A onetime participant in the competitive freestyle circuit, Dallas MC, Astronautalis, bowed out in favor of a new musical direction: indierock. He lost the hiphop bravado, but not the rhyming skills, and with his debut You and Yer Good Ideas Astronautalis meshes introspective indierock with a gamut of beat-driven rhymes and vocal whispers. Like a more commercial take on the Anticon-sound, Astronautalis stands on the forefront of hiphop's suburban evolution.

Astronautalis performs at Conan's on Thursday March 31st

When I listen to your music I hear just as much of an indierock influence as I do hiphop. Is the meshing of the two genres deliberate, or just the underlying effect of being involved in both worlds?

Where I grew up (Jacksonville Beach, Florida) "indie hiphop" and "indierock" were never too far from each other. From skate video soundtracks and our widespread "mixed tape culture," it kept our tastes all over the place while keeping our scenes tied at the hip. That sort of culture had me freestyling over The Halo Benders as often as I was freestyling over Lord Finesse and tagging the bathroom at a Wolfie show. I suppose I have always aimed to emulate that sort of aesthetic; albums that sound like mixed tapes and musical collages.

Does the "white rapper" stigma bother you?

How could it? Aside from the fact that the most popular rappers in America on both an underground (Atmosphere) and mainstream (Eminem) level are white, it is what I am. It is the truth; I am a white guy who raps. On a related note: I am also a white reader, a white driver and a white taxpayer.

I've heard some MP3s of you taking random requests at live shows for freestyle topics. What is the weirdest one you've gotten?

I once had a girl ask me to freestyle to her in bed… I had to leave.

How was touring on the Warped Tour as an unsigned artist? Was the audience receptive to you? Are you doing it again this year?

Warped Tour has been great to me. The administration was kind of a pain in my ass, but the bands and the fans have this built-in punk rock ethic about looking out for the little guy. We have done quite well, but this will be our last year on the tour. My new music is very slow and quiet, while the Warped Tour has been very accepting of my weirdo music, I don't know if there is any room for banjos and accordions.

Young Black Teenagers or 3rd Bass?

Is this a white rapper test? 3rd Bass... MC Serch put on Nas.