The word is in from down at The Whiskey Republic. Behold: your Spring Weekend 2014 lineup!
What Cheer? Brigade: Local favorite What Cheer? Brigade is back in the game after a great performance somewhere between the John Carter Brown library and Wilson Hall last Spring Weekend. Brown students rocked like mad to the 18-piece brass band’s unique sound. They’re so fierce, even Hurricane Irene (and the NYPD) couldn’t stop them. The lawn next to the John Carter Brown will be terrorized once again.
Chance the Rapper: Hailing from Chicago’s South Side, 20-year-old Chancellor Bennett (a.k.a. Chance the Rapper) is undoubtedly hip-hop’s 2013 breakout star. During a drug-related 10-day suspension from the prestigious Jones College Prep High School, Chance made his first mixtape, entitled — you guessed it — “10 Day” and released it in April of 2012. “10 Day” got Chance on the map, but his second mixtape, Acid Rap, released in April of 2013 was his declarative statement that he means business in the hip-hop world — and can potentially take the reins from the likes of Kanye West and Jay-Z. After all, he does now have a song with Justin Bieber. Garnering universal critical acclaim and landing as #12 on Pitchfork’s Best Albums of the Year list, Acid Rap blends soul, jazz, infectious hooks and some of the best verses in years. Drawing on his teenage year experiences, Chance’s lyrics are incisive, witty, truthful and relatable. With over 250,000 downloads, it is also certifiably platinum, despite no release on iTunes or Spotify.
Diplo: Wesley Pentz a.k.a. Diplo has had his hands in more hits than you even know. He came up in the Philadelphia music scene while studying at Temple University before releasing his first album Florida in 2004. He’s a mainstay in Major Lazer, and he has collaborated with legends like Beyoncé and Tiesto. Expect him to bring super-danceable tracks with a variety of influences such as “Express Yourself,” “Que Que,” “Pon De Floor,” and even a remix of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (they dated) to the Main Green. If our fellow students have anything to say about it, there will be twerking. Also, his label, Mad Decent, boasts an impressive stable of artists, including Zeds Dead, Rusko, Baauer, Riff Raff, and Flosstradamus.
Andrew Bird: Andrew Bird first picked up the violin when he was four years old. Since then, he’s been busy: he graduated from Northwestern with a degree in violin performance in 1996, put out his first album, Music of Hair, the same year, and released a total of 11 albums (3 in the last two years). Last.Fm has labeled Bird’s music as a blend of “gypsy and traditional folk” while Variety has labeled him as an “unclassifiable singer-songwriter-composer.” So you can expect to be mellowed out during his sure-to-be impressive violin set. SW ‘14 marks his second big performance in the Ocean State in recent memory, as he played the Newport Folk Festival this past summer with Tift Merritt. Amidst his summer tour, Bird will be taking the stage at Bonnaroo this June. What can you expect from his set? Possibly some unfinished and unreleased songs, which he’s been known to perform in live concerts. We’re hoping he’ll bring along his sock monkey friend, profiled heavily on his Tumblr, so he and Furby can go on Spring Weekend adventures together.
Lauryn Hill: @MsLaurynHill is a big deal. She raps, she croons, and she’s got it all. She was formerly part of Fugees, the band that released “Killing Me Softly” in which Hill’s vocals kill the game. (Fun fact: she was in the Fugees with her ex-lover Wyclef Jean, who made a surprise appearance at SW ‘11.) In 1998, Lauryn Hill went solo and released The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which propelled her into eternal bad-assery: she became the first woman or hip-hop artist to win five Grammys. The catchy hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” won R&B song that same year. Other notable tracks off her first solo album: “Ex-Factor”, “Everything Is Everything”, and “Lost Ones.” You also may recognize her from her days in Hollywood: Hill worked alongside the legendary Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act II (you also might remember Hill’s epic track “Joyful, Joyful” from the film) and had a stint on Days of Our Lives… but not before attending Columbia in for a year before achieving epic stardom. Also look out for Hill this June at Bonnaroo and Electric Forest Festival in Michigan.
Also, check out the Spotify playlist below for a brief primer on Andrew Bird, Diplo, and Lauryn Hill. Unfortunately Chance’s best stuff isn’t on the platform yet, but you’ve got “Acid Rap” here so it’s all good.