April 7, 2005

Mixtape Friday: Kweli makes friends with Day
By Canyon Cody
Published in The Heights

It gives me the giggles to think about how awkward it's going to be backstage at tomorrow night's spring concert at Boston College.

What will Talib Kweli, Howie Day, and Robert Randolph chat about before the show? Where will the UGBC put them? In the guys' locker room, sitting on the benches like it was halftime with the basketball team waiting for a pep talk from Al Skinner?

I don't know how this happens, but the UGBC consistently brings quality underground hip-hop to Boston College. There is definitely a supply and demand problem here, because I know not everyone at BC was as excited as I was to see The Roots, Common, and Nappy Roots.

We even had Vanilla Ice in the Rat, which was to this day, the most hilarious concert I've ever been to. "Go ninja, go ninja, go!"


Talib Kweli - "Put It In The Air"
Kweli complains on this track that "half these motherfuckas can't pronounce my name." At BC, Kweli will likely find that more than half the students don't even know his name, but one can hope he'll earn new fans with a good live performance.

Kweli made his debut with Mos Def on Black Star, their classic collaboration from Ruckus Records in 1998. Every hip-hop fan has this album, and everyone else should at least download "Re: DEFinition" and "K.O.S. (Determination)."

From there Kweli collaborated with DJ Hi-Tek for 2000's Reflection Eternal, featuring "The Blast" and "Down for the Count." In 2002 Kweli finally released Quality, his aptly titled debut solo album, which features a hilarious introduction from Dave Chappele. With "Get By" Kweli enjoyed his first major mainstream hit single, with a little help from the production of Kanye West and a soulful sample from Nina Simone's "Sinnerman."


Robert Randolph "Tears of Joy"
Pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band know how to throw a party. It's easier to find recordings of his live shows than it is to find his studio albums, which tells you something about Randolph as a performer. Randolph plays the dirty blues like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix, but there isn't a good word to describe his sound, so I'll invent one: funkbluesadelic.

Howie Day - "?"
Howie Day is ... umm? Honestly I don't know anything about Day beyond what I might guess from looking at his picture: Pretty boy with sweet, sometimes sad songs about sensitive issues. Rolling Stone describes him as "emotionally naked." I don't know how I feel about that, but I look forward to becoming a fan of his, because live shows are the best way to fall in love with a new musician. Hopefully BC students will come with an open mind and learn to like the performers they don't know yet.

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