Rappers set to bring spring act

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February 19, 2010

1:25 AM

In his own words: “My name’s Wale, and I came to get it.” Rapper Wale will be chillin’ in the ‘Burg when he performs at AMP’s spring concert at the College of William and Mary on Friday, April 9.

The rap-infused spring concert will be a considerable change from the folk-rock of Carbon Leaf and pop-rock of Sleeperstar at AMP’s welcome back concert, as well as from the Robert Randolph and the Family Band and indie perfomer Ace Enders at the Homecoming concert. This change is welcomed by rap fans at the College.

“I think its great that William and Mary is getting big-time rap artists to come to campus,” Jonathon Futa ’13 said.

While AMP has yet to publicly confirm the performers, dates have been released on K’Naan’s official website, which lists the College as one of the stops on his tour with Wale.

“Contracts are still in works, but we are talking to their agents,” AMP Music Committee Chair Seira Nakagawa ’10 said.

K’Naan was the main goal for AMP’s spring concert, with Wale as a fortuitous addition.

“Originally we were talking about bringing only K’Naan, but the other acts have the same agent,” Nakagawa said. “[Their agent] said K’Naan is going to be touring with Wale and two other supporting acts, so we were really lucky that we came up with more acts for the spring concert.”

Washington, D.C. rapper Wale first rose to prominence in the go-go scene, a genre of dance music popular in the capital which has evolved from the go-go music of the 1970s.

His 2005 mixtape, “Paint a Picture,” is strongly go-go, but the majority of his work since 2006 has been more straightforward rap with a go-go influence. His first major album, “Attention Deficit,” was released in 2009 with primarily positive reviews, reaching number two on Billboard Rap Albums and number 21 on the Billboard 200. The lead single “Chillin,’” featuring Lady Gaga, reached 99 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Even though Wale has mainly reached fame in D.C., students from outside the D.C. metropolitan area are well acquainted with him.
“Being a huge Wale fan, I’m giddy that a D.C. icon will be here,” Matthew Averna ’13, a Boston native, said.

Rapper K’Naan has a more international feel to his music, differing considerably from Wale’s D.C.-centric style. K’Naan was born in Somalia and lived through the Somali civil war. He later moved to Canada with his family. He took the performance name K’Naan, which means “traveler” in Somali. His music combines Bob Marley’s style with socially-conscious American hip-hop and protest poetry, and he collaborates with countless artists from Keane to Mos Def. His song “Wavin’ Flag” has been selected as the 2010 Coca-Cola World Cup theme song.

The two artists will be performing together in Baltimore, Md. April 3 and in D.C. April 8 while touring the country throughout the spring and summer.

AMP will be releasing more information once the contracts have been finalized.

__This article was also authored by Mary Bonney.__

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