What’s This Hip-Hop of Which You Speak?

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Bacchanal is upon us, and the week’s most eagerly-anticipated festivity has come and gone.  All Bwog can hear now is the obnoxiously soothing tooting of a zampoña from the street fair on the East side of Broadway.  But only moments ago, Talib Kweli asked us “who here listens to hip hop music?”  And, after a little coaxing and some repetition, the mass of predominantly white fist-pumping students said, “yeeaaaaaah.”  Regardless, the beats were thick (like the crowd), everyone sweated and screamed, and there was much rejoicing.

Of course, several moments before Kweli took the stage was, well, Bwog’s run out of snappy monikers, and all we can say is: Vampire Weekend!  Returning!  Triumphantly.  Since the Bacchanal staff were chucking plastic wayfarers into the crowd, anyone tall enough to snatch one could instantly gain some hipster cred as they bopped along to “A-Punk” or “Bryn.”  Onstage banter consisted of reminiscing from Ezra–“we played this song at our first concert…memories…”–and offstage banter was mostly Barnard girls and imported NYU kids singing along like their lives depended on it.  Nary a boat-shoe in sight, but there are pictures (more to come once cameras charge) after the jump.




– JPMB, photos by JPMB, Matthew Rendely, and Rajib Mitra

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  1. Think I

    Had an eargasm. Way to go bacchanal commitee

  2. lerner

    lousy show. last year was significantly better and more organized.

    better luck next year, bacchanal.

  3. tag

    Dear Bwog,

    It is April. The weather is lovely, yes, but not unseasonably so.

  4. this  

    was awesome. Loved the concert

  5. WHERE  

    are the talib pictures??

  6. bwog  

    I know collectively you're whiter than fresh snow, but seriously, there's no reason for you to post zero pictures of kweli

  7. 6alib!  

    talib kweli was amazing. im proud of my school

  8. 2150  

    the weather was great and the concert was even better!! thanks bacchanal!

  9. clearly  

    bwog left after vampire weekend ended

  10. awesomeness  

    talib kweli was amazing!!!! vampire weekend not so much

  11. talib was amazing  

    vampire weekend is white pussy ass bitches...gross

    for talib i've only got respect

  12. um...  

    did people read?

    "but there are pictures (more to come once cameras charge) after the jump"

    perhaps the kweli pics are inside the charging cameras...

  13. Mrs E. Koenig  

    Ezra Koenig, let's get married please

  14. Hmmmm  

    Why Barnard girls? What is that supposed to mean? I and a few other columbia college girls were rockin' out to vampire weekend; anyone with taste for present-day alternative rock music knows them

  15. Angry Black Man  

    I think that the mass exodus of whites leaving the steps after vampire weekend is indicative of how people here just don't listen to hip-hop. My entire Ruggles suite of 7 other people love Vampire Weekend but had no clue who Talib was.

    Diversity indeed.

    • not very angry white girl  

      I totally understand your frustration. It was both rude and stupid of people to leave, especially considering how incredibly better of a show talib kweli put on. However, doesn't diversity mean that people are different? If there weren't that special genre of white people that only listen to factory beats in their boat shoes and collared shirts, then you would have nothing against which to compare the infinitely superior tones of talib. You might even take him for granted. And that would be sad indeed.

      • Hey Hip-Hop Fans  

        What's with all these passive-aggressive remarks about those who left? Yeah, Talib's got talent and yeah he put on a great show, but some people simply don't enjoy hip-hop. It's not stupid or pompous, it's just personal taste.

    • What  

      I don't understand why white people have a responsibility to listen to hip hop.

      • Because  

        so maybe douchebags like you will take off their 2-sizes-too-small hipster pants every once in a while and let the blood flow to their brain, thus hopefully becoming less ignorant about your "duty" as a race, rather than as an individual...

  16. Mrs. T Kweli  

    Talib Kweli, let's make ridiculously literate babies, please.

  17. Talib brought it!  

    Talib got the crowd 90 times more hype than Vampire Weekend. I like both, and thought they were both great, but a crucial part of live hip hop is trying to get the crowd as excited as possible, thus the getting ones hands up, the saying of "oh yeah," and what have you.

    Plus, the idea of gaining "hipster cred" by singing Vampire Weekend clearly indicates you don't have your ear to the ground in the indie world. I would say most of the crowd, being the hyper-elite indie douchebags that we are, were afraid to be seen mouthing/singing the words and thus giving away how they were sooooo into the album before the buzz and subsequent backlash.

  18. ruh roh  

    it's supposed to rain on 4/20 :(

  19. the concert  

    was amazing. Best in my three years....gooood job bacchanal.


    WAS FUCKING AWESOME. the dude has mad flow. and he the crowd to get into it a lot.


    Could you try and solicit people to send you pictures from the event... I had really bad seats and would love to see what it really looked like. Thanks a bunch.

  22. a friend  

    the photos are by RajiB Mitra, not Rajiv. It's written in your own comment, guys.

  23. Wow  

    Thanks for a great concert Bacchanal

  24. show vs music  

    Had people given it a shot, they would have enjoyed Kweli as much as they did Vampire Weekend. I enjoyed VW a lot, and I get repulsed by most music from their genre and have refused to listen to them just because they went here (like I know other people are). Also, some of my white-bred friends who had never listened to hip-hop before nor will ever listen to it again, thoroughly enjoyed Kweli, as he is an amazing lyricist, and connected to the audience by including Vampire Weekend, Obama, and Columbia into his freestyles. Had people stayed, they would have appreciated what he had to give as a showman, and not as a rapper. He put on a show, and that is the end of it. Anyone could have had fun.

    Overall, two thumbs up for the concert, one of the best I have ever attended. Loved it

  25. Damn.

    What a shame that Vampire Weekend canceled their appearance and ruined everyone's fun after that Spec story. Lesson learned: kowtow to ass-covering student leaders from now on when they go into high dudgeon.

  26. i say awkward  

    you say turtle.

    race baiting isn't fun for anyone!

  27. I don't  

    Think there was too big an exodus, from where I was standing it was still packed for Kweli and seemed to be a really mixed crowd. Leave it to Bwog commenters to try and find something controversial in what was a great event

    • yeah  

      I think people left while they were changing the stage and then came back. It seemed like roughly the same sized crowd for both vampire weekend and talib. Although the exodus did allow me to get in from for talib.... AWESOME

  28. Columbia student  

    I think I speak for the majority of CU students when I say most hip hop sucks- anyone can do it and it's not music.

    There is something to say about the hard work needed to become proficient in a musical instrument.

    Going out on a limb here but I'm pretty sure Talib Kweli doesn't know how to read music. Also for anyone who says how brilliant he is, curious as to how Mr. Kweli did on the SATs.

    • Furious Columbia Student  

      I'm speechless. His parents are both Professors and it sounds like his younger brother teaches here, too. He went to NYU, so he must have done well on his SATs.

      That was such an ignorant comment, I don't know what else to say, and if I could come up with the right words, it would probably be just be wasted effort.
      The least you could have done before commenting is go to Talib Kweli's wiki...sheesh

      As for #44, being Asian has nothing to do with whether or not you like liking hip-hop. Race in general has nothing to do with appreciating hip-hop, nor does it determine your taste in music. Stupid little example, but I'm black and mainly listen to electronica/dance, and I know a handful of Asians who listen to hip-hop, so really...race doesn't define a person.

      Back to hip-hop, either it speaks to you, or it doesn't.

    • Anonymous

      #43 you don't seem to speak for the majority of posters on this board so I don't see how you infer that the majority of CU students think hip-hop is not music.
      "Anyone can perform hip-hop" Truly? I think I speak for the majority of posters here when I ask that you get up on stage and perform hip-hop. Humble us with your "brilliance".

    • uhh

      this comment is an embarrassment.

      talib was AMAZING, columbia definitely needed to hear what he had to say. #43 especially could benefit and learn a lot from listening to talib's lyrics and considering the long history of hip hop and its function as a culture and a movement built up from struggle, instead of just judging it through your ridiculous white western value system. get a clue, dude, and think about what you write before you write it.

    • list dsp  

      let me guess, but are you such a little toad and charlatan, barely and ludicrously a specimen of humanity, i would love to watch large berumaba jizz into your open wounds.

      • yo 51  

        buy a gun, point it at your face and pull the trigger

        not 43

        • Comment tracking...  

          is a beautiful thing. #43, why would you pretend to be someone else (#51) to defend yourself? If you're so confident in your beliefs, you ought to stand behind them. Besides, it doesn't seem like anyone else is dying to jump on your bandwagon. I think I can actually help your campaign though. Tell me if you've heard this one before: "Rap is Crap." I think it's a pretty new and innovative turn-of-phrase, just like your stale, stale rhetoric...

          As for Kweli's SAT scores, or reading music, I have no idea how he performed/performs on either task, so I can't speak to that. I will say, however that I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many famous musicians who can read music. Even most singer-songwriters could get by with guitar tabs. And since when have the SATs been a true measure of intelligence? There's a reason we all forgot the number the moment we got to college.

          • post 43

            hey I wrote the much maligned post- 51 is my roommate, I'd be happy to post my gmail if you wanted to discuss briefly offline. Yeah I've posted on bwog enough to know how the comment tracker works. Maybe I don't speak for others. My own view is that I don't really appreciate or understand hip hop. But most bwog'ers don't know anything about math and physics so we all have our own ignorance to overcome. A bit off topic: do you honestly not remember your SATs? I was two questions from 1600 and often wonder if I should have taken the exam again.

  29. ...

    just a guess, are you asian?

  30. casers  

    been singing it all day while my sunburned shoulders heal...pandora does a nice dig with vw

  31. in summation:  


    kweli kicks ass, #43 is a pathetic excuse for a human being much less a Columbia student, also hip-hop fans out there stop race baiting -- we don't all have to love the same shit, and your snide socio-racial comments are generally horseshit and occasionally racist themselves. and just as there were people who left before kweli there were also those who skipped vampire weekend entirely: freewill, it's a beautiful thing.

    that is all

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