May 1, 2003

Everybody Must Get Sloped

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Rappers and Roots and Reggae, oh my! Cornell Concert Commission and the Slope Day Steering Committee deliver a solid line up for Slope Day celebrations and beyond. So read up on the four diverse performers coming to the campus you call your own — Fat Joe, Rusted Root, The Wailers, and Toots and The Maytals.

First things first. As you are well aware, tomorrow is the most anticipated day of a Cornellian’s existence. For the masses of overworked and sleep-deprived students, the countdown to Slope Day probably started back in the fall when problem sets and prelims began to pile up along with that lovely white precipitation we received so much of this year. But thankfully, the time has come to rejoice on the slope! Whether it is your first or last final Friday of the spring semester, be prepared for some top-notch entertainment, and I’m not talking about the drunken streekers, either.

Fat Joe is making his Ithaca, New York debut and is expected to deliver for the slopers with high energy rap songs. Although Fat Joe has been around the rap scene for over a decade, he’s best known for his 2002 single “What’s Luv” featuring Ashanti. Fat Joe has collaborated with a variety of other infamous hip-hopsters throughout his career, including LL Cool J, Nas, Raekwon, and P. Diddy. If we’re lucky, Fat Joe will bring his entourage to serve us up dollar glasses of Cristal at 1:30 PM, in accordance with the new Slope Day policies. Even if you aren’t the biggest rap fan at Cornell, attending the Fat Joe performance — if nothing else — is a perfect opportunity to grind up against that hottie from class you never got up the nerve to talk to.

The other musical must-see of the day will be a performance at 3 PM by Rusted Root. The members of this funky and eclectic band from Pittsburgh could definitely be mistaken for CTB employees if you didn’t know better. But Michael Glabicki & company are sure to bring their Latin American, Middle Eastern, and African musical influences to the stage along with powerful vocals and instrumentation. Rusted Root had an album released in 2002, but most of us can appreciate them for the 1994 release of When I Woke, complete with vivid and rhythmic tracks like “Send Me On My Way,” “Martyr,” and (my personal fave) “Back to the Earth.” Although I can’t speak to the recent works of Rusted Root, I can say from experience that they are extremely entertaining in live performances whether you are familiar with the music or not. Rusted Root’s unique combination of vocals, guitar, and percussion will be sure to get your arms flailing and head boppin’.

Whatever your Slope Day style is, Fat Joe and Rusted Root are worth checking out. Need I remind the reader of Slope Days past, where acts like Nada Surf and that group that sang about little black backpacks (Stroke 9) came for a visit? This year’s musical performers are sure to provide an entertaining and eclectic mix to your Slope Day experience, so head to the slope and enjoy.

By the time Monday May 5th rolls around, you will be well recovered from Slope Day and not nearly ready to begin studying for finals, leaving you with the perfect excuse to attend the Cornell Concert Commission procured reggae performances by The Wailers and Toots and The Maytals at 8 PM in Bailey Hall. Tickets are still available for $13 to $15 with a Cornell University ID and for $23 to $25 for the general public.

The Wailers are coming, The Wailers are coming! This reggae group has been around since 1963 and is credited with a slew of great organic Jamaican songs like “Jamming,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “No Woman, No Cry.” Their most successful album, Legend, is a collection of hit songs featuring Bob Marley and the Wailers throughout their lengthy musical career. Although members have come and gone, present members of the Wailers should deliver a festive Jamaican jam session.

Toots and The Maytals will also perform their soulful Jamaican beats for Cornellians. Although Toots himself is the only original band member still playing, attendees can watch out for performances of songs like “Pressure Drop” and “54-46 That’s My Number,” two hits from back in their prime days.

Although there aren’t too many Rastafarians walking around campus, there are several valid reasons to attend the reggae show. Go because you enjoy reggae music for its earthy flavor and danceability. Go because you are still experiencing Spring Break withdrawal from vacationing in the Caribbean. Go because The Wailers and Toots and The Maytals are legends in the reggae world and will be a good conversation piece to let your grandchildren know just how cool you were in college.

Music has the power to narrate our lives. As I threw in my old Rusted Root CD today, I could still vividly recall sneaking into their concert in high school and all of the emotions surrounding the experience. But I’m pretty sure that this memory will be overshadowed at tomorrow’s concert by the excitement and sorrows of a final Slope Day for this Sun staffer. Whatever your musical interest may be — Fat Joe, Rusted Root, or The Wailers and Toots and The Maytals — go to a show and make some memories of a time that is complained about often, appreciated little, and is over before you realize.

Archived article by Kristen Jones