The most anticipated weekend of the year is a mere two weeks away, here at Keene State College. Spring weekend has been the bearer of insane memories, chaos, and a few apologies here and there. It is known as the weekend of long days, half-priced beer, and a packed gym on Saturday night, awaiting what will hopefully be worth a $25 concert ticket.
On April 21, 2011, Sammy Adams ripped the stage during the annual spring weekend show, playing songs like “I Hate College” and “Driving Me Crazy.” Following him was hip-hop musician Lupe Fiasco.
After his album “Lasers” had recently dropped, nothing short of greatness was expected of Fiasco by the crowd. Playing new songs like “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now,” which he played twice due to the crowd’s extraordinary reaction, and old songs like “Hip-Hop Saved My Life,” Fiasco could not have ended the weekend on any higher of a note. He redefined what it meant to play an amazing show in the KSC gym.
So as April 21 comes around yet again, another outstanding show will be expected. There were talks of Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Afrojack, and a few other well-known performers. Yet we have all come to find out this year’s artists will be Chiddy Bang and Girl Talk.
In past years on Keene’s stage stood OAR, Dashboard Confessional, Chamillionaire, and previously mentioned Lupe Fiasco. Yet to follow up a great four years of concerts, we now have Chiddy Bang.
Chiddy Bang was, yes, signed to the UK-based EMI subsidiary Parlophone label in late 2010, but has yet to even put an album out. Going off of the recent music he has put out we have two mix tapes, the second one being home to hit song “Opposite of Adults” which is just a few verses over a butchered MGMT track called “Kids.” Nevertheless some students have had a few words to say on the matter.
KSC student Jay McAree said, “I’ll admit I’m a fan of old school rap. I absolutely loved Lupe Fiasco when he came, despite his new sound. I guess if you like Mac Miller then go see Chiddy Bang, but in my honest opinion he has lackluster lyrics that all are recycled. His sound doesn’t do it for me and I’m sure I’m not the only one.”
The plain and simple fact of the matter is that Chiddy Bang does not hold a high enough reputation and does not have that stature and fresh excellence that Fiasco or Adams did. When you’re playing basketball outside a dorm (Sammy Adams) and within ten minutes the whole campus becomes aware of this, that’s when you know people want to see you.
When people can’t name more than five of your songs, the legitimacy of your performance is absolutely in question.
But sharing the stage with Chiddy bang will be mash-up artist Girl Talk. Known as “a lawsuit waiting to happen,” Gregg Gillis, the man known as Girl Talk, has released many albums of this style. He has been questioned about his usage of other artists’ music, but has claimed “fair use” and has not been tried yet on the subject. Nevertheless, his most notable album was “Feed the Animals,” of which he asked his fans to pay a price of their choice for the album.
This album was listed as number four on Time magazine’s top 10 of 2008. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars and ranked the album #24 on its Top 50 albums of 2008.
Blender magazine rated it the second-best recording/album of 2008, and NPR listeners rated it the sixteenth best album of the year. So deriving from this would be notions that the hype of spring weekend’s annual Saturday night concert may not be completely lost.
T.J Izykowski, another Keene State Student, says “I never really listened to Girl Talk before hearing that he was coming to Keene. But when I did it was just what I had hoped for. Every single good song was intertwined and mashed together, creating unexpected turns throughout a four minute period. What we can predict in other songs, becomes extremely unpredictable in this style of production.”
So going into the next two week span, attitudes will be up and down regarding this year’s concert. Despite what rumors have been heard the facts are simple and straightforward. Yet the question of these performers’ ability to entertain lies within the ears of Keene State students.
One thing is for sure; you’ll never know until you go.
Embrace something new and enjoy what is known.
Lucas Flood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org