April 24, 2011

Letter to the Editor: How Bambaataa really went down

Print More

To the Editor:

Re: “A Legend, A Letdown,” Arts, April 18

On April 18th, The Sun published a highly negative review of Afrika Bambaataa’s performance at Thumpty on 800 University Ave. And while I harbor no negative feelings towards the author, he admits that he’s a hip-hop noob who was too stressed with his academic workload to enjoy the show, and it would be a shame for those who missed such a wonderful event to see it through such confused and biased eyes.

First, because the author arrived part way through Bambaataa’s performance, he missed the energy of the opening tag team D.J. set between D.J. Grumble (aka Colin Calabrese ’11) and D.J. Double A that featured a magical pop-and-lock off between renowned hip-hop dancer and choreographer, Popmaster Fabel, Cornell’s senior lecturer in dance Jim Self, Professor Glenn Altschuler of Cornell’s History department and everyone else brave enough to strut their stuff for the growing audience. As a wise man said at the time, “This stuff doesn’t happen every day.”

Furthermore, though the author claimed the show fell victim to musical monotony, this could not be further from the truth as Bam threw down an incredibly versatile set that expertly navigated through certifiable dance party bangers, old school funk and soul and an especially dope drum-n-bass track mixed up with Lauryn Hill’s “Ready or Not.”

But what gets me the most is that for once, the University and the Greek system were able to work together to put on something beautiful and legendary, and it wasn’t even mentioned. No one was drinking, no one was belligerent, no one went to the hospital and for a few brief hours a melting pot of the Cornell community was united under the Universal Zulu Nation’s banner of peace, love, unity and having fun. The only letdown was The Sun’s review.

Ben Weiss ’11