hip-hop / rap

WDBX Hip Hop Night: House Party Nostalgia

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9
WDBX 91.1 FM

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Who: J-Soul / DJ JD / DJ P-Degree / DJ Buttafly / Lyrical Nomad featuring Beans and Greens
What: WDBX hip-hop benefit
When: 2017-07-15
An upcoming showcase will spin the hippest house-party sounds on the Strip when local community-radi
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

An upcoming showcase will spin the hippest house-party sounds on the Strip when local community-radio station WDBX hosts a hip-hop night Saturday, July 15 at the Hangar 9. The event includes several local DJs along with a performance by Lyrical Nomad featuring the band Beans and Greens.

Paris Siulua from the Labkids show said the first hip-hop night this past winter acted as a way to introduce the station and its personalities to the Southern Illinois musical scene.

Siulua said the station held an old-school-themed party earlier this year, and the response was positive. This night will also celebrate the hip-hop that first busted on the scene during the eighties on through the nineties.

“We try to do different genre shows,” Siulua said. “One of the things we’ve noticed is, we need to find a way to attract the older crowd who were into hip-hop.... There are a lot of SIU grads and older people in the area who are into the old-school hip-hop, and not too many places they get to hear them.”

He added that this sequel night will pump up the jams with a variety of local spinners on the turntables.

One featured DJ during this hip-hop night, Jermaine Pryor, spins under the name J-Soul. He began his first days as a DJ in 1985, sneaking into his father’s room and using his professional equipment.

“I developed a passion and love for it that has kept going ever since,” Pryor said.

Pryor plans to incorporate songs that represent what he referred to as the golden era of hip-hop, a period of time when artists from all over the continental United States put their own styles and voices to the emerging musical genre.

“To me, there was so much diversity, so much creativity, so much artistic portrayal of music and poetry,” Pryor said. “You had conscience rap, and you also had rap from the streets. Even the harder stuff from Public Enemy and N.W.A. had a message.”

Pryor said he has been involved at WDBX for the last six years. He added that he has enjoyed the freedom of getting to play music his own way.

“I love this place,” Pryor said. “It’s one of the only places in the world where a DJ can be a DJ. We are all pioneers of our own shows.”

Siulua said the hip-hop night offers an opportunity for party patrons to not only enjoy a trip down musical memory lane, but also a chance to support community radio.

“All of our events are fundraisers for the station,” he said, “so come on out and support the station.”

For more information, check out <http://www.wdbx.org>.

who: J-Soul / DJ JD / DJ P-Degree / DJ Buttafly / Lyrical Nomad featuring Beans and Greens

what: WDBX hip-hop benefit

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, July 15

Cha Wa: Funk ‘n’ Feathers at the Sunset Concerts

Venues & Businesses
Sunset Concerts

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Who: Cha Wa
What: Sunset Concert Series (Mardi Gras Indian band)
When: 2017-07-13
Cha Wa hustles into the Sunset Concerts Thursday, July 13 on the steps of Shryock Auditorium. The Ma
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Cha Wa hustles into the Sunset Concerts Thursday, July 13 on the steps of Shryock Auditorium. The Mardi Gras Indian band brings a bright, brilliant blend of deep funk and percussive polyrhythms to produce an honest party sound that pays homage to and celebrates the history of New Orleans’s infectious rhythms.

Bandleader and drummer Joe Gelini, who moved to New Orleans after he graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has been involved with Mardi Gras Indians for several years. He first heard their music (one of hip-hop’s primary musical ancestors) when he went to see one of his mentors, New Orleans-born jazz and funk drummer Idris Muhammad, perform.

Gelini asked if he could have a lesson, not knowing that simple request would forever change his life.

“It’s so real,” Gelini said. “It just kind of spoke to me. I was not ever exposed to that much soul.”

When he moved to New Orleans, Gelini saw Indians march down Dryades Street on Mardi Gras Day, and he was hooked.

“It was the energy, the spirit, the honesty,” he said. “Cha Wa started as almost more of a project than a band, and it just kind of grew from there.”

The origins of the Mardi Gras Indians are shrouded in mystery, with some historians tracing their existence back to the 1700s, when official records first noted the presence of Africans in New Orleans wearing Native American attire.

Mardi Gras Indians today sew intricate, gorgeous suits with large, brightly feathered headdresses called crowns. On Mardi Gras Day, Indians tribes march through the streets singing, chanting, and playing various percussion instruments. When two tribes meet, they battle over which one has the prettiest outfits and, in a sort of poetry slam or dozen contest, makes the best music.

Mardi Gras Indian tribes hold gatherings in bars and backyards, where they rehearse their rhythms and singing and make costumes. Gelini said he learned how to play the drums from the percussionists who provide the rhythmic base while the Indians would sing and keep one another in line. Gelini later became friends with a number of the Golden Eagles, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux’s band.

Cha Wa— their name is a slang term meaning “We’re comin’ for ya”— uses these traditions as well as some authentic practitioners of New Orleans funk. Gelini said a major component of the Cha Wa sound is Spy Boy J’Wan Boudreaux, the grandson of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. The senior Boudreaux is considered one of the greatest Mardi Gras Indian singers ever. J’Wan combines the lyrics and style of his grandfather with a more modern take on the traditional music.

Gelini said Funk ‘n’ Feathers, Cha Wa’s 2016 debut album, incorporates Mardi Gras Indian music, brass bands, and the street culture of the Crescent City with the funky musical stylings of the Wild Magnolias (backed by the Meters), the Wild Tchoupitoulas, the Neville Brothers, and Doctor John.

Ben Ellman of Galactic, who also produced Trombone Shorty’s breakthrough album Backatown, produced Funk ‘n’ Feathers. The contemporary result culminates on a wild interpretation of Doctor John’s “All on a Mardi Gras Day,” which keeps the feet moving from start to finish.

Gelini said that performing with Cha Wa is more of a feeling than thinking process.

“Hopefully as little [thinking] as possible,” Gelini said. “It’s as real as a feeling as any thinking. If I’m thinking, then there is very little feeling. It should be spontaneous and spiritual.”

Gelini said the band is excited to come to Carbondale.

“It’s like having Indian practice with modern recordings and modern production and using it all together,” he said about the band’s live show. “It’s classic and contemporary at the same time.”

For more information, check out <http://www.ChaWaBand.com>.

who: Cha Wa

what: Sunset Concert Series (Mardi Gras Indian band)

where: Steps of Shryock Auditorium


when: Thursday, July 13

LuKane: The Soul Rap of a Local Hip-hop Artist

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: LuKane / DJ Zay
What: hip-hop
When: 2017-07-07 - 2017-08-11
Lucas Moore, also known as LuKane, brings his brand of self-described soul-rap Friday, July 7 to the
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Lucas Moore, also known as LuKane, brings his brand of self-described soul-rap Friday, July 7 to the Hangar 9. The hip-hop showcase also features DJ Zay. LuKane also performs Friday, August 11 at the Hangar.

Moore said he knew he wanted to pursue music at an early age. He was immersed in music, having performed his first piano recital at four years old. His father exposed him to the sounds of Kenny G., Sade, and Earth, Wind, and Fire, and his mother and aunts performed as gospel singers in a church choir at the Chicagoland Bible Fellowship.

When he was in the fifth and sixth grades, Moore was the lead soprano soloist in the Edgar Allen Poe Classical School choir. In 2000, the choir toured in Puerto Rico and New Orleans.

Moore discovered an affinity for poetry and spoken word at twelve, and he soon began writing poems. That experimentation laid the basis for rhyming and songwriting as his tastes matured.

“When my voice changed, I started really getting into poetry,” Moore told Nightlife, “and those poems soon turned into song lyrics.”

While he was in high school, Moore released three mixtapes, and while the music was well received by his peers, he said he hung up his mic for a bit after graduation to turn his attention to work and school. Moore, however, returned to music with new vigor in 2011 after hearing a new wave of hip-hop artists like Big Sean, Drake, and J. Cole.

In 2013, Moore released his first mixtape since 2006, and Phase I: Women, Money, and Problems received sixty-five-thousand plays across various channels. He followed up that success with the Unplugged collaboration and the 2015 solo mixtape Phase II: Love, Peace, and War. Last February, his full-length release Lucas Moore came out.

Moore said he was influenced by “the conscious message of Nas and Common, the flow of Fabolous, the grit of Jadakiss, and the wordplay of Twista.”

“There are a lot of different styles of poems,” he said. “With haikus, that was one of the first times where I was seeing different words and seeing in them different rhymes, different ways to use them.”

Moore said he is currently working on his album One Take, which will feature many local artists from both Southern Illinois and Saint Louis.

“It has the most featured musicians that I have ever had,” he said. “There are rock acts. It’s definitely something different and unlike any thing I have ever done before.”

Moore said his music has something to say.

“I like to think of it as soul rap,” he said. “I’m not really just rapping, just singing, just harmonizing. It has a conscious message behind it.”

For more information, check out <http://www.LuKane.com>.

who: LuKane / DJ Zay

what: hip-hop

where: Hangar 9

when: Friday, July 7; Friday, August 11

Mista Fisha: A Local Rapper Turns Tragedy into Triumph

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
HippieScum: Party Optimism with Hip-hop Flavor
LuKane: The Soul Rap of a Local Hip-hop Artist

Who: HippieScum / Mista Fisha
What: hip-hop showcase
When: 2017-07-01 - 2017-07-13
An up-and-coming local hip-hop artist has found a way to use his music as a way to push through a pe
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

An up-and-coming local hip-hop artist has found a way to use his music as a way to push through a personal tragedy and emerge on the Southern Illinois scene.

Alex Fisher, who performs as Mista Fisha, released a new album, Stay High, back in May. He plays Saturday, July 1 at the Hangar 9 with Trouble Chasin’ and HippieScum’s Rebelyfe collective. He’ll also return Thursday, July 13 to the Hangar.

Fisher said he had enjoyed writing for as long as he could remember, but it was not until his brother’s death eight months ago that he was able to focus and find a creative outlet through hip-hop.

“I’ve always written,” Fisher said. “But after that happened, it’s like it just kept pouring out of me. That was when I really started.”

Fisher’s tracks on Sound Cloud combine social commentary and a unique mix of musical styles.

Songs like “Buzz Lityear” use rapid-fire delivery to rap about engineering massive social change through music. In “Politics,” Fisher raps about heads of state, ISIS, and other political topics with similar speed:

“Confusing the people takes one meme and a platform to abuse it/That’s why I make music/To allow you to tune it/Whether you groove it/I’m providing the new shit/I need y’all to lose it.”

Yet on “Sands of Time,” which begins with a beautiful piano lick that is laced throughout the song, Fisher delivers mid-tempo lines about “seeing greatness in life and hustle in the mirror” and not wasting a day because “life can change with the blink of an eye.”

The different approaches on the tracks, Fisher explains, bring diverse— but equally important— perspectives to the stage.

“I want these two parts of me,” he said. “They are different— one’s a bit harder, the other is softer with a message— but they go together. They are like a yin and yang.”

Fisher said the July 1 Hangar 9 show will also include featured performers and a live band.

Fisher said he wanted to give special recognition to local hip-hop artist LuKane, who has also starting making waves on the Southern Illinois scene. Fisher recorded Stay High at LuKane’s studio, and the two rappers will drop a collaborative song in the near future. The pair have performed together in previous hip-hop showcases at the Hangar, including a show earlier this year with Phuesis.

“He’s like a mentor to me,” Fisher said, “so a big shout out to him.”

For more information, check out Mista Fisha on Sound Cloud or connect with him on Facebook.

who: HippieScum / Mista Fisha

what: hip-hop showcase

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, July 1; Thursday, July 13

Mielo: The Chicago DJ and Musician Will Make Carbondale Vibe!

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: Mielo
What: live DJ duo
When: 2017-02-18
Everything about Mielo, the Chicago-based DJ, musician, and producer who will play Saturday, Februar
Alexis Estes
Video Comentary

Everything about Mielo, the Chicago-based DJ, musician, and producer who will play Saturday, February 18 at the Hangar 9, is fresh and energetic. “Indie electronic” is what he calls his music, a beautiful mix of headnodic bass, treble, pop, rhythm and blues, and a hint of dubstep that resembles music by Zayn Malik and Zara Larsson. And it’s great for getting a party started, or just chilling and vibing.

Originally a classically trained musician named Brett Stogsdill, Mielo told Nightlife how he chose his stage name: “Mielo is the person I’ve always wanted to be. Growing up, I always wanted to be in a successful band, but never learned instrumentation that is related to rock— I played piano and trumpet. So Mielo is very much myself reborn into who I’ve always wanted to be, and hopefully it will allow myself to be able to touch a lot of people with my music.”

Mielo started to DJ at Chicago-area bars and clubs, and after a few months he realized he wanted to make music. Taking a break from DJing, he took up music production.

“After doing that for about a year,” Mielo explained, “I came up with the idea for Mielo. [I] worked on my sound for almost eight months then released my first song, ‘Surreal.’”

If evolution were a song, it would be “Surreal,” a great example of how music is ever-changing and growing. “Surreal” is new, fresh, and keeps getting better. It’s like an ongoing experiment— trying new things, sampling old songs and making them new, chopping up vocals and using them to create tracks, taking the best parts and stitching them together to make a masterpiece. All of Mielo’s music is like that.

“Surreal” kickstarted Mielo’s music career, but his newer song, “Pretty When U Cry,” follows close behind as the new fan favorite.

In finding himself, Mielo’s made great music and gotten the chance to work with several other talented and like-minded artists along the way. “My personal favorites have been playing Summer Set Music Festival with Porter Robinson and Madeon.... If I had the opportunity to make music with Porter or Madeon, I would, one-hundred percent, no question.”

Mielo has many musical ambitions.

“My main goal is to be able to wake up everyday and write music,” Mielo said. “I would like to be doing headline tours and no djing, but do a live set.... I’m not trying to make club hits— I’m just trying to make beautiful, touching music. With my forthcoming original music, I think this statement will be able to be seen more, as well.”

Find out more at <http://www.MieloMusic.com>.

who: Mielo

what: live DJ

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, February 18

Yonas: More Than Just a Rapper

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: Yonas
What: hip-hop
When: 2017-02-10
What do you do when you have talent, intellect, and a swag that don’t quit? You become a rapper.
Alexis Estes
Video Comentary

What do you do when you have talent, intellect, and a swag that don’t quit? You become a rapper.

Everyone wants to be a rapper these days, but some great artists out there have real talent. Yonas is one them. He’s cool, he’s fun, he’s talented, and he’s coming Friday, February 10 to the Hangar 9.

He’s proven himself not only talented, but versatile. Not only does Yonas have bars, but he can also hold a tune. It’s not every day that an artist can rap and sing (or at least sound awesome doing both). He does it all, from hip-hop to rhythm and blues to pop, appealing to a wide-ranging audience.

Yonas embodies his music. His stage name is, in fact, his birth name— which is actually the Ethiopian pronunciation of Jonah, from the Bible. The name means peace, which explains a lot about his music. “Feel good music” is what Yonas calls it. It makes listeners happy and want to dance.

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, Yonas has known since a young age that he would be an artist.

“When I was younger, seeing performers like Michael Jackson, Usher, et cetera, I couldn’t help but want to be a performer and artist,” he tells Nightlife. “I went through a phase where I thought I would be an athlete, but in high school, I rediscovered my love for music when I heard artists like Biggie [Smalls], Jay-Z, Nas, Black Thought [of the Roots], Black Star [featuring Mos Def and Talib Kweli], Lauren Hill, et cetera. It was history from there.”

He’s been touring all over the country, sharing stages with Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B., and Juicy J. Guest artists XV, Brother Ali, Cherub, Witt Lowry, Jon Hope, and O.C.D. have all appeared on Yonas’s albums.

As any successful artist does, Yonas gives people something they can feel. He gets his creative inspiration from the world and writes relatable lyrics by “thinking about the average person, what they go through, what I go through, how I feel about it, how I want life to change for the better, what makes life tough,” he says. “I think about all of the human emotions we go through on a daily basis and I try to embody that and express that.”

With the millions of views his most popular songs have received on YouTube, Yonas says his newest release, “Photo,” posted January 30, will be his biggest to date. His freshly released EP, Everyday Like It’s Friday, contains another five songs. Not only that, but Yonas is already looking forward. He plans to release a new Ep by spring.

His creative gifts and hard work have gotten him this far, and Yonas sees them taking him way beyond performing and recording.

“My thoughts in this current music industry is that there are no excuses,” he says. “It is what you make it. Now days you have the power to jumpstart your own career if you’re savvy enough. I think it is definitely tough to get on radio and sign with a major [label] and tour the world, but there is a place for everyone in this industry as long as you have the talent and work ethic.

“In five years, I see myself owning a music group, signing artists, producers, and cinematographers, and using what I’ve learned in business to help them sidestep some of the hurdles and take their careers to the next level,” Yonas adds. “I also see myself learning more about production and producing for up-and-coming artists as well as major artists.”

Find out more and give him a listen at <https://YonasMusic.com>.

who: Yonas

what: hip-hop

where: Hangar 9


when: Friday, February 10

HippieScum: Party Optimism with Hip-hop Flavor

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: HippieScum / Rebelyfe / Phileo / Jasmine B. / Frank Write / Otto
What: soul, hip-hop showcase
When: 2017-02-11
In a world that feels inherently negative, one central Illinois-based hip-hop outfit is looking to c
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

In a world that feels inherently negative, one central Illinois-based hip-hop outfit is looking to create a movement that dares to be different— and more positive.

HippieScum of Springfield, Illinois, hits up the Hangar 9 Saturday, February 11 with a group of other hip-hop artists (Phileo, Jasmine B., Frank Write, and Otto) who work together  under the Rebelyfe banner. Nightlife recently spoke with HippieScum himself, Lonnie Lucas, about his music, Rebelyfe, the power of positivity, and the change music could have on the world.

Lucas describes his music as something to turn on and turn up as the soundtrack to letting loose and having a good time. The party is happening, Lucas said, and he wants everyone to enjoy themselves.

“It’s feel-good music,” Lucas said. “It’s very upbeat, very much about the good vibes. It’ll put you in a good mood.”

For example, there are the party tunes on SoundCloud, “All Night” and “Dream Big.” In “Dream Big,” Lucas raps about what he truly wants and remaining in “hustle mode” even when he achieves the goal.

“We have been homies for fifteen years,” Lucas said of the other artists under the Rebelyfe umbrella. “It’s only been in the last four or five years that we started working on music together.”

Rebelyfe began with a defiant juvenile stance, but Lucas said that it has since evolved into standing up for one’s beliefs and never settling for anything less than what someone deserves.

“If you’re living in today’s society and you’re making things happen, then you’re a rebel,” Lucas explained. “We came up with it. We were always standing up. We like to do things on the outside of the norm.”

The Rebelyfe crew is busy right now, according to Lucas.

“We have a lot of individual projects coming out soon,” Lucas said. “I’ll be dropping some new music soon.... But a whole bunch of stuff is coming out, and yet we are all really about quality over quantity,.”

In terms of dreaming big, Lucas said he would like to put together a festival similar to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, but with a philanthropic element. He said his festival would be similar to mission trips, where volunteers worked together to benefit a common cause.

But if music could be the reason everyone comes together for change, Lucas said, the possibilities could be endless.

“Most of the time mission trips are associated with churches, but not everyone goes to church,” Lucas said, “but everyone likes music. At the end of the day, if we could have music bring everyone together, it could really do something.”

who: HippieScum / Rebelyfe / Phileo / Jasmine B. / Frank Write / Otto

what: soul, hip-hop showcase)

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, February 11

Courtlin Jabrae: That Way

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

Who: Courtlin Jabrae
What: hip-hop
When: 2016-11-19
Courtlin Jabrae— rapper, singer, songwriter, actor. This guy really does it all. Born and
Alexis Estes
Video Comentary

Courtlin Jabrae— rapper, singer, songwriter, actor. This guy really does it all.

Born and raised in Carbondale, Jabrae is a hitmaker. He’s written music for and/or toured with big names like Trey Songz, Pretty Ricky, Plies, Rick Ross, T-Pain, and B.J. the Chicago Kid. Those who haven’t heard his latest single, “That Way,” maybe have heard some of his other songs, like everybody’s old favorite, “Crank Dat Batman.”

Remember “Crank Dat Batman?” The jam in the eighth grade? Well, that was none other than Jabrae (known at the time as C.B.) and Nicholas Brown (Lil Action). Yes, Jabrae was the other half of the Pop It off Boyz.

Like most great artists, Jabrae knew he wanted to make music since he was young. “I would always tell my mom and dad as a kid that I was into music, I want to do music,” Jabrae tells Nightlife. “They would buy me drum sets, keyboards.... I didn’t [play] videogames and all that other stuff. They tried to get me other toys [and] I would end up turning it into a music thing.”

In high school, Jabrae’s growing passion for music changed the course of his life.

“I ran into one of my friends, a long-term friend, Nicholas Brown— his performance name was Lil Action,” Jabrae says. “He told me, ‘I can make beats.’ I’m like, ‘How do you make beats?’ It was a wrap! We went into his grandma’s garage. We started making songs, putting them out.”

That’s how they came to create “Crank Dat Batman.”

“Once we put our song out, it started to go viral,” Jabrae says. “It went from two-thousand to ten-thousand plays in a week. Next week it was sixty-thousand plays.”

With a hit song at just sixteen, Jabrae and Lil Action were going on tour with Rick Ross, Plies, and Pretty Ricky. They even performed on BET’s 106 and Park.

“I would go to school, Carbondale Community High School, on Monday,” Jabrae says. “Like, I’m not on television. People would be freaking out, like, “Dude, you are on TV— why are you in class right now?”

Unfortunately, the Pop It off Boyz broke up when further success eluded them. They reunited in 2012 and released a mixtape, but in 2014 Brown died in a car accident.

Jabrae, however, is still making heads nod with his latest music as his sound has evolved to form a more grown and sexy sound. With hypnotic rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics, Jabrae definitely gives listeners something to vibe to.

Jabrae is always speaking about something real. “When you listen to my music, [you know] I’m giving you the love, the soul, mind, and heart all in one,” he tells Nightlife. “I’m giving you everything.

“When you look at my lyrics, look at it as I’m telling my business to the world,” he adds. “I tell the truth in all of my songs. The relationship business is true, family business is true, whatever I’m frustrated about is true. I tell it all. When you tell the truth to the people, they can connect to it.”

Jabrae recently released a new song on SoundCloud, “The Update 1,” the first installment in a series. “This is something I want to keep going throughout my career,” Jabrae explains. “‘Update 1,’ literally updating you on my life, how I’m feeling at this moment. It’s just a big Facebook status [update].”

A true artist at heart, Jabrae not only raps and sings, but he is also songwriter. During the past several years, Jabrae cowrote “Outside Part I” with Trey Songz, who recorded the song on his Inevitable EP. Jabrae has promised to write and release a song every month of the year.

Most recently, Jabrae signed to Entertainment One. With eOne, Jabrae has recorded one of his latest singles, “That Way,” as an introduction to his new music.  So far, “That Way” has received more than a million plays on Spotify and Pandora.

What advice does Jabrae give to those looking to break into the music industry? Invest money, time, and focus into what you want to do. “Go study,” Jabrae says. “Figure out how to perfect your craft and apply that to yourself. Keep working hard and keep putting out your music.”

Listen to “That Way” on Spotify and Pandora. Find his other tracks on SoundCloud, Facebook, and YouTube. And check him out when he performs Saturday, November 19 at the Hangar 9.

who: Courtlin Jabrae

what: hip-hop

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, November 19

G. Love and Special Sauce: An Innovative Mix of Blues and Hip-hop at the CarbondaleRocks Revival

Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Music Coalition

Who: G. Love and Special Sauce
What: CarbondaleRocks Revival (blues, hip-hop)
When: 2016-09-30
The return of G. Love and Special Sauce to Southern Illinois puts the exclamation point on the first
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The return of G. Love and Special Sauce to Southern Illinois puts the exclamation point on the first day of the CarbondaleRocks Revival music festival this weekend.

The incomparable blues/hip-hop group closes down events Friday, September 30 with a performance on the Da Vinci Stage on Washington Street. (The show was originally scheduled at the Copper Dragon.)

“It’s been a long time,” Dutton said in a phone interview about the last time he was in Carbondale. “I can’t even remember. Maybe 2007?”

Nightlife talked with Garrett Dutton, aka G. Love, to find out about his writing process, what’s on the horizon and everything in between.

Garrett Dutton grew up the son of a banking lawyer in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. He started playing guitar at eight years old, writing his first song in high school. Early influences for the budding musician ranged from Bob Dylan and Run-DMC to the Beastie Boys and Schoolly D.

After high school and one year at Skidmore College, Dutton dropped out of school and moved to Boston. During one of his early gigs, he met drummer Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens. The pair started working as a duo before they were later joined by bassist Jim “Jimi Jazz” Prescott. The now trio eventually landed the house gig at the Plough and Stars in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1994, G. Love and Special Sauce released a self-titled debut album on Okeh Records. Thanks in part to heavy rotation on MTV, the single “Cold Beverage” nearly drove the album to gold status.

Even though the album was not as much of a commercial success as its predecessor, the 1995 followup Coast to Coast Motel showed growth and depth. After a hiatus and reconciling some differences, G. Love and Special Sauce released a third album, Yeah, It’s That Easy, which featured collaborations with All Fellas Band, King’s Court, Doctor John, and Philly Cartel.

The 1999 album Philadelphonic featured Jack Johnson when he was an unknown artist on “Rodeo Clowns,” which would end up on Johnson’s 2003 album On and On.

The latest album, Love Saves the Day, which came out last October, features a carousel of featured guests. Dutton said the album was a bit different in that the  recording only took five days to finish, as opposed to the usual months-long span of studio work.

“A lot of the songs are about love and the blues and what that woman did to you,” Dutton said in a behind-the-scenes video about the album, which is available on Youtube. “I think the blues is coming out even stronger. It just keeps getting deeper.”

Dutton told a story about collaborating with Citizen Cope for the single “Muse,” a haunting blues song in which G. Love’s vocals and harmonica work take turns on the lead.

“I was out partying, and we kept missing each other,” Dutton told Nightlife. “He was waiting for me, and when we finally got together and we came up with this really great groove. Then later we came up with the concept and the lyrics and it just all came together so well.”

Others featured on Love Says the Day are David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Lucinda Williams, DJ Logic, Ozomatli, and Kristy Lee.

Dutton said that even with the special guests, he feels the album turned out to be a clear representation of the band’s work.

“It’s still very much our identity,” he said. “It’s a G. Love and Special Sauce record.”

Dutton said getting the opportunity to work with different people helps open up the writing process.

“It really depends on who it is you’re working with,” he said. “You can get really creative.”

Dutton is working on a couple of new projects, but added that the next G. Love and Special Sauce effort will likely take a different direction.

“I think with the next one it will be more geared toward hip-hop,” he said. “But it all depends on what we are writing at the time.”

For more information, check out <http://www.philadelphonic.com>.

who: G. Love and Special Sauce

what: CarbondaleRocks Revival (blues, hip-hop)

where: Washington Street Da Vinci Stage


when: Friday, September 30

Seventeenth Floor: Live Hip-hop Heights

Venues & Businesses
Pinch Penny Pub

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Seventeenth Floor: Rapidly Rising Funk and Hip-hop
Seventeenth Floor: Taking Hip-hop to Another Level

Who: Seventeenth Floor
What: funk, hip-hop
When: 2016-09-24
The Seventeenth Floor has built a reputation for high-energy live hip-hop and rhythm and blues that
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The Seventeenth Floor has built a reputation for high-energy live hip-hop and rhythm and blues that can keep a celebration going well into the wee hours of the morning. Now the band, one of the nation’s premier hip-hop cover groups, checks in with all the other party people Saturday, September 24 at Pinch Penny Pub.

The Seventeenth Floor began when two brothers and rhythm-section musicians decided to form the nucleus of a band. Then drummer Greg Thompson and bass guitarist Aaron “A.T.” Thompson exhaustively auditioned other musicians to find tip-top musicians to join the Seventeenth Floor. The current lineup includes Traye D. on lead vocals, Jroc on vocals, Frankie Blaze on guitar and keyboards, A.T. Thompson on bass, and D’zel on drums.

The first big break came in 1992, after the Seventeenth Floor had already dominated the college-campus circuit in the southern United States. TLC stumbled upon one of Seventeenth Floor’s rehearsals in Atlanta, and in all happenstance the trio needed a backing band for an upcoming world tour. With that, the Seventeenth Floor graduated from fraternity houses to forty-thousand-seat arenas.

But the chance meeting with TLC was not the only time the Seventeenth Floor would get in on the ground floor with an emerging national act. The stars aligned again as a young and up-and-coming artist named Usher contacted and hired the band to back him in 1996. The Seventeenth Floor rehearsed with Usher for his My Way tour and even appeared with him on Fox’s Keenan Ivory Wayans Show.

The group has also opened for Snoop Dogg, Maroon Five, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Nappy Roots, Juvenile, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.

The Seventeenth Floor creates a party experience with top-ten cover tunes and originals. The setlist include hits by Usher, Drake, Ginuwine, House of Pain, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon, Kendrick Lamar, Doctor Dre, DJ Khaled, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and Kanye West.

Averaging more than two-hundred live performances every year, the group perfected an amped-up atmosphere to shake away the weekday blues.

“It’s all about the energy,” Aaron Thompson tells Nightlife. “We want people to come out and have a good time.”

One of the biggest gigs, Aaron Thompson said, came in Ohio last summer.

“We played shows in Cleveland around the time of the NBA Finals,” he said, “right in front of an eighty-thousand [person] crowd. It was amazing. They wanted to have us back, but we were already booked in Louisiana. But who knows? Maybe next time.”

Thompson said the Pinch Penny show is the only opportunity to see the band in the state.

“It’s the only place we play in Illinois,” he said, “and we always enjoy coming back to Carbondale.”

For more information, check out <http://www.17thFl.com>.

who: Seventeenth Floor

what: funk, hip-hop

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company


when: Saturday, September 24

Girls Rock Camp Benefit 2016: An Expression of Power

Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Community Arts
Hangar 9

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Girls Rock Camp Benefit: Amped Up for a Good Cause

Who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary
What: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser
When: 2016-03-12
Pictured: Teen Angst.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The Girls Rock Camp, a Carbondale Community Arts-sponsored initiative to get more young women involved in music, is back to rock another year. A fundraiser for the camp takes place Saturday, March 12 at the Hangar 9.

The benefit opens with the public premiere of Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rockumentary, a film that documents the inaugural camp, which took place last summer. Live entertainment will include Teen Angst, a group whose members attended the 2015 Girls Rock Camp. The rest of the lineup consists of Wichita, Kansas-transplant to Carbondale Amanda Mayflower and Company, local feminist post-punks Thee Mistakes, local hip-hop artist Eshé Bhairavi, and the Chicago-based psychedelic indie-pop duo the Funs.

Items in the silent auction include a screen-printing package from MerchOp, ten hours of recording time at Misunderstudio, a glam-rock photo-shoot package from Pop Rocks, locally made art, surprise package deals, and tattoo gift certificates. (Artists who want to donate work to the auction may do so at the Carbondale Community Arts office at 304 Walnut Street during business hours or Saturday, March 12 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hangar 9.)

The benefit will also feature a fifty/fifty raffle, various giveaways, and several live artists working onstage during performances.

The Girls Rock Camp takes place during seven days and is open to young women in grades four to twelve. There, campers learn how to play instruments and form bands with peers. They write original songs and perform them at a local venue on the last day of camp. This year’s camp will take place at Carbondale Community High School, and the showcase is scheduled for the Hangar 9.

“The kids engage in amazing, empowering workshops that focus on feminist values, egalitarianism, critical-thinking skills, women in history, and the arts in writing, performance, and [promotional] media such as screen printing— a workshop generously donated by MerchOp,” Jessica Lynn, executive director of Carbondale Community Arts, said.

Lynn added that organizers look forward to providing another fulfilling experience for the campers this year.

“We’re expecting to have a tighter workshop curriculum, segregate advanced from beginning music instruction, and give the campers more of an opportunity to experiment with performance— theatrical and musical— in front of their peers,” Lynn said. “We also have assembled a team of glam-rock aficionados who will help campers develop their special rocking style prior to the showcase.”

Lynn explained that the camp strives to be an “all-inclusive community organization and [we] welcome gender-nonconforming and trans- volunteers and youth....

“Camp is all about having fun and developing a sense of self as well as learning how to build cooperative relationships with others,” Lynn said. “It’s more than a music camp— it’s an expression of empowerment.”

Lynn said the Girls Rock Camp has a positive impact on everyone involved.

“Any organization that promotes issues like accessibility, community, egalitarianism, feminism, anti-racism, and critical thinking is an important organization to have in Southern Illinois— especially for youth,” Lynn said. “This camp specifically intends to free youths’ voices, highlight ways that women have been artists, writers, performers, activists, and musicians throughout history, but who have faced marginalization in the media, and give youth a wider breadth of role models in whom they can see themselves.”

Feedback from the campers has been inspiring.

“Last season we had an overwhelming positive emotional response throughout and at the end of the camp from parents and kids,” Lynn said. “We have had several parents tell us that camp literally changed their kid’s life by giving them a platform to use their voice. One participant is interested in interning at camp if she can’t be a repeat camper and teaching smaller kids bass basics—according to her mother, this is something she never would have done prior to camp. Volunteers themselves also reported life-changing experiences working with the kids. Just watch the rockumentary— and bring tissue.”

Girls Rock Carbondale is currently hosting an instrument drive where people can donate money through GoFundMe or give or loan equipment to the camp. Lynn said Carbondale Community Arts wants to raise between $5,000 and $8,000 this year to buy all of its own equipment.

Carbondale Community Arts is also accepting donations to provide campers with lunch.

Lynn said the community has been instrumental in the camp’s continued success, and the future of Girls Rock is contingent on its volunteers, especially instrument instructors.

“[We] have a lot of excellent organizer volunteers, but providing the music instruction in a community with few, or exceptionally busy, working women musicians has been challenging,” Lynn said. “We are anticipating networking with other camps somewhat regionally and are or will be in communication with girls-rock organizers in Chicago, Indianapolis, Southern Girls Rock [in Tennessee], and Saint Louis to do volunteer exchange, or bring volunteers to Carbondale for the week of camp to help staff our session. I fully expect to extend couches [and] pull out sofas, hammocks, and floor space at my place for out-of-town musicians and organizers who want to come help at our camp.”

Tuition for camp is based on a sliding scale, and no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay, although space is limited.

To volunteer, register for the camp, or more information, log on to <http://www.GirlsRockCarbondale.com>.

who: Teen Angst / Amanda Mayflower and Company / Thee Mistakes / Eshé Bhairavi / Funs / Sarah Mitchell’s Girls Rock Carbondale: A Rocumentary

what: Carbondale Community Arts Girls Rock Camp fundraiser

where: Hangar


when: Saturday, March 12

Eshé Bhairavi

Band Members
Eshé Bhairavi (E-Shay) (Buh-Rah-Vee)
Contact Info

Eshé Bhairavi: Spreading Peace and Love Through Hip-hop

Eshé Bhairavi

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

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Little Pizza: A Carbondale Band With the Works

Who: Little Pizza / LuKane / Eshé Bhairavi / Gundy
What: hip-hop showcase
When: 2016-01-23
Hip-hop artists Little Pizza, LuKane, Eshé Bhairavi, and Gundy will play Saturday, January 23 at the
Jennifer “Jay” Bull
Video Comentary

Hip-hop artists Little Pizza, LuKane, Eshé Bhairavi, and Gundy will play Saturday, January 23 at the Hangar 9. Nightlife recently interviewed the very talented Bhairavi about her music and her upcoming performance.

“My name is Eshé Bhairavi and, like my name, I’m very unique and want to express that as far as my music,” Bhairavi told Nightlife. “Eshé Bhairavi means, in Swahili and Hindi, respectively, ‘Life’ and ‘music note.’ Put it together and it’s sort of like ‘Life is a music note,’ which it really is for me. Growing up I was in marching band, handy with my flute, and two children’s choirs along with a burning love for hip-hop, neo-soul, and jazz. That was mostly what my parents listened to while I was growing up. My love for writing came from my dad. He used to make sure I stayed writing, reading, and analyzing articles on my spare time. I grew an appreciation for the art of writing and expressed that in the classroom and in my leisure time. My mom would find my amateur raps on shoeboxes and read them.”

Bhairavi grew up in Chicago, influenced by Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Syd the Kid, Key Wayne, and WondaGurl. She’s now a senior at SIU majoring in audio production and minoring in music. Last May she released a nine-song album, In My Room, and a video to the song “Dirty Laundry.” Her ambitions, however, extend beyond simply writing, performing, and recording.

“My goals are to spread peace through my music,” Bhairavi said. “One day my friends and I will have Peace Fest, a reincarnation of Woodstock.”

Bhairavi has a strong web presence, with songs and videos online highlighting her talent. To check out her music before the Hangar 9 concert, search for her on Soundcloud or visit <http://www.ebhairavi5.com>.

“My role in the [Hangar 9] performance would have to be Superwoman. Ha! I’m the only woman on the lineup, so I need to represent!” Bhairavi said.

“I hope people enjoy themselves and bob their heads at the end of the day,” Bhairavi added. “Actions speak louder than words, so if they don’t say anything, they showed me, and that’s the best feeling— connecting with the crowd and vibing with them. It’s going to be a hip-hop frenzy that’s at a cool-looking building with cool-looking lights. With that being said, it’s lit.... I’m such an interactive person. Come prepared to get some songs stuck in your head. Peace and love always!”

who: Little Pizza / LuKane / Eshé Bhairavi / Gundy

what: hip-hop showcase

where: Saturday, January 23

when: Hangar 9

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