UPDATE 3/1, 14.46: This show was originally scheduled for an earlier date and was postponed until Friday, April 27, 2018. This post has been edited to reflect this change.
In a fog of existential collapse, Kweku Collins is a beacon. He’s a good artist to find when you’ve been beaten down so hard by loss, pain, and despair that you can hardly move.
He’ll get you to move – whether it’s through dance, creative inspiration, or just enough psychic energy for you to take one more blind swipe at joy.
Case in point: the title of this post. It makes the corner of my mouth turn up just a bit, and I’d hope a lyrically inventive rapper – with an experimental streak – like Collins would appreciate it.
Soultru is Terrence Banks, a fervent poet with a confident voice. On the verge of dropping his first EP, Soultru has multiple releases under his belt.
Meanwhile, Sons Of MARS, a collective with a core duo based out of East Moline, is less than a year old; you’re pretty much guaranteed a fresh and unique set.
Collins himself hails from nearby; the 20-year-old is based out of Evanston, IL. His 2017 album, grey, may very well have a namesake in the overcast skies of late winter in the Midwest, but that is not the whole story. The unnamable in-between has quickly become a theme in his work.
In Aya (feat. Allan Kingdom), digital effects augment natural apices, nicely blending Collin’s natural voice with synthesized tones. The track gives the overall impression of new discovery born from the traditional; the lyrics are at home in a Romanesque drama penned by a Shakespearean contemporary, rapped with a modern hip-hop sensibility.
And then – surprise! It’s a 90s-alternative-inspired acoustic riff (Youaintshit) with a little fiddle and song, and after a while, an electric beat steps in just long enough for you to miss it when the song ends.
The most meaningful track for me, though, was Oasis2: Maps. Heartfelt and poetic, it was what I most needed following yet another mass shooting that has come to be an expected part of adolescence.
Here’s hoping he’ll perform it at the show. In an intimate space like Daytrotter, and with an artist like Collins who so willing to share of himself, all barriers between artist and audience should be lifted. Look forward to an evening of reciprocal celebration.
It’s nice to feel good sometimes.