The Oberlin Review

On the Record: Tony Gardner ’15

Kelsey Scult, Staff Writer

March 8, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Music

How has your rapping changed since moving from Tennessee to Ohio? It has gotten to be more about me. Before, I had a group of friends that would all write and rap together, and we had similar ideas and things that we agreed upon — similar feelings about blackness. A lot of what we had to write incorporated that. Since I’ve been in Oberlin and away from them, my thinking has revolved around how I feel and how I am. It’s become more personal. It was already personal, but it’s more personal now.  At home, there is this concept of ‘black mad,’ which is really hard to put in words. It’s a movement that involves productive use of anger about injustice toward black people, men and women. We often will put hi...

Brother Ali Speaks to the Heart of Oberlin’s Values

Kyle Roach

February 22, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Music

Students and a handful of Oberlin residents trickled into the ’Sco to see a highly anticipated performance. As a modest yet lively crowd formed, an electricity was palpable in the air. Some mingled while bopping, grooving and swaying to the old-school hip-hop that played. Others looked anxiously between the stage and their smartphones. As the crowd thickened, its members whooped and hollered in anticipation, imploring the performer to make his entrance. Finally, Brother Ali took the stage, mic in hand. Ali is a rapper and social activist hailing from Minneapolis. He is signed to Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers Entertainment, an independent hip-hop label responsible for the production of underground rap heavyweights...

On the Record: Mike Braugher, OC ’14

Abby Hawkins

December 7, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

The Review: So We Are Only Human is a mixtape in two parts, and this is Part One. I’m wondering how this mixtape is a departure from what you’ve done in your past releases. Mike Braugher: It’s a departure because in my last projects that I’ve put out the focus was me. Like, I was the subject matter of my mixtapes, but only one of these tracks is one of those look-at-me-I'm-the-shit songs. And there’s a huge departure in sound. The sound of my last projects was more boom-bap — the boom-bap style of production and ’90s flow — but I'm going for a more modern flow. So ’90s beats were usually from 80 to 100 beats per minute, and the new songs’ beats per minute are anywhere from 60 to 80. So...

m.A.A.d. city Reconfigures Rap

m.A.A.d. city Reconfigures Rap

November 9, 2012

Of the rapidly multiplying number of rap subgenres, socially conscious rap presents the greatest challenge to artists. Attempting to represent the problems faced by an entire marginalized group too often comes off as arrogant, and condemning society for not solving these problems registers as accusatory rather than inspirational. After enduring the overbearing diatribes of political raps from the likes of Lupe Fiasco, it was difficult not to approach newcomer Kendrick Lamar’s social commentary...

College Hip-Hop Movement Finds Place at Oberlin

Abby Collier

April 27, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

Hip-hop has asserted its spot in both the academic arena and larger campus consciousness in universities nationwide. Student supporters and performers of hip-hop at Oberlin have been advocating for a larger, more established hip-hop scene on campus. College sophomore Mike Braugher, a rapper, producer and DJ who will be performing songs from his spring release, Dreamer, this Saturday at Solarity and Royal Thread Collective’s Fracture, said, “As an unknown artist in the age of instant gratification and file sharing, it is nearly impossible to expect to go anywhere without putting any free music out there for people. One would think this unwelcoming environment would have negative effects on the encouragement of...

Hip-Hop Collective BBU Makes Politics Peppy

Julia Hubay, Staff Writer

April 13, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

Although BBU arrived hours behind schedule, the group jumped right into action Tuesday night at the ’Sco, quickly setting up and energizing the crowd for a high–energy show. The performers maintained a frenetic pace throughout the entire show, rapping and dancing at break-neck speeds. BBU, the name for the hip-hop collective specializing in juke (house music from Chicago), stands alternatively for Bin Laden Blowin’ Up and Black, Brown and Ugly, indicating the political activism present in its lyrics and mission at large. The “BBU crew” is composed of DJ Esquire and three MCs — Epic, Illekt and Jasson Perez — all of whom were charismatic and good-humoured, laughing at each other and joking with the ...

Hip-Hop Phenomenon Jean Grae Stirs Souls at the ’Sco

Abby Hawkins, Arts Editor

October 7, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music

Several members of Oberlin’s own Wilder Hip Hop Collective warmed up the stage. The rapping talents of College sophomore Mike Braugher, College senior Rene Kamm (stage name Antithesis) and College junior Dominic Babb (stage name Dom Sirius) were followed by the psychedelic electro-melodies of College junior Daveed Audel and College senior Daniel Oshima. After a significant wait, during which the crowd thinned noticeably, Her Royal Hip-Hop Highness finally took the stage to the electro-rock pump-up beats of DJ Mr. Len and a raucous crowd that, pardon my French, went absolutely ape-shit upon her appearance. In a skintight black t-shirt, voluminous ball-gown skirt, lacy combat boots and thick-framed glasses, Ms. Grae...

Lackluster Rappers Fail to Inspire

Angus Chen

March 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music

If you walked into the ’Sco last Tuesday night, you would have seen College sophomore Brian Becker lifted shoulder-high by a group of hip-hoppers, cheering on the raised stage. The rappers unburdened with Becker’s weight stood to the side, pumping their fists in encouragement. Following this exhilarating moment, Becker dropped back to the ground and launched into a beat that proved less than remarkable, an anticlimax that set a precedent for an evening that primarily featured lackluster and monotonous performances. The Northern Ohio Hip-Hop Showcase, featuring a collective of rappers known as East of Cleveland, started slow, held up by the rappers posing for pictures and milling around the bar. As people slowly...

New Student Hip-Hop Collective Slams into Oberlin

New Student Hip-Hop Collective Slams into Oberlin

March 18, 2011

Oberlin’s hip-hop scene exploded onto the forefront of campus activity last Thursday, March 10, with a performance by the Wilder Hip Hop Collective. The group’s debut show at the ’Sco, titled “The First Episode,” kicked off the night with beats that shattered the ground and thumped through the crowd. For the next two and a half hours, the Collective spat out original lyrics and sets by Oberlin students to the delight of a wildly cheering crowd. MCs dropped rhyme after rhyme into a hungry...

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