Chris Palko, known by his stage name Cage is a rapper from New York City. Born overseas the youth began his life on a military base. His father was a drug addict, and his mother divorced him, only later to marry an abusive man named Frank. Palko had a troubled youth and was eventually kicked out of high and by that time was abusing many hard drugs. After several minor run-ins with the law, he was sent to a psychiatric institution where he ended up staying for 18 months. While there he made several attempts to kill himself, and was part of a test group for the drug “fluoxetine.”
When he was released at 18, he pursued a career as a rapper, then going under the name “Alex” reminiscent of the character from A Clockwork Orange who endured a similar plight. During this time drugs were still a large part of Palko’s life and much of his early work is reflective of that. Palko has led an interesting and fairly depressing life, and it is my belief that his flash-based website tells a digital story of these roots.
The first image has ominous looking clouds in the distance which darken when the mouse scrolls over them, as shown on the left, and this foreshadows some unpleasantness in the future. The argyle looking lines that intersect the “C” in Cage, denote a rap-group by the name of Weathermen, of which Cage is a founding member.
This is the second screen you’re taken to. Here the clouds flash and the light in the window flickers. The red cloud seems to look like the upper part of a face. The house is old and decrepit. I’m not sure if this place is simply metaphorical or has historical significance for Palko. Either way the creepy effect is achieved. Clicking on the house takes you inside.
Now you can see the inside of presumably the above house and as you explore it Cage’s music starts to play. The symbol on the wall links you to the aforementioned rap group’s Myspace. The newspaper takes you to press articles, while the garbage takes you to Cage’s merchandise store. I’m sure this is no coincidence. The picture takes you to a newsfeed. Out of frame on the right is a refrigerator, and on the left is a stairwell.
I won’t go through any more of the house so if you’re interested you can experience it firsthand. His music, with the effects of the flash animation create an atmosphere very representative of the experience one gains when listening to Cage. A lot of his lyrics are graphic and explicit, so if that kind of stuff offends you — heads up. There are more details in his biography, and pages from a journal he kept while institutionalized can also be found. Have fun exploring and if you can stomach it, you should listen to Cage, he’s pretty neat.
**Screenshots taken from his website. I own the rights to these images**