Nine years after its debut, Flight Distance’s classic album Bad Information is getting a limited vinyl release. The vinyl is currently shipping through Fake Four in Connecticut, and the release is in memory of Alex “Bender” Buchanan, one half of the Flight Distance MC lineup. Patrick “Patience” Jodoin, Bender’s co-mc and founding member of Flight Distance, says Bender had wanted to see a vinyl release for Bad Information. And one and a half years after Bender’s death, Jodoin has made that release happen. The album’s other collaborator, Joshua “Crack Moses” Sherman, died several months after Buchanan and the album’s release is also dedicated to him.
“Seeing the album on vinyl feels incredible,” says Jodoin. “Bender and I didn’t have the opportunity to put it on wax when it came out—our albums only ever came out on CD. Bender appeared on a handful of albums released on vinyl, but never his own.”
Buchanan was widely admired within the hip hop community for his lyrical ability and his battle skills. He was crowned King of the Dot, a prominent rap battle league, in 2011. He was multi-talented, exploring visual art in addition to his work with Flight Distance. His collaborators valued his highly creative intelligence, as well as his kindness.
“He was the friendliest, funniest person with this artistic superpower,” says Jodoin. “He was very loving to people and it was genuine.”
Buchanan died in his sleep on March 1, 2018. The news prompted a rush of social media emotion as his fans looked for more information. Many friends offered support, but as the story grew it attracted the attention of people who felt entitled to the story.
“The media handled it great. Social media—not so much.”
“Somebody dies and suddenly everybody was there for the whole thing,” says Jodoin. “The media handled it great. Social media—not so much.”
The story of Bender’s death became national news, with coverage across several major hip hop publications. Jodoin was the band’s main press contact, and he was inundated with requests for interviews and information. It was too much.
“It was upsetting because I was grieving big time,” says Jodoin “It was a combination of being the person who was grieving and being the point person for everything, and being the goalkeeper for all the things people were saying about him.”
Now that time has passed, Jodoin is ready to once again talk about Bender. Buchanan was an enormous figure, both in the Ottawa community and in the Canadian hip hop world. This vinyl release is in part a reminder of the impact he had.
“I feel like I owe it to him to keep him in the conversation among people who are talking about hip hop,” says Jodoin.
He’s certainly still on the minds of those whose music was inspired by Flight Distance. As the hip hop scene continues without Bender, Jodoin thinks about what Bender would say.
“Things have happened, in life, since he died. And I kind of think about how he would have reacted to those things.”
One of those things is Jodoin’s solo career, which is still in its beginnings. He’s working on an album which may be out next year under the name Patience Flight Distance. He’s taking this opportunity in the Bad Information vinyl release to reflect on what Flight Distance meant to him, and allowing the community to re-experience that, and to celebrate the lives of Sherman and Buchanan.
“It’s tragic I can’t enjoy this moment with them, and it’s a cruel irony that it took their deaths to prompt me to make it happen.”
Bad Information is available on vinyl now through Fake Four Records.