Students who do cool things: Musicians’ take on Chance the Rapper

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Put down your beer book and start watching that video. Right?! Holy crap, that voice is sultry as hell. And guess what: it belongs to a student here! In fact, all the members of this band go to Brown. A collaboration between top musicians such as Dolapo Akinkugbe (DAP) ’16, Clyde Lawrence ’15, and Bryn Bliska ’14, this impeccably shot cover of Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses” was conceived before BCA had even revealed that the mastermind of Acid Rap would be playing at Spring Weekend. As Clyde tells it, the group had played a cover of the song at a birthday party, and “once we heard he was coming, we decided we needed to make a video.”

But just look at them go! Chance must be proud. Tune in to this crew to finish your Spring Weekend right.

Here’s the entire list of folks rocking out in the cover:

Clyde Lawrence ’15 // Keys/Vocals
Dolapo Akinkugbe (aka DAP) ’16 // Vocals
Bryn Bliska ’14 // Organ/Vocals
Peter Enriquez ’14 // Guitar
Ana Gonzalez ’15 // Bass
Jamie Fried ’14 // Drums
Sumner Becker ’14 // Sax
Zach Levine ’15 // Trumpet
Filmed/Edited by:
Jordan Beard ’15
If you’re looking for more badass beats, go here for Clyde’s web site, here for DAP’s, here for Bryn’s and here for Jordan’s. You won’t regret it.

12 Days of Spring Weekend: Cloud Nothings

Hailing from good ol’ Cleveland, Ohio, Cloud Nothings are an up-and-coming indie-rock band founded by singer Dylan Baldi. In 2009, Baldi enrolled at Case Western Reserve University. During his first semester, he went home on the weekends to produce music, single-handedly recording his own vocals and instruments. Baldi used his homemade music to make different bands on Myspace (yeah, old school) and see which got traction. From there, Cloud Nothings was created.

Later that year, Baldi’s music was picked up by Bridgetown Records, and the first EP, Turning On, was released. Due to the success of the EP, Baldi was invited to perform in New York City, but was advised to find a band for the performance. In came drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke. Their performance was such a success that Baldi dropped out of college, informing his parents through a seven-page email. (Now that is dedication.)

Their fourth studio album, Here and Nowhere Else, was a success right from its release. Pitchfork gave it an 8.7/10 rating and the title of Best New Music. NPR Music described the album in saying, “[It] threads the needle just right, tightening and brightening Cloud Nothing’s sound in ways that never numb its blistering, careening forcefulness.” Top hits from the album include “I’m Not Part of Me,” “Now Hear In,” “Psychic Trauma,” and “Pattern Walks.”

Check out their music before you head to the Main Green at 3 p.m. today!


12 Days of Spring Weekend: Professors list their dream lineups

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[insert your professor's face here]

We’ve already seen what lineups blog writers wished for this year, but has anyone ever stopped to think about what professors have to say? They have feelings too, you know! I asked a few professors to list three bands or artists that would compose their dream Spring Weekend lineups (some decided to list a bit more because they don’t play by our rules, man). While some responses were predictable, others revealed a side to them that was previously unknown. Ricky Martin, anyone?

William Warren, Chancellor’s Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences

  • Talking Heads
  • The Strokes
  • Modest Mouse

Ian Sampson, English Graduate Student

  • Beardyman
  • Matmos
  • Huun-Huur-Tu

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Enjoying Diplo responsibly

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It’s that time of year again. If the “Acid Rap“ blaring from dorm rooms is any indication, it seems like everyone’s been getting excited for the impending Spring Weekend of late. And rightly so; for the second year in a row, the BCA has demonstrated an uncanny ability to book artists who straddle the line between mainstream and genre music in not one, but three genres: electronic, hip-hop, and acoustic. This year’s electronic offering — Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo — brings both turntable skills to rival those of last year’s A-Trak and an accessible series of popular dance tunes, not to mention a string of remixes and production credits on projects ranging from southern hip-hop to Swedish synth-pop. His performance, much like that of fellow Friday performer Chance the Rapper, promises to be a genre-spanning experience for everyone visiting the Main Green on April 11. People will, and should, enjoy themselves at this concert.

But they should also bear in mind that Diplo’s music, in some ways, is not his.

To clarify: this piece is not intended to criticize Diplo, nor to defend him. It is not intended to make you feel guilty about attending the concert you’ve spent the past couple weeks anticipating, nor to convince those who have chosen not to attend that their objections are invalid. It’s not even intended as any set of guidelines on how you should approach Spring Weekend. It is intended as a reminder that, however skilled a musician and producer Diplo may be, his music is ultimately derived from cultures to which he does not belong.

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: Prepare yourselves for What Cheer? Brigade

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The headliners of Spring Weekend get a lot of attention. Diplo is cool and all, but there are those who have been by our side for years on this weekend, and they deserve to be appreciated. No—sorry for the confusion, but we are not talking about Binder. We’re talking about What Cheer? Brigade, who will be returning this year to play early Friday evening on Spring Weekend. Check out their music here.

What Cheer? is a Providence-based 19-piece brass band—in their words, they “require no amplification, proving that great parties need no electricity.” THEY’RE ECO-FRIENDLY! What Cheer? is also the only act to not take the stage. Instead, they gather around Sayles Hall in a blob, and the audience surrounds them. Their sound is really high energy, so be prepared to break a sweat jumping up and getting down. (And breaking a sweat is probably just what we need considering the unclear weather forecast for April 11th.)

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: Ms. Lauryn Hill

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Now that we know our killer Spring Weekend lineup, it is time for BlogDH to give you a crash-course in all things Ms. Lauryn Hill.  While you may have not heard her name since your finer elementary school days, you can be sure that this Saturday night headliner will not disappoint. Prepare yourself for a confident and passionate performer who will elicit a sea of snaps from an inebriated empowered crowd. This creative artist has helped mold the world of hip-hop and we could not be more excited that she is coming to Spring Weekend. (Mis)Educate yourself on the rap, R&B, and hip-hop goddess that is Lauryn Hill:

Singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and all around badass, Lauryn Noelle Hill was born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1975. According to Hill’s MTV bio, she grew up listening to her parents’ “multi-genre, multi-generational record collection,” which fueled her passion for music. Even from a young age, Hill was apparently a natural performer and occupied the stage of Harlem’s noteworthy Apollo Theater at the age of 13. Some other famous artists who got their start at the Apollo theater include Billie Holiday,  James BrownThe Supremes, ,Marvin Gaye,  Stevie WonderAretha Franklin, and Mariah Carey. Hill also made an appearance in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and gave her some greater recognition for her musical talents.

In high school, Hill met Wyclef Jean’s cousin Prakazrel (Pras) Michel. Pras asked her to join his band called The Tranzlator Crew, which later became The Refugee Camp, which developed into the Fugees, playing on a derogatory name often given to Haitian-Americans. The Fugees got a record deal with Ruffhouse Records and recorded two albums. Their album The Score, released in February 1996, contained their hit-single, “Killing Me Softly” and went multi-platinum.To this day, The Score is one of the best selling hip-hop albums of all time.

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