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!
For the single off his upcoming album, E. Oks (Evan Okun, ’13) has brought together Chicago producers with Wes alumni Sam Friedman ’13 and Myles Potters ’12. The song features Jess Best ’14, formally a lead singer of Sky Bars. The cover art is crafted by the always brilliant Ariel Ciccone ’16. Check out the single on soundcloud below.
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.
First slam of the spring! Fuck the rules! WeSlam’s rewriting them this time around. This slam, as the title states, is a prop slam. Did that rule about not being able to use props dissuade you from slamming before? This is your time. Prop away. Eat a sandwich in a poem about sandwiches; caress a stapler in a poem not about staplers – any prop is welcome!
If that’s not enough cause for excitement, the incredibly talented Aziza Barnes will be featuring! A member of the 2011 & 2012 NYU slam team, which placed first at CUPSI, the national collegiate poetry slam, Aziza is the winner of the 2013-2014 NYU Gallery Prize for Radical Presence in Black Contemporary Art and has a chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, published through Button Poetry. Basically, she’s a rock star – check her out here.
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.
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
The revolutionary class struggle was in the house last night at Psi U (or on the stage, at least). Legendary anticapitalist hip hop duo Dead Prez took the stage following a panel sponsored by the Sociology Department in the afternoon focusing on inequality in the education system.
Openers from Weslayan’s own RAW, Evan Okun ’13, Izzy Coleman ’15, and David Stouck ’15 kicked off the show before Wes alum and frequent Dead Prez collaborator Umi performed his own energetic set. Headliners M1 and stic.man of Dead Prez followed, dropping the lyrical bombs of the insurrection for the hyped up crowd.
The show was like nothing else I’ve seen at Wesleyan (this was bigger than hip-hop). One has to wonder whether the Psi U brothers waving the American flag from the balcony
and sweating on their women folk in the corners truly understood what they were seeing. (Upon rereading this phrase I realize that the tone comes off as ugly. I did not get too intimate with any of these corner rendezvous, but had I, I might have found that not all of the participants were in fact women, or perhaps that they would resent being referred to by a possessive adjective in a Wesleying post the following day.) Further update after the jump.
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.”