Students who do cool things: Dolapo Akinkugbe ’16 (DAP)

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DAP–that’s pronounced ‘D-A-P’–is a junior at Brown; he’s also a student who does cool things. A producer first and a rapper second, DAP has established himself as a force to be reckoned with, and is rising in his renown on campus and off. After studying for two semesters at the Berklee College of Music during his gap year, Dolapo came to Brown. An enthusiastic piano player since he was a child, DAP has a natural predilection for bringing different sounds into his production style. He matches this with his flexible lyrical delivery (“flow”) and many ideas about the world and his place in it.

A couple of Fridays back, DAP rocked a crowd at Aurora in downtown Providence. The following Monday he dropped his fourth mixtape, GoodBye For Never, which demonstrates his versatility as a musician (he casually produced every track on the album, by the way!) and great ability as a lyricist and thinker.

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with DAP and asking a few questions about his music and plans for the future.

Who are your main influences?

Kanye West immediately comes to mind, simply because he’s a complete artist. I also think he’s the best performer of all time, alongside Michael Jackson, and maybe James Brown, Beyonce. My favorite songwriter is Drake, the best rapper and lyricist in my mind is Kendrick Lamar. And I’d say Ab-Soul is the most intelligent rapper. I can tell that he’s both book smart and street smart.

And then I’m influenced by anything immediately around me, like A$AP and Gucci Mane, and I’ve taken influence from The Beatles and Motown, Stevie Wonder. For example, I’m going to a Stevie Wonder concert in a couple of weeks, but in a few days I’m going to Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Bibby and Jeezy concert. And I’m also going to YG and A$AP Ferg. So anywhere I get inspiration from I take it.

What are you studying at Brown?

Classics and I’m hoping to double concentrate with Music.

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Students who do cool things: Independent Concentrators

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Strong, independent Brown students who don’t need no defined concentration.

“Doesn’t everyone at Brown, like, make up their own major?” You might laugh off questions like this from naïve relatives, but if you wish their imagined version of Brown were actually the real one, an independent concentration is for you. Contrary to popular belief, there are only about 20 independent concentrators per class, but they each have a passion that drove them to design their own focus of study from scratch.

Last week, I attended an Independent Concentration info session to learn about the process of applying for an IC and all of the awesome concentrations that students have already put together. If you’re reading this is and thinking, “Damn, an independent concentration sounds so cool, but I’m already a junior,” it’s not too late: you can apply for an IC through your sixth semester.

But be warned: an independent concentration isn’t for the faint of heart simply looking to get out of other concentration requirements. In fact, an independent concentration takes much more thought and effort than a traditional one, and requires you to have a passion for something completely outside the realm of a current concentration. Students who pursue ICs work closely with a faculty advisor to create a cohesive course trajectory, and round off their concentrations with a capstone project or thesis.

To apply to be an independent concentrator, interested students fill out an online application that includes their intended course selection and a personal statement, and applications are reviewed three times per semester. A subcommittee of student ICers and faculty members read applications and give one of three decisions: accepted, tentative approval pending some changes, or encouraged to resubmit.

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Hello Brown Instagrammers – Blog is calling!

Do you find yourself unable to resist taking pictures of the beauty around Brown’s campus to share with your Instagram followers? Or documenting what(ever) the fuck is happening on the Main Green? Or even just capturing the most “Brown” moments in your day to immortalize on social media?

Us too.

@BlogDailyHerald wants to see what you’re snapping! Tag all of your Instagram photos with these various #’s – #BlogDH #Brunonia #StudentsWhoDoCoolThings #WTFisHappeningontheMainGreen. Each week, we’ll feature the best of your pics on our own Instagram account in order to help you achieve an even higher status of Insta-stardom.

What are you waiting for? Spread your love for Brown AND be Insta-famous. #RaRaBrunonia

P.S. Follow @BlogDailyHerald on Instagram if you haven’t already!


Meet Mama Duck: Emily Wilkins ’14.5

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In case you’ve been living under a rock that doesn’t have Internet access or anything that brings happiness, you probably have heard that the roped off piece of Scili Desert was in fact housing a duck and her eleven baby ducklings (see above for cuteness overload). You also might have happened upon a Facebook page purportedly run by the Scili Duck herself. It has over 2,200 likes, and its updates have been quite something:

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The Scili Duck Facebook page — along with its subjects — has been a welcome respite from a tough finals period. The page and BlogDailyHerald has had some online interaction in the days leading up to the ducklings’ birth, and we wanted to discover which social media genius was behind it.

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Students Who Do Cool Things: Juhee Kwon ’14

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 4.17.14 PMWhile we understand that everyone is busy with finals and the ever-annoying task of packing (who knew you brought so much to school?!), take a few minutes to read about the work of Juhee Kwon ‘14, who compiled archival material and created a website to highlight the scholarship surrounding Asian American Studies at Brown. The website launched earlier this month and provides unique insight into the dynamics of identity within the context of both Brown and the United States more broadly. Check out our exclusive interview with Juhee below:

BlogDH: How did your project come to fruition? What was your ultimate goal in creating the webpage?

Juhee Kwon: The project was the Asian American program studies website. I wasn’t initially going to do anything for my senior thesis unless it was practical and… applicable. Asian American Studies is a field that has been burgeoning recently; there was an ethnic studies movement in the 60s where a lot of West Coast schools established colleges of Ethnic Studies and programs like that, and it has moved over the East Coast since. Brown has an Ethnic Studies program, but it doesn’t have Asian American Studies or Latino Studies or Native American Studies programs… but there is a lot of scholarship that is being produced in terms of the faculty and the graduate students.

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Robert Lee, who is in American Studies, requested that I compile an archive/website to showcase the amount of scholarship that has been produced, without any sort of University funding or help. Even without the University we have done this much… give us administrative support. [The website serves] as an abstract space so that scholars, graduate student and undergrads can come together and focus specifically on Asian American studies.

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Students Who Do Cool Things: Cody Fitzgerald ’15 and Stolen Jars

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Cody Fitzgerald ’15, a music and computer science double concentrator and the creative force behind the musical project Stolen Jars, has spent years mastering the art of turning musical complexity into simplicity: “I’m really interested in rhythms of parts becoming one part together, and things becoming indistinguishable from each other even though they’re played by different instruments or done by different things and just becoming one melody.”

Fitzgerald, who grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, describes Stolen Jars as a “kind of loop-based music—it mixes between, like, Dan Deacon and Dirty Projectors.” He also cites the ska punk band Bomb! the Music Industry as an influence, having first played in bands of that genre before launching his own projects. “I played in some pretty terrible bands [in middle school]“, Fitzgerald says. In high school, he became more serious about music, forming three different bands that would each record an album.  “After that, I realized I really wanted to do something that was more my own music,” he recalls. “Those other bands were more collaborative, and I started Stolen Jars as a way to make something that was really just me.”

The unorthodox name was a product of Fitzgerald’s perception of his music: “When I was writing [the first album], it always felt to me like I was taking these little tiny pieces of things and putting them together in very weird ways, and that’s kind of what the music sounded like to me: somebody having these little jars of sound and just opening them up at really random times.”

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