Getting my kid to practice her rhymes.

"It means being an amazing moving playground full of jokes and surprises, being the rudder invisible beneath the water yet guiding the boat, and being the nest high in a tree, strong and safe, built well enough that one day the baby can grow up and fly away."Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
JAMES: What's the most “rock and roll” thing you've ever done with your daughter?

CACTUS: Probably played Lollapalooza. Or recorded a gore-filled zombie video ("Shambles" by Agent 23) in which she bites and kills me in the end. SPOILER ALERT.

[Ed. Note - Watch it below! But not for the kiddies... unless they dig zombies, in that case it's cool!]

JAMES: Last question. We're big on Toys here at Rock Father HQ - what are some favorites at Skidoo HQ?

CACTUS: Mine, the MPC 2000XL and the Maschine. Hers....probably like a hair curler and nail polish. C'mon, famous rapper or not, she's a 12 year old girl!

Check out more beats and rhymes from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, his daughter MC Fireworks, and the whole family on his official website. Check out some free downloads, and enter the "Year of The Weird" Contest!
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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