Over time, our Tipbox fills up with lots of random website recommendations, music from alumni and other miscellaneous things that we can’t always get to right away. But we promise, we hear you. As pre-finals procrastination sets in (and in preparation for our biennial Procrastination Destination series), we put together a post of some recent Tipbox submissions for you to check out and add to your list of things you’re doing instead of studying.
If you have inside knowledge, consider submitting us some tips!
He done done it again. That crazy gifted dude E. Oks (Evan Okun ’13) headlined his first show at the famous Bowery Poetry Club, with the help of some super talented Weskids. He describes his performance, “Unlearn a Chair,” as “a fus[ion] of spoken word poetry, Hip Hop (written and freestyle), and jazz (improvisational piano, harmonica, cello, and singing). The subject matter explores the way the elite label certain people ‘crazy’ so as to normalize suffering and self-obsession. This collision of media yielded something truly interdisciplinary, elucidating and effectively subverting the binary of sanity and insanity through the tensions and convergences of artistic forms.
This is worth your watch; between Okun’s flexibility between forms and alarming degree of skill in all of them (he recites a poem about addiction using each letter of the word “addiction” to begin the poem’s next word, cycling this about twenty times), the musical dynamism of Mel Hsu ’13, Sam Friedman ’13, Nate Mondschein ’12 and Jess Best ’14, the poetic range showcased between Lily Myers ’15, Alok Vaid-Menon and Chekira Lashley ’15, the powerful belt of Tanaya Srini ’15 and all the Weskid cameos in between, the cohesiveness of artistic forms to comprise a larger, charged product was not only entertaining, but also inspiring.
If you haven’t heard Evan Okun ’13’s, otherwise known as E. Oks, new album Back Up, Black Out, you’re seriously depriving yourself. Available for free on his Bandcamp, Okun’s album encapsulates his outlook on life with smooth rhymes atop a soundscape of samples and carefully crafted beats. Oh, and it’s rife with Weskids. Like, on every track. I chatted with Okun about the album, the inspiration and process behind it, the videos it’s spawned. I got to dig into his mind and it was pretty dope – here’s the product.
Evan Okun ’13, aka E. Oks, is killing it as usual. He just released the second video from his debut album, Back Up, Black Out (check it out here), for the song “All Relative.” The song was produced by Lucas Turner-Owens ’12, aka SANK0FA, and the video was shot by Taylor Harbison. Featuring a soulful Jack Johnson sample and some nice multiple perspective action, the track is solid, as is the video, capturing the essence of Washington Heights through intimate black-and-white views of bodegas and intersections. The video features Donat De La Cruz, a professional poet who has featured at Wes and met E. Oks at the first inter-collegiate poetry slam WeSLAM ever attended! The first video may have been in Hawaii, which is cool and all, but E. Oks wants you to know that, “Hawaii’s good, but Wash Heights’ gooder.” Check it out. Show some love.
Firstly, if you don’t know of E. Oks (Evan Okun ’13), dude’s dope. He just released his first studio album. It’s beautifully crafted, poignant, filled with Wesfolk on every track and free.
Anyway, Evan just released his first music video for his track “The Feature” (feat. Tory). You should all watch it. And love it.
Oh, and don’t be fooled by the fake ending – it’s two music videos in one!
What’s that? Want more? Don’t blame you. Check out E. Oks’ repertoire at his Bandcamp page.
After bringing legendary rap duo Dead Prez to campus last winter, recent Wes grad Evan Okun ’13 drops his first studio album. It is a concept album (listen in order and NOT on shuffle), featuring at least one other Wesleyan student on every track. The album includes performances by Wesleyan a-cappella stars Quasimodal and production by the FXWRTH (aka Coral Foxworth ’15) and SANK0FA (aka Lucas Turner-Owens ’11).
If you’re looking for hip hop that is altogether poetic, introspective, hilarious, and consistently virtuosic, then this is the album for you. What’s more, you can download it for free here.
For more E. Oks music, go to e-oks(dot)bandcamp(dot)com
Evan Okun ’13 sends us the above image for his senior recital this Friday. He didn’t even send a blurb. I’m not sure if he expects me to write something, or just wanted me to post the image. I guess I could probably mention that he did a music video recently. And that his rap name E. Oks isn’t really hiding his identity very well. Also, there’s a Facebook event for his recital, and I’m probably just going to end this post with some event details before it gets more obnoxious and rambly than it already is.
Date: Friday, May 3
Time: 9:15 PM
Place: Russell House
A few months ago, I posted a link to a new song by some Wesleyan students and alumni called “Billionaire”. Today, I’m posting a video of the song, also produced by Wes students and alumni. The video involves Evan Okun ’13 (also known by his stage name E. Oks), Greg Shaheen ’13, Mel Hsu ’13, Sam Friedman ’13, and Garth Taylor ’12 riding some subways and serenading people in the streets.
The YouTube description lists four sources of inspiration:
(1) The inequality to which we’ve grown accustom (2) Mainstream radio stations which mistake capitalism for God (3) Dead Prez (4) Everything About Wesleyan University
Notably, number three on that list — Dead Prez — will be at Wesleyan today, Saturday, January 26. At 1:30 PM, they will be holding a panel on the education system in the Daniel Family Commons (DFC). Be sure to show up early to get a seat! Also, Dead Prez reportedly has a “zero tolerance policy for shit starting late.”
“An album of songs about meaningful things”—almost entirely Wes-specific.
Over the summer, homegrown musical personality Zack Sulsky ’13 put out a call for submissions. In particular, he requested “original songs about meaningful things.” Each songwriter, he explained, would choose an appropriate charity for their song to fund. In so doing, the project will “contribute not only money, but also serious thought and discourse to the issues that we, the songwriters, care about.
True to promise, Sulsky’s project, “Songs for Something,” has come to fruition. As of last week, the compilation is available on BandCamp for free streaming and $12 purchase. (Remember: those dollars are going to charity.) More than half of its 13 tracks are by Wesleyan artists, and if you’re sick to death of all the post-chillwave hogwash nonsense about unmeaningful things, consider this compilation a pleasantly eclectic ramble through the folksier, rootsier corner of Wesleyan’s student music scene. Particular highlights include “Mercury,” a majestic slow-burner from the recent Honey and the Sting release; “The Holder,” an impossibly soulful minimalist gem from the impossibly prolific Mel Hsu ’13; and “After the Heatwave,” a bittersweet solo cut by Bones Complex‘s Andrew Pfeiffer ’13. The album also contains original music by Julia Mark ’13, The Blooming Youth, Alma Sanchez-Eppler ’14, Sulsky himself, and the “Billionaire” remix we previously posted about. As Sulsky explains,
Above is the album artwork of “Sleep On It,” a concept-album by the illustrious Evan Okun ’13 (who sometimes goes by E. Oks). Click here or click the artwork itself for a free download of the mixtape. Evan is a member of WeSlam, leader of Writers’ Bloc, founder of The Freestyle Collective here at Wes, and a big fan of Lois Lowry’s masterpiece The Giver. About the album in Evan’s words:
The record examines the futility of the braggadocios rap which dominates the air-waves by juxtaposing such egoistic tendencies with the reality that we are merely passing phenomena, destined to dissolve into the universe from which we came. Evaporate into this.